A TRAIL which takes in the stunning coast of the Lake District National Park and connects the shoreline with some of the UK’s most famous mountains and lakes will celebrate its official launch by Natural England today.

As part of the England Coast Path National Trail, the new stretch covers over almost 33 miles of trails from Whitehaven to Silecroft.

The new trail and many areas of associated coastal access land are now publicly accessible. The trail comprises of coastal terrain such as beaches, dunes and cliff tops, picturesque towns and villages, the Sellafield skyline, views of both mountain and sea and many visitor hotspots including:

• The historic Georgian town of Whitehaven

• The towering red sandstone cliffs of St Bees Head – the only area of high sea cliffs in the North West

• Majestic Muncaster Castle

• Ravenglass, the coastal village which is in two UNESCO World Heritage sites – The Lake District and Hadrian’s Wall

• Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway – one of the oldest and longest narrow gauge heritage railways in England

The Whitehaven to Silecroft stretch, which initially opened to local communities in March 2021 during the COVID-19 restrictions, joins Allonby to Whitehaven and Walney Island and brings the total length of England Coast Path in Cumbria to 70 miles.

A national celebration and launch event will take place today at St Bees. It will be an opportunity to thank the many partners, stakeholders and community groups who have played vital roles in making the route happen.

Guests include campaigners for increased BAME and disabled access to the outdoors and landowners from along the coast.

The England Coast Path is funded through Defra’s Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) and delivered by Natural England.

Once complete it will create a new National Trail all around England's coast, which at 2,700 miles, will be the longest continuous coastal walking route in the world.

Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council's cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “The England Coast Path is a fantastic initiative and will enable people to enjoy our wonderful coastlines and scenery in ways they haven’t been able to before.

“The new trails will also help to make local people and visitors more aware of what’s on offer in this part of the county - fantastic views, fantastic scenery and local communities that are very welcoming.”