Path News


Regarding the footpath closure below, here is a more recent update.

  • Lyme Regis to West Bay : The situation remains exactly as described below, sadly. As I understand it Dorset County Council intend to extinguish the existing rights of way marked on the OS maps along the coast between Lyme Regis, Charmouth and Stonebarrow Hill. However it is planned to create a new route that is more coastal than the current route (along the A3052 in part) as part of the England Coast Path that is being created, although I don't know how close to the coast it will be. The footpath on the eastern side of the River Char also remains closed, so don't be tempted to use this. Between Charmouth and Lyme Regis it used to be possible to walk along the beach with care at low tide. This has become increasingly difficult due to building work for new coastal defences going on at the Lyme Regis end, so this is not advised.

  • Abbotsbury to West Bay : The footpath between Burton Freshwater and Burton Bradstock is now open again.
  • Abbotsbury to Weymouth : Remains as described below.

  • Portland West Side : Two small sections closed between Blacknor and Chesil Cove. There are signed diversions in place which I believe are a minor variation from the route.
  • Lulworth to Chapmans Pool : The part of the route between Kimmeridge and Chapman's Pool that was closed has re-opened. However the coast path around the top of Lulworth Cove is now closed due to cliff falls. You can however normally walk along the beach at Lullworth Cove to avoid this closure.
  • Beer to Lyme Regis : The part of the coast path between Lyme Regis and Seaton is all closed, at least as a through route. The official South West Coast path site offers a suggested diversion here : The official advice from Devon County Council is to take a bus, which is hardly ideal!

It has been bought to my attention that there are a number of closures of the coast path through Dorset with some quite long sections now closed. It is not clear how long these closures will last but my experience is that Dorset County Council is very poor at maintaining footpaths so the closures may exist for some times. A summary is below.

  • Lyme Regis to West Bay : A walk with a lot of problems! The coast path is closed from the top of Cains Folly east of Charmouth to Charmouth. The diversion is on to Stonebarrow Hill then west along Stonebarrow Lane then along the road to the west side of the river Char, then the footpath south from here back to the beach. Do not be tempted to use the footpath on the eastern side of the river Char, this is obstructed with barbded-wire and gates, a situation that has persisted since 2007 but Dorset County Council continue to do nothing about it. The old coast path along the back of the beach from Charmouth to Lyme Regis is also closed and has been for years. The official diversion is inland partly via the A3052.
  • Abbotsbury to West Bay : Currently closed between Burton Bradstock beach and Burton Freshwater. There is a diversion close to the coast mostly along footpaths. The majority of the path should re-open soon.
  • Abbotsbury to Weymouth : The coastal footpath along Western Ledges, between the western wall of Portland Harbour and Sandsfoot Castle is closed and has been for some years. The coast path has been diverted along roads inland.
  • Portland West Side : Two small sections closed between Blacknor and Chesil Cove. There are signed diversions in place which I believe are a minor variation from the route.
  • Lulworth to Chapmans Pool : The entire coastal path from Kimmeridge to Houns-tout Cliff just west of Chapmans Pool is closed. There is no official diversion so you must head inland to Kimmeridge village east to Swyre Head to Kingston village and then along paths back to Houns-tout Cliff.

A new section of coast path has been opened between Stoke Flemming and Strete. This new section has already been well way marked and avoids much of the inland road walking that used to be a problem on this part of the path. At present the page covering this walk has not yet been updated to reflect the new route.

The coast path has also now re-opened in the Boscastle area, though there may still be some disruption and diversions.


Serious flooding in Boscastle has caused serious damage, closing the village and the coast path. There has also been serious damage in the surrounding communities of Crackington Haven, Camelford and Tintagel.


BBC News is reporting a collapse of the cliffs at Golden Cap. From the article it sounds as if the cliffs around this area could remain unsafe and therefore I'd advise keeping away from this part of the coast path for the next couple of weeks.


BBC News is reporting that there are plans to re-open part of the coast path at Thatcher Point, near Torquay, which have been closed for 5 years due to subsidence. This section of the path is between Torquay and Babbacombe.


The coast path between Kimmeridge and Chapman's Pool in Dorset is suffering from a lot of erosion, and a few parts have collapsed into the sea, meaning you have to cross into the edge of fields, so care should be taken on this section. A large number of jelly fish are currently present around the coast, especially in Cornwall and coastguards have advised people to stay away from Charlestown Beach, near St Austell in Cornwall. Part of Porth beach on the North coast has also been closed due to 300 litres of heating oil polluting the river that runs along the beach.

The 2003 Blue Flag Awards have been announced. In total, 22 beaches qualify this year, compared with 19 last year. However, in Devon, the number of blue flag beaches has dropped from 13 last year to 9 this year, with several beaches around Torbay losing their blue flag. West Cornwall has got three new blue flag beaches, Porthminster and Porthmeoor beaches in St Ives and Sennen Cove, near Lands End. I plan to add a new blue flag beaches page to this site soon.

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