07:00 21 June 2022
A continuous footpath, formed as part of a national network of coastal paths, now connects walkers from North Somerset to Minehead.
The new 13.4-mile route, which stretches from Sand Bay to Brean Down Fort, was unveiled on Thursday June 16 and will now form part of the England Coast Path, which will take in the entire English coastline.
When completed, the 2,700 mile walk will be the longest coastal path in the world.
The route starts at the Beach Road car park and takes walkers along the toll road, past Marine Lake and Knightstone Island, along Weston Promenade, Beach Lawns, through Uphill Wharf, along the nature reserve from Uphill and Bleadon levels and up to Brean Down.
The section along the west bank of the Ax River in Brean will only be open seasonally from April 16 to July 15 to avoid disturbing waterfowl that feed and roost there during the winter months.
There will also be no public access through the salt flats and mudflats of Uphill and Bleadon, in order to give local wildlife the best chance of survival.
Natural England Wessex Regional Manager Rachel Williams said: “We know that just two hours of contact with nature a week can dramatically improve our health and wellbeing.
“This path is a welcome addition to Somerset and North Somerset and will provide both the local community and visitors and tourists from further afield more opportunities to access the coast and connect with nature.”
An unveiling ceremony took place at Brean Cross Sluice at the point which marks the crossing between the county of Somerset and North Somerset.
North Somerset Council chairwoman, Cllr Karin Haverson was in attendance, as were the council’s heritage and regeneration champion, Cllr John Crockford-Hawley and Cllr Robert Payne.
Cllr Crockford-Hawley said: “Our aim is to create a footpath and cycle route between Brean, Weston and Clevedon closer and closer and this latest inclusion in the National Coastal Paths Network adds a welcome green touch to our appeal. local tourist.
North Somerset Neighborhoods and Community Services Executive Member Cllr Mike Solomon said: “I am delighted to have this first section officially recognized and to make it easier for our residents and visitors to enjoy our beautiful coastline.
“It’s great that this project, done in partnership with Natural England, is coming to an end, which is incredibly exciting for future tourism and our economy.”
The new path will also form part of the ‘Tide Trail’, a circular route starting from the Uphill Beach car park.