England Coast Path: Grain to Woolwich

Find out about the progress of improving coastal access – including maps, process and timing – in Kent and London.

Map of the stretch

Natural England has begun to investigate how to improve coastal access along a 78 km stretch of the Kent coast and Thames Estuary between Grain and Woolwich.

The end point of this stretch was changed in April 2017 from Gravesend in Kent to Woolwich in London in order to join the capital to the England Coast Path along the Thames Estuary.

Officers from Kent County Council, Medway Council, London Borough of Bexley and Royal Borough of Greenwich are providing Natural England with expert local advice and helping to make sure there is full consultation with local interests during the development of the route.

Stage of progress

Stage 4: Determine

On 5 June 2019, Natural England submitted a collection of reports to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs setting out the proposals for improved access to the coast between Grain and Woolwich.

You can now read the reports.

Anyone can comment on the proposals (make a representation). Landowners and occupiers can make an objection.

Representations and objections must reach Natural England by midnight, Wednesday 31 July 2019.

Objections are forwarded for consideration by an independent planning inspector appointed by the Secretary of State. The inspector will make recommendations to the Secretary of State in respect of each one.

Natural England may not make any further changes to the reports as a result of the representations and objections, but will make comments about them for consideration by the Secretary of State and, in the case of objections, the appointed person (an inspector from the Planning Inspectorate).

The Secretary of State will consider all the representations and objections before making a decision about Natural England’s reports.

Next steps

Stage 5: Open

Once the Secretary of State has approved the reports, Natural England will start work with Kent County Council, Medway Council, London Borough of Bexley and Royal Borough of Greenwich on preparing the route for public use.

The first step will be to contact owners and occupiers of the affected land to discuss the design and location of any new infrastructure which is required such as signs and gates.

When preparations are complete, new access rights will be brought into force along the route and adjoining spreading room.

Find out more about the England Coast Path

See information about all stretches in preparation around England’s coast.

The coastal access scheme gives details of the process being followed to improve access to the coast.

Contact the coastal access team

Contact Natural England with any comments, suggestions or queries you have about improving coastal access.

England Coast Path delivery team (South east)

Natural England
Floor 9, International House
Dover Place


See the map below for information about progress on improving coastal access in other parts of the South East region.

Published 10 September 2018
Last updated 5 June 2019 + show all updates
  1. Updated the page to show this stretch is now at stage 4. Removed the sentence that gives a date for when access is expected to be ready.
  2. Dates amended: publication of report now expected in 2019. Access expected to be ready in 2020.
  3. First published.