England Coast Path: Lyme Regis to Rufus Castle

Find out about the progress of improving coastal access - including maps, process and timing - in Dorset.

Map of the stretch

Since 2012 Natural England has been preparing proposals to improve public access along a 67 km stretch of the Dorset coast between Lyme Regis and Rufus Castle, Portland.

  1. England Coast Path: plan of the Lyme Regis to Rufus Castle stretch

    • Map

Stage of progress

Stage 4: Determine

On 8 July 2015, Natural England submitted a report to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs setting out the proposals for improved access to the coast between Lyme Regis and Rufus Castle, Portland.

The period for making formal representations and objections about the report closed at 5pm on 2 September 2015. The report is still available to view.

Objections were forwarded for consideration by an independent inspector from the Planning Inspectorate (the ‘appointed person’). After considering these objections, the inspector was minded to determine that Natural England’s proposals do not strike a fair balance in respect to 2 objections and invited further representations on these objections.

See the notices for more details. The opportunity to submit a representation is now closed.

The objection by Ilchester Estates is to be considered at a public inquiry.

Following the inquiry, the inspector will make recommendations to the Secretary of State in respect of all the objections. The Secretary of State will then consider all the representations and objections before making a decision about Natural England’s report.

Next steps

Stage 5: Open

Once the Secretary of State has approved the report, Natural England will start work with Dorset County Council 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 come into force along the route and adjoining spreading room. This is expected to happen later in 2016.

  1. England Coast Path from Lyme Regis to Rufus Castle: comment on proposals

    • Closed consultation
  2. England Coast Path from Lyme Regis to Rufus Castle: outcome of objections to proposals

    • Notice

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

If you have any further questions about the work we are doing then please contact us:

Coastal Access Delivery Team – Somerset, Avon and Dorset

Natural England
Temple Quay House
2 The Square


See the map below for more information about progress on improving coastal access in other parts of the west of England.

  1. England Coast Path in the west of England

    • Map