King Charles III 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.

Stage of progress

Stage 4: Determine

On 8 July 2015, Natural England submitted a report to the Secretary of State for 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.

A public inquiry has considered the objection by Ilchester Estates. The inquiry concluded on 13 December 2016.

The planning inspector will now make a report and recommendation about the objections to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State will take these into account when deciding whether to approve Natural England’s coastal access report for this stretch of the coast.

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.

Find out more about the King Charles III 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
Horizon House
Deanery Road


Telephone: Natural England enquiry team - 0300 060 3900

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

Published 3 August 2012
Last updated 4 June 2019 + show all updates
  1. Removed the sentence giving a date for when access is expected to be ready.

  2. Date amended: access expected to be ready in 2020.

  3. Text updated: public inquiry has ended.

  4. Updated page with information that the Public Inquiry held on 1 November in Dorchester has been adjourned and will resume on 13 December at 10am.

  5. Text updated with information about a public inquiry for the objection by the Ilchester Estates

  6. Added link to notice on objections issued by the Planning Inspectorate.

  7. Updated text to show that opportunity to submit a representation and objection about the proposals has closed.

  8. Updated page - proposals for England Coast Path on this stretch have been published.

  9. First published.