England Coast Path: Minehead to Combe Martin

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

Map of the stretch

Natural England has begun to investigate how to improve coastal access along a 56 km stretch of the South West Coast Path between Minehead and Combe Martin. This new access is expected to be ready in 2018.

Officers from Exmoor National Park Authority 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 20 June 2017, 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 Minehead and Combe Martin.

The period for making representations and objections about the report closed at midnight on Tuesday 15 August 2017. The report is still available to view.

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 report 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 report.

Next steps

Stage 5: Open

Once the Secretary of State has approved the report, Natural England will start work with Exmoor National Park Authority and Devon 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 be brought into force along the route and adjoining spreading room. This is expected to happen during 2018.

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.

Coastal access delivery team (South west)

Natural England
Ground Floor, Sterling House
Dix’s Field


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

Published 9 October 2015
Last updated 16 August 2017 + show all updates
  1. Page updated - opportunity to comment on the proposals has ended.
  2. Page updated to show work has now reached stage 4.
  3. Updated page to show progress with work on stretch.
  4. First published.