England Coast Path: Whitehaven to Silecroft

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

Map of the stretch

Since April 2013 Natural England has been preparing proposals to improve public access along a 51 km stretch of the Cumbria coast between Whitehaven and Silecroft.

Stage of progress

Stage 5: Open

On 28 September 2015 the Secretary of State announced her decision to approve a stretch of the England Coast Path in Cumbria between Whitehaven and Silecroft.

The original proposals have been modified by the Secretary of State. The changes include minor amendments to the landward boundary of the coastal margin just south of Whitehaven. The landward boundary of the coastal margin now coincides with existing boundary features such as walls and fences.

Natural England’s report to the Secretary of State is still available to view.

Proposals to change the approved route at Coulderton and Nethertown

On 1 August 2018, Natural England submitted a variation report to the Secretary of State setting out proposals to change the approved route of the England Coast Path in Cumbria at Coulderton and Nethertown.

You can now read the report.

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 on 26 September 2018.

Next steps

Work is now underway to prepare the new stretch of coast path for public use. The first step is to contact owners and occupiers of the affected land to discuss the design and location of any new infrastructure which is needed, such as signs and gates.

When preparations are complete, new access rights will come into force along the route and adjoining spreading room. These are expected to be ready in late 2019.

Route near River Irt and River Esk

The full length of the trail will not be available for use near the River Irt and the River Esk until new river crossings have been built and nearby sections of the route have been approved.

Until this time, no new public access rights will apply on the sections shown on these maps:

Advice for land managers is available in the detailed guide below.

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 for any comments, suggestions or queries about improving coastal access.

Coastal access (North west)

Natural England
Murley Moss Business Village
Oxenholme Road


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

Published 16 April 2014
Last updated 1 August 2018 + show all updates
  1. Page updated with information about the variation report on proposals to change the approved route at the Coulderton and Nethertown section of this stretch.
  2. Added link to the maps showing approved modifications to the route.
  3. Route approved by the Secretary of State.
  4. Consultation period has now closed 10 December 2014
  5. Content updated for Natural England submitting report to secretary of state.
  6. First published.