Somerset walks – Somerset is to launch a fun walking challenge this Spring for people to discover 58 miles of its beautiful secret coastline. Called #secretseawalks, the ten-week campaign will publish a different secret sea walk every week from April 6, on the Visit Somerset website www.visitsomerset.co.uk/secret-seawalks – challenging and inspiring walkers to get out and about.
The campaign will also ask walkers to contribute their favourite ‘secret’ somerset walks from the walk via social media using the hashtag #secretseawalks.
Visit Somerset Chief Executive John Turner said: “From mud flats to soaring cliffs, waterfalls to some of the nation’s most stunning sunrises and sunsets, Somerset has a wide variety of beautiful coast walks which are reasonably flat and largely undiscovered.
“Our Secret Sea Walks will delight everyone, from families out exploring on day trips to seasoned walkers who like to find new routes and new adventures. We want to make sure our secret coastline is a secret no longer. It’s there for everyone to enjoy and we hope our ten walks will get as many people as possible out and about enjoying our wildlife, history and awe-inspiring scenery.”
The ten-walk series will kick off on Thursday, April 6 with a walk of the whole 58 miles, from Minehead to Brean Down, aimed at keen walkers and inspiring people who don’t know the Somerset coast path to explore the different opportunities it offers. It can be tackled in a couple of days or over a leisurely week.
Secret Sea Walk One – Minehead to Brean Somerset walks – what to expect: From glorious beaches to amazing wildlife, historical delights to geological marvels, the newly opened Somerset section of the England Coast Path will offer walkers of all levels, from holidaymakers and families to keen walking enthusiasts the chance to explore, relax and enjoy some of Britain’s most unusual and beautiful coastal scenery.
Whether you want to walk the entire stretch or are looking for an easy section for the little ones – this walk will let you know exactly what you can expect to find, from sand dunes, mud flats and nature reserves to steam powered railways, castles, glorious sunrises and stunning sunsets.
From the genteel Victorian resort of Minehead and its picturesque harbour, you can hop on board the West Somerset Railway’s steam engines along a restored country branch line of the old Great Western Railway.
In medieval Dunster walkers can enjoy the town’s history with its castle and yarn market or visit Blue Anchor to take a closer look at the alabaster rocks and cliffs that frame its beach.
In the charming coastal town of Watchet walkers can wonder around the marina, visit the ancient remains of King Alfred’s defences against the Vikings and walk the old Mineral Line, built in the mid-19th century to take iron ore from the local mines.
St Audries Bay is a great place to take the children with its safe beach, rock pools and a stunning waterfall – plunging over the cliffs straight on to the sand below.
East Quantoxhead has fascinating red rock formations and ancient lime kilns and Kilve, which is part of Somerset’s Jurassic Coast, is a must see for geology lovers with its ammonite fossils and grey, blue and red rock formations dating back millions of years.
The walks range from the longer, more difficult stretches to easy and flat, like the walk to the pretty village of Lilstock, with its historic harbour and two ancient churches where Egrets can be seen wading on the foreshore.
The newly opened up Somerset section of the England Coast Path includes a new footbridge over the river Swill, several new sections of path between Watchet and East Quantoxhead, with spectacular new views over the Bristol Channel.
And with highlights including shipping containers displaying local art, an explanation for the local custom of wassailing, great restaurant recommendations for local delicacies like Cheddar cheese and Exmoor lamb, dog friendly beaches all year around and great guest houses and hotels.
* The series will continue with nine other walks, each offering another unique experience, aimed at families, rest and relaxation seekers and keen walkers. Some walks will be circular, others linear and each will offer directions, amenities and what to look out for.
This project is funded by Natural England and the Hinkley Tourism Action Partnership made up of EDF Energy, Somerset County Council, Sedgemoor District Council, West Somerset Council, Visit Somerset, Exmoor National Park Authority and Visit Exmoor.