Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Come and celebrate the England Coast Path this summer in South Shields [September 2023]

The press release issued by Natural England on 6 September 2023.

A weekend of summer activities is being held on the glorious South Shields shoreline this September to celebrate the King Charles III England Coast Path.

The events, being hosted by South Shields Surf School – a community interest company based in South Shields focused on sharing the benefits of being in and around our ocean – as well as Natural England, will take place at Sandhaven Beach, South Shields, on the 16th and 17th September from 10am to 6pm.

Suitable for people of all ages and abilities, the weekend’s events will include a variety of free activities such as:

  • Seaside story telling and lively local music
  • The opportunity to discover the unique Beach of Dreams flags. The Beach of Dreams began in 2021 as a 500-mile walk over 35 days along the East Coast of England, where local communities travelled with 500 silk pennants, each conveying people’s hopes for the future. The 500 silk pennants will be displayed to the public during the weekend celebrations
  • A coastal parade, run by North East community interest group Creative Seed, and funded by Natural England which will walk from the iconic Souter Lighthouse to the Bamburgh pub in South Shields, with dancers, drummers and a range of carnival costumes
  • A surf competition with various categories to enter.

The 7.5-mile stretch of the King Charles III England Coast Path from South Shields to Sunderland consists of a series of sandy bays and is packed with a rich variety of coastal wonders.

The section starts in the busy seaside town of South Shields with its Roman Fort and amusements on the sea front, before winding along the cliff tops to the impressive Souter Lighthouse. Passing by hidden coves including the picturesque Marsden Grotto along the way. (The path passes hidden coves including the picturesque Marsden Grotto along the way.)

The events come just weeks after the last stretch of the King Charles III Coast Path in Northumberland officially opened on 23 August. The stretch connects Bamburgh with the Scottish border, completing a continuous path from Bridlington in East Riding of Yorkshire to the Scottish border, some 245 miles. It is the latest part of the 2,700 mile (4345km) national trail to be opened and creates the longest section open to the public so far.

Neil Constable, Natural England’s Programme Manager for the King Charles III England Coast Path, said:

We’re delighted to be part of this event to celebrate the wonderful section of the King Charles III England Coast Path in South Shields.

It’s a fantastic opportunity to come and find out more about the path and its rich local environment. There is something for everyone. So, whether you’re a seasoned walker or new to the coast path and would like to find out more, we’re very much looking forward to welcoming you.

Opening access to the coast is part of the Government’s ambition to connect people with nature and is key to achieving the aspirations of the Government’s 25-Year Environment Plan.

When completed, the new national trail will stretch all the way around the coast of England and will be about 2,700 miles long. It will take people through some of the finest landscapes in England, linking iconic places and heritage on the coast with less well-known areas and unlocking access to some parts of our coast for the first time.