A new walking route will link London and the north Kent coast.

The Grain to Woolwich route is a 47.12 mile stretch that will provide walkers with the chance to take in stunning sights along the way. Beginning at Grain on the Hoo, the trail offers views of the confluence of the Medway and Thames, Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey and also Southend-on-Sea.

Shornemead Lighthouse on a clear day
The view as you come up to Shornemead – image courtesy of Ian Tokelove / remotelondon.com

Along the way, you will also be able to take in some of the south east’s remote grazing marshes. A 12 mile stretch of the track between Allhallows and Cliffe will be taken in without passing through a coastal village or car park, with company provided by wading birds that are residing in mudflats.

An abundance of wildlife can be seen along the way too, which are of both national and international importance. The route has great potential for birdwatchers, with Cliffe Pools Nature Reserve a popular spot to head to. Waterbirds, including the knot and avocet, may also be seen.

There is a touch of history included too, with forts – including the one at Shornemead – passed by. The path also goes through the recently confirmed Site of Special Scientific Interest, Swanscombe Peninsula.

The track ends in Woolwich, where it joins up with the Thames Path National Trail.

Marian Spain, Natural England Chief Executive said: “At a time when the benefits of connecting with nature are clearer than ever, it’s fabulous that we are opening up this 47 mile-long section of footpath from the capital to the Kent coast. Easily walkable in all weathers and readily accessible by public transport, it is a wonderful new recreational resource for the hundreds of thousands of people who live nearby, as well as a tourist attraction for those who will come from around the world to walk the whole Path.”

Lord Benyon, Minister for Rural Affairs and access to nature said: “The England Coast Path is greatly improving access to our cherished coastlines and connecting people across the country with nature, in line with our 25 Year Environment Plan. Home to a diverse array of bird life at this time of year, this latest stretch links the salt marshes and mudflats of the Thames Estuary with the heart of London. I encourage people of all ages and abilities to venture outdoors and explore this fantastic new path for themselves.”

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