Axmouth to Lyme coast path reopens

PUBLISHED: 06:59 21 April 2016 | UPDATED: 10:06 21 April 2016

A view of the great landslip at Whitland on the Axmouth to Lyme Regis Undercliffs

A view of the great landslip at Whitland on the Axmouth to Lyme Regis Undercliffs


Walk through The Underlciffs now includes a close up view of Goat Island

A unique stretch of the South West Coast Path, between Axmouth and Lyme Regis, has reopened, taking in the previously inaccessible Goat Island, made famous by East Devon’s ‘Great Landslip’ of 1839.

The coastal route, through the Undercliffs Nature Reserve, was closed and diverted inland almost two years ago after a more recent landslip made the area unsafe for walkers.

Devon County Council negotiated with landowners, and with advice from geologists, and in partnership with Natural England and the South West Coast Path Association, has created a new, safe five-mile route.

The area is likened to a rainforest with its humid and sheltered environment providing the perfect habitat for ferns, fungi, orchids, wild clematis and many different insects.

The new route through one of the most challenging and unusual sections of the coast path, takes in Goat Island, recognised for being the first-ever scientifically described and recorded landslip, when, on Christmas Eve 1839, several fields slipped seaward.

The remaining Goat Island has not previously been accessible or open to the public.

Seaton county councillor Jim Knight said: “The South West Coast Path is an important asset for our county, especially this section, which boasts stunning views of the Jurassic Coast.

“Locals and visitors will be pleased that there is a new route along this popular section, and will no doubt take great pleasure in 
exploring it and continuing to enjoy some of their favourite walks.

“Thanks must go to the landowners who have worked with us to allow people to enjoy this section of the trail safely.”

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