King Charles III England Coast Path: Explore with the kids
The England Coast Path is one of the greatest walking trails in the world. Beautiful scenery, bustling villages (with welcoming Inns!) incredible wildlife, and some fascinating British heritage to discover along the way. For kids, the England Coast Path is one giant adventure… spotting seals, catching butterflies, exploring ancient ruins, playing on the beaches – the fun never stops.
Ready to explore?
To help you have an awesome Coast Path adventure with your family, we’ve teamed up with TOG24 and Go Jauntly (sponsors of the King Charles III England Coast Path) to share a few top tips for exploring the Coast Path with your family.
How long is the England Coast Path?
Did you know that the England Coast Path is still growing? To celebrate the coronation of King Charles III, the Coast Path has been renamed the ‘King Charles III England Coast Path’ and, when complete, will be the longest managed coastal path in the world – 2,700 miles in total all the way around England! How much can you explore? (Maybe not all at once!)
Walking the King Charles III Coast Path with kids
Summer is the perfect time to explore the England Coast Path – ideal for summer holiday adventures!
Start by planning your route using a map and the Go Jauntly app. You may be away on holiday or looking to walk a new stretch of the coast path closer to home, either way there are always new places to discover.
Prepare for Family Coast Path Adventures
Now get ready for your adventure. With inclement weather (don’t we know it this summer…) long distances, and some mighty hills to climb, it’s worth being well prepared as you explore the England Coast Path, especially with kids.
Here we share our 10 top tips for exploring the coast path with kids…
10 Essentials for walking the England Coast Path:
There are a few essential items for any day spent walking the coast path with the kids.
1. Dress for all weathers
Be sure to check the weather forecast before your adventure on the Coast Path, but make sure you pack for all weathers. Conditions can change very quickly, switching from glorious sunshine to rain and high winds in the blink of an eye!
Pack comfortable clothes and multiple layers that can easily be taken on and off. There’s nothing worse than the kids complaining they’re too hot or too cold. With layers, you can make sure their temperature is just right.
Waterproofs are essential. With a decent waterproof jacket and trousers, you can stay warm and dry in all conditions. It’s worth having waterproofs that can be packed down to a small size to fit in your backpack when not in use – big, heavy jackets can really get in the way.
*waterproofs aren’t just for rain… they’re also great for wind proofing, and the English Coast Path can be very windy!
3. Walking Boots
The England Coastal Path is not always an easy ride underfoot. Expect sections of uneven, rocky terrain which can be challenging, especially when walking over a distance. The last thing you need for your Coast Path adventure is children complaining of sore feet within the first ten minutes. Kit everyone out with a quality pair of walking boots and these will last you for this adventure, as well as many more in the future!
TOG24 Tundra walking boot comes highly recommended!
Whether you’re tackling a multi-day route or simply walking the coast path around to the next bay, a comfortable backpack will make life much easier. Like Mary Poppins, you can fill this bag with all your essentials… from those layers and waterproofs to your picnic, map, and all the snacks you need to fill the tummies of hungry little monsters.
5. Water bottle
Water, water, water; it’s so important whilst walking the coast path. Scrambling up hills and walking distances in any weather conditions is thirsty work and a refill station isn’t always that close. Make sure you set out with enough water for your coastal adventure. (I like to take a thermos of coffee as well, to enjoy whilst admiring the view).
6. Sun hats and sun cream
Really this goes without saying, but we’ve all forgotten the sun hats and sun cream at least once right? With lots of sunshine and stretches without shade, sun protection is very important (and don’t forget yourself when applying the sun cream!)
There is so much to see on the Coast Path, from incredible wild flowers to beautiful butterflies and maybe even a Slow Worm slithering into the undergrowth. But perhaps the most exciting things to spot are the sea life… take binoculars to get a great view of seals, dolphins, jellyfish and seabirds (gannets and puffins are our favourites). The kids also like spying any boats we see passing; from big tankers to small fishing boats reeling in their catch.
We also like taking coastal plant and animal ID guides so we can work out what we’ve seen as we go. Great for keeping the kids entertained and engaged.
It’s worth having an easy way to navigate as you set out on your adventure, otherwise you might end up walking the entire 2,700 miles!
The Go Jauntly app has some brilliant routes and step-by-step navigation advice. An OS map or the OS app is also highly recommended.
This is optional dependent on your route, but if you’re likely to pass a beautiful beach, you may want your swimmers and a micro-towel to enjoy a refreshing dip.
*As with all coastal swimming, there are risks to be aware of. Hidden riptides and/or dangerous sea conditions, as well as other risks such as water pollution, can make swimming unsafe at all or certain times of year. Please check online safety advice or local noticeboards if you intend to swim. The RNLI have some great safety advice as well as a directory of local life-guarded beaches for extra safety when sea-swimming.
Last but ABSOLUTELY not least: snacks. Children need permanent refuelling at the best of times, let alone when walking on the coast path which can be long and hilly! Be sure to stuff that backpack with enough snacks for everyone. A packed lunch is great too, especially if you’re unlikely to find somewhere to eat locally.
Snacks are also a great motivation to get little legs moving if their enthusiasm is starting to wane. PACK SNACKS!
*And finally, make sure you take all litter home with you, perhaps even picking up a little extra along the way to leave the coast path in a better condition that when you set out.
Know before you go: Walking the King Charles III Coast Path
Here are our ‘know before you go’ tips for walking the English Coast Path
- Check water-refill locations before leaving – cafes, ice cream shops and pubs will normally refill a water bottle.
- Plan your route – use OS and Go Jauntly to plot a route with an achievable distance for the kids. Will it be linear or circular?
- Be aware of hill climbs – some stretches of the Coast Path are very hilly! Look for contour lines on the map to know how hilly your walk will be.
- Check for beach access along the way – you may spot a lovely beach on the map but can you access it? Many beaches are backed by steep cliffs and inaccessible to walkers. Accessible beaches will often have roads or a visible footpath line connecting them on the map.
- Check bus routes for potential return journeys – it can be hard to plan a circular walk on the coast path. Check bus timetables to see if you can catch a lift back – many coastal communities have fantastic bus routes.
- Be prepared for all weathers – the Coast Path can be wild…. High winds and torrential rain in the morning, baking sun in the afternoon. Check the weather forecast and pack for all weathers!
- Check the Countryside Code – Shaun the Sheep has some great advice about the Countryside Code for families exploring the Coast Path.
*This blog is sponsored by TOG24. Each of these top tips and all recommended kit have been personally chosen by Go Wild Go West because we love a coast path adventure and know that having the right kit can help everyone have an awesome time in the Great Outdoors!