Heritage, nature and storytelling combine in a series of new walking routes that have been launched by a popular coastal county in south-west England.
England Coast Path Storywalks are 12short hikes that explore Somerset’s coastline. They have been created by local poet Chris Jelley and put in place by Somerset County Council’s Rights of Way Team.
The 12 new walks are at: Brean Down, Berrow Dunes, Burnham-On-Sea, Bridgwater, Combwich, Steart Marshes, Stolford, Lilstock, St Audries, Watchet, Blue Anchor and Dunster.
History and heritage on Somerset hikes
Somerset’s coast has a history of smugglers and shipwrecks, sea rescues and trading ports. Dotted along the rugged shoreline are castle remains and other old fortifications.
The landscape includes rugged cliffs and beaches that are famous for their rock formations.
Through Storywalks, walkers can learn more about the area and enjoy finding out about facts, myths, history and tales.
The Storywalks in Somerset
The walks are between 1km and 5km long and set in urban and rural areas between Brean Down in the north and Minehead in the west.
Around half of the Storywalks are suitable for wheels (buggies or mobility vehicles), the remainder are on rougher terrain.
Poet Chris said: “Storywalks are little journeys into the curious history, folklore and abundant nature along a trail.
“Reading them aloud is a brilliant family friendly way to discover the history of a location and its inhabitants.”
The Storywalks use the internet and phone location finders to unlock chapters in a story about the area where walkers are. You don’t need to download anything and walkers simply go to England Coast Path Storywalks or scan the QR code to a find a walk near their location.
The project has funding support from Natural England.
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Fiona Russell is a widely published adventure journalist and blogger, who is better known as Fiona Outdoors. She is based in Scotland and is an all-round outdoors enthusiast with favourite activities including trail running, mountain walking, mountain biking, road cycling, triathlon and skiing, both downhill and back country. Her target for 2021 is to finish the final nine summits in her first round of all 282 Munros, the Scottish mountains of more than 3,000ft high. Aside from being outdoors, Fiona's biggest aim is to inspire others to enjoy the great outdoors, especially through her writing. She is also rarely seen without a running skort! Find out more at Fiona Outdoors.