Accessibility grading

*We are currently in the process of updating all of our Easy Access walks using these levels *

In order for you to make an informed decision about the suitability of a walk or section of Coast Path, we assign each section of path a ‘Level’ with Level 1 being the most accessible and Level 4 the least accessible.  

These Coast Path levels correspond with those used by Disabled Ramblers and within the recommended standards of Natural England’s ‘By All Reasonable Means' Management zones. They are for guidance only, as conditions may change depending on weather conditions, erosion and Path use.        

More detail on each level

Level 1

Suitable for everyone, including pushchairs and people operating their own wheelchairs (Class 1 scooters)

Path surface:  mainly smooth, and predominantly tarmac or good quality crushed stone.  Occasional short stretches of rougher path and some seasonal surfaces such as grass or compressed earth.   

Path width: 1.5m, (possible “pinch points” e.g. through gates).   

Camber: Cross slopes will normally be very small, (up to 1 in 12).  Occasional cross slopes may be steeper, but there will usually be  options around such sections.  

Slopes/Hills: no steep hills greater than 1 in 12, (except for very short stretches). Total height climbed will not exceeding 30 metres. 

Furniture: clear of obstacles such as stiles.  Very few (if any) gateways - all to have a width of 1.2m or more, and easy to open and close from a wheelchair.

Cliff Edges / Drops: path is away from sheer edges, with a defined verge.

Level 2

Suitable for assisted wheelchair users, Class 2 scooters and powerchairs, and families with more robust, all-terrain type buggies 

Path surface: possible longer stretches of stony going (stones up to 40mm) beaten earth or grass track-way.   

Path width:  1.5m, (possible stretches of 1.2m and “pinch points” through gates etc).   

Camber: Up to 1 in 12, (with up to 1 in 8 for short stretches).  Small stretches of soft going or stretches involving ruts (up to 40mm) will occasionally be encountered, but usually these may be bypassed.  

Slopes/Hills:  No more than 1 in 10, (with occasional steeper stretches up to 1 in 8).  Total height climbed may be up to 150 metres. 

Steps: Small steps not higher than 40mm may be encountered.   

Furniture: clear of obstacles such as stiles, any gateways to have a width of 1.2m or more, and easy to open and close from a wheelchair.

Cliff Edges / Drops: path is away from sheer edges, with a defined verge.

 

 

Level 3

There may be sections that strong and confident wheelchair users and helpers can complete with Class 3 scooters. Maybe unsuitable for buggies.  

Path surface: longer stretches of rough going, with side slopes and some ruts (max depth 100mm).  The paths may well be stony tracks with quite large stones (some stones max 100mm) or there may be very wet and soft sections. 

Camber: may also be correspondingly steeper, sometimes in excess of 1 in 8. 

Hills: Possibly long and steep, (with some stretches even up to 1 in 5, or very occasionally 1 in 4).  Total height climbed up to 300 metres. 

Steps: Occasional steps up to 100mm may be encountered. 

Furniture: clear of obstacles such as stiles, any gateways to have a width of 1.2m or more.

Cliff Edges / Drops: any cliff edges / steep drops are visible, with sufficient path width and/or verge to enable safe passing.

Level 4

This covers parts of the Coast Path outside the three categories defined above. These maybe remote patches of the Coast Path or parts with extreme geology. Improvements to these stretches of Path, in terms of increased accessibility, may be tricky due to topography, geology, and lack of local facilities such as car parks and toilets.

Look out for our Way Makers

Any business listed on this website or in our Guidebook is a Way Maker and helping us to look after this amazing trail. As well as helping to make your experience truly unforgettable! 

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