The Wales Coast Path is the first in the world to encompass a country’s entire coastline. It stretches 870 miles (1,400 km) from the River Dee in Flintshire to Chepstow in the south; it goes through 16 local authority areas and passes a number of castles.
The Coast Path was formally opened in May 2012, and in the 12 months leading to September 2013 it attracted nearly three million visitors, bringing £32 million to the economy; 94% of visitors were walking for leisure, with 38% of them using it as part of a longer holiday. There are about 5,400 tourism-related businesses within 2 km (one-and-a-quarter miles) of the route. It is estimated that, during the first year, the extra business had led to the creation of the equivalent of 112 jobs by firms along the route.
Culture Minister John Griffiths highlighted other benefits of the Coast Path: ‘It’s a great asset for Wales and demonstrates the value of the path to the economy but also the benefits for people who enjoy the coastline. A lot of people are using it for its health benefits and we want to continue to improve the path and make it as accessible as possible.’