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World's first Coast Path opens in Wales
The 870 mile (1400 km) Path is expected to attract an extra 100,000 visitors to Wales every year. As well as enjoying spectacular coastal scenery visitors will be able to visit 24 Cadw managed historic monuments along the Path, including iconic Caernarfon Castle, Harlech Castle and St Non’s Chapel.
Last year Lonely Planet recommended the Welsh coastline as the no.1 region in the world to visit in 2012.
The Environment Minister will officially open the Path at a special celebratory event at Cardiff Bay. Similar community celebrations are also taking place at Flint Castle in North Wales, Aberystwyth Promenade, Ceredigion in Mid Wales.
All three events will kick off at 11am and will feature local businesses, food and drink producers, community groups and entertainers in an effort to showcase the very best of the Welsh coast.
The Minister said:
“I am delighted to be opening the Path. This has been a five year project and is an example of how sustainability is an underlying principle of everything we do.
“Last month I cycled over 250 miles through Wales to raise awareness of cycling as a sustainable means of transport. I speak from experience when I say we can guarantee visitors some wonderful views and countryside.
“The Path opens just before the world's eyes will be on the UK for the Olympics. We hope many visitors coming to London for the Games will take time to visit Wales and its coast.
"Since this project began in 2007 we have created over 130 miles of new path and improved more than 330 miles of existing pathway. The Path will provide a real boost to local economies around our coastline.”
As part of the celebrations Ramblers Cymru are organising the Big Welsh Coastal Walk and are putting on one hundred separate walks to ensure that the entire length of the path is covered over the opening weekend.
The Minister continued:
“There’s no doubt that the path will be a huge asset to Wales, attracting thousands of visitors from around the world to Wales each year.
“However the Wales Coast Path is not just for tourists and I really hope the official opening will encourage more people across Wales to explore their local coastline and make the most of the recreation opportunities it offers.
“The path has been developed in partnership with CCW, 16 local authorities and two National Parks and I want to thank all these organisations, as well as coastal landowners for all their help and support in helping us to realise our vision.”
The Welsh Government has invested up to £2 million a year since 2007 to realise its ambition of creating an 870 mile path that runs right around the coast line of Wales. This has been supplemented by £4 million from the European Regional Development Fund over four years.
‘Programme for Government’ is the Welsh Government’s roadmap for delivery. Completing the Wales Coast Path is a Programme for Government key action for creating sustainable places for people in Wales.