This paper measures willingness to pay (WTP) for public access to additional beach area and trail improvements to a coastal recreational site in the west of Ireland. The Contingent Behaviour model is used to measure the increased number of trips associated with improved public access using a connecting trail between two beach areas along a stretch of Irish coastline. Results show that improving access through the use of the connecting trail increases consumer surplus by (sic)111.15 per person per annum. It is argued that in designing new regulation such as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) for the management of Ireland's coastline, an understanding of the values the Irish public place on coastal recreational access will be important to manage the resource in a sustainable manner. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.