Take a Look At Our Fantastic Selection of Routes
This circular walk takes you through the beautiful Otter Estuary Nature Reserve and site of special scientific interest. This 23 – hectare reserve is teaming with birds and supports a significant population of wintering wildfowl and waders, including redshank, common sandpiper, curlew and red-brested merganser – perfect place for keen bird-watchers!
This is a brilliant, family-friendly route with lots of activities to keep the little ones entertained. It’s an area with a fascinating history too so there’s also plenty to keep the adult minds engaged as well! In 1809, Bristol was transformed by the opening of the Floating Harbour. 80 acres of tidal river was impounded to allow visiting ships to remain afloat all the time. Over the next two centuries the Harbour grew into a busy commercial port until it closed in 1975. Since then, it has been regenerated – making for a modern twist on the more traditional coastal walks! We will be rounding the walk off with a gathering at the end, so you can have a well deserved relax and put your feet up!
You will begin your journey on this beautiful South West Coast Path from the lovely sandy beach seafront at Minehead. You will soon climb through beautiful woodland into the Exmoor National Park. From here your route will follow heathland and moorland westwards a short distance and then descend to delightful village of Bossington at the eastern end of Porlock Bay. From here you will continue west beside newly-formed salt marshes to finish at the little village of Porlock Weir at the west of Porlock Bay
This lovely coastal path begins at Porlock, this route takes you over dramatic cliff paths, along farm tracks, through fields and beautiful wooded combes with seasonal waterfalls and streams. The path you take rises to some 300 metres in places, giving spectacular cliff top views across the Bristol channel.
This beautiful walk takes in the highest sea cliff’s in England. This walk begins from the beautiful town of Lynmouth right in the heart of Exmoor. From here you head west through the incredible Valley of Rocks and on to Lee Bay and Lee Abbey. The walk continues west past the beautiful wooded Woody Bay and on via lovely heathland to Great Hangman and down to Combe Martin.
On this lovely coastal walk you will see splendid views across to Lundy Island and the South Wales Coast. You will pass through the beautiful and popular holiday resort of Ilfracombe. You will finish this coastal walk in the lovely small village of Lee Bay, this village is about a quarter mile from the sea..so put your feet up and enjoy the splendid views it provides.
You begin this lovely coastal path from Lee Bay. On this walk Seals can often be seen in the rocky foreshore around Bull Point, there is also a lighthouse here that dates all the way back to 1879. The coastal landscape changes dramatically along this coast path, with the long and wide stretched of Woolacombe Sands.
This lovely coastal walk begins with a ‘flat’ path walking through dunes, along dykes and beside the estuarine landscape of the River Taw. You will finish this coastal walk in the lovely town of Barnstaple.
This coastal path follows the Tarka Trail Cycle path from Barnstaple to Bideford along the line of the old railway line following the beautiful River Taw. As you reach the lovely village of Instow, the River Taw and Torridge meet, flowing out to sea. Rounding the corner from Instow you will catch beautiful views over to beautiful town of Northam
Starting from the town of Bideford; this path follows the estuary of the river Torridge and encompasses the Northam Burrows Country Park and an extensive area of beautiful sand dunes. On this walk there is a marshy area which has been crossed by stepping stones. You will go through the beautiful small village of Appledore. After Appledore the path meets the coast, giving stunning views over towards Sauton and Croyde.
This wonderful coastal path begins in Westward Ho! with it’s beautiful rocky and sandy beach. This walk begins by following the route of an old railway line, but then soon after you will encounter beautiful hills with a large number of ascents and descents...so this does make for a strenuous walk, but the views you get are breathtaking. After this you will soon pass through the lovely village of Bucks Mils, you will follow the path to the beautiful and unique village of Clovelly, with its steep and winding cobbled streets and pretty cottages.
This walk begins at the pretty unique village of Clovelly. This is beautiful walk takes you past Blackchurch Rock and the beautiful Mouthmill beach. You can see incredible views to Lundy Island, then following the impressive rocky coast to Hartland point you finish in the lovely remote location of Hartland Quay.
Marsland Mouth is the boundary between Devon and Cornwall and is the site of a beautiful nature reserve. This coastal path makes for a very difficult walk, with the path frequently rising to above 150 metres, but the incredible views you get to see are truly worth it. This route takes you to some very remote parts, where you can really enjoy some peace and quiet.
This spectacular section of the South West Coastal Path is said to be the toughest part and involves a long, hard day of walking, with some very relentless and tiring ascents and descents – one for those looking for a challenge! It is however, worth the effort! The path climbs above the rocky shoreline, notorious for shipwrecks (over 150 ships lost on the rocky outcrops betwee Morwenstow and Bude), past tumbling waterfalls, across secluded combes, crossing many river valleys before easing on the approach to Bude. There is a real sense of isolation here and the views are stunning! Morwenstow, just inland from the path, provides some creature comforts. Note that bathing can dangerous on the local beaches where coastal currents can be very strong. Recommended pubs at Bude include the Bencoolen, the Brendon Arms or the Falcon.
An easy start on the grassy cliff path along the back of the beaches from Bude to Widemouth Bay should not mislead into imaging the whole day will be a breeze! The path will soon proves challenging as it becomes rough and narrow in places and plunges into steep valleys. This includes Scrade valley which is one of the deepest and steepest valleys on the Cornwall section of the Coast Path. This walk provides you with wide, open views of the Atlantic from high cliff top paths. The strong winds and sheer force of the sea will keep you on your toes but please be careful. The Coombe Barton at Crackington Haven provides a welcome resting place at the end of this leg serving real ale and food.
It is important to keep to the Coast Path on this section, although it may be tempting to stray closer to the edge to seek better views of the impressive cliffs and extraordinary rock formations. As you continue along the path, you will be climbing through valleys and across cliffs with spectacular sheer drops to the Atlantic below. This section is very rewarding, especially if you enjoy bird watching and you also spot the herds of Soay sheep and goats whose grazing helps to encourage the growth on beautiful wildflowers. The picturesque fishing village of Boscastle with its Medieval core and distinctive harbour is one of Cornwall’s most romantic places. It is a village steeped in history, associated with authors and artists who have been inspired by its remoteness and rugged beauty. Abundant in wildlife, dramatic walks and historic features, Boscastle with this many natural attractions.
The picturesque fishing village of Boscastle with its medieval core and distinctive harbour is one of Cornwall’s most romantic places. It is a village steeped in history, associated with authors and artists who have been inspired by its remoteness and rugged beauty. Abundant in wildlife, dramatic walks and historic features, Boscastle with this many natural attractions, is an ideal place to make your holiday base at any time of year. Long and Short Islands just off the coast are home to Cornwall’s largest colony of puffins so keep an eye out! On reaching Trebarwith Stand, The Mill House and Port William are recommended pubs
The path between Trebarwith Strand and Port Isaac is especially long and difficult, with some steep descents into valleys and tough climbs up to the cliff tops again, especially beyond Bounds Cliff. Historically this area was significant for fishing and fish processing as well as slate extraction and there are remnants of these trades to be seen on the path. This stretch is designated both Heritage Coast status and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty so it is worth bringing a camera as you are guaranteed some stunning views. Port Isaac is the perfect end to this strenuous walk with many listed buildings, harbourside cafe and pubs and beautiful alleyways. The alleyways between the houses in Port Isaac are very narrow, with one being called ‘Squeezibelly Alley’. Recommended pubs in Port Isaac include the Golden Lion, where you can sit on a balcony overlooking the harbour and the Slipway (more restaurant than pub) which is built into the cliff.
The Coast Path follows some truly beautiful, unspoiled sections of coast, including the remote inlet of Pine Haven and the historic promontory known as The Rumps. Views from here are spectacular. A strenuous first half to Polzeath, crossing small valleys and winding round exposed headlands, is followed by an easy walk and ferry crossing into Padstow. There is a foot ferry across the Camel Estuary from Rock to Padstow. Padstow is home to Rick Stein and his influence on this small town is significant, including a fish and chip restaurant, café, shop and B&B. The London Inn, Golden Lion, Old Custom House and Shipwrights are recommended pubs in Padstow. Once home to the composer Malcolm Arnold, Padstow is an idyllic, Cornish fishing town with beautiful surroundings and has been used as a backdrop for many films and television programmes, including the 70’s film The Eagle Has Landed, which was filmed in the sand dunes at Rock. Padstow is also home to a fine selection of cafes and restaurants, making it the perfect place to end a day of walking the South West Coast Path.
This section of Coast Path offers a day of easy walking along low cliffs, with beautiful, tempting beaches below. The path leaves the attractive town of Padstow behind, passing the sheltered beach of Hawker’s Cove, before leading you out to the Atlantic Coast. The path can become narrow in places and is quite rocky around Constantine Bay. The village of Trevone has two beaches, a sandy beach which is ideal for those lazy days by the sea. The sand is fine and golden, ideal sandcastle material so pack the bucket and spade!
The village of Trevone has two beaches, a sandy beach which is ideal for those lazy days by the sea. The sand is fine and golden, ideal sandcastle material so pack the bucket and spade! Walking round Trevose Head, one of Cornwall’s most prominent headlands, provides spectacular views of the sandy bays ahead and if you can resist the beaches on your journey you will have more time to enjoy the sheltered dune-backed beach of Porthcothan at the end of your walk
This stretch of coast, with its vicious rocks and wild seas, was once particularly hazardous for ships and responsible for many wrecks before the lighthouse was built at Trevose Head. The Coast Path leads you in and out of little coves and headlands with generally fairly easy walking, with some steep steps to climb in places. Some of this stretch is quite populated, especially as you approach the busy holiday resort of Newquay, however you can also feel a sense of escape when looking out to sea from one of the many headlands, such as the windswept Park Head which also offers fantastic views of the famous Bedruthan Steps. Local legend, fed to the Victorian tourists who loved this area, told of the Cornish giant Bedruthan who used the stacks as stepping-stones to cross the bay. If you feel like a picnic break and the tide is out, you may be tempted to take the long flight of steps down to explore the stacks as well as the many pools and caves on the beach.
After leaving Newquay harbour, keeping a lookout for the Kittiwake colony on the cliffs out to Towan Head, the Path crosses the famous Fistral Beach. The route across the River Gannel varies depending on the season, tide and weather conditions and therefore you will need to plan ahead. Either way there is plenty to see, including beautiful salt marsh plants and many species of wading birds enjoying the worms and crabs. The West Pentire headland is a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its breathtaking seasonal wildflowers such as the June poppies and corn marigold flowers in the arable fields overlooking Crantock Beach. Fantastic views of the seabirds around the offshore twin pyramids of Carter’s Rocks await around the next headland as you approach the dunes of Holywell and Perran Sands. St Piran’s Inn at Holywell Bay is recommended for its range of local beers.
The path passes through an ancient coastal mining district following rugged cliff tops. The mines along this stretch are home to bats, including the rare Greater Horseshoe bat. Not only do you pass many remnants of the mining industry, but you will also see some fascinating geology along the way, especially around Cligga Head. The path can prove strenuous in places with some tiring ascents and descents, but there are also some more restful sections with level walking above high, sheer cliffs and fantastic views of your journey ahead. Look out for razorbills, guillemots and kittiwakes nesting around St Agnes Head. Refreshments and services are available en-route at Perranporth where the Watering Hole by the beach comes recommended. The Driftwood Spars Hotel at Trevaunance Cove is a former tin mine store and is recommended together with the Turks Head and the Railway at St. Agnes
The path can prove strenuous in places with some tiring ascents and descents, but there are also some more restful sections with level walking above high, sheer cliffs and fantastic views of your journey ahead. Look out for razorbills, guillemots and kittiwakes nesting around St Agnes Head. St. Agnes is a picturesque village steeped in mining history; the village still retains a traditional friendly Cornish atmosphere, with four varied beaches, dramatic coastal walks and breathtaking scenery filled with relics from the past as well as friendly hotels serving good food in a warm atmosphere.
After leaving Portreath the Coast Path follows the cliffs with some beautiful views of rocky coves, such as the wonderfully named Ralph’s Cupboard, apparently a favoured smugglers spot for stashing loot. After just a couple of steep climbs the Path soon levels and walking becomes fairly straightforward. As you follow the sheer cliffs, surrounded by brightly coloured spring and summertime flowers, such as blue sheep’s bit, primroses and yellow rattle, look down to the contrastingly raw, jagged reefs below. Seals are a common sight around the waters of Godrevy and Gwithian and sunfish and basking sharks have been spotted from the North Cliffs. The dunes behind the spectacular beach which stretches from Godrevy Point to the entrance of the Hayle estuary are also rich with wildlife. The Godrevy Café on Gwithian Beach provides an opportunity to recuperate.
The dunes behind the spectacular beach which stretches from Godrevy Point to the entrance of the Hayle estuary are also rich with wildlife. You are able to take small detours in places in order to reach the muddy flats which are home to many different species of birdlife. Hayle was once the most important industrial port in Cornwall and a centre of copper mining and smelting. The Path also follows part of the ancient pilgrim route called St Michael’s Way which led pilgrims across Cornwall from Lelant to Marazion, near Penzance, where they would then travel on to the Cathedral of St James in Santiago de Compostela in north-west Spain. Follow the railway line to St Ives, passing Carbis Bay and through the wooded outskirts of the town before arriving at the large, sheltered expanse of golden sand that is Porthminster Beach.
A fairly gentle walk out of St Ives to Clodgy Point soon becomes a strenuous journey of roller coaster climbs as the Coast Path plunges down towering cliffs into beautiful coves and back up again. This is a particularly difficult section and there is a real feeling of remoteness here, unlike any other part of the Coast Path. The landscape is beautifully wild and rugged and the area around the parish of Zennor is designated both an Environmentally Sensitive Area and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There are many Bronze and Iron Age field systems along this part of the coast, with cliffs rising to nearly 100 metres at Zennor Head.
The landscape is beautifully wild and rugged and the area around the parish of Zennor is designated both an Environmentally Sensitive Area and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There are many Bronze and Iron Age field systems along this part of the coast, with cliffs rising to nearly 100 metres at Zennor Head. The path can be narrow and rough in places and all amenities require inland detours, so it is advisable to allow plenty of time and stock up on provisions at the beginning of the day. Pendeen Watch lighthouse has been guiding ships through this area for over a hundred years, its fairly squat white tower measuring 17 metres.
The Coast Path takes you from the remote, gleaming lighthouse at Pendeen Watch along the rugged paths of the Granite Coast to the beautiful sweep of golden sand at Sennen Cove. Taking in part of Cornwall’s oldest mining district and leading around Cape Cornwall where the Atlantic currents split, the path is a mixture of easy open walking along the high cliff tops and short, rough ascents and descents. There are many attractive spots for a picnic with spectacular views, especially as you approach Whitesand Bay. You may spot seals, as well as a variety of seabirds, as you walk beside the banks of seasonal pink thrift and carpets of purple heather and look out to the Atlantic crashing on the rocks below.
This particularly beautiful section of Coast Path certainly feels like it begins at the very edge of the land, as the Path leads you along high cliffs and exposed, windswept heath. Once past the Land’s End complex, forget the tourists and enjoy the rugged peace and seclusion of the South Cornwall coast. There is much to see here, so do allow plenty of time
On a clear day, there are fantastic views across the sea out to Bishop’s Rock Lighthouse and the Isles of Scilly. Birds such as fulmars, shags, rock pipits and occasional peregrine falcons can be seen along this stretch and the incredible geological formations, including offshore rock stacks and rippling cliffs. The Merry Maidens Stone Circle is a mile inland from Lamorna. There is a well-known tradition that the stones represent maidens who were turned into stone for dancing on the Sabbath. The Lamorna Wink, once an illegal beer house is now a recommended pub.
Beginning in the sub-tropical cove of Lamorna and passing through an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Path changes quite dramatically as it crosses rugged cliffs, with some difficult ascents and descents, and then turns to easy walking on tarmac through Newlyn to Penzance. Mousehole, known for its tiny harbour and narrow streets of granite cottages, is a good place for a relatively quiet refreshment stop before you begin the more bustling stretch around Mount’s Bay. Newlyn is not just the third largest fishing harbour in Britain - here you may even find the house with the smallest window in the UK! Following part of the National Cycle Network route round the edge of Mount’s Bay allows you to concentrate more on the facilities and sights of Penzance, rather than watching for uneven ground as you may well have been doing earlier on in the day. The majestic sight of St Michael’s Mount dominates as you continue on to the ancient town of Marazion, passing Marazion Marsh with its rich wildlife.
Much of this walk through an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty offers fantastic views of Mounts Bay and the magical island and castle of St Michael’s Mount. Fairly easy, level walking allows time to enjoy the views, until the Path begins to narrow and rollercoaster over the cliffs up to and beyond Praa Sands. Travelling through a landscape with clear evidence of a mining history, especially around Perranuthnoe, the Path passes tempting sandy beaches, followed by rugged scenery beyond Rinsey Head where there are some tiring climbs. The granite then turns to slate resulting in dramatic vertical cliffs. The stretch on the approach to the pretty fishing village of Porthleven is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
This stretch of the South West Coast Path is, without a doubt, unique and exceptionally beautiful. The path is fairly level and easy beyond Porthleven, but then becomes narrow in places with some steep ascents and descents. There is a special sense of wildness and isolation on the Peninsula, notably along Mullion and Predannack Cliffs which are part of the Lizard National Nature Reserve. Cormorants, shags, kittiwakes and black-backed gulls nest on Mullion Island. The island is made of lava which is 350 million years old.
There is a special sense of wildness and isolation on the Peninsula, notably along Mullion and Predannack Cliffs which are part of the Lizard National Nature Reserve. Here rare heathers and wildflowers grow, adding to the colour and drama of the spectacular views. It is no surprise that the white sand and turquoise sea of Kynance Cove has been recognised as being part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and the seas are particularly dramatic at high tide, and even more so on a windy day. The Lizard Peninsula is also known for its banks of pink and yellow flowered Hottentot Fig and its serpentine granite, which is a dark green rock veined with red and white, and, of course, the symbol of Cornwall: the chough.
A walk through an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty awaits as you set off from the most southerly point of Great Britain. There are a few relatively short steep ascents and descents as you leave Lizard Point, followed by some more strenuous climbs, until you pass Cadgwith and begin the approach to Coverack, which is a lot easier. You will see some extraordinary geology along this stretch as the Path crosses serpentine, granite and schist. Serpentine is a dark green rock veined with red and white which is easily carved and can be polished to a really beautiful sheen. It was very popular in the 19th century when it was used for shop fronts and fireplaces. Some of the stiles along this stretch have been built of serpentine: beautiful but slippery when wet. Kennack Sands, once famous for shipwrecks, is a National Nature Reserve with beautiful cliffs of layered rock, with veins of talc, and lovely displays of wildflowers. A steep climb up to join the seabirds around Beagles Point marks the beginning of a stretch with particularly far-reaching views of the Coast Path ahead.
This walk follows the South West Coast Path through a huge variety of different landscapes, involving dramatic cliffs, fishing villages by the sea, lush woodland, beaches, heathland, a working quarry, pastures and a creek crossing. As you leave Coverack the Path crosses fairly flat heathland which is not much above sea level, as this is in fact a raised beach and the original cliffs are a few hundred yards inland. Easy walking leads you around the edge of the Bronze Age field systems of Lowland Point. It is important to follow the signs from here as you will be passing through active quarry workings between Lowland Point and Dean Point. A steep climb out of Porthoustock begins the inland route to Porthallow, where you then join the sea again and walk round Nare Point to the beautiful Gillan Creek. At Gillan Creek there is a feeling of shelter and peace in contrast to the exposed cliffs of the Lizard peninsula. From here on some sections of the Path are wooded and others offer fine views ahead extending to the lighthouse at St. Anthony Head, the Roseland and the headland of Dodman Point
The day begins with a journey across the Helford River, once favoured by pirates and smugglers. The river supports many different types of fish, birds and plantlife and at the other side you will cross the openings of lush valleys with subtropical gardens. After the river crossing, the journey consists of fairly gentle, easy walking through fields and along wooded clifftop paths, passing many attractive little coves, offering fantastic views across the Fal to St Anthony Lighthouse and Zone Point. The Masons Arms, the Seven Stars, and the Quayside Inn at Falmouth and the Victory and Rising Sun at St Mawes are recommended.
You set off across the Fal to another of Cornwall’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty: The Roseland Peninsula. There are magnificent views back to Falmouth and the River Fal from the windswept stretches around Carricknath Point and St Anthony Head.
The Path offers fairly easy walking until the approach to Nare Head and Portloe beyond, where you will find several steep ascents and descents and walking becomes a lot more strenuous. The Path twists and plummets in places through wooded areas and across high open fields until the welcome descent into Portloe.
A bit of a clamber across rocks along a rather rugged Path out of Portloe eases around the more pastoral landscape of Caerhays Castle, before becoming tougher again on the approach to Hemmick Beach. From here the high cliffs to the windswept, 375 foot headland of Dodman Point looms ahead. Views from here are fantastic, especially on a clear day when you may even be able to make out Berry Head in Devon. The landscape of the Path varies between a mixture of wild scrub and soft pastures and some road walking around Gorran Haven. The Path then really opens up on the approach to Chapel Point and walking is easy with rewarding views in all directions. Mevagissey, with its double walled harbour, is a busy fishing port and offers a good range of refreshments after a day of walking the South West Coast Path.
The day begins in the fishing town of Mevagissey, but try not to spend too long wandering the streets and waterfront as a Path of roller coaster climbs awaits! High cliffs pass rocky coves between Pentewan and Charlestown produces dramatic scenery, but tiring walking. The inland china clay works around St Austell come in and out of view. The clay industry boomed in the 19th century, resulting in the formation of the ‘Cornish Alps’, and continues today with 80% used to make paper. There are many steps to climb along this stretch as the Path continues to rise and fall past Phoebe’s Point and Silvermine Point. Charlestown, with its beautiful historic harbour and quay, provides a welcome spot for rest.
A diversion around china clay works at Par, leads you to the pubs and cafes and large expanse of beach at Par Sands. The Coast Path follows part of the National Cycle Network round Par Sands where the views to Gribbin Head contrast dramatically with the china clay works of Par. After a fairly easy stretch from Polkerris to the daymark of Gribbin Head, follow the Path along high cliffs passing coves and walking out to headlands with fantastic views. Fowey sits on a beautiful estuary with tidal creeks full of families of birds such as herons, curlews, redshanks and little egret.
The wild beauty of this area of the Cornish coast was inspiration for Daphne du Maurier, Kenneth Grahame and many other writers and artists. Much of the next stretch from Polruan to Polperro is owned by the National Trust and the Path climbs and zig zags over towering, rugged cliffs and dips down to small rocky coves, providing fantastic scenery but strenuous walking. You can rest and take in the views on one of the seats found on the seaward Path which leads down to the village of Polperro.
The South West Coast Path leads you along a fantastically varied journey of high cliff paths, urban landscapes, shady woodland, passing rocky coves and through wide open fields, resulting in a mixture of easy strolling and some more strenuous walking. St George’s, or Looe, Island was mistaken for a British warship during World War II and attacked by German bombs. Looe is connected to main line rail services at Liskeard through a scenic branch line and has full town facilities. It has a thriving fishing industry, harbour and tourist facilities The Old Salutation in East Looe is recommended
The Path passes through the holiday village of Millendreath and opens up again on Bodigga Cliffs, where the views open out to the Path ahead and Rame Head in the distance. In some places the Path twists and climbs to heights with spectacular views, especially on the approach to Battern Cliffs, which is one of the highest points on the south coast of Cornwall at 462 ft (141 m). From here you enjoy some truly fantastic cliff walking to the fishing village of Portwrinkle with views of the 4 mile expanse of Whitsand Bay beyond.
Walking along the final stretch of the South Cornwall Coast Path is mainly fairly easy, although there are some short, steep ascents and descents in places. The Path passes a military firing range at Tregantle Fort. Here you may take the seaward permissive path or if the red flags are flying you will need to take the route that follows the B3247. Follow the rugged cliffs of Freathy, which is dotted with holiday cabins, to the impressive promontory of Rame Head and take in views enjoyed here for centuries. The urban landscape of Plymouth is not far away, yet as you set off for Penlee Point the Path becomes rather surprisingly wild. It changes once again as you take the easy Paths through sheltered woodland to the twin villages of Cawsand and Kingsand. After following the sweep of Cawsand Bay, you reach the tamed landscape of Mount Edgcumbe Country Park, with many interesting Grade II listed features and fantastic views of Plymouth Sound opening up ahead. The Edgecumbe Arms at Cremyll is recommended and is a just a few yards from the passenger ferry to Stonehouse in Plymouth. The last ferry is at 9.00p.m during the summer.
The Cremyll Ferry runs every half an hour and there is a ferry from the Barbican to Mountbatten. The first part of this journey follows the new Waterfront Walkway along some of the vibrant, historic streets of the largest city on the South West Coast Path. The Path offers fantastic views over Plymouth Sound and has many extraordinary artistic features to look out for, all celebrating the rich history of this important city. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was in medical practice in Durnford Street. Look out for the quotations from Sherlock Holmes set into the pavement. Francis Drake is commemorated on Plymouth Hoe and the Pilgrim Fathers set sail in the Mayflower from the Barbican!
There have been significant improvements to the coast path along this stretch and there are splendid views across Plymouth Sound. Fort Bovisand is a training school for underwater activities. At Wembury Beach there is a Marine Conservation Area and a great spot for rockpooling.
The Path passes out of Noss Mayo the ancient oaks of the Brakehill Plantation and along the wide, sweeping track known as Lord Revelstoke’s Drive, built in the 1880s to provide an impressive carriageway for his visitors. On clear days you can see the Eddystone Lighthouse which is 14 miles away. This undeveloped stretch of coast is recognised as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is part of the South Devon Heritage Coast. The path provides a mixture of easy, high open walking and some fairly strenuous climbs up and down steep slopes and steps to reach beautiful coves. The difficult walking is certainly worth the effort as the views are truly spectacular, and thought to be some of the best on the entire Coast Path. You need to plan this day in advance as you have two river crossings; the River Yealm crossed by a seasonal ferry and the River Erme which normally can be easily forded one hour either side of low tide
Erme may relate to a man called ‘Earma’. The village of Kingston, a short walk from Wonwell Beach, provides a good starting point for this section. The village of Ringmore is where R.C.Sherriff wrote his play Journey’s End. Burgh Island is well worth a visit, the hotel being a supreme example of Art Deco. The island is believed to have originally been occupied by monks who fished for pilchards and brewed mead. There is a seasonal ferry from Cockleridge at Bigbury to Bantham (01548 561196). Alternatively there a number of local taxi firms. The Sloop Inn at Bantham is recommended
There are a string of sandy coves along this stretch of path, the coast here being one of the most popular and easily accessible in the South Hams. Your journey begins on a boat across the Avon to Bantham and from here the Path offers fairly easy walking past Thurlestone (watch out for golf balls!), until it begins to dip up and down to the sea on its way to the beautifully sheltered Hope Cove. Nearby small towns of Kingsbridge, the Crabshell and the Kings Arms, and Salcombe, the Fortescue, provide opportunities for post-walk refreshment.
The following section from Hope to Salcombe is thought by many to be one of the most beautiful sections of the entire 630 miles of the South West Coast Path. Look out for kestrels and peregrine falcons around Bolt Tail and take a rest to look at the extraordinary mica schist rock formations around Soar Mill Cove. The Path is quite rugged and difficult in places, but becomes easier as you join the Courtney Walk and look down on the steep rocky slopes which lead down to the sea along the final stretch into Salcombe.
This section of the South West Coast Path is particularly tough, but the spectacular views are certainly very rewarding. Passing out of the shelter of the Salcombe Estuary, you emerge onto a rugged, undeveloped section of coast, much of which is managed by the National Trust. The path crosses high cliffs to Prawle Point, passing beautiful sandy beaches below, which may tempt you down for a swim. From here you pass extraordinary geological formations. This stretch of coast has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest and supports a variety of rare flowers and breeding birds, as well as being one of the few sites in the UK used by the very rare cuckoo bee Nomada sexfasciata. On windy days the sea crashes wildly against the rugged rocks and these cliffs have claimed many wrecks over the centuries, including the Demetrios in 1992 and one near Moor Sands which is believed to date from the Bronze Age. After a fairly rocky, exposed stretch to Start Point, the Path becomes more level on its journey to Torcross, with just one steep climb near the end. At Torcross your efforts are rewarded with some good restaurants and pubs close to the sea
From Torcross it is an an easy start along the shingle alongside Slapton Ley, leading to more difficult walking around rugged headlands as you approach Dartmouth. The Path is sheltered at times as it meanders through woodland, contrasting with the enormous sense of space and light when it later passes along steep, grassy slopes which lead down to the sea. There is a lot to see in the attractive boating town of Dartmouth. As well as the well-known Regatta and Royal Naval College, Dartmouth has much to offer a walker by way of cafes and restaurants offering the catch of the day and galleries and unusual shops in the interesting buildings of Foss Street. Dartmouth has a wide range of services with the Cherub Inn and Windjammer Inn recommended along with the Royal Castle Hotel, the Dolphin and the George and Dragon.
The journey begins with a ferry trip across the river Dart from the town of Dartmouth to Kingswear. The Path then climbs through wooded areas containing Monterey and Corsican Pines, with fantastic views glimpsed back over the Dart to the spectacularly sited 15th century castle. Much of the first section is managed by the National Trust, who take great care to ensure a safe habitat for birds. A good place to spot many different species is along the stretch of cliffs around Froward Point, where you may see linnets, skylarks and the rare cirl bunting. The path goes through Berry Head National Nature Reserve where the cliffs are home to the largest guillemot colony to be found along the south coast of England. The limestone cliffs also support a number of nationally rare plants and are full of beautiful wildflowers from May to August. From the tip of Berry Head you may see harbour porpoises and seals, although you are unlikely to spot any of the threatened Greater Horseshoe Bats who live in caves in this area.
If you are expecting the walk through the English Riviera to be a trudge along pavements, you are in for a pleasant surprise. You may not actually spot any of the famous coral fossils of Hope’s Nose, but you cannot fail to notice the extraordinary geology along this stretch of coast. The Path passes around the limestone peninsula of Berry Head and wave cut platforms of red sandstone at Shoalstone into the thriving fishing port of Brixham where your walk begins. The hustle and bustle of Brixham’s port is soon left behind as you head through woodland and past some lovely beaches to emerge on the edge of Paignton. The Path along Paignton and Torquay sea fronts is very easy as it runs along promenades, from which you can easily find refreshments and other distractions
The Path along Paignton and Torquay sea fronts is very easy as it runs along promenades, from which you can easily find refreshments and other distractions. From here on, views of the rich red Devon sandstone rocks towering above the sea draw you through the urban landscapes with a promise of exhilarating cliff walks ahead. Leaving bustling Torquay harbour behind, the Path becomes surprisingly rural and rugged, passing golden beaches and headlands on its way to the gardens of Babbacombe Downs. A truly varied walk awaits as you set off from the hustle and bustle of Torbay and pass into a more rural, rugged landscape which then leads to more urban areas ahead. The twisting Path between Torquay and Shaldon has several tiring ascents and descents.
The twisting Path between Torquay and Shaldon has several tiring ascents and descents as it passes through open fields and high, thick woodland before easing on the descent to the mouth of the Teign. After a short ferry crossing you can enjoy easy walking along Teignmouth’s promenade, which offers a rest after the more strenuous stretches earlier in the day. The Path follows part of the National Cycle Network on the way to Dawlish Warren, which includes some road walking. Train enthusiasts will particularly enjoy this section. Take time to look out for the wildlife of Dawlish Warren’s National Nature Reserve. From Starcross, the walk can be extended up river and along the banks of the Exeter Canal into the heart of the City passing two well known pubs, the Turf Locks and the Double Locks.
The South West Coast Path offers gentle walking out of Exmouth as it enters the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Geoneedle at Orcombe Point marks the beginning of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. This beautiful and dramatic stretch of coast is of international importance and provides walkers with an incredibly special sense of time: endurance as well as transience. The Path avoids Straight Point, which is used as a Royal Marine firing range, and soon becomes quite rugged on the cliff top approach to Budleigh Salterton. The Salterton Arms at Budleigh is recommended as is the Sir Walter Raleigh, inland at East Budleigh.
An easy walk along the promenade sets you up for more variety ahead, including crossing the River Otter at the Otter Estuary Nature Reserve (a good place for bird watching), open field walking, woodland and high cliffs, culminating in a descent to the Regency town of Sidmouth, with its attractive Esplanade, shops and restaurants. The Anchor and the Old Ship pubs in Sidmouth are recommended together with the Blue Ball at Sidford, a mile inland.
Leave the red cliffs of Sidmouth as you set off along this rugged section of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, crossing 200 million year old rocks. The red Triassic earth gives way to striking white chalk around Beer. There has been significant cliff erosion towards Salcombe Hill and the path has been subject to a detour. The path rises to over 150 metres with a number of severe switchbacks. The Dunscombe Humps are the remains of lime burning in earlier times. The landslips between Branscombe and Beer are now a wildlife reserve.
The red Triassic earth gives way to striking white chalk around Beer before you arrive at the mouth of the River Axe and the rich red cliffs of the village of Seaton. A walk of contrast awaits as you leave the town of Seaton behind and embark on a journey along the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site through rich vegetation, over wild, crumbling cliffs and through pretty seaside settlements. The Coast Path descends into the dense woodland of the Undercliff National Nature Reserve, which has some uneven terrain in parts. You will be enclosed for some hours with only occasional glimpses of the sea, but there is still plenty to look out for. The Undercliff, which is actually entirely formed from active coastal landslides, is humid and sheltered, providing a perfect habitat for ferns, fungi, orchids, wild clematis and many different insects. After emerging into open fields, the Path enters the county of Dorset at Lyme Regis where you will find an attractive harbour, interesting shops and refreshments
At Lyme Regis you will find an attractive harbour, interesting shops and refreshments. Continue inland slightly before dropping back to the sea at Charmouth where you pick up the Monarch’s Way along the cliff top and over the spectacular Golden Cap to Seatown. The Anchor at Seatown by the beach is recommended. West Bay is the harbour of Bridport and has recently benefited from major sea defence improvements. The Bridport Arms and The George at West Bay are recommended.
Enjoy the magnificent views and keep a look out for peregrines from Burton Cliff! Continue as the Path drops to pick up the spectacular, long pebbly sweep of Chesil Beach. It is no wonder that this truly breathtaking place is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and it is especially beautiful in the spring and summer months when there are many colourful flowers to enjoy. The hundreds of mute swans of Abbotsbury Swannery make for an extraordinary sight at the end of your day and there is a small selection of welcome refreshments in the fascinating, historic village of Abbotsbury.
The South West Coast Path climbs inland slightly from the historic village of Abbotsbury, passing woodland and open, rolling fields until dropping to follow the West Dorset Heritage Coast along the shores of the Fleet Lagoon to Ferry Bridge. This section of the Jurassic Coast is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the views of Chesil Beach and the Fleet are truly unique. Stories of a past of smuggling and wrecking add another level to the rich history of the area, and a reference to this is seen in the Moonfleet Manor Hotel (a good spot for refreshments) named after. Continue on a peaceful walk along the edge of the Fleet, passing a couple of areas of MOD land, until finally reaching urban landscapes on the edge of Weymouth and Ferry Bridge.
This is a walk of dramatic, rugged cliffs, nationally rare plants, hidden coves and stunning views. The Isle of Portland is a large mass of limestone which is linked to the mainland by the shingle ridge of Chesil Beach. Centuries of quarrying and military presence have altered the natural landscape, leaving visible records of the history of this important part of Dorset. The Isle’s white limestone has been used for construction since Roman times. Nature has reclaimed some of the disused quarries, which become a stunning mass of grasses and wildflowers in the spring and summer months. Follow either the road and cycle way from Ferry Bridge, or the shingle ridge of Chesil Beach, to join the Coast Path as it climbs to the top of the cliff providing stunning views. The Path then offers fairly easy walking around the Isle along old quarry tracks, with some short, steep ascents and descents in places. Take time to enjoy the impressive views from Portland Bill before walking the east coast back round to Ferry Bridge.
This fantastic section of the South West Coast Path crosses a diverse landscape from the rugged rocks of Portland, to the hustle and bustle of urban life in the seaside resort of Weymouth, followed by quiet rural paths leading to high, undulating chalk cliffs on the way to Lulworth Cove. Walking becomes progressively harder as you leave Weymouth and set off along the impressive cliffs of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. There are some particularly steep ascents and descents on the way to Lulworth Cove, but your efforts are certainly rewarded. As you approach Lulworth be sure to look back to the breathtaking views of the limestone arch of Durdle Door, the high cliffs of White Nothe and Weymouth Bay and Portland beyond. A good selection of restaurants and pubs also await your arrival after a long day on the Coast Path
This isolated stretch of the South West Coast Path offers some spectacular views, but be prepared for some difficult walking right from the beginning. The Path roller-coasters along the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, rewarding walkers with staggering views of sweeping bays, folded cliffs and richly coloured limestone-loving wildflowers and butterflies. The path across the Lulworth Ranges is one of the highlights of the Jurassic Coast, but can only be used when the range is not in use. To avoid missing out on this it is recommended you plan your walk to get here when the ranges are open – most weekends and holidays (see here for details). As live ammunition is used, you must not stray off the paths which are clearly marked by yellow posts, and do not pick up any metal objects lying on the ground. If firing is taking place, red flags are flown and the gates are locked. The alternatives are either a 13 mile detour around the ranges (partly on roads) or a more attractive option is to catch a bus (see Traveline) from West Lulworth to Corfe Castle and then walk along the ridge (which has great views) to the road near Great Wood and then descend down to rejoin the Coast Path at Kimmeridge
After keeping a look out for fossils on the beach of Kimmeridge Bay, continue carefully along the Kimmeridge Ledges and prepare for more strenuous walking ahead. The Path continues its roller coaster journey and then climbs steeply to the top of Houns-tout Cliff, which stands at 490 feet (150 m) above sea level, before leading you out to St Aldhelm’s Head to enjoy the views, look for seabirds and the occasional dolphin, and breathe in the sea air. Take the short walk inland to the pretty village of Worth Matravers, where you can find refreshments. Leave the pretty village of Worth Matravers and the breathtaking views from St Aldhelm’s Head to set off along the final stretch of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, and what is actually the last leg of the 630 mile South West Coast Path. High, level cliff walking between St Aldhelm’s Head and Durlston Head is followed by fairly easy walking along the promenade of the seaside town of Swanage.
As you walk through open grassland and woodland around Studland, keep a look out for bottlenose dolphins and take time to enjoy the beautiful seasonal wildflowers and butterflies and the spectacular views of the chalk stacks of Old Harry. Three miles of sandy beaches running all the way to South Haven Point offer plenty of opportunities to rest and take in the views across Poole Bay to Bournemouth and the Isle of Wight. Note the last ½ mile of beach is popular with naturists. if you wish to avoid seeing naked people, either come in chilly weather, or walk inland and follow the coast road Just before the ferry to Sandbanks a steel sculpture marks the end of your journey and the end of the South West Coast Path.
This is the extension of the Dorset Coast Path section of the South West Coast Path which ends at South Haven Point. Sandbanks can be reached by the chain ferry from South Haven Point. The path generally follows the promenade through Bournemouth towards Christchurch. Hengistbury Head is a sandspit protecting Christchurch Harbour, is a site of special scientific interest and a national nature reserve. There is parking and refreshment available. People watch the locals, visitors and tourists you meet whilst striding along the prom to Bournemouth. Plenty of seats to sit on for a quick sandwich break.