Cicerone - National Trail - The South West Coast Path (NT)
Cicerone - Walking the South West Coast Path
Britain's longest waymarked trail, the South West Coast Path (SWCP) measures a staggering 630 miles (1015km) from Minehead on the Somerset coast right round Devon and Cornwall to Poole in Dorset. Although the route is long, it should be accessible for any well-prepared backpacker. The weather conditions, which can make clifftop walking dangerous, are an important factor.
This epic route takes in Exmoor National Park, several designated Areas of Outstanding National Beauty and the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, numerous Heritage Coasts National and Local Nature Reserves, Sites of Special Scientific Interest and National Trust holdings. No other stretch of coastline compares for scenic splendour, historical sites and availability of refreshments, accommodation and public transport: this last amenity makes it easy to split the SWCP into week or weekend-long sections.
Written by prolific outdoor writer Paddy Dillon, this guide provides a wealth of detailed knowledge to help tackle this immense route with confidence, with lots of information for planning a trek, including public transport links, accommodation and facilities along the way. To assist forward planning the guidebook divides the coast path into sections beginning and ending where amenities are available. Also described is the 17-mile South Dorset Ridgeway, from West Bexington to Osmington Mills, which can be used as a scenic way to shave 42 miles off the total distance.
Walking, hiking, trekking.
This National Trail may be walked year-round: be aware that winter accommodation availability may be limited, while high summer will be extremely busy and the weather often hot.
Many centres are passed along the route, including Minehead, Lynmouth, Westward Ho!, Clovelly, Bude, Padstow, Newquay, St Ives, Penzance, Falmouth, Mevagissey, Polperro, Plymouth, Salcombe, Brixham, Portland, Swanage and Poole.
The South West Coast path is a long walk! Most paths are easy to moderate, with some walks along rugged and exposed coastal cliff paths and some steep gradients.
- Must See
Exmoor National Park; 5 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty; the Jurassic Coast Natural World Heritage Site; numerous Heritage Coasts National and Local Nature Reserves, Sites of Special Scientific Interest and National Trust holdings.