south west coast path
south west coast path, bed and breakfast, exmoor, minehead, porlock, dunster, somerset, accommodation, walking, riding, railway, beach, walks, cycling, lynton, lynmouth, holiday
You may find this information helpful when researching the area prior to your visit
For the most ambitious walkers, there is of course the south west coast path, also known as the south west peninsula coast path. This is the longest of the long distance paths in the UK, stretching over five hundred miles, and it is subdivided into four sections of south west coast path.
The somerset and devon north coast path: minehead to marsland mouth is the first section, which covers eighty two miles; the cornwall coast path: marsland mouth near bude to cremyll on the tamar, which stretches a massive two hundred and sixty eight miles; the devon south cost path: plymouth to lyme regis, which is ninety three miles; and the dorset coast path: lyme regis to poole, which is the shortest section, stretching seventy two miles.
The somerset and devon north coast path, which forms the first part of the south west coast path, or south west peninsula coast path, is usually considered the start of the south west coast path because it is the least arduous. It covers a huge variety of terrain however. There are many beautiful, picturesque villages along the way. Parts lie in the exmoor National park, and others within an Area of Outstanding natural Beauty. There are still several stretches of south west coast path where the way marking is incomplete because public rights of way have not been obtained, or where it is inadequate, and it is therefore wise to carry maps and guides of the south west coast path. Between porlock weir and county gate it is beautifully wooded.
There should be no lack of accommodation or bed and breakfast available on the south west coast path, but during the holiday season bookings should be made in advance. Trousers are recommended, rather than skirts or shorts, as well as windproof and waterproof clothing. Highlights of the first section of the south west coast path, or south west peninsula coast path, include Selworthy Beacon, Culbone Chruch, Lynmouth and lynton, twin towns of great beauty, Valley of Rocks, Saunton Sands and Clovelly, where donkeys are still used instead of cars for transport, due to the town’s steep and cobbled streets.
The second part of the south west coast path, or south west peninsula coast path, goes across dunes, moorlands and cliff tops, often following coastguard paths. There is a wide variety of interest, from fascinating rock formations to the hunting ground of King Arthur at Tintagel; remains of tin mines, the artists’ centre at St.Ives; the serpentine rock carving industry at the Lizard, and the china clay ports of Charlestown and Par, as well as the picturesque villages and beautiful views. The south west coast path includes some sections regarded as easy and others as severe. For example, Tintagel to Port Isaac, which includes one of the steepest parts of the whole Peninsula Coast path; and St. Ives to Pendeen Watch where there are twenty one miles without a place for rest or refreshment. There are some ferry crossings, and even wading at low tide. Beware on this part of the south west coast path when there is a heavy mist, or when there are strong off-shore winds.
Highlights of the second section of the south west coast path, or south west peninsula coast path, include many attractive villages and coves, Helford River Estuary, famous for its oyster beds, and Looe, the shark-fishing centre. Accommodation should not prove difficult to find, but once again as it is a holiday area, bookings anywhere along the south west coast path, or south west peninsula coast path, should be made in advance to avoid finding yourself stranded and exhausted at night!