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Daily Walking Holiday Itineraries for the entire 630 Mile South West Coast Path (Also known as SWCP)

A daily walking itinerary is a written guide that not just tells you how to get from one location to another, it also illuminates your walk by informing you of interesting things such as historical features, buildings and such like. Also it will cover practical things that you may not have already thought of, like for example how to avoid the shooting range at Lulworth which closes the coast path there when shooting is in progress. It is a very good idea to walk with a daily walking itinerary and you can get them for the South West Coast Path on this web page for free.

Walking Holiday Itineraries on the SWCP

Here is a daily walking holiday itinerary for each day of the 8 weeks of walking required to walk the entire South West Coast Path ( SWCP ), which you can print off and use for each day of your walking holiday.

If you are more of a rambler or pleasure walker and don't wish to cover such long distances each day, you can still print out the relevant days walking itinerary on the SWCP and just use the part of that day which covers your shorter walk. We will be writing each town/village name in bold so you can easily pick out the locations within each days' walk itinerary across the whole SWCP.

Every attempt has been made to ensure that each itinerary is accurate, but if you find an error or would like to advise us of any changes, please tell us using the contact us form so that we can amend the relevant part. Thank you.

And if you are intending to book your own walking holiday, which you probably are if you are looking at this, then we suggest you view our Book Your Own Walking Holiday guide, but for now, here are your daily walking itineraries across the whole SWCP :

Choose an itinerary:

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Day 1 - Minehead to Porlock Weir

This will be for many walkers, the start of the amazing journey that is the South West Coast Path. Before you embark on your journey take a short while to gaze upon the monument erected in its honour on Minehead seafront. Sited approx. 100 yards along from the Quay Inn, the immense hands holding a map inform you are indeed undertaking an adventure full of unknown twists, turns, hills , vales, rivers and estuaries all with inspiring and breath-taking views of rugged unspoiled countryside mixed with beauty of quaint ‘oldie worldness’ and the modern and more urban. Be you a lover of birds, bees, flower or fauna , sea or shore, or just taking time away to blow away the cobwebs of the rest of your daily world, escaping the hubbub of the concept of modern living …embark and enjoy !

From the monument continue along the promenade and along the sea front past the small harbour (please note -this may not be marked on earlier maps) from here you walk along to a clear coastal track at the foot of a wooded slope .take a sharp left turn to begin the zigzagged ascent through a mixture of heather, gorse and bilberry up North Hill. Whilst on this stretch you can look off trail and see the remains of the Burgundy Chapel below. Carry on upwards on your journey until a signpost and bench mark the way to a small car park located on North Hill. From here the views include the Bristol Channel and South Wales (weather permitting of course), also it is from here the small isles of both Steep and Flat Holm can be viewed. Reaching the summit of North Hill, follow the acorn signposted towards Selworthy and Bossington on a gorse surrounded trail to the next of the acorn signs, it is here the choice of paths is yours, depicted by a fork in the trail. There is the foreboding sounding ‘alternative rugged ‘path (to the right, with greater views of the sea rather than the land), or the ‘official’ path (to the left). Walkers with a doggy companion in tow please note that on the rugged path, canine pals are prohibited. With that in mind, we shall split the path.

Those with the mind for the rugged , taking note that it does add about an hour to your walking time, may question the title given , it is well signposted and you will arrive at a stile , here you will also find an NT (National Trust) Information Board, here you should take the left fork ( a bench should serve as a marker ) , and begin the descent to the lower path ( again marked by the words - rugged path).At Grexy Combe  the path runs diagonally up the hill until you reach a wall which should be followed first sea-wards and then parallel until you reach Western Brockenholes to your left and Selworthy Sands below and to your right. The path will begin to turn inland and re-joins the ‘official path’ at Bossington Hill

Those wishing to maintain the official path should keep to the left and make for the gate further along , Grazing land will be to your right on an area of grassland. Here the path does narrow amongst the gorse, you will pass through another gate on the path and it once again begins to widen out. Here you will reach a road-end which serves the grazing area, cross this and and continue along the track, finally reaching almost to the the top of Selworthy Beacon, (if you are still feeling full of energy climb a little higher and up to the left to reach the summit, and take the time to explore the wide-ranging and breath-taking views across Exmoor). Alternatively, take the right turn, as signposted round to the corner of the grassland/grazing area and enjoy just as good a view inland, just from not as high a vantage point! The descent on the path is a gradual one and here those intrepid rugged path types will re-join you on your journey.

With all walkers back on the same path once again, the track becomes grassy and using the signs pointing the way for you, there is the option to walk down a steep path towards Hurlestone Point to take in the amazing views of Porlock Weir across the embankment heaped ridge, it is believed to have been this way for at least 8ooo years. A storm in 1996 did however; breach the embankment, turning the then freshwater marsh into a tidal saltwater one instead.

PLEASE NOTE – this does affect the Coast Path walk and should not be crossed during high water (check your tide timetable).

Though if you would rather just be on your way to Porlock Weir, take care not to walk all the way round Bossington Hill and keep to the right path, which descends down towards a gate and a woodland track, here reaching a river. Turning right and crossing the small footbridge you find yourself in a car park in the pretty village of Bossington, those needing a ‘relief break’ will be pleased to note there are also toilets in this car park. The National Trust own a great proportion of the village and its quaint charm are mainly due to the uses of traditional crafts and materials in its continuing maintenance. To leave the village make for the sign-posted  ‘Bossington Beach’, down the road and along the track, if it is possible take time to study the limekilns which once were in use.

At Low tide, AND ONLY at low tide it is possible to follow the Porlock Ridge over to Porlock Weir , however whilst this appears a more direct route to your final destination on this walk , it is not recommended, due to the marshes and tides .  Instead take a left turn off the road and follow the route across the grassy and clearly marked fields. Porlock is clearly signposted. Whilst this small stretch of the path has many notes of caution attached, it is worth noting that the 1996 breach in the shingle ridge has created a perfect haven for many birds and is a fine spot for bird watching.

Your path to Porlock is nearly complete, taking a turn to the left, and passing by a stone barn, the path then turns to the right, several paths lead down to the beach at Porlock Weir. You have arrived !! At low tide the stumps of the older forest out on the beach become visible, and are certainly well worth a look

Porlock itself is a small village, like many locally built around a local church, this one being St Dubricius (circa 12th century). Whilst not being overwhelmed with services, Porlock does have some accommodation, pubs and restaurants. There are also bus links to larger towns, including Minehead, Lynmouth, Ilfracombe and Barnstaple to name but a few. It is safe to say that Porlock Weir also shares the same bus links and facilities.

 

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Day 2 - Porlock Weir to Lynmouth

This stretch of the South West Coast Path features steep woodland walking, with some occasional sea views. There are very few, if any facilities on this stretch, although if it does prove more demanding then you first thought, there is an opportunity to hop off the path and join the main road at County Gate, which provides access to buses linking you onto the Exmoor Coastline service. With that in mind let’s start to walk…..

Leaving Porlock behind, the path slips off between the Ship and Anchor Inns, with a signpost marked for Culbone and County Gate. If you are feeling rebellious, you can also walk in front of the Anchor Hotel, past the shops then take a left turn again signposted for Culbone. The path begins an uphill climb, becoming a field path then linking with a track which leads up from the farm. Taking a right turn you find yourself on a narrow road (Worthy Combe Toll Road) which leads you towards the toll gate, from which the road takes its name. This double-arched gate of course , is giving you two options …the right hand arch leads you to Culbone Church , the left the toll road. The path here is broad and climbs up from the gate and you will pass under a couple of additional arches. It is worth noting here that there have in the past been landslips in this wooded area, but the path detours above them. Here the botanists amongst us will recognise the diversity of species growing in this wood, with holly and oaks profuse in the higher stretches. Descending on a good, safe track will bring you down to the Culbone church previously mentioned. It is one of many of the churches you may find on your journeys along the coastal path, quiet, secluded, a true moment of sanctuary. In past years there has been a refreshment cabin here, where it has been possible to make your own beverages, this is run on an honesty policy, please give a little more generously if you possibly can.

From the church retrace your steps and turn right and uphill back onto the coast path to take the path through Culbone and Embelle Woods. Again a note of caution is advised here landslips all along this part of the path may negate taking the path through the woods and if this route is closed at the time of your walking, please take the following route (formerly the main route, changed over the years) via Yenworthy Combe. Taking a left hand turn , leaving the woods , through the fields ,coming to a road , walking down this road and past Silcombe Farm ( B&B), continue on  through the small valleys on this lane until you reach the road. Following down the road check for the signpost for County Gate along this road (landmarked by the stone buildings of Broomfield Farm). Here a lane leaving the farm wavers off into a field path. Beyond the gate, keep watch for a signpost, this is where the Coast Path drops back down rather steeply into the woods. Cross the stream ahead of you, and again lookout for the marker posts signifying the narrow path and gates, this is around the slopes of Sugarloaf Hill.

From here the path takes a downwards turn via steps into another set of woodlands, here, to the right is where the diversionary and main paths meet.  On the left is a signpost for County Gate and Lynmouth.  From here take a short walk down towards the right from a small gateway, crossing a stream then back up the track again, all signposted. This part of the path is also part of the County Gate Nature Trail, renowned for its ‘pinetum’, of which its varieties range from the more obvious and well known to the tall and majestic Wellingtonias, all of which are on view below you on this walk. The track then begins its uphill climb to the Steeple Sturt junction. It is here that the opportunity to opt out from further walking makes itself available, as the Exmoor National Park Visitor Centre and County Gate are just a further walk uphill, from here the bus services are available, although please always check the timetables appropriate for your time of walking.

If you are still of sturdy body and ready to walk further however , the Coast Path runs downhill from this junction and at Coscombe crosses a stream, it is here that you walking cross the county boundary line between Somerset and Devon, you have just spanned two counties in a stride ! Continue walking up the track , turning down to the right you will find a stone cross marking the site of Sisters Fountain , a place which in old folklore marks the spot where Joseph of Arimethea drank from the spring whilst on his way up to Glastonbury. It is well worth noting that many more pagan sites, springs, wells and tors took on the Christianised versions of spirituality after the pagan ways were seen to be subdued by the newer incoming belief structures. The spring was probably a site of worship many years before the coming of Joseph as water and its appearance through the ground was seen to be a place of mysterious boundaries, and was highly revered. After treading in this place of great history or sanctity, depending on your viewpoint, follow the path uphill for Wingate Combe (signposted) and turn right on the track and pass between the imposing wild boar headed pillars. The path crosses two streams in Wingate Combe and continues its way across a slope, along this slope there is a gully named Pudleep Gurt (I have yet to find the meaning to that, but think it’s so quirky, it deserves a mention, as does the slightly if more informative hamlet of Desolate, which is slightly further on along this stretch) and then onwards to a gate. This gives you access to Glenthorne Cliffs.  Continue along the trail crossing the stream at Swannel Combe and gully at Chubhill Combe, reaching a gate, a stile and a stream. Walking up to the bend in the narrow road, you will come to another road marked for the Lighthouse. This is at the end of Foreland Point and marks another landmark for your growing list , for you are now at the most northerly point in Devon, although this road will only take you to the bridge which spans the stream in the valley below. A path up on the left is actually signposted as the Coastal Path to Countisbury, down the steps and the grassy path rises across sloping land to a gap. Here you may wish to turn left and walk to Countisbury, however the choice is yours, as the actual coast path veers to the right before reaching the church of St. John the Evangelist in Countisbury. You can either walk through the pleasant and calming churchyard onwards towards the Exmoor Sandpiper Inn on the main road, or continue along the cliff path running parallel to the main road taking in the magnificent views of Lynmouth Bay and the windswept clifftops. Both the main road and the coast path join each other for a while. The road reaches a sign for the Countisbury Lodge Hotel, and here a stepped path opens to you on the right, zigzagging its way down through a splendid wood of beech trees, delivering you to a road above the beach at Lynmouth. Walk through the beautiful parkland to the footbridge which awaits to take you over the River Lyn, and into Lynmouth. On the other side, the Bath Hotel welcomes you and another right turn leads to Lynmouth harbour. You are here at the end of this stretch.

Whilst in Lynmouth/Lynton (distinguished by Lynton being in the higher slopes above, and Lynmouth obviously being at the mouth of the river and the seas edge) take a ride on the cliff railway linking the two places, negating the need for the walk between the two.

 Encapsulating the harshness of the elements and such precarious coastal living there is the Lynmouth Flood Memorial Centre , “ Opened 1854 Devastated 1952 Reopened 1962” declares the sign at the Glen Lyn Gorge, marking remembrance for the 34 people killed there in the flood of August 1952.

 

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Day 3 - Lynmouth to Combe Martin

This is a particularly strenuous stretch of the Coast Path, steep at the start leading onto an easier walk towards the Valley of Rocks, though once again taking up and down routes through wooded slopes and reaching the summit of Great Hangman, which is the highest point of the whole South West Coast Path. Some walkers may be happy to finish in the smaller and quieter surrounds of Combe Martin; those with a penchant for a more bustling hurly-burly place to stay may wish to travel further onto Ilfracombe

Leaving Lynmouth via the harbour, search for the gap between the Visitor Centre  and the Cliff Railway. Here take a left hand turn to the signposted steps marked Coast Path, Lynton, Valley of Rocks and Combe Martin. The path is tarmacked, and crosses the Cliff railway twice, then the road crosses it once again between the Fairholme Hotel and North Cliff Hotel (if you are considering cutting out this ascent and using the railway, it would be necessary to walk back down this road named North Walk to continue on the coastal path). The path is made easier for its tarmac but is still steep. Reaching a gate the path heads towards the very popular spot, the Valley of Rocks.  Watch out for the feral goats in this area! Please do not feed them, they, in themselves are a tourist attraction, and have the heritage of being named in the Doomsday Book, not this particular breed as many have been introduced, died out and reintroduced over the years. Not dangerous to my knowledge but they are as all ‘wildlife’ to be acknowledged and given their space as much as you value yours. They are perfect for keeping down the scrub and vegetation in the area, leaving the indigenous flowers the space to grow, and this area is well known for its purple orchids in the springtime.  On both sides of the valley are strange rock formations with equally strange names and local tales and stories attached to them, there is Rugged Jack and his friends (one of those many told legends in the UK of those daring to dance on the Sabbath day and being turned to stone, admittedly this one is a tad different as Jack and his friends were solidified by Satan rather than any other angry and disgruntled deity), there is  Mother Meldrums Cave, (taken from the novel Lorna Doone)where she lived by the Devils Cheese Ring ! To the right of that is the White Lady, a rocky shape irregularly formed close to the top of the imposing Castle Rock, atop its prominent sentinel position overlooking the sea.  It is worth noting that there is the opportunity for a refreshment or relief stop in the Valley of Rocks with a café with toilet facilities. Onwards from the Valley is a toll road which leads you through the Lee Abbey estate. Walking the path you have Lee Abbey on your right. Once again should it be required toilet facilities are available on this stretch of the path, with the opportunity for more refreshments at the Lee Abbey Tea Cottage (if you missed either in the Valley of Rocks). On the right you come to a coast path sign, here a new stretch of path leads you out of the wooded area, around Crock Point and once again back into the woods. As this path climbs back up towards the road keep to the right to continue onto Woody Bay coming to a fork again taking the right hand path. Arriving at a very sharp left turn on a steep downhill slope, the coast path once again gives you choice; you can either walk up towards the Woody Bay Hotel, or take a right hand turn before reaching it and take yourself into the woods.

The Woody Bay area is an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) due to its ‘hanging’ oakwoods . It is also home to Red Deer and many species of birds (remember to pack your binoculars). The track here is clearly marked through the woodland taking you onto a narrow road at West Cottage. The Coast Path is signposted here on the left, follow this road, up to a bend and then through a gate onto a somewhat stony woodland path, this takes you downhill under the overhanging trees. You will reach Hollow Brook, here you can cross the little waterfall , out of the valley crossing an open slope above the cliffs , with your binoculars or just the naked eye look out for the guillemots and razorbills amongst the hosts of birds on the rocks below, along this steep slope there are several vantage points.  To your right as you walk towards Heddons Mouth, there is the ancient Martinhoe Fortlet , on reaching the rocky outcrop the path takes a turn left and inland , alongside the river , if you wish you can continue further up the path to end up at the Hunters Inn, a building which replaced a previous watering hole started by the Berry family , unfortunately their  thatched cottage burned down in 1895 , so know that should you stop for a brew you are treading in the steps of many, many a thirsty traveller down the centuries ! This part of the South West has long been beloved by many of our great Romantic poets, Shelley, Wordsworth and Coleridge were said to be greatly enamoured, perhaps take time to compose a prose or two whilst taking in the vistas. Should you wish to remain sober (at least until the end of your days walk) take the stone footbridge to the right and begin to walk downstream. After a short while take a sharp left turn along the clear track, taking you inland and upstream again, as you walk keep a lookout for the sharp uphill right turn, thankfully signposted as Coast Path for Combe Martin. This will lead you up a wooded slope and then on through a gate. Next a steep zigzagging slope takes you uphill through the bracken, from there head along to the right, the path takes you back towards the coastline high above Heddons Mouth , having traversed the valley  the path swings towards the left and begins a steep climb amongst the rocks and the heather. Please note that it is sensible in windy conditions to keep yourself to the safer inland side of the path. From here the path reaches a fence on a stony earth bank, the coast path is signposted to the right. As you walk you will see that the cliffs to the side of you fall away dramatically and the views ahead are breath-taking. Here at East Cleave, easier walking along the path is achieved if you use the grassier strip at the top, to avoid any landslips; the path begins a turn inland. Continuing its run along North Cleave the path looks as if you will walk into the woodland but avoids it by crossing the stile and heading slightly further inland again. Gorse and heather moorland on a more rugged upland slope replace the former grasses, and whilst it is difficult to believe as you look around there were plans muted in the 19th century that this should be a place of settlement and habitation! Sensibility overcame stupidity and it remains as isolated and rugged as it ever was. Turning right follow the track across the Downs of Holdstone and Girt back down again into the next valley, looking up you will see the great and broad dome of Great Hangman looming before you. Once again you begin the next upward climb further inland, the track signalling your route down to a stream, crossing the footbridge in the valley of Sherrycombe. The path climbs once more out of this valley, bypassing more woodland, past patches of stunning gorse when in bloom and skirting the corner of the field. Here you reach a junction in the path, take the path in front of you again uphill but thankfully less steep than you have already experienced on this stretch reaching the cairn atop the Great Hangman …..Congratulations you are now on top of the highest point of the whole South West Coast Path !!! Standing at 318m (1043 ft, for those used to imperial rather than metric). Whilst you catch your breath and pat each other ( or just yourself) on the back, take some time to take in the staggering views all around you , look back across Exmoor ,for by the end of this day you will leave the National Park behind. Out to sea the island of Lundy and the South Wales coastline are your next views of landfall. To the left of this immense cairn are the best downhill pathways, leading you down to the lesser bump (in comparison to its huger namesake) of Little Hangman. On its summit is a bench if you wish to take a breather from your exertions, but since you are so close to your goal of Combe Martin , the need to stop again may seem unnecessary and the path itself rolls up and down with only occasional glimpses through trees and bushes and starts rolling downhill and to the left. As you reach the bottom of the path take a final right hand turn. Here you are. Safe and sound.  At your destination - Combe Martin. Well done, find your accommodation, take off your boots, put up your feet and have a rest. (unless of course you have already made that decision I spoke of earlier in which case onward to the next stretch and Ilfracombe).

 

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Day 4 - Combe Martin to Ilfracombe or Woolacombe

After the hilly sections behind you this section is a little gentler. Of course you may have decided to continue on straight from Lynmouth/Lynmouth to put more miles on your clock. Although again since this is seen to be a half day walk you may wish to walk on through Ilfracombe and carry onwards towards Woolacombe. This walk still holds plenty of meanderings with uphill and down dales, but not to the scale of the walks through the last stretches, this is mainly because the coastal path has to take in many headlands and coves, so you will find yourself heading firstly out to the sea then back into land on many occasions. Given that there are so many opportunities to be looking out seawards, you may get to glimpse sight of the varied marine visitors to these waters in the summertime, look out for sunfish, dolphins and the odd basking shark.

 

Leaving Combe Martin via Lime Kiln car park, take the main road and walk up the prettily named Seaside Hill. Signposts show you the way along Newberry Road, the path itself runs parallel to the main road and a little further on, for a short stretch use the main road itself.  Turning right downhill you will find yourself on the Old Coast Road, here we lose the tarmac and begin to walk on a dirt road and track way beneath beautiful large beech trees, lovely for keeping the sun off you when the weather is overly hot, accompanied by the aroma of wild ransoms and their heady garlic smell which grow in copious amounts in this area. Keep look out for the stile on the right, the path here runs down towards Napps caravan and Camping Site, as with all along this particular stretch the stunning and breath-taking views of sandy beaches and hidden coves compliments the undulating walk. Keeping to the right hand side of the site and returning to the main road, you should take a right turn. Once again your path takes you parallel to the main road until you find yourself opposite the opposing Watermouth Castle ( and its theme park), here you can stop from your tour and sample many delights in the grounds of the castle, which whilst looking older than its actual build date in the Victorian era , has a great deal to offer. If however you wish your walking to be confined to the sole purpose of getting onwards to your destination, you can, and please note only at low water use the shoreline route (check your tide timetable), but near to and at high water times continue along the main road, until you reach a path on the right, allowing you to walk onto a wooded slope. Both high and low water routes join each other here and you walk alongside the main road once again. Coming to the edge of the woods a right hand turn opens up the coast path leading to the outstanding views of Water Mouth, this inlet is registered as a Regionally Important Geological / Geomorphological Site due to it being a place of cross bedded sand and limestone with many trace fossils. The greatest views are from and at the top of the steep steps you have to climb up to Widemouth Head. Once down the steps, the path rounds Samson’s Bay below, around the Coastguards House and Rillage Point, rising again up to a car park. Turn right and again walk alongside the road down towards Hele Bay, a place offering the chance to stop for food and refreshments. Once sated, continue along the road down towards the beach following the path up another wooded slope reaching the top and Hillsborough and the obviously named Beacon Point (a vantage point for those wreckers of old), here also you will find the remains of an ancient hillfort. From here it is also where you gain oversight of the Ilfracombe and its natural harbour, walking down the path making for the hustle and bustle of its restaurants, hotels, shops, banks and pubs.

Ilfracombe was once a much busier place, finding its heyday in the 19th century as a fashionable resort, served by both rail and steamships, sadly both now long gone. You can still, if you choose, take a boat trip across to Lundy Island

If you have already made arrangements and the decision to walk further onto Woolacombe, walk through the centre of town and make your way to Capstone Road, along here is the path on the right for Capstone Point, this is usually marked by a flag on its top. From here you can see the curiously shaped and perfectly named, Landmark Theatre. Walking down towards it you circle the Theatre and climb the steps up on the seaward side. Follow the tarmac pathway towards the road. Once at the roadway take a right hand turn onto Granville Road, baring right and following the marker you are then on Torrs Park Avenue. Once again you take a right turn upon reaching Avoncourt and from here follow the signposting for Lee, leaving Ilfracombe behind you. This part of the walk is known as Torrs Walk, the path here having been hewn from the bedrock, zigzagging its way uphill. There is a particularly good vantage point here to turn back for a spectacular view of Ilfracombe and the walk you have already achieved. The Coast Path here continues with signposting across grassy slopes and fields, with the occasional stile to negotiate. An iron sign stating ‘Public Path- Please keep to it’ marks the way to a clear path descending to a gate and narrow road. Here you can decide whether to visit the village of Lee which is found via a path on the left side of the roadway, alternatively you can continue on your journey by staying on the road down to the bottom. The road does become steep as you reach the bottom and another right hand turn finds you in Lee Bay. Here you will find toilets, a café (opening hours are seasonal), and a bus which can return you to Ilfracombe.

Continue on the road uphill, keep watch for a gateway on the right hand side of the road near the top, here you will find two signs , one for the National Trust signposted for the ominously sounding Damage Cliffs , and another sign for Woolacombe, reassuring you that you are heading the right way! From here, be prepeared for a roller-coaster style walk , with strenuous flights of steps leading in and out of the valleys on the way, as you  make your way towards the lighthouse at Bull Point, from here your walk takes you across the access road to the lighthouse . From here the path is signposted above the beach at Rockham Bay though there a few sets of steps down to the beach if you feel like cooling your feet and the tide is right. Here the coast path runs along the ancient slate bedded and jagged ridge towards Morte Point, there again is an opportunity to explore another small village, Mortehoe, a pretty place with places to stay and eat, just slightly inland from the path.

However, your main destination of Woolacombe is close and you may wish to finish this stretch and find your place to finally rest, so continue the walk past the village by keeping to the right, the Coast Path joins the roadway here between Mortehoe and Woolacombe, and then separates itself and becomes a path between both the road and the beach , and as you walk Woolacombe itself stands before you, with its outstanding sandy beach, a perfect place for walkers, holidaymakers and watersports lovers. Find your accommodation and settle in, spend your evening in one of the restaurants or pubs and rest ready for your next day’s walk onto Braunton.

 

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Day 5 - Woolacombe to Braunton

This is seen as the easiest day of this section of the path so far, although that is of course depending how you have fared on your previous days! Gradients along this stretch of the path are easy . With sandy beaches beckoning down to the sands and the nature reserves are a treat for all birdwatchers, botanists and biologists alike. There are several stop off points here to gather provisions or to stop and explore.

There are a few ways to make your way to the edge of Woolacombe and its glorious beach, it is of course tempting to stroll along the beach if the tide is right, but the dunes of soft moving sand can be difficult to get to the top of. Please check tide times if you do wish to do this. The Coast Path itself leaves Woolacombe via Challacombe Hill Road; the path then is on your right before the junction with the road ahead of you (named Marine Drive). You can take the official Path above the beautiful open Woolacombe sands and the dunes which rest above it, a perfect place for bird watching or for spotting the myriad of flowering plants amongst the tufts of long grass. You will encounter stiles on this part of the walk but for the most time the walk is gentle and pleasant with hopefully a warm sea breeze accompanying you on your journey. Should you wish to you can also choose to take the roadway – Marine Drive, runs parallel to the Path but can be very busy in peak season.

The Coast Path itself does not run along the whole length of the sands, so keep a look out for a sign on the left directing you up towards a bridleway and slightly more inland, this is a walk into grassy fields with pockets of tree cover, with views of the headland before you.  To your right hand side is a caravan park walk past this and the path is further on to your right, marked by stone gate posts and a wooden sign, from here take the upward sloping track way to the headland at Baggy Point. From here you have a vast vista to take in and weather permitting, many photo opportunities –across the water to Lundy Island and onwards to Wales, back from where you have walked across the Woolacombe Sands or as you round the headland the journey you are still to experience, down into Croyde, nestled in the bay below you with its surfers chasing its renowned waves. Up on Baggy Point stands a memorial wreck post to remind us of the treacherous seas below us.

From the Point turn right and join the lower path towards Croyde, following the road on your right hand side you here have a choice, whether you wish to stop in Croyde for refreshments and take in the sights and sounds of this little place or continue onwards along and to the right into Beach Road and through straight to the beach to your next destination. There are several little shops as you walk along the road in which to purchase refreshments as well as toileting facilities.

If you decide to keep moving, once at the beach stay to the signposted path with the dunes on your left, again this is subject to tidal influences so please check, there is a footbridge to cross the river which flows in the sea at high tide should you need it. Once you have reached the other side of Croyde Bay take the steps NOT marked Private.  Turn right as posted for both `Tarka Trail` – another wondrous walk for another time and `Coast Path` to Braunton. The path here runs between the coastline and climbs up to meet the  B3231 Croyde Road which you cross, this can be another busy section of road so please be careful when crossing. Once across the road you are walking above the road on the heathland of Saunton Downs, here again is a chance to look at the walk that lays before you as another stretch of inviting sand beckons you down into Braunton.  Upon reaching the Saunton Sands Hotel another choice awaits you , you can either turn left avoiding the busy roadway taking the farm track following it to the right, then dropping down to St Anne’s Church and then re-joining the road or cross the road to the hotel following a route around the hotel , down towards the beach area and café for a quick snack , if choosing the snack option, leave the car park via its access road, on the right here there is a path which reunites you with the road and on to St Anne’s .  Stay on the road, farther on past the church is the entrance to the Golf Club on your right, continue on the road until you reach a staggered crossroads and take the right hand turning, walking past the houses  and continuing down this lane until signs posts indicate a left turn , you are very near the golf course so watch out for golf balls as you are crossing  a fairway !  The path is marked leading away from the course and you are now walking through the Braunton Burrows nature reserve, this was designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve for the importance of its conservation of nature, the path is very well marked here so please observe the rules regarding the preservation of the site, it  one of the largest sand dune systems  in the country and is home to many important flora and fauna, so it is worth having your binoculars ready to see if you can catch sight of the odd buzzard or kestrel hunting for its small prey amongst the dunes and fields. The path continues through the Burrows towards Braunton whilst on the left of the path and to the south of the town itself lies Brauntons Great Field , this is over 300 acres of open field farming worked in the medieval tradition of strip system farming, with its differing colours of fields according to the crops which are being grown  this is a trip into a more ancient way of tending the soil, and unfortunately only one of the three of such areas left in the whole country. The path continues through the Burrows until you reach a car park. This is part of the training area used by the military based at Chivenor, please check whether there are any training operations at the time of your walk, should there be any danger to the public; red flags are flown in several areas.  From the exit turn right onto American Road, this road can get very muddy and has large potholes so tread carefully in bad weather.  The road leads you down towards the sea at Crow Point where it turns left onwards to the White House and you begin your walk along the banks of the estuary of the Rivers Taw and Torridge , you can see the towns of Instow and Appledore luring on to the next day of your walk from across the water.  Once at the White House which was once a stop off for ferries across the river take a right turn and progress along the embankment of the strangely named Horsey Island following it all the way alongside the River Caen, the embankment was built in the 1850’s as part of a land reclamation project, whilst a road does run below the embankment the far prettier route is take along the top until it reaches Velator Quay, which until the arrival of railways to the area was once a thriving port. It is now only a short walk along the embankment until you reach the roundabout which brings you into the southern part of Braunton. Here there are many places to eat, sleep and explore before you set out on the next stage of your exciting journey around the South West Coast Path.

 

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Day 6 - Braunton to Instow

This is a journey at which you can make many stops from here at Braunton further on to Westward Ho! It is a very long day’s walk at approximately 24 miles (87 km) but is mainly set on the old railway tracks along the route. This is also a path with cyclists on the Devon Coast to Coast Cycle Route, so watch out for bicycles as you walk. Should you wish to, you can of course miss out Barnstaple by taking the ferry or use the bus services which run between Braunton, Barnstaple, Bideford and Instow. This does mean that you would be missing out on many miles of stunning railway cuttings which have been put to perfect use as a track ways for walkers and cyclists, so for those walkers who are willing to do it all, this stretch has been broken down into a walk from Braunton to Instow and the following day from Instow to Westward Ho! If you are feeling brave and energetic put the two together.

Starting from the roundabout  at Velator , at the bottom of Braunton , follow the signs for the cycle path signposted for Barnstaple, the path takes you passed the Wrafton Marshes and RMB Chivenor and its search and rescue base, down in a cutting which envelopes you in its trees and hedgerows. You walk through the outskirts of Chivenor along the path, it then opens up to give you views across the Taw Estuary as you walk around it edges. The Coast Path sweeps its way around this marshy land perfect for wading birds and other wildlife, until you reach the outskirts of Barnstaple, you can choose to take the first bridge which is the A361 Taw bridge but this means you will miss out on Barnstaple , which is an historic town and the administrative centre of North Devon and is worth a visit to walk further up the path and cross the River Taw over Yeo Bridge and take the steps up to the signposted Long Bridge and visit The Museum of North Devon or Barnstaple Heritage Centre to learn more of this historic port. There are many shops, pubs, restaurants and accommodation to choose from in Barnstaple if you wish to stay here; there is also branch line links to the mainline railway system. However if we are continuing on our journey we will move on from Barnstaple from the Long Bridge, keeping to the right of the roundabout , the path then takes you alongside some factories, passed the roundabout to an underpass, taking you underneath the A361, once through the underpass take the left turn, the path is signposted to assist you.  Once away from the roundabout and busy main roads the path takes a land hand turn and re-joins the railway cuttings alongside the other side of the estuary, giving you a chance to watch for more birds in the marshy land to your right. The path starts to bear left round the marsh inlet and your walk takes you close to the estuary again, it is along here that you are reminded of the track you have been walking along when you come to Fremington Quay with its café which in its heyday was a busy railway station serving the port here which was known as the busiest between Bristol and Lands’ End. Stop for some refreshments or carry onwards across the old railway bridge and along the track way through Lower Yelland and The RSPB Nature reserve at Isley Marsh. Once at the far corner of the reserve you can either follow the main route around the coast and behind the old power station, then crossing the dunes to walk up the beach to the town of Instow, or alternatively continue on the old railway track which will take you into the heart of Instow, where you can finally stop for the evening and rest. Instow has beautifully preserved its former railway heritage with a Grade 2 listed signal box and level crossing which is well worth a visit while you are here.

 

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Day 7 - Instow to Westward Ho!

The majority of this stretch of the path follows the River Torridge estuary, the area is mainly enclosed by rolling green hills but it is interspersed by houses and a road, it is generally seen as an easy route as the path takes in more of the track way left by the now defunct rail system. There is of course the option to take the ferry across from Instow to Appledore between April and October.

Those of you who have chosen to walk will leave Instow from Marine Drive at the riverside in town to share the Tarka Trail and cycleway, walking along the front the Coast path continues to utilise the track way past the old signal box and level crossing along the track edged on one side with trees and hedges and the boatyard and estuary on the other. This is a particularly tranquil stretch of the path reminiscent of old English countryside, overhanging trees provide you with shelter as you walk. Further on the trees are less and this affords you a stunning view of the estuary to your right. The path here is tarmac and very easy walking, this is another good spot to sit and watch the wildfowl out on the estuary. Should you wish to there is the added option of jumping off the path as the road runs next to you , and there are buses which can take you on to Bideford should you need to.  Although this is such an easy part of the path, it should be a pleasure to walk along this flat terrain. Whatever time of year you are walking this part of the path provides colour to your journey with many of the hedges and flowers in bloom, whilst in the background there are the many fields with their crops on show.

As you are walking the estuary to your right starts to recede and the marshes take its place and the span of the main road bridge hoves into view, this is a bridge to walk under and onwards along the path until you reach the restored Bideford Train Station with its museum and visitors centre and the Old Bideford Bridge. Cross here and Bideford with its numerous shops, art galleries and Pannier market await you. With so many places to stop and eat you may be spoilt for choice.

Once having enjoyed Bideford’s treasures re-joining the path once again at the Bideford bridge walk along the main quay side, there is an opportunity to take a boat trip out to Lundy Island from here, should you so choose. If you wish to be on your way the route continues to follow the contour of the estuary and takes in a great deal of the suburbs of Bideford on its way, it is however very well signposted. Once again the main road bridge carrying the A39 across the estuary comes into view; once again the path travels underneath it. The path here is named Chircombe Lane and once under the bridge the path turns right into Lower Cleave and back out to the riverside.  Continue along the path until you come to a crossroads and then carry on straight ahead, here the path moves slightly inland through woodland and then reverting back towards the coastline. Continue along the pathway until you reach the road – Windmill Lane stay on this stretch of road for only a short time, as here you have a choice to either walk across the embankment which has been breached over the years, so is not safe to walk over at oncoming high tide, if you do find yourself there with the tide coming in, do please take the alternatively marked route up and around the breach, the path then takes another turn to the left and inland to avoid the ship yard. Follow the sign posts which clearly mark the paths route towards the junction with Wooda Road. Here you take a right turn onto the roadway and continue along following the road past industrial units here showing that the ship building industry in this part of the county is still working hard to keep the maritime tradition alive. The name of the road changes to Hubbastone Road and winds its way back towards the estuary on New Quay Street into Appledore, and onto Myrtle Street. Here the path takes you back onto the Quay and you find yourself along the front at Appledore, a town in which some of its buildings date back to the 16th century and can pride itself on having produced ships during the Napoleonic Wars, more information can be found in the Maritime Museum on Odun Road in the town. This may be a place you wish to stop and explore the little streets with its arts and crafts shops and numerous eateries, as you watch boats moving across the estuary and between the two rivers of the Taw and Torridge.

The Coast Path takes you through the streets of Appledore with many of the houses given names which give you some idea of their usage in years gone by, and around the outlying headland past the Old Customs House  The path begins to rise up the cliff, there is a temptation here to walk across the mudflats or The Skern as it is known, however if the weather is bad or the tide to high you can either walk along the cliff path or come back up onto the road and walk along Long Lane and then turn right at the crossroads , down Burrow Lane and re-join the path again as it turns to take you across the easy terrain of the Northam Burrows Country Park, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, here you will see horses and sheep grazing on the coastal grassland , thus giving the smaller plants an opportunity to grow rather than being overwhelmed by heather, grasses and gorse. As you walk around the coastline of the Park you will turn towards Westward Ho! and here you will see the sand dunes, which separate this part of the land from the harsh North Atlantic. The dunes are split into two types, the ones closer to the sea and the more fixed or permanent inland dunes, the ones inland house many important plants, which when in flower give the appearance of a carpet of colour. Once reaching the car park and toileting facilities at Sandymere, you can either walk along the road, the grassy verge or along the aptly named pebble ridge into the seaside town of Westward Ho! The only place name in the country with its own exclamation mark! In Westward Ho! there are copious places to stay, eat and explore before stopping to rest for the night. Transport Links here include regular bus services, both local and national.

 

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Day 8 - Westward Ho! to Clovelly

This stretch of the path can be split into two sections, the easier terrain upon leaving Westward Ho! and the more rugged and challenging path through the woods and valleys as you come nearer to Clovelly. There are very few places to stop for refreshments along this part of the path without having to divert inland, so stock up on a very hearty breakfast and buy supplies before you leave Westward Ho! This stretch of the Coast Path is 11.25 miles/ 18km long.

From Westward Ho! take the promenade along the seafront and pass the brightly coloured beach huts which during the summer are full of locals and holidaymakers.  The path is signposted here and there is the chance to stop for a toilet break before you continue on your way. The Coast Path curves around the grassy hill above you with stunning views across the sea and the sweeping landscape of the walk ahead of you. Again this is an old railway track which has been utilised by the path, so the terrain is easy going as it continues to rise as you make your way along the cliffs. The old railway path turns to head inland, but walkers of the Coast Path are signposted onwards along the cliffs, whilst walking here you will pass an old limekiln in one of the dips along the way, the path begins to rise up again to Green Cliff, here the path is surrounded by gorse bushes, which can be painful if you come into contact with them, though if they are in flower you are surrounded by bright and vivid colours as well as a plethora or native butterflies and bees. You will reach a stile; from here the path takes you down a steep slope to steps which take you down to a pebble beach at Babbacombe Mouth. Once across this the path then takes you up another set of steep steps to the top of Babbacombe Cliff, this is an opportunity to see what lies ahead of you as the coastline sweeps around to Hartland Point.

The path drops downhill and passes a pool which has been dammed, here the path is subject to some landslips and diversions will signpost you across the beach. Over the next hill and you arrive at Peppercombe, which was once site of an Iron Age hill fort, unfortunately there are very few remains to show its existence, some earthworks still remain further along the path as you walk down towards Bucks Mill, showing that the area still has remnants of its ancient past. Peppercombe is a chance for you to head inland to Horns Cross should you wish, Horns Cross boasts a pub and restaurant if you are in need of refreshments as well as bed and breakfast accommodation. If you are deciding to keep going onward to Clovelly turn right then left as signposted and climb up the steps, the path does seem to undulate here but you are travelling up hill to the edge of the woodland and into the fields. As you start to descend again through the woods, you reach steps which will lead into the village of Bucks Mills, don’t forget that this is where the earthworks are, and see if you can find them. Here you will find pretty white painted houses and little roads leading down to the beach,  but the path is signposted up and between the little houses and up into the ancient oaks of Keivells and Bucks Woods, these are owned by the National Trust and have several inland walks within them. The path here gives you some shelter and tranquillity as you walk, you can imagine yourself back in time as this is how much of the countryside would have been many hundreds of years ago.  Follow the signposts and you will find yourself walking around the perimeter of the woods and the fields adjacent to it. After a short while you will be directed back down into the woods and over a small footbridge, once on the other side the track broadens through beech trees rather than the previous oak, turn right and downhill again to find yourself crossing another bridge and begins to climb again reaching an inscribed stone bench. This part of the path is known as the Hobby Drive, built in the early 19th century by Sir James Hamlyn Williams as part of the Romantic Movement ( to favour nature rather than sciences) is 3 miles long and takes you on a zigzagging journey through dense woodlands with a few glimpses between the trees of the sea . The path is well signposted and takes you to the top of The High Street, Clovelly. Here the path takes a right hand turn and begins its steep descent into one of the prettiest villages in the country with places to stay eat and explore the intricacies of a village synonymous with fishing and a bit of smuggling and its famous donkeys.  If you are staying in Higher Clovelly it may be better to continue up the path to the visitors centre as Higher Clovelly is a little further inland, and tackle the steep streets of Clovelly in the morning or once rested.

 

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Day 9 - Clovelly to Hartland Quay

This walk appears to be short, however walker be warned, this is a very challenging stretch of the Coast Path as in some parts the path is very steep and narrow. It is along this section of the path that you see a dramatic change from the rolling hills and tranquil beaches of the previous walks to a more rough, rugged and barren area battered by the force of the Atlantic Ocean. The complete journey is only 10.5 miles/17km but as there is little accommodation or refreshment stops between Hartland and Bude it is better to stop over at Hartland, Stoke or the Quay and rest after your exertions.

From the top of Clovelly High Street, which is situated below the visitors centre at its meeting point with the Hobby Drive, walk up the road and take the right hand road up to the next junction, stay on this road and slightly further on the left hand side of the road you will find a black gate signposted for the Coast Path and Brownsham. Walk through this staying to the right and then walk through the gap in the wall, here you leave the track and follow the marked path down to your right. Keep walking until you reach the kissing gate, following the fence on your right hand side, the path here can get very tight and overgrown.  Continue through the remaining gates until you reach the junction, turn right and then right again at the next fork. You will have arrived at an exquisitely carved seat known as The Angels Wings; this beautiful work was carried out by a former butler of Clovelly Court in 1826. From here continue on the path watching for the signposts and keeping to the right hand side, avoiding any of the paths marked Private. The path zigzags down to a lower path and onto Mouth Mill, from here the Coast Path signs direct you across the stream, which can be fast flowing. The track takes you on further inland from the lime kiln ruins and turns right up a path through woodland out into a field with a National trust sign for Brownsham. Walk the edge of the field and then down once again into another heavily wooded valley and over another small footbridge. More zigzagging up the other side of the field brings you through more woodland and then along even more fields. Here you will find a plaque in memory of a Wellington Bomber which crashed into the cliffs nearby. The path here continues alongside the fields and crosses another wooded valley and another footbridge, the stiles by the fields mark the Coast Paths way. You are nearing the turning point on the path up at Shipload Bay, from here you can turn left and walk inland by following the grassy tracks into the National Trust owned property at East Titchberry , this is an 17th century farmhouse which has been lovingly restored and maintained or stride onwards on the right hand path and make your way high above Shipload Bay and pass on the seaward side of the large and imposing Hartland Point Radar, now used principally for air traffic control it was once in use for military purposes. It also marks a distinct change in the walk from woodland and quiet paths to the wild and tempestuous Atlantic coastline with a rough and rocky terrain ahead before you finally reach Hartland Quay.

The path follows a road down towards the Lighthouse, but then heads left around an old lookout post used by the coastguard. The views here are remote but stunning as you walk along the cliff line. You will pass the Glenart Castle memorial, the Glenart Castle was a ship which was sunk here by a U boat in 1918. Also take the time to look out into the sea for there are grey seals which breed in the nearby coves and live in the seas here, as well as many seabirds nesting on the cliffs below you. As soon as the path rises up and over the aptly named Upright Cliff you begin your descent again into the next valley where you cross a waterfall over the footbridge, there will be many photo opportunities for amazing pictures of cascading water on the North Coast as they are plentiful on  the path. Signposts direct you up out of this valley and into the next one which is behind Damehole Point, here the rock formations are spectacular as they make their way from the land out into the sea. Once again you will find yourself dropping from one valley to the next, each with own sights and sounds , with the odd lone house dotted into the green landscape , crossing an arched bridge  you climb uphill once again, but take the time to look back into the valley and see the superb waterfall here slipping onto the beach below. The path is marked along the way here and you will find yourself either descending into yet another valley to rise up the other side and onto the next one this one  taking further inland and onto the bridge across the Abbey River, named after the 12 century Abbey at Hartland situated upstream.

From here the path takes you back out towards the coast again and up to the next headland at Dyers Lookout and up to the ruined folly whose arch frames the church in the distance in nearby Stoke perfectly. The path now meets a road by the Old Rocket House, from here turn right downhill to Hartland Quay, take the time to turn around the way you have just walked and see the amazing cliff formations from another level and pat yourself on the back as it’s been a long and tiring walk, The Hartland Quay Hotel awaits you but there are alternative places to stay inland at Hartland approximately 2.5 miles/4km inland. There are no direct public transport links out to the Quay but the bus service which runs to Clovelly is available in Hartland. There are also bus services from Hartland to Clovelly.

 

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Day 10 - Hartland Quay to Bude

Whilst this may be one of the most dramatically beautiful stretches of the South West Coast Path and only 15.5 miles/ 25km, it is seen as one of the most strenuous ones. The Path climbs and drops steeply into and out of valleys making for difficult walking at times, but you will be rewarded by picturesque scenes of tumbling waterfalls, the glimpses of inaccessible beaches and the wild seas crashing against the cliffs and rock formations. With ten river valleys to cross you will spend most of your time either ascending or descending to traverse this stretch. There are little or no opportunities for refreshments along the part of the path, so it would be wise to stock up on provisions before starting on your way. There is a bus service from Morwenstow on to Bude, so should you need to cut the journey down at all here would be the place to do so.

Let's start today's walk from Hartland Quay Hotel, the path is signposted here up a set of steps and onwards up to St. Catherine’s Tor, which was once rumoured to be the site of a Roman chapel, many places in the country have pre-Christian sites worshipping the elements of nature which were built upon by the next set of settlers and this may be one such place. From here the path directs you across the field and begins to climb up the headland and then down again taking you onwards to the double-spouted waterfall at Speke’s Mill Mouth. Keeping to the east side of the stream and follow it up to the wooden footbridge and cross here. Signs will direct you inland and up the valley and along the top of the cliffs. The path here takes a right turn, the left track will take you further inland to the National Trust owned house and gardens at Docton Mill. However we are on our way to Bude and will carry on along the pathway upon the cliffs and passed assorted fields, the sea life here is worth looking for as many marine birds and creatures have made this area their home, alongside many beautiful plants living amongst the gorse which is scattered along the clifftops. Follow the path until you reach the signposted junction with the road at Sand Hole. Watching for traffic, join the road and continue onwards until you find the path leaving the road on the right hand side, the path runs along the cliffs again around Nabor Point , and then passing a sign for South Hole, another National Trust property. As you walk along you between Nabor Point and Knap Head you will see the remains of Embury Beacon, this was an Iron Age fort which due to cliff erosion was hurriedly excavated in the 1970’s. At Knap Head the path begins to descend gently but then becomes steep and zigzagging down the slope, in wet weather this needs to be done carefully. At Welcombe Mouth you reach a stream which can be crossed via the stepping stones.  After crossing the stream begin the climb up the slope, and cross the field at the top of the headland, the path drops down and past the hut of Ronald Duncan, poet and playwright, the hut is sometimes open and visitors can read of his works and life inside. From the hut there is also the wonderful view of Marsland Mouth, another of the waterfalls along the path. Continue down the steps on the slope, the view of an old mill will greet you as you look up the valley; the path leads you to the footbridge which spans Marsland Water. Here you are greeted by a sign welcoming you to Kernow, the Cornish name for Cornwall; you are crossing from Devon into the next county. As soon as you step into the new county you are faced with the next upward step on your journey as you climb the broad pathway up and around Marsland Cliff. At the top here you can look out to Gull Rock, from the inhabitants there you can see how it gained its name, it also worth looking at the rock formation itself, as the strata rise from the land. From this point you begin to descend down a series of steps, at the bottom you reach a footbridge and then another steep climb begins up to Cornakey Cliffs and along the top, from here you can see the devils hole, which is in fact a collapsed cliff cave where the natural erosion has caused the roof of the cave to fall in. The path as you walk moves to the right and down a grassy slope to cross another footbridge, this one overlooking Yeol Mouth. Once crossed you begin another steep climb upwards to Henna Cliff, where, for a short while the gradient is gentle. Unfortunately this doesn’t last for long and you are then on a downward slope full of gorse and heather, which when in bloom is magnificent and is awash with flying insects gathering nectar from the scented blooms. As before when reaching the bottom of the slope you will find a footbridge, once across climb the steps ahead and you will find yourself atop Vicarage Cliff, here as you walk alongside the fields you have a chance to visit Hawkers Hut, this place was built from driftwood by a parson named Hawker during his time at the parish of Morwenstow in the late 1800s,Hawker was seen by many as an eccentric personality, as he also rebuilt the vicarage in Morwenstow with chimneys which were shaped the same as the towers of his previous churches ! The village of Morwenstow is also signposted here, so should you wish to cut short this stretch of the path or stop for refreshments at the local inn, follow the signpost into the village.

If you have decided to continue onwards to your destination of Bude, ignore the signpost for the village and carry on the path zigzagging downwards through the gorse and onto the next footbridge before another steep climb awaits you up to Higher Sharpnose Point. Keep to the left away from the edge of the cliff and enjoy the gentler undulations of this part of the path. This is short-lived however and you once again begin another steep descent down the valley to a footbridge overlooking the beach at Stanbury Mouth. The path once again begins a steep ascent with the radar station to your left. Here the path is the signposted to the right and takes you out onto Steeple Point and then swings back inland and downwards to Duckpool, where during the season there is the option of stopping for refreshments and a toilet break.

From here the path crosses a footbridge and takes you upwards on a grassy slope towards the cliffs again, you cross the footbridge at Warren Gutter and continue to climb and drop down once again to the footbridge at Sandy Mouth, again there is a chance to stop for refreshments during the high season as there is a tearoom by the car park. The cliffs here are lower and so the next ascent is easier and gentler as you continue to cross a small bridge near to the cliff edge and onwards down to the pebbly beach at Northcott Mouth. As you walk this next part onto Crooklets Beach you may see the tumulus on your left, these are believed to be burial sites although no evidence has been found to suggest so, these tumulus are scattered across the countryside and without excavation they remain a mystery. Crooklets Beach offers more refreshments and accommodation although you are nearing your destination, cross the bridge at the beach by way of the beach huts and onward for the last part of the journey. Below you as you walk towards Bude you will see the swimming pool called Saturdays Pit cut into the rock below you, this is a perfect place for those of you with an interest in both fossil hunting and geology as the sandstone has captured fossils of those creatures of many hundreds of thousands of years before us. This is a site of scientific interest, so please don’t dig at the fossils or collect them, just take photos.

You are now in Bude with its many places to stay, eat and explore. For more information about Bude and its surrounds visit the Bude and Stratton Town Museum located on the Quayside.

 

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Day 11 - Bude to Boscastle

If you have watched the surfers and sat on the sandy beach at Summerleaze Beach and had an ice cream and are now ready for the next part of your onwards journey, collect together your belongings and prepare for walking along the grassy cliff tops, however this is not just a stroll as again you will be confronted by more steep ascents and descents into and out of valleys. This can be a remote stretch of the Coast Path lasting 16.75 miles/ 27 km, but you are rewarded by outstanding viewpoints along the way. Those with an interest in literature will note that this area has been well noted by Thomas Hardy in many of his verses and the beach between Cambeak and High Cliff (known as The Strangles) was where he and his first wife courted.

The Coast Path leaves Bude via the sea lock gates on the Bude canal. After crossing the lock, take a right turn and walk up the steps which are next to the lifeboat station. Turn right again and climb the next set of steps next to Efford Cottage. Another right turn will take you along to the tarmac path towards the coast, swing left up the grassy slope to reach the Storm Tower on Compass Point, the original tower was built in the 1830’s but was rebuilt once more in 1880 and is a copy of the Temple of the Winds in Athens. From here you can follow the grassy path along rolling landscape to Upton. The Coast Path here runs parallel to the road named Marine Drive to Phillip’s Point Nature Reserve, here is an opportunity to seal watch from the cliffs above the sea, so pack your binoculars. The ground cover here begins to change from grasses to gorse as you walk along passing the tumulus on Higher Longbeak and Lower Longbeak. Here you begin a gentle descent down towards Widemouth Bay, with its rock pools luring you down to explore the life held within during low tide. Here at the car park are toileting facilities and the chance to stop for food at one of the cafes. It is here that you can also catch a bus in the town which links back to Bude. The path is gently undulating here, rising and falling and then descends further using a flight of steps. here the path moves inland and through woodland and across a stream to a minor road at Wanson, turn right here and proceed along the road passing the Outdoor Adventure Centre and onwards to the car park on Penhalt Cliff. From the southern end of the car park the path continues along the cliff and leads to steps down the steep slope to Millook, this is a very popular place for geology students because of its folded rock formations, if possible it is worth walking down to the beach as they are best viewed from there, although they can be seen as you leave Millook by the roadway. The Coast Path is then signposted to take a right turn from the road and wends its way along a cutting made in the slope ahead of you; in bad weather this affords you a little shelter on the way. The path begins to descend slightly and journeys through an oak- wooded slope where you will find a National Trust sign for Dizzard. The path leaves the oak wood behind and continues through fields, taking you up and over Bynorth Cliff. Onwards from here you travel down the steps into another steep sided valley , where you will find a footbridge and further steps taking you back uphill, this is known as Butterfly Valley for its profusion of many species of butterfly, see how many you can spot as you walk. As the path starts its next descent it turns seaward at Cleave. Here the path turns left sharply and down once again into another valley with steps taking you up and out the other side. Here the path appears to take you out onto Pencannow Point , but watch out for the sign on the left which steers you down towards Crackington Haven, here you will find both accommodation should you wish to break your journey at this point and refreshments should you which to stop and replenish before heading on towards Boscastle. The bus service does also stop here so should you wish to stop your walk here you can either return to Bude or travel onto Boscastle.

For those who are set on making their way onwards to Boscastle, you leave Crackington haven and its little beach set in the wild cliffs, the route takes you through several steep and rugged slopes. You will find three footbridges which allow you to cross the valleys around Tremoutha Haven, if you are feeling refreshed and revived from a stop in Crackington haven you may wish to take the path out to Cambeak, although it is a gentler route to walk inland and re-join the cliff path a little further on. The path once again runs downhill to another footbridge and then begins its rise once more. The path takes you along the slopes up to High Cliff, so named as it is the highest of the cliffs in Cornwall, this is a steady ascent and the views are astounding. The descent is steep, so watch your feet, the local rabbits have been hard at work here and there are many burrows waiting to twist your ankles. As you drop down into the valley you see before you the steep slope and rough terrain of Rusey Cliff, before you reach there you are to cross another footbridge and then begin your climb upwards on the slope, look out for the goats and sheep which were introduced to keep the foliage down here, you will reach a few junctions but each of them is well marked keeping you on your way. Once again the path takes you uphill and down dale with stunning views of the cliff you have walked and the treacherous rocks and sandy coves below, here you will have a view of Gull Rock ( a popular name around the coast for spots where the gulls and other seabirds reside) and of the imposing cliff, Buckator. The path continues along the cliff line and contours around Beeny Cliff; this is a steep and stony part of the pathway. From here you are taken into another valley at Pentargon and its spectacular waterfall, whilst you may be tempted to stray from the path here to take pictures it is best not as the ground underfoot is very slippery.  In the near distance you will see the white mast up on Penally Hill and walk onwards towards it. Suddenly you are confronted with the harbour walls of Boscastle, walk alongside the narrow harbour, which was perfect for keeping the boats inside safe from the wild Atlantic storms. Unfortunately the residents of this beautiful village were confronted by the elements in 2004, not this time from the sea but from flash flooding from inland. Many of the shops and restaurants pay testimony to the rescue services that saved them. There is also the chance here to visit the world famous Museum of Witchcraft and learn of the ancient ways of wild Cornwall. There are many places to eat here, with many local arts and craft galleries. There are also regular buses running from here back to Bude and onto Tintagel.

 

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Day 12 - Boscastle to Port Isaac

This appears to be one of the more popular stretches of the path with both visitors and locals and can be busy in the high season, apart from its rugged beauty and outstanding views it may be because you are travelling into the home of mythical and mystical Cornwall, home of the Arthurian Legends with Tintagel at its centre. Many people choose to stop over at Tintagel and explore the whole area during a day or two, St Necterns Glen and the Kieve with its enchanting waterfall is worth a visit just to take photographs, and of course a trip around the mystical arts, museum and gift shops to take home souvenirs, not forgetting ‘The Castle’. With that in mind decide whether you wish to walk the short but rugged 4.6 miles/7.4km or whether you wish to push onwards the extra 9.1 miles/ 14.7 km to the picturesque fishing town of Port Isaac.

You leave Boscastle from the newly built stone bridge between the road and the harbour, and climbs upwards towards the whitewashed watchtower, once home to the Local Customs and Excise, watching for what may come ashore along the coast. The path itself cuts across the headland, but it is well worth jumping off the path to get some amazing views of the birds and perhaps some seals. At this point in the path you are walking in the footprints of the ancient people of this land, the tumuli here date back to the Bronze Age. Once again the path takes you down steps and across a footbridge at the bottom, then begin your ascent up the track, after a short while a signposts points you to the right, turn and take a look at the breath taking views along the wild and rugged coastline, here on the right is the Ladies Window, a rock archway which frames your vista. The path undulates here as it drops you down the steps into Rocky Valley, with its prehistoric spiral carvings on the cliff wall, the magnificent St Nectans Glen and the Kieve with its magical looking waterfall, these are not seen on the Coast Path but are on another path which leads up the valley to a bus stop on the coast road. If you feel like a detour to see them, look for the signpost back to the road. As with all the valleys you have travelled on this journey once you are down you cross over the footbridge and up the steps the other side up onto Bossingey Cliffs and its terraced fields, trackways leading up the cliffs are from the seaweed being dragged from the beach to fertilise the fields by farmers, a practise which has been repeated for hundreds of years. You do have the choice here to cut off the walk around the headland or make directly across it. Here you see the hotel, walk on further and you can see the ancient ruins of Tintagel Castle on Tintagel Head, there are several ways to walk into Tintagel itself from here either via the roadway or across the signposted trackways. The path drops you down into Castle Cove, walk up from the café and head to the right along a well-worn pathway to the upper entrance of the Castle.

Tintagel and the local area have numerous accommodation to choose from, whether you wish for a hostel, bed and breakfast or hotel, with plenty of places to eat as well as pubs and inns to stop for a drink. Shops and art galleries are plentiful as well as gift shops. The island is open to the public but be warned it can be exhilarating when walking over in wet and windy weather!  Buses run a regular service between Boscastle and onwards to Port Isaac and Newquay. There are very few places to stop for food as you travel onto Port Isaac after Trebarwith Strand so stock up before you leave Tintagel.

Once you have tried all Tintagel has to offer and are ready to continue on your way the path travels alongside a strong Cornish wall , as you look back you can see more of the views of the whole of Tintagel Head and along to St Materiana’s Church. This tiny church is worth popping into for its peace and tranquillity, a room at the back is open as a place of meditation and contemplation. From the church the path is well marked and continues on passing the youth hostel and Glebe Cliff and Penhallic Point. Here you will see evidence of the slate quarrying which has been carried out in this area for at least 500 years. Nothing was wasted as you can see by the walls, lain in a crisscross ‘curzyway’ Cornish fashion. The path then drops down towards Trebarwith Strand, here you will find a restaurant and accommodation as well as toileting facilities, the nearest village is slightly further inland at Treknow which can be accessed from the road leading away inland from the strand. The path climbs steeply up to the right of the restaurant via steps taking you onto the cliffs. Cross the field taking in the headland at Dennis Point, and then start your zigzagging descent into the valley, here you will cross both wooden and stone built bridges , and start the upward walk out of the valley and then onto Backways Cove. Here the path is not too strenuous and you walk along the gorse and grassland, here is a sign for the National Trust sign for Treligga Cliffs. Unfortunately your roller-coaster journey of ups and downs are to start again , with a descent inland and into the next valley, crossing a footbridge made of large slabs of stone. On the right here is access to Tregardock Beach on the right hand side. This is a secluded little cove with superb rock formations and cliff strata which are best seen from the beach itself, tides permitting of course.

Follow the path up onto the cliffs, along the way is a sign for Dannonchapel placed by the National Trust; the site is now a ruin but was once a chapel which gave this part of the path its name. As you walk this cliff top area the view seems to stretch onwards for miles in both directions showing you the natural splendour of the coastline. Unfortunately the next part of the journey is the toughest part of the day. The path becomes steep and very stony as it leads down from the ridge of Jackets’ Point towards the sea, turning left across the footbridge and another waterfall making its way to the Atlantic Ocean. Again another steep climb awaits you up onto the cliff and around the field, once again dipping down into the next valley, although thankfully this one is neither deep nor steep and has no footbridge ! Take this easy climb and head through the fields before dropping into the next valley and cross the stream you find there.  Up the grassy slope ahead of you and above the strangely named Barrett’s Zawn and Ranie Point, here on the cliffs is a chance for some bird watching as peregrine falcons are regularly spotted here amongst the seabird such as kittiwakes and guillemots who make the cliff their home, your next descent begins down through the path edged with gorse, there is no bridge and the stream is easily crossed as you carry on up the hill, and winds its way across Bounds Cliff. The fields here are bound, their boundaries being marked by Cornish hedges and you have to cross the stone stiles to get from one field into the next. A slope through the gorse leads you into the next valley with its obligatory footbridge and continuing slope. The path is then signposted along the fields again, here the path runs very close to the cliffs and finally reaches the road near the hotel at Port Gaverne, the path is signposted to the left of the hotel and misses out a small headland via a pathway and a narrow road towards the inn. From here follow the road uphill from the beach to reach the top of Port Isaac, it may be recognisable as Port Wenn for those who have watched the TV programme Doc Martin, which is filmed here. The narrow road leads down into the village. It is a perfect image of a Cornish fishing village nestled into the natural shelter the cliffs give it. Time to find your accommodation, soak your feet or soothe your achy limbs in a bathtub, eat and then rest ready for tomorrow’s next adventure.

 

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Day 13 - Port Isaac to Padstow

This stretch has a smattering of everything along its 11.75 / 19 km – the rollercoaster element you have been used to in the days behind you, swapping the ups and downs for the ins and outs as you walk out onto amazing headlands with extensive and panoramic views then back inland, as you near the end of this stretch of the path it then becomes tamer and less rugged as it reaches the estuary at the mouth of the River Camel. There is the opportunity to stop at Polzeath before journeying onwards to Padstow. Please check the ferry times from Rock to Padstow or you may find yourself having to travel further up to Wadebridge to get round to the other side to reach Padstow.

The narrow Fore Street leads you up to the start of the Coast Path here, and is signposted to the right of the Hathaway B&B where a flight of granite steps await you. Once at the top the path takes you around the edge of the field at Lobber Point, where a last peep at the little of Port Isaac can be stolen, then begins to drop gently into a valley, crossing the bridge at Pine Haven and rising again via more steps. You are now at Varley Head and have the option to walk out to the headland or to carry on along the path, once you have had your detour and are back on the path you then begin steps of steps leading you down then up then down again before a climb up to Kellan Head. If the tide is right you can see the rocks just off the coastline suitably named Cow and Calf. Turn from the headland back inland and see before you the once thriving fishing village of Port Quin, a natural harbour which supported many generations, until it is said that the men of the village disappeared, presumably at sea, and the women had to move away. It is still called ‘the village that died’ by locals. There is very little in Port Quin now apart from the houses, should you require food and drink there is a sign for a hotel further inland. From the slip way in the village follow the small road uphill, keeping a lookout for the stone stile to your right. The path heads out to the cliffs but veers inland passing a 19th century folly named Doyden Castle which is now used as a holiday home, and is owned by the National Trust.  The landscape here shows how the land has been utilised over the centuries as you then pass the disused mine shafts and follows the path uphill to Trevan Head. You begin to drop downhill and find yourself crossing the stream and then begin and up and down undulations as the path falls and rises, here you may see the arched holed rock which has been pounded and shaped by the tides.  At the next junction you reach stay to the right and start your walk up Carnweather Point. The path changes from grass to gorse as you walk, dropping and rising again as you first reach Com Head and then again as you make your way out towards Rumps Point, there are many beautiful pictures to be captured here, firstly of the stunning coastline but also of the Iron Age fort sited here, previous excavations have uncovered the fact that the head had circular houses behind its stone ramparts, shards of pottery have found which link it to The Lizard down on the other coast line. The path actually turns inland just before the Point itself, but the detour is certainly worth it. So , having jumped back onto the path we continue a gradual climb to Pentire Point and from here you see before you Padstow bay and the mouth of the River Camel, this is also a place of interest for those interested in geology , as below you the rocks below you are pillow lava, evidence of volcanic activity. The path then begins its descent and as you walk the gorse lined path takes you inland around both a rocky inlet and the sandy bay of Pentireglaze Haven, and into New Polzeath. The path arrives at Baby Beach Lane, and you can of course go into the houses and cut through the roadways, but you will miss out on the view back from where you have been walking and a chance to walk along the beach front round into Polzeath. Here you can stop for refreshments and if needed, due to ferry timings over to Padstow from Rock catch the bus which will take you round the river to Padstow via Wadebridge.

The Coast Path leaves Polzeath from the main beach front, walk up the road, pass the car park to your right and further along on the right is the sign post for the path, here the path is level and grassy here as you walk along the aptly named Greenway to Trebetherick Point, just offshore is the Doom Bar, a treacherous sandbank responsible for the grounding of many boats who try to negotiate it.  Legend has it that the bar is the result of a curse made by a dying mermaid who had been shot by one of the local men. It is also paid homage to by a Cornish brewery in their bitter, try one whilst you are here. Here you can choose to walk across the bay if the tide is low, you do have to cross a stream here , so if the tide is coming in please use the path further inland as signposted. Along this stretch you will see a sign on your left for a detour to see St Enodocs Church, the burial site of Sir John Betjeman, the late Poet Laureate. This does you away from the path, so if you decide against visiting continue along the signposted Coast Path and up the slopes of Brea Hill , strangely named, as Brea in Cornish translates as hill, so this is Hill Hill, it is a site of ancient tumuli , so perhaps there is more meaning in the name than just repetition.  The path gives way to dunes as you walk towards the car park at Rock Quarry, from here you walk to the ferry to ride over to Padstow, alternatively the bus can be caught from further along Rock Road. Either way you choose to travel you will arrive in Padstow. This historical fishing port is bustling with shops, art galleries, pubs and many places to eat, with many of them being owned by world famous chef, Rick Stein. Sir Walter Raleigh was one of its more famous dignitaries, having been the Warden of Cornwall whilst residing in the Court House here. St Petrocs Church here in Padstow is another spot worthy of visiting, named after the Saint who supposedly converted the Cornish king to Christianity, the carvings and interior of this church are exquisite. The church has been rebuilt numerous times since Petroc built the first in the 6th century.  Padstow is also the start/end point for the walk coast to coast to Fowey named the Saints Way. Another way to explore the Moors and inland Cornwall.

Padstow is a hub for travelling to many other areas in Cornwall with bus links to Wadebridge and to both Bodmin and Bodmin Parkway, allowing access to the mainline rail network.

 

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Day 14 - Padstow to Porthcothan

Having spent time exploring the streets and treats of Padstow the Coast Path beckons you onto your next destination at Porthcothan. The walk is an easy one at 13.25 miles / 22 km, and there are the chances to stop off for refreshments along the way at both Trevone and Harlyn Bay or farther on in the journey at Trevone. The path along parts of this stretch can be rocky and narrow in some places. Alternatively stock up on goodies in Padstow and have a picnic on one of the sandy beaches, if you can choose one from the many. Trevose Head gives you far reaching views of the sandy beaches so perhaps pick one before you get there. Constantine Bay is a favourite for many as you can watch the surfers take advantage of the waves.

The path here starts from the Tourist office on the Parade by the Quayside taking you past the Ferry on your right, and up onto the low cliffs to the war memorial, there are several little pathways along here leading to the beach, stay on the clear path ahead of you and make your way along to the bend and St Georges Well and along the coastline passing Gun Point, so named for its fortifications against the Armada.  You can walk along the beach, but the path actually moves further inland taking in marshy wetlands across a boardwalk. Once again you walk back towards the cliffs and refreshments at Hawkers Cove in the tea garden which is open during the high season. The path takes you out onto the clifftops at Stepper Point and the Daymark Tower; on a clear day here it is possible to look inland over Bodmin Moor and its distant tors. Rounding this outcrop and turning back inland again you pass Pepper Hole to your right. The path here is gorse and scrub, but when in bloom are home to hosts of butterflies. The path along here gives you excellent views of the sea and coastline along Gunver Head and into Trevone Bay car park. Trevone is a chance to stop for a toilet break and a drink in the pub or one of its cafes.

From Trevone the path leaves the main beach area and travels up Trevone Road bearing right onto the cliff round Newtrain Bay and down the steps in Harlyn Bay, if you didn’t stop in Trevone, Harlyn Bay gives you another chance for refreshments and a toilet stop. Leaving here you will notice the signs send you across the beach, When the beach can be traversed and choose whether to take the path up the low cliff before the house at the end, or come up using the slipway at the house. A gentle slope takes you onto Cataclews Point, passing tumuli and Mother Iveys cottage along the way. Climbing up hill, you catch sight of the lifeboat station which is open to visitors if you wish to walk to it, but the coast path takes you inland away through fields on its way up the headland out to the lighthouse at Trevose Head. Crossing the access road and follow the sandy pathway downhill passing another crater named Round Hole on your way down to the sandy beach at Boobys Bay, carrying on from here steps lead down to the larger Constantine Bay beach. At the end of the beach there you will find a refreshment stop off point. Beyond the dunes the path rounds Treyarnon Head to cross Treyarnon Bay with more refreshment points. Onwards passing the youth hostel and the café the path drops down to the head of the beach. Here you cross the stream, and climb inland behind the cottage, the terrain is easy going here as you pass along a few headlands and little coves with names such as Pepper, Warren and Fox, this walk also passes you by more ancient settlements and tumuli on your left hand side. The Coast path then takes a left hand turn revealing Porthcothan Bay, the path then directs you down to the road into Porthcothan.

 

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Day 15 - Porthcothan to Newquay

Whilst most of this stretch of the Coast Path is seen as easy to traverse there are some steep and narrow sections to negotiate even though this is a relatively short walk at 11.25 miles/ 18 km . You encounter little headlands and coves along the way, and the imposing rocky stacks rising from the beach below. Some of this part of the path can be busy as the hotels on the way are very well known and offer good accommodation as well as excellent refreshments. This itinerary will take you to the harbour at Newquay, which after subdued days walking can comes as a barrage to the senses with its noise and crowds. It is however home to many of the North Coast’s most well-known beaches for surfers, water sports lovers and tourists. Don’t be put off by this, as the town has many differing levels of accommodation, restaurants and entertainment, even those in search of tranquillity.

The Coast Path leaves Porthcothan by the local shop near to the beach, keeps to the left and walks between the houses and the cliff, turning away from the picturesque little bay and rounds the headland with stunning views of the Trescore Islands jutting up from the sea. You walk down into the head of a narrow sea inlet, crossing a footbridge here at Porth Mear. Along this part of the part are a series of coves and headlands , please keep to the inland side of the white posts and heed the warning signs asking walkers not to stray too close to the cliff edges. Here from the cliff tops you can see the stacks scattered across the beaches reaching skyward. With many names of them you can find out more about these geological giants at the National Trust Carnewas property close by, at the same time you stop off at the hotel here named The Bedruthan steps after the rocky outposts which litter the beach. The path here is paved as it is a popular walking spot for visitors and locals and can be busy. Although there is a bus service here which can you move onward to Newquay. Check local bus timetables for regularity.

The path gets a little quieter this side of the steps and becomes lined with gorse and heather as you walk along to Trenance Point passing below Trenance itself. Once you reach the beach you can walk across it, but at high tide when you can cross the bridge into Mawgan Porth, there are numerous facilities here for you to enjoy. Buses run through here from Padstow onward to Newquay.

From Mawgan Porth walk up the road from the beachfront and the Coast Path is signposted on your right, directing you up Berryl’s Point and down around the rocky Beacon Cove. Crossing the footbridge takes you out towards Griffins Point with its Iron Age fortification, inland in the opposite direction you have a view of Newquay Airport, to contrast the ancient site on which you are standing.  Here fences move you back inland due to landslips but the path undulates up and down across the windswept cliff top with Watergate Bay below you, with its surfers riding in on the waves. The path descends down to the road by the large hotel, which is a great place to stop off and watch the world going by as you sit and replenish yourself at one of the cafes here. If you wish to not stop and get on your way the road takes you through the bay and out the other side by the car park on the right rising back up onto the cliffs. The walk across the cliffs, then runs around the fields and parallel to the B3276 Watergate Road, on the way passing Trevelgue Head, a tiny island with a footbridge to the mainland and an Iron Age hill fort. The path then veers back to the roadway at Porth beach and you begin to walk into the suburbs of Newquay , with the choice of walking along the beaches here, although if the tide is in, follow the road and the steps to the left to pass underneath the main road and then follow the tarmac path uphill. Cross the headland and you find yourself at Lusty Glaze beach with its amazing caves. All the places along here have accommodation and with several hotels, the chance to stop for a while. The path follows the Lusty Glaze Road around a large bend and then is signposted on the right cutting across the cliffs and away from the road. The path can be followed all the way down into Newquay, taking the route down past the railway station, taking the old tramway road to your right. You will reach an overbridge; from here climb the steps on the right onto Trebarwith Crescent. Turn left here, the right into Island Crescent following the road and then turning right onto the footpath above Towan Beach. Once you reach the corner here you walk down the steps to your right. From the car park you cross Beach Road following the path ahead. On reaching the end of the road follow the steps on your left, passing the bowling green to Fore Street. Turn right here at the Red Lion public house and then right again, arriving at the harbour at North Quay Hill.

Newquay has far too many amenities and activities to be able to list them all, but it does have a branch line railway station which links it to main line services and is a hub for bus routes on to other towns.

 

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Day 16 - Newquay to Perranporth

This path takes you away from the hustle and bustle of the busy town of Newquay onto differing aspects of the Coast Path. You experience wide sandy beaches along with high exposed cliffs and secluded coves and sandy bays as well sand dunes and caves worth exploring at Holywell Bay if the tide is right. The method of crossing The Gannel over to Crantock has many options listed below. The opportunity to stop for food comes at Pentire, West Pentire or inland slightly at Holywell. The path can be split into half day walks from Newquay to Holywell Bay – 6.3 miles / 10.2 km, and then onto Perranporth – an additional 4.5 miles/ 7.3 km , or can be taken on in one whole day, though a check on ferries at Crantock is advised beforehand. This is seen a challenging part of the path due to the differing terrains.

From Newquay the Coast Path leads from the harbour up to the old huer’s hut, a place of shelter for those whose job it was to watch for the shoals of fish offshore and direct the local fisherman to them. It may previously have been a hermitage for those to tend a beacon fire. Passing this ruin, the path leads up to the outcrop of Towans Head and its kittiwake colony. The path does not lead out to the observation post there, but for staggering views of the coastline along with bird and sea life it should be visited. Once back on the path and around the headland you walk past the hotel and down to Fistral Beach, known around the world for its surfing competitions. If the tide is out walk across the beach or if it is high tide take the path inland and across the dunes. At the end of the beach you reach Esplanade Road, follow this along rather than the path closer to the cliffs. You can of course walk out to the fort remains at West Pentire Point to your right and then return back to the car park here to rejoin the road again. Continue along the road as it turns left in Riverside Crescent, here choices present themselves to you about how best to cross The Gannel in front of you, the choices are as follows :-

    1.  Follow the road along to the Fern Pit café and use the ferry if the tide is in. This is a seasonal service and runs from May to mid Sept, please check for further details by calling 01637 873181. This route deducts 2 miles/ 3 km from your walk if you are keeping a mileage total.

     2. Continue on past the café mentioned above and bear right into Riverside Avenue, do not take the pathways on the right. You reach the junction with Pentire Crescent, turn right here and continue along the road until the next junction, turn right again and you are now on Penmere Drive. Take the first turning on your right and then the second right down a signposted footpath by some grassland, the path leads down to a tidal footbridge here. The footbridge is usable approximately three to four hours either side of low water. Please check your tide timetable for safe crossings. This crossing is the official route and neither adds or deducts from you mileage total.

    3.  Adding 3 miles/4.8km to your mileage you can take the Trenance footbridge route. Follow the same route as option 2 above but do not cross the footbridge instead turn left and walk along the shore up to Trevean Way, at the junction here, turn right and walk along the street until you appear to run out of road, the path leads around the end house to the right and brings you out onto Tregunnel Hill, turn right and continue along Gannel Road until you reach the main A392 Gannel Road and turn right again. This is a very busy road and leads to a large roundabout, before this is reached there is a signpost and footbridge, cross here and walk ahead, follow the bridleway along to Trevemper. Before the tarmac is reached there’s a signpost and footpath to Treringey, this will take you out to the other side of the tidal footbridge from Penpol.

   4.  The final option is that rather than cross the footbridge in option 3 carry on to the junction with the main road and turn right staying on the right hand side and following the A392 Trevemper Road across the roundabout. Onwards to the next roundabout and turn right and turn right again at the unsigned lane on the right. This lane leads to Trevemper, walk forward and to your right as the lane goes left. You then reach a gate; from here you turn left and find yourself on the same route as option 3 walking through Treringey arriving at the tidal footbridge. This will add an additional 4.5 mile/ 7.2 km to your journey.

If you chose options 2, 3, or 4 they all meet at the same place at Penpol footbridge crossing so we will continue from there. Follow the lane, the sign to your right leads the path to the estuary and on past the ferry where we are joined by those who chose option 1.  The path here narrows in some places but takes you along to Crantock beach car park, the village of Crantock is further inland.  Continue your way over the grassy dunes; keep to the well-worn track further up the dunes as this is easier to traverse than trying to walk in the little mazes of trackways amongst the sand across to a path which runs between the fields and the cliff edge at Crantock Beach. Cross the beach access road and stay to the seaward side of the hotel. The path leads all the way out the end of Pentire Point West, for a photo opportunity of the estuary behind you.  A gentle descent takes you to the top of the sandy and secluded Porth Joke. Here you cross a footbridge, and begin climbing up to the ancient settlement at Kelsey Head. From here the Coast Path gently drops to the dunes above Holywell Bay and its expansive beach , and astounding caves which are located at this end of the beach you can only reach them at low tide, including the holy well cave which gives the beach and local area its name. Rock formations in the cave give it a pink and white iridescent hue and the well and its waters cascade in to numerous smaller pools beneath it. Looking at how difficult it is to get up to the well head it is  very surprising that there are tales of its curative properties from the many less abled who have managed to reach it, it can be something of a feat due to the slipperiness of the rock face.

 There is also the lagoon/grotto cave which can only be reached and admired at the lowest of waters , and then still be prepared to get wet if the sand at the entrance has shifted leaving a pool of deep water barring your way. This is a cave of many colours, if you get the chance to get in here please do, but check tide times as the beach is long and you need to be able to reach the dunes should you need shelter. The dune path takes you to the tidal river close to Holywell, where just further inland you can acquire refreshments if needed after your sandy exploits. From here you can also catch the bus onto Perranporth if needed.

From the footbridge make your way to the red sign for Penhale Army Training Area, please read this notice carefully. Stick to the route as marked, and do not take any short cuts. If the red flags are flying please wait until advised by the sentry that it is safe to walk. This part of the walk passes around the Penhale Headland and Penhale camp and above Hoblyns Cove with its sheer cliff side, the path is fenced here for safety reasons. The path does veer out onto Ligger Point with its views along the length of Perran Beach. The path is signposted to Perran Beach but before you reach it see if you can see the arched rock to the right with its own pool. Perran Beach can be crossed depending what the tide is doing, if the tide is high use the crossing over the steep slope above the beach, across the sand dunes or walk across the sand into Perranporth.

 

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Day 17 - Perranporth to Portreath

From the hustle and bustle of Perranporth this stretch of the Coast Path takes you up onto rugged clifftops which are scattered with the rich mining heritage of the county of Cornwall. Ruined engine houses, dramatic chimney stacks and disused mines and their shafts are in evidence as you walk here amongst the gorse and heather which threatened to overwhelm the now un-needed buildings as nature begins to reclaim the once busy and thriving mining landscape. The walk on this day is only 12.5 miles/ 20 km but can be tiring due to the terrain; there are points on the walk to stop off for refreshments at both St Agnes and Porthtowan.

Leaving behind the frenetic holiday town of Perranporth via the main car park you walk up the hill at Cliff Road behind the buildings on the beach. This takes the route up and past the Sundial to your right known as the Millennium sundial; it is set to Cornish time which apparently is 20 minutes behind GMT.  The sundial itself is situated on the site of the old Droskyn mine which overlooked the beach. Continuing up the road towards the imposing looking building of Droskyn castle in front of you the roadway bears round to the left into Tregundy Lane. Follow this roadway until you reach the gate and sign for the youth hostel, the Coast Path is marked to your left and up the heather covered slope up onto the cliffs above Droskyn Point. Note that from the youth hostel you can join the path up here as a trail runs between the hostel and the path. From here you see the remnants of the mining industry which once made a Cornwall a key player on the world’s mineral stage. Now longer operational the engine houses and stacks are home to many native wildlife species, so binoculars at the ready along this stretch.  The path here walks along the cliff edge through heather and gorse .Whilst it is best not to stray too far from the path and watch for marker posts along here due to the shafts which are hidden by lush undergrowth, there are still opportunities to walk out to headlands via well-worn trackways. Cligga Head is one such place, and some fantastic views are to be seen from it once you have climbed through the gap in the wall. Below you is Hanover Cove, named after the ship of the same name wrecked here in the 1760’s, many finds have been recovered from the wreck, but it is believed there is a higher percentage of spoils still beneath the waves.  Passing Cligga Head you get a better view of the Perranporth Aerodrome to your left.

The path has been quite flat until now, once passing a set of concrete bunkers; you begin a descent into the pretty valley of Trevellas Coombe.  Head inland between the road and the river unto you reach a junction, turn right and follow this little road around the bend, here a dilemma awaits you, should you take the next turning on the left and go to Blue Hills Tins Stream for a history and demonstration of the tin mining process, and also stop for toileting and a refreshment break? Or, should I take the path to the right and carry on my way? Once the decision has been made and you are either carrying on or returning to this point, the Coast Path takes you steeply upwards and around the coastline, dropping down into Trenaunce Cove to the road and straight into the village with all its amenities. The Coast Path makes a left turn as you reach the left turn onto Rocky Road to head out of town again, but you wish to continue along Quay Road to explore the old harbour side which once a thriving little port was destroyed by storms, or wish to stop to eat. There is a bus service through the town running between Newquay and Perranporth and onwards on to Hayle and St Ives. Once on Rocky Lane continue along the roadway, there are no pavements here so beware of oncoming traffic. The Coast Path is signposted to your right between two houses and becomes gravelly underfoot.  The path climbs steeply out of the valley with the large main car park to your right and meets with another road giving you an overview of the cove, turning left onwards passing in front of the cottages by the cliffs as you reach Trevaunance Point. Here signs direct you to the steps above the Point and follow the path through the gorse and heather. Along the way you will pass signs for Newdown Head, owned by the National Trust. A nice flat terrain takes you along to St Agnes Head alongside a stone wall. St Agnes Head is a bird watchers dream with guillemots on the cliffs below you and razorbills and kittiwakes soaring above you, you also catch sight of larger flying objects as the area is a favourite hang glider hang-out. The option here is to take one of the little paths leading inland to St Agnes  Beacon, as its name suggests it is a high point seen from miles around , making it a point in the 16th century for the beacon to be lit when the Armada advanced upon our shores. Here at the head, the path drops down to the engine house nestling in the slope here at Towanroath, majestic brick and stone, ruined testimony to the industry they represent.  Rounding the building the path continues around the slope, keep a watchful eye for the markers along here as little trails crisscross the actual path as it descends into Porth Cove. Here is the chance to stop for toileting and refreshments in the seasonal café and to stand on the sandy beach and admire the views. From Porth Cove head inland by the stream, taking a right hand turn up onto the cliffs, there are other tracks leading out closer to the village but many are marked as dangerous and are best avoided. The path then follows the coastline out to the edge of the cove here, as you look back on your journey you see chimneys and engine houses dotted against the dramatic landscape of the cliffs and sea crashing at the rocks below, a contrast of man and nature.  The path takes you along the cliffs passing fields on one side and then down to the end of Beach Road in Porthtowan. This village has places to eat and stock up on supplies, Porthtowan does also have accommodation should you be thinking of breaking you journey here. There are also bus services to Newquay and Perranporth and onwards to St Ives. Walk along Beach Road and turn sharp right, heading up West Beach Road. The road takes you up to small car park with a sign advising vehicles to go no further, the path is the large trackway before you rather than some of the smaller pathways.  Follow the track with the view of the chimney ahead of you, the path runs around to its left. Do not stray the other side of the fencing here at Nancekuke  Common, there is a sign telling you that the path crosses  land owned by the Ministry of Defence and warning of the cliffs, disused shafts and mines - please pay heed to the warnings. Walk alongside the fence, then drops down the cliff line into a dip and then begins its ascent again. Several more dips are negotiated and the path parts company with the MOD land and the path bears left to join the road at Lighthouse Hill and leading down into Portreath around the lighthouse and continuing on into The Square. Portreath has many places to stay, eat and explore, once a main port in the area for the shipping of copper, now a haven for its beach and its stunning inland walks. Portreath links buses along the coastline and also inland to Redruth and Camborne to connect with mainline train services.

 

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Day 18 - Portreath to St Ives

This walk can be split in two days by walking from Portreath onto Hayle and then the next onwards to St Ives but at approximately 18 miles/ 29 km it is not impossible to do in one day. The terrain leaving Portreath can be steep in both ascents and descents but does level out further along. You can of course catch the coast train from Hayle or Lelant Saltings and watch the coast move by at a faster pace and is certainly an option in bad weather. But you would miss the chances of all the stunning scenery and wildlife along the way.

Leaving from the Square in Porth the path follows the road to the right hand turn into Battery Hill. Continue up the hill between the houses and garages to the end of the road, here you can either take the right fork on the track out to Western Hill for views of the coastline, or take the steps up to the clifftops either way you cross the headland and the paths meet up again close to Ralphs Cupboard, a notorious smugglers storage cove. Here the path begins a rollercoaster of descents and ascents with the help of steps in and out of two valleys. Level ground is found once again as you walk across Reskajeage Downs, passing through little gorse surrounded car parks on the way.  For a brief time the Coast path joins the B3301 but then turns to the right onto the cliffs again at the ominously sounding Deadman's Cove and round to Hells Mouth, with its sheer drop into the sea below.  With the café just further in from the path it gives you a chance to have refreshments and look at the array of colours of the gorse and heather if in bloom and prepare yourself for the next leg of your journey. The Coast path is signposted along back up onto the cliffs, through a car park and then onwards to a road, turn right here onto the Knavocks, ponies have been brought in to keep down the scrub which can overgrow the wildlife rich habitat here. Head out to Navax Point from here and see if you can see the seals at play in the seas below you as you follow the curve of the cliffs taking you downhill. In front of you is the Godrevy Lighthouse and Island , follow the path to the car park , you can use the roadway to access the toilets or just cut between the two bits of the roadway using the path. You rejoin the road and then travel alongside it around into the cove. You could stop at the café at the car park. A Boardwalk and steps carry you over the Red River, given its name as it once carried the residue and by product of red iron oxide from the tin mines higher up in the valley to the sea. Once across, turn left and cross another foot bridge then to the right down to the beach.  Cross the shingle bank via the path, climb the steps and turn right. The path broadens and runs between the cabin and the toilets. There are some places to stop and eat here and the village of Gwithian is inland and easily accessible with bus links to St Ives if needed.

Here the path gives way to a maze of little track s and pathways as you cross the dunes here at The Towans, the Coast Path is signposted by markers, alternatively of the tide is right you can of course walk the long expanse of sandy beach. From Gwithian Towans you walk through Upton Towans passing holiday parks along the way as you reach Phillack Towans. If you have taken the dune path you will see it draws nearer to the beach, then travels back up into the dunes before turning seawards again as you reach a holiday park. The Coast Path cuts across the beach access road and continues around the cliff side passing houses and chalets. The coast path follows the estuary into Hayle alongside the old harbour side which is being redeveloped at North Quay. Cross the old swing bridge on your right, at its end turn right again at the road named Penpol Terrace onwards to the railway viaduct, bringing you into the centre of Hayle.

Hayle has many places to stay, with restaurants and pubs and local shops, from here you can catch a bus to St Ives or Penzance, with train links also. There is the very scenic railway to Lelant and St Ives.

However if you have decided to make St Ives your goal today , we shall continue onwards after crossing the bridge by the viaduct turn right onto the B3301 Carnsew Rd and  follow it, passing a builders merchants on your right, after this the path is signposted down a lane on the right hand side. Follow the lane and then turn left along by Carnsew Pool. The path brings you back up to join Carnsew road again, here turn right. Alternatively you can just walk along the main road, but the view is nicer along that detour. This main road takes you up around the estuary and there is the chance to stop and look for the wading birds which abound in the marshlands. Stay on the right side of the road as it will bear off to the right to the far side of the estuary. On the right is the signposts for the Coast Path and the name of the road is Saltings Reach turn here and follow the road through the suburbs. Saltings Reach actually ends at Lelant Saltings railway station car park where you can travel round to St Ives, alternatively the Coast path bears to the left just before the car park entrance along a short lane and then turns right into The Saltings and runs alongside the railway track and through wooded areas onto Lelant train station. The Saltings end and bears left onto Green Lane continue along here until the road merges with Wharf Road Taking the right fork onto Church Road out towards the beautiful St Unys Church, start of the St Michaels Way, the pilgrimage route from here to Marazion and St Michaels Mount. From the church the path takes you to the left across the golf course, onwards, avoiding the golf balls until you reach the railway bridge, pass underneath it and turn left for the Ferry House. Here you follow the railway and the sands out at Porthkidney Beach until the sands end and the path bends round to the right to Carrack Gladden and round into Carbis Bay. This is a nice place to stay, with pubs and places to eat as well as lots of accommodation if you do not wish to stay in the busy and vibrant St Ives. If you are not planning to stop here follow the path up the other side of the beach and up past the large hotel on your left. Slightly further along you cross the railway via steps and a footbridge and the railway tracks are now between you and the coast passing along the houses through overhung trees until the path once again crosses the railway. Zigzagging around to the white sands of Port minster beach, you continue along The Warren on the road, tons of little side roads entice in with shops and galleries and gifts, St Ives is an intertwining network of narrow streets with delights around every corner. Carry on along the main road by the sea taking you into Wharf Road and St Ives harbour  , the path continues as signposted out to The Island and almost back round on itself to reach the beach on the other side of the spit of land at Porthmeor. St Ives has so much to show and offer, from its long list of famous artists who have travelled to here to experience its ‘perfect light’, to the Tate Gallery and Barbara Hepworth Museum, not to mention the surfers who flock here to experience the surf at its many beaches. Worthy of a book all on its own, check at the Visitor Information Office in the town, its address is The Guildhall, Street An Pol, St Ives – telephone 0905 252 2250. There is something for everyone in St Ives.

 

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Day 19 - St Ives to Pendeen Watch

This is without doubt the most challenging and strenuous part of the path, with the harsh and rugged coastline dropping and rising through rocky and sometimes boggy terrain. At 13.5 miles/ 22 km it is not the longest you will have walked on your journey, but will be the hardest. With hardly any points to stop off for refreshments or provisions apart from Zennor and Gurnards Head, stocking up with provisions is heavily advised. Although this is an arduous stretch of the path, its isolation and wild clifftops make it an ideal place for spotting the wildlife who are used to having the open spaces to themselves.

We will leave St Ives from Porthmeor Beach around the far side of St Ives; signposts around the town can direct you there, through the maze of shops in town, don’t forget to stock up on provisions. At the far end of the beach are the toilets behind them and there the Coast Path passes the bowling green on a flat tarmac pathway to your left. The tarmac gives way to more stony ground as you head out to Clodgy Point. As you turn on the path to face the next part of the journey, you see that there are no houses to be seen, just nature. The path begins to climb up and then gives way to an easier walk leading on to a track, then narrowing down once again. Follow the path along around Hor Point and then onwards across the headland at Pen Enys Point.  The path becomes level for a while as you cross the gorse at Carn Naun Point; from here you have a view of your goal as Pendeen Lighthouse is in view. Although you are not there yet and the level ground makes way for descent into the valley, this is signposted and you cross a stream in River Cove, then walk around and across the slope to continue your way passing little headlands and coves until you reach Mussel Point, where the stacks of Carrack Rocks rise up from the sea, a good spot for seal spotting as well as birdlife. The path leads you down the valley above Wicca Pool and signposts you across the stream and up the steps of granite and keep right as the path swings back out to the coastline again. Here the path leads you down a difficult stretch of path strewn with large rocks, almost to the shoreline before pushing you upwards once again.  Several more stream crossing s are ahead and then a climb up keeping to the right fork in the path to take you out above Porthzennor Cove to Zennor Head along the cliffs, then turn to descend alongside Pendour Cove, where it is said that on a still summer night you will hear a man singing his story from the cove below, his story is of his love for the mermaid he met in that cove, he fell in love and followed her into the sea.  The Mermaid of Zennor  is also carved in the church further inland in Zennor , she is also thought to link to the pagan beliefs that the elements were governed by guardians or goddesses and that there may have been a natural place of worship dedicated to the goddess of the waters before the church was built. Zennor is accessible from the Coast path and is signposted inland. There are places to eat and stay but they are limited in number and size, so it is well worth booking ahead if you are choosing to stop here. If you are staying on the Path, look out for the stone signpost directing you to the footbridge and up the other side of Pendour and another small cove and headland. The path takes a downward turn then begins a rollercoaster trail of ups and downs around the slope and across the bridge at Porthglaze Cove heading round once more into another rugged cove and over another footbridge.  Here you pass some houses and below the Carn Galver engine house , and a choice awaits you, you can detour inland to Boswednack onto the Gurnards Head Hotel offering food and accommodation or, make a detour out onto Gurnards Head for spectacular views amongst the ruins of the castle and settlement, or just follow the Coast path up the hill. Decisions made, the path will take you up to the top of the slope and round to the next headland, and across the bridge of stone slabs.  The path can become slippery here and caution is necessary as the Coast Path climbs the hill onto another headland. This is where the Bosigran Castle is situated, an Iron Age fortification which can be walked around and explored. You may also meet rock climbers around here as the cliffs here are a local favourite and very well used.  The track leads away from the Castle down towards another ruin after crossing the stream via the bridge, and begin another ascent  on the seaward side of the stone wall continuing on the up and down journey along the clifftops. Here you will see a tower of rock topped with a boulder at Chair Carn, the path here can be muddy in places so take care when walking along. Once you have passed another ruin, the path becomes slightly easier to walk on as you cross stepping stones across the stream taking you above Portheras Cove. Zigzagging steps and signposts on the path lead you up the other side of the valley turning right on a grassy trackway passing some gates on the way to the lighthouse at Pendeen Watch which you cannot fail to miss as it looms up in front of you. It is open for visitors but should you feel you are so close to your finfish point you may not wish to stop so continue down the roadway passing the old watchtower, you can choose whether to use the roadway to get to Pendeen inland in which case follow the road, cross the first junction and then turn right at the next junction and walk into the village , or continue following the signposts across the gorse and heather to the chimneys of Geevor Tin Mine , a visitors centre here gives you information of the history of the area as well as showing you how the mines would have looked when in working condition. From here you can still walk up the signposted lane to Boscaswell Road and turn right to access the village further inland. Pendeen has several places to stay as well as limited places to eat; you can catch buses from Pendeen which take you all around the Lands’ End peninsula.

 

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Day 20 - Pendeen Watch to Porthcurno

This is a stretch offering many different landscapes as you walk alongside the engine houses and gorse covered clifftops with the sharp and rugged rocks below you forming little coves and secret beaches. This area of West Penwith is strewn with ancient sites to visit, some on the path and some further inland. The world famous and constantly busy Lands’ End is walked on this stretch and can be enjoyed without having to take in the more touristy areas. At 16 miles/ 26km this stretch is not long but can run up and down the valleys and inlets and can feel longer, there are places along the path to stop for refreshments at Cape Cornwall (and inland to St Just) , Sennen and Porthgwarra as well as at Lands’ End. The weather is to be watched as you walk this stretch as the sea mists and storms are liable to obscure the way ahead, but are very atmospheric to walk in

Starting from the lighthouse at Pendeen Watch you walk down the road passing the old watchtower to your left and turn right down the path marked by the granite post. The path here is easy to see and leads into Geevor Tin Mine, a museum showing the history and working remains of the great mining industry which dots through the land here, just follow the sign from the path. The track is also signposted onwards to Levant Beam Engine House, where you cross the car park. Following the signposts across the moorland, reaching a house all on its own. The path marker directs you to the right and links with another track which appears to turn towards some other old buildings; both tracks will join together again so choose whether you wish to be close to the cliff edge or further inland. As soon as the trails meet the paths takes a right turn and walks the cliffside at Botallack amongst the precariously placed buildings dotting the cliff face, whose tunnels extend out under the sea in front of you. The Coast Path turns inland and then is signposted to the right and out to the Iron Age ruins of Kenidjack Castle and the Bronze Age stone circle of the same name. The way markers here are made of granite as a reminder of the ground beneath you, and point you down the track turning left to head inland to another track which looks as if it is leading you towards the chimney and ivy clad ruins of the building next to it. However the path takes another right turn passing below them and onto a stream and over the footbridge. The uphill climb zigzags passing an old chapel dedicated to St Elena on the upper slope, although it is thought that it may just be a cow byre according to many local experts although it may in its time had both uses.  The path travels uphill to the monument out at Cape Cornwall with its surprising plaque. The Cape is the place to watch the tides; for here the Atlantic effectively splits here to flow either northward up the Bristol Channel and the Irish Sea, or south to the English Channel and creates patterns on the surface as the tides ebb and flow.  From here you can walk up the road and follow it into St. Just, where there are shops to buy provisions as well as places to stay and eat, several pathways lead off the next stretch of the path to the left which will also lead you to St Just but the road way is easiest to navigate and avoids you straying onto the golf course.

The Coast Path is signposted here to take you alongside the golf course and along the cliffs on the road, levelling out at the top until you reach a track off to the right, taking you away from the Carn Gloose Road and across the gorse and heather strewn Barrows at Ballowell and down the side of the slope to the road at Cot Valley. Here the path crosses the road and heads back out to sea on the other side of the valley towards Porth Nanven with photo opportunities galore of the coastline and its gorse scrubland and cliff faces and back up the valley to the greenery inland. The path here is clear and leads you on passing more mine shafts and then turns uphill and down dale into the next valley . Cross the bridges which cross the beach and climb the signposted steps turning right and following the path past the sign inland for Nanjulian. Ahead of you the path forks, keep to the lower right hand path which is rough going in places, cross the rocky tors and turn at Aire Point looking across the beach at Aire Point and cross the slope above the aptly named Whitesand Bay, at low tide you can of course walk across the beach and perhaps stop for a picnic or just a rest. The path drifts a little inland and uphill between the cottages in the valley, the path here leads to a car park and a promenade style walkway through Sennen Cove, which is a natural stopping point for refreshments and to look in the shops that are there. There is very little accommodation here at the bottom of Sennen although there are more scattered up the steep hill and inland.

Leave the cove behind by the car park located at the harbour end of the village turning left and up a steep set of steps, which at the top you turn right and follow the path out to the old lookout point overlooking the rock formation named The Tribbens. Mayon Cliff awaits you with its Iron Age hill fort onwards to the most westerly point of Lands’ End. This is always busy with walkers, locals and tourists as well as those undertaking the Lands’ End to John o’ Groats challenge.  Take a short while to walk around the headland and perhaps stop at the first and last café while using your binoculars to see if you can spy The Scilly Isles in the distance.  The path is extremely well signposted to stop you disappearing off down the other tracks made by all those who visit this epic landmark. Don’t forget to have a photograph at the famous signpost. The path steers away from the main theme park area and skirts around the visitor farm on your left and the arched rock of the Armed Knight in the sea to your right, and suddenly the path becomes less busy again, and wends its way out onto Pordenack Point and along to Carn Les Boel, you can cut off the headland and continue on passing the tumuli along the clifftops above Mill Bay and onwards to Gwennap Head and the National Coastguard Station which was once the site of a cliff castle. Pass the daymarkers warning sailors of the dangerous rocks out to sea. Here is the chance to stop for a toilet and refreshments break. The path briefly joins the road passing the coastguards cottages, the sign on your right leads you back out to the edge of the cliffs and onwards across the grassy slopes until you descend to reach pre -Christian St Levans Well and it curative waters still used by some for baptisms and for the curing of ailments of the eyes and teeth. From here you travel over the footbridge, climb above the sandy cove of Porth Chapel beach and the headland of Pedn-men-an-mere . You then reach the car park of the Minack Theatre, if you are planning to stay here in Porthcurno it is advised to see if there are performances at the theatre as it is probably one of the most astounding outdoor theatres, with the dramatic seaward views from the amphitheatre sometimes taking over the performance especially if there are storms out at sea. From the car park you can reach the village by using the access road up to the road named The Valley and turning right to reach the accommodation and refreshments which are on offer here. Here is the Museum of Telegraphy where photographs chart the laying of the telegraph cables which reach out across the seas.

You can catch the bus from Porthcurno at the road above the Minack Theatre onto Penzance or back to Lands Ends, check the timetable at the bus stop.

 

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Day 21 - Porthcurno to Penzance

This stretch of the path takes you through differing terrain, some rugged and stony and rather strenuous but some with easy going. You are rewarded though by walking through woodland and over cliff tops which on a clear day can give views out to the Scilly Isles and Bishops Rock lighthouse, reaching the picturesque fishing villages of Mousehole and Newlyn before reaching the walk along the flat promenade into Penzance, the busiest town in the area, which links the end of the land by mainline train to the rest of the country. At 11.25 miles/ 18 km it is not the longest part of the path but gives you a taste of all aspects of it.

We begin this stretch at the beach head at Porthcurno, there are several paths leading down to the beach but the Coast Path is signposted up the path lined with bushes towards Logan Rock. The path is set back from the cliff edge and headland here but you can venture towards the cliffs for expansive views of the path both behind and ahead of you across the rugged clifftops, not advised if it’s a very windy day!  For those wishing to continue  the path carries you on to a small stream through the gorse to the next jutting headland of Treen Head and Logan Rock , site of an Iron Age fortification on the barren outcrop, showing that our ancestors were a hardy bunch living closer to the elements than we do today. The Rock itself is a granite boulder weighing eighty tons! it reputedly used to rock back and forth if you knew where to push, in the 1820’s it was dislodged by a group of sailors and it fell into the sea, which caused uproar amongst locals who demanded for it to be restored to its rightful place back up on the cliff, the sailors having to make the payment for this, which they duly did and after seven months and imaginably a great deal of cost it was placed back where you see it today. The Coast Path does cross the headland without visiting the fortifications crossing another stream, turning at Cribba Head and descending into Penberth, a quaint fishing village with its boats either bobbing in the sea or pulled up onto the shore to escape the weather. The river at the head of the beach is crossed via a bridge of stone slabs, passing the cottages closest to the sea. Climb the slope leading up out of the Penberth valley along the rugged path up to the cliff tops once again to the cliff edge , turn back inland and take the first path on your right , the path here is strewn with rocks and stones amongst the gorse and can be hard to negotiate in harsh weather. The path drops down into Porthguarnon via steps and rises again on another set of steps up to the cliffs, it becomes broad and grassy up here, keep watch on the right for a stile and a signpost for Lamorna after starting the descent passing by the house and down into the lush and deeply wooded valley of St Loy using the steps down towards the shore. Turning left amongst the boulders on the shore, the path climbs from here back through the woodland which can be overgrown on a slope. Passing more boulders on your way you reach Boscawen Point and continue along the path, which can be awash with flowers and heady scent when in bloom. Begin the climb back up in the direction of the houses and follow the track down between the hedges to reach a path on the right down to Tater- du lighthouse out at the headland. You can of course miss this out and carry on along the path, between the fields and hedgerows on wards to the rocky and rough descent into the car park at Lamorna Cove. Here refreshments are available during the season and toilet facilities also. Further up the valley here is an inn, the local bus services runs from here and takes you all around the peninsula. Lamorna itself has been a favourite haunt for artists and craftspeople, with local potteries still producing goods. Taking the road here at the beach further up to the main B3315 and to the left you can see The Merry Maidens an ancient stone circle purportedly 19 maidens turned to stone for dancing on the Sabbath day. This is a wonderfully peaceful spot even though it is sited so close to the road. The bus service from the inn at Lamorna does take you right to the field gate of this site , so is worth a major detour to if you have the time.

If however you wish to continue your explorations of the Coast Path rather than the interior of the area leave Lamorna Cove along the back of the beach and past the buildings , round to the right and up the rocky incline. At the top of the cove is the tor of Carn-du, from here the well signposted path continues on its way dropping downhill to rise again through the shelter of the mixed woodland at Keymel Crease Nature Reserve. From here you are taken down and away from the woods and across the slopes and out towards Spaniards Point, where the Spanish are said to have landed in the 1590’s and ransacked the villages of Mousehole, Paul and Newlyn. The path becomes easier underfoot and you are walking between hedges and trees which lead you on down to the houses and a small road. The road then forks, you take the right hand turn called Raginnis Hill and begin your descent down through the narrow roads to the harbour, which is down the first right hand turning named Gurnick Street. You follow the road into the harbourside at Mousehole, once described by the great Dylan Thomas as the prettiest village in England. He may well be right, with its painted houses and harbour to shield it from the unforgiving Atlantic Ocean, Mousehole is home to many traditions linking it to its long held fishing traditions. With pubs, inns and little shops nestled into its winding streets, you can stop for a while and hear the story of  Tom Bawcock , the village hero who saved the villagers from starvation by putting out to sea in the most horrific of gales, when the other men couldn’t  and returned with a bounty of fish , this act now honoured in the Starry Gazy Pie night of December 23rd when a giant pie is made with many species of fish within , some with their heads escaping from the pie and searching skyward, a local delicacy and a night of enjoyment for all who attend. It is said that the last native Cornish speaker, a Mrs Penreath died here over two hundred years ago, although in more times the language has had a resurgence and is learned in schools and evening classes by both children and adults throughout the county. From this pretty staging post the road is signposted on for Newlyn and Penzance alongside the Old Coastguard Hotel. The Coast Path is also used as a cycleway and road here as you share the view walking around the headland. To your right are the lifeboat station and the memorial to the brave members of the Solomon Browne lifeboat, lost whilst trying to save others in 1981, a tragic loss of life and the greatest in the Lifeboats Services history. Here you get your first view across the bay to St Michaels Mount, proudly appearing to grow from the sea in the middle of Mounts Bay. Some say that from certain angles and times the rocky outcrop looks like a sleeping dragon coiled in the sea. We are still a long way from a trip over the causeway to visit this astounding edifice out after Penzance at Marazion tomorrow. So, onwards along the road until you reach Newlyn, with one of largest fleets in the country. Newlyn has many places to stop and eat as well as accommodation. Not only known for its fish it is a well-regarded haven for artists and little galleries are dotted only the way in the tiny streets. Newlyn was once home to many post impressionists who founded the School of Art here situated away from the front on New Road. The coast Path hugs the road and passes alongside the harbour wall, across the bridge and on through the car park. Here the path splits to the right and walks parallel to the road passing ornamental gardens and a bowling green. You are on the outskirts of Penzance and the main town area can be accessed by the roads on your left , this is the time to check where you are staying in Penzance as it can be a bit of a maze , this walk will take you on to the railway and bus station along the promenade passing the Jubilee Pool  around to the left  with the harbour on your right  and the signs for the alighting point for the Scillionian Ferry , across the narrow road/footbridge which can sometimes be raised for boats to access the inner harbour and onwards on the road , passing the large car park on the right, and you find yourself at the train station with its links to the rest of the country, and the local and national bus terminus. The town can be accessed by crossing at the traffic lights before the station and up and to your left. Penzance has too many amenities to list, although the tourist information office on the station causeway can assist you, as can the many signs located in the same area.

 

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Day 22 - Penzance to Porthleven

Start at Penzance train station and finish at Porthleven harbour. The total distance is 14.5 miles (23km). The path is easy at first, but then gradually gets more rugged and hilly.

Begin at the train station in Penzance. On the right hand side of the car park, there is a cycle path wedged between the beach and the railway tracks which follows onto Marazion, it is possible to see Marazion whilst looking seawards, on your left hand side. The end of this path will bring you to a car park, cross this and continue along the pavement into Marazion. Marazion is an ancient market town, there are a number of shops and places to eat. When the tide is out it is possible to walk along the causeway across from Marazion to St. Michael's Mount, if the tide is in then ferries run across to the Mount. However, if the weather is bad, even when the tide is in, the ferries will not run at all.

To leave Marazion you follow Fore Street and Turnpike Hill. When the road leaves the village look for a right turning back down onto the coastal path which is after the Mount Haven Hotel. This road will be the access road for Chymorvah East, which is the name of the house. Turn left before reaching Chymorvah House itself, follow a path and steps into a field. Then continue downwards to the shore, turn left and climb up on a metal stairway. If you see a National Trust sign announcing Trenow Cove, then you are in the right place. The path does veer inland, however if you look to the right, there is a pathway down to the coast which is marked by yellow arrows.

Follow this path around Boat Cove, and round a small point. There will be toilets and a car park in a small village called Perranuthnoe. Here you are able to catch a bus back to Penzance, or onwards to Praa Sands and Porthleven, as well as there being refreshments further inland at Victoria Inn.

There is a small path across the road, make sure to stay right along the track. At the last building turn right, but after this be sure to note to turn left onto a cliff path, however, make sure not to go onto the beach. In order to get to Cudden Point, cross the fields and their stiles which lead slowly round to a rugged bay and above there is Acton Castle. After this there are gentle gorse slopes which slowly lead down to Cudden Point.

From Cudden Point follow the path to Prussia Cove. Keep on this path until it continues past a group of huts on a shallow hill. To continue along the coastal path avoiding the cove, continue to bear left, then bear right, you should pass a thatched house if you're going in the right direction. After the house, turn right and then continue up a track. When a junction is reached, turn right and this should lead you through a pair of granite pillars and onto a downhill path. This track will bend left past some oddly shaped, curvy buildings and downwards to a ford. Go ahead and follow the path uphill to reach the old quarry. Pass through a gate and continue to follow the track over a slope where you are able to look down onto Keneggy Sands. Go through a modest stream, there should then be a path which has been cut through the bushes, follow this path to Hoe Point. After this, turn around Hoe Point and follow another path which has been cut through taller bushes towards Praa Sands.

At Praa Sands, there are toilet and eating facilities and some accommodation. There are buses back towards Penzance and onwards to Porthleven and Falmouth.

To continue along the coastal path, come down onto the beach and continue in front of Welloe Rock Inn and the Beachcomber Cafe. Walk along the beach and climb up a set of stairs and walk right across Praa Green. There is a clear path at the far end, where you will need to turn left, then turn right through a scrubby area where the path is sandy. Continue along this path, and take a right where you should be standing in Sea Meads private estate, where there are holiday homes. To leave the estate, turn right down to a road end and follow along a path where there will be an access point for the beach.

Climb upwards across a slope slowly, where you will pass from Lescleave Cliff to Rinsey Head. The path will be marked, just continue to follow along it, pass through a car park and past a National Trust sign for Rinsey Cliff. Continue past an old engine house, shortly after this, the path forks. Take the right and follow downhill, keeping close to the rugged coast. The path goes uphill, then in a field it forks, take the left this time and you will pass by the remains of old mine and it's chimney. After this, the path veers from side to side downhill, continue up some steps and then dip down into a valley where there is beach access and a stream. Advance forward uphill and follow the path as it winds and meanders along the cliff. Look out a prominent white house, then pass a cross which commemorates the seaman who are buried in the cliff. Continue onto a wide path and take a right at a road junction, where you will walk down into Porthleven town itself. Continue past Ship Inn and the harbour, then turn right and walk around the apex of the harbour.

Porthleven is a small fishing town, fishing is still a big part of the town's identity, but tourism is also vital. In bad weather, outside the harbour the waves are often dramatic and interesting to watch, particularly as they often can wash over the church in Porthleven, so be careful if it is windy! In Porthleven there is accommodation, toilets, food, including pubs and restaurants. There are buses back to Penzance or ahead to Falmouth.

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Day 23 - Porthleven to The Lizard

Starting at Porthleven Harbour and finishing at The Most Southerly Point Cafe. In total the walk is 13.5 miles (22km). The start is quite easy, but the walk gets tougher further on, at times it can be quite hilly. Refreshments are available at Gunwalloe, Poldhu beach, Mullion, Kynance and in The Lizard.

Walk around the head of the harbour towards the far end where there is church close to the beach. Continue onto Cliff Road, then Mount's Road, follow straight on to a road junction at the end of the road, where there should also be a car park. Turn left here up the path, which will link with the coastal path, which at this point is quite broad, eventually it will lead down to a house. Walk across Loe Bar, looking down onto Loe Pool, where there are footpaths around the shoreline. Continue past a white cross which commemorates the crew of HMS Acton.

Follow the path and look out for a junction, where you should take the right as it drops down onto the coastal path. This runs along a narrow cliff edge, so mind your footing! It continues past Gunwalloe Fishing Cove where there is a cafe, or it possible to detour a short way inland where there is Hazlephron Inn available for accommodation, food and drinks. Continue along a track and take the left hand side of a house balanced on the cliff edge. Walk up the path and continue along the cliffs, turn around a point and you will pass close to a castle-like, white building, which used to be Hazlephron Herb Farm, but no longer is. The coastal path runs alongside a road. This road running down to the beach is diverted inland a bit, however the coastal path does not, it follows a section of old landslipped road. Turn right which will allow you to continue along the coastal path, continue downwards to Winniation Farm and small bay, which is known locally as Dollar Cove.

Follow the path past the farm and it will take you to Gunwalloe Church cove, where there are toilets, and also a church nestled into the cliff. The church dates from around the 15th century. To leave the cove, walk across the beach, and climb upwards on the path which is on a steep cliff. You will come to a small car park, cross this and continue downhill on a tarmac road to Poldhu Cove. At Poldhu Cove you will find refreshments and and toilets. There are bus services back to Helston, or onwards to Mullion and The Lizard.

To leave Poldhu, take the immediate right turning outside of Poldhu Cove up towards a big retirement home, which once was Poldhu Hotel. Step down to the right of the road as is indicated, across a field and over a stile where you will see a monument for Marconi. Follow on past an old kissing gate, shortly past this, the path forks, take the right and stay on the right hand side (seawards) of a white cottage. Come across a footbridge where there is beach access to Polurrian Beach, also known as Mullion Cove and toilets. Climb up the stone steps towards Polurrian Hotel, after this there should be a dirt track to your right, take this path and pass by some houses. At a National Trust sign and a small tor, turn right where you will find yourself on the cliff edge. Follow the road in front of the Mullion Cove Hotel, after passing a turning circle. Instead of continuing onwards, when you reach a cannon barrel, follow a set of steps which passes benches. Mullion has fantastic views, and Mullion Island can be seen on most visibly good days. Walk down the harbour, then turn left inland, where just further up the road you will find Trenance Chocolate Factory which offers toilet facilities as well refreshments.

In Mullion, you can find accommodation, pubs, restaurants, toilets, shops as well as having nearby beaches. There are buses back to Poldhu and Helston, or onwards to The Lizard.

To leave to Mullion Cove walk back up the road from a cafe, then turn right, following the signposted directions onto the coastal path, around the back of a house. The path runs up a slope, the Mullion and Predannack Cliffs are up the top of the slope and are noted for their variety and rarity of flora and fauna. This area is grazed by sheep and Shetland Ponies. Follow the path downwards past a house and stream into a valley. Walk uphill through flowery scrub and pass through a gate through into Predannack which is owned by the National Trust. Then head into a rugged, rocky cove. Go downhill where there is a small stream, before heading uphill. Then follow into a field, but stay close to the edges, you will reach the Lizard National Nature Reserve. Make sure to follow the muddy path which goes behind Vellan Head, however it is possible to walk around the headland. Curve inland, then head downhill towards Soap Rock, climb uphill, then follow along the top of the cliffs. There are small headlands to visit along the way, one stunning view is Kynance Cove. Heading down towards the stacks, turn left and walk down towards a group of cottages, cross over a stream (a concrete slab acts as small bridge). A cafe and toilets are available at Kynance Cove. To cross over, it is possible to continue down to the beach, walk across the beach, then use the steps on the other side to get back up, but look out for a right turn back to the coastal path for The Lizard. However, this is not possible when the tide is in. If the tide is in, head up the hill on the gravel path and continue to follow it around until you get to the car park. When you reach the car park, turn right to cross it and head for a gap between the hedges and begin to head back down to Kynance Cove, looking for the right hand turning back to the coastal path.

Once on the coastal path, keep to the right hand side to stay away from the car park and toilets. The path is along the top of the cliffs, but very briefly cuts into a field. A sign states that you are entering the Caerthillian National Nature Reserve, from here walk downwards and enjoy the scenery, you will pass a rugged inlet and cross two very narrow streams. After the streams, walk back uphill to come back along the cliffs, when you pass a National Trust Sign for Old Lizard Head, you will be able to see Lizard Lighthouse, where you are able to take tours up to the top of a working tower. Head downwards, you will pass another access point for the village, ignoring this carry on and climb the stone steps. This leads to The Most Southerly Point Cafe, where the food and views are gorgeous.

The Lizard is the Most Southerly Village in Britain. Here, accommodation, food, drinks as well as things to do are available. In the village there are a number of shops where you can look and buy the local stone, Serpentine. The Lizard Lighthouse is open to the public, there are two pubs, a bar, a number of gift shops and cafes. Pasties can be bought from Ann's Famous Pasties or the Lizard Snack Shack. The Smugglers Fish and Chip shop is also open during summer months. There are some local beaches; Housel Bay and Kynance Cove, both of which offer stunning views.

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Day 24 - The Lizard to Porthallow

Starting at The Most Southerly Cafe and finishing at Porthallow. The total walking distance is 15 miles (25km). The path is hilly to begin with but becomes easier around the Coverack area, the route also wanders inland around Porthoustock and Portholland where it is essential to be attentive to the route that you are taking. Refreshments can be found at Cadgwith and Coverack.

To leave the Most Southerly Point, pass by a local serpentine shop, across the car park where the coastal path track is obvious. It runs along a narrow path and passes underneath the Youth Hostel and continues underneath the Lizard Lighthouse and it's old foghorn speakers. Just past this point it is possible to turn right and head downhill on the sloping cliff. Treading carefully, you will arrive at a large chasm called the Lion's Den, formed in 1842. It is called that because it is said that it makes a roaring sound when the tide is in and the weather is bad. Continue to follow the coastal path onwards, until it descends into a deep dip in the cliffs and cross over a small concrete bridge, there is also access down to Housel Bay, a lovely beach when the tide is out. Follow the path round and turn right to keep on the coastal path, as heading straight on will lead you into the village.

The path will continue and there will be a few notable buildings around the Lizard area. The first is The Lizard Wireless Station, which has ties with Marconi. Pass the castle-like, white building which is Lloyd's signal station and round Bass Point. There is a path which turns away from a house, continue along this path, but then turn right for the Coastal Path. Along this path you will pass the lifeboat station, and arrive into Church Cove. From here turn left going uphill, then follow the signposts for Cadgwith, heading right.

The path curves inland as an old quarry lays to the right. However, if you do chose to go down there, there are stunning views out to sea. To get down there, just turn off right, then to come back up, use the same path. On the coastal path, walk alongside two or so fields, then come down into a valley, cross a small bridge, continue up the path which is somewhat uphill, through dense gorse and scrub-land. Continue into a small valley, where you will pass some cliff chalets. The path will pass by a crater which is called The Devil's Frying Pan. From here turn left through a gate, then right down into a small road. When you reach what appears to be a small, narrow garden path, don't hesitate and continue along it. There is a sharp and steep road path down into Cadgwith village, keep right in order to end up on this road. Continue straight down the tarmac road and into Cadgwith itself, where there is an open harbour.

In Cadgwith there is a small amount of accommodation, food and drink is available in the centre of the village. The nearest bus stop is inRuan Minor, about a twenty minute walk. The buses go back to the Lizard or onwards to Helston, where other connections are available.

Take the road to the right of the harbour, continuing up pastCadgwith Cove Inn. There is a signpost for the coastal path, bearing right. Follow the path uphill past a row of cottages, where you are able to look down onto the harbour and behind you will be the rest of the village. When you arrive at a hut with a chimney, turn left and the track will continue uphill, then through fields, before coming downwards across a slope which is set back from the coast. Continue through dense scrub and vegetation. Continue past a gate, at this gate turn right where you will be walking along a path which has hedgerows on either side. Turn through a second gate, continue downwards, turn right towards a little cove at Poltesco. There are steps that lead down to a small bridge over a river.

Walking straight on, keep to the right hand side of an old engine house ruin, continue uphill between the hedgerows where you will come to a fork in the path, here it is possible to go either way since the paths join later on. Walk alongside a green, follow along a track where again, there are hedgerows on either side. To reach Kennack Sands, continue downhill, then bear right. Follow down a road, where two cafes and some toilets will be reached. Kennack Sands is a very popular beach and can be incredibly busy during the summer months. Head towards the toilets, uphill and stay to the right whilst passing in front of a house. To avoid the beach, stay on the track which has hedgerows on either side. Cross the pool (there is a piece of concrete which acts as a bridge), after this the path cuts through a gap behind the headland. The next cove on is near a wooded valley which rises inland, to reach this continue straight on, where you will reach a concrete wall. Follow the climbing path across the scrubby shallow hills called Eastern Cliff. Continue through a small valley which is quite rocky and cross a narrow stream which is at the bottom of a house. The route now starts to become a little uneven, continue past the Carrick Luz headland, where the ground is a little more gorse covered.

Continue straight on, down a rocky slope towards Downas Valley. From here advance a cross a footbridge which is placed above a rugged cove that has a sandy beach. Go up the wooden steps and follow across a slope which leads on to Beagles Point. Then turn around and head downwards into a small valley, continue across a small bridge which is over a stream. Carry on straight along a rocky path, then bear right where you pass through scrub-land. This path leads to the coastguard lookout (a white building) on Black Head.

After this, bear left just before the lookout is reached and walk through the scrubby bushes which are alongside the Chynhalls Cliff. This section of the path involves crossing a footbridge, it does rollercoaster somewhat and is uneven in some areas. Follow on this path and look out for a right turning towards Porthbeer Cove. When you reach the beach, turn left and then follow the path which climbs upwards. At the top it is possible to continue onwards, or to turn right onto Chynhalls Point. The path turns from the coast into woody areas, then onto a tarmac road which leads to the top of Coverack. Turn right onto a road called School Hill, then turn left and walk above the harbour.

At Coverack you can find accommodation, toilets, places to eat and drink, a post office. There are also buses back to Helston (where you can connect and head back to The Lizard) or onwards to Porthallow andHelford.

To leave Coverack follow the road that runs alongside a cove which is sandy and rocky. As the main road turns inland, there is a small, narrow road which continues onwards. Take this road and continue down to the end of it where there is a small track, follow this to the gate. Just before you arrive at the gate, stop and turn right onto another path which goes into a wood. Continue along this path, cross a stream by using the granite slabs and the stepping stones if the area is muddy.

Go across a stoney wall, follow around Lowland Point, the path at times is vague so take extra care to follow it. Walk ahead to Dean Quarry, there is sign which explains that blasting takes place at any time between 1000 and 1830, take note of this. Warnings for blastings are signalled by sirens or red flags. Pass through the quarry by following the footpath signs, do this attentively to avoid getting off track. After this you will pass above a pier and underneath a conveyor belt, head downwards Godrevy Cove.

Continue along the beach, but head inland as the the coastal path is marked, walking uphill you will pass a stream and a gate before heading into fields. There is a gate which marks a woodland track, look out for this, follow along this path until it comes to a road, then turn right into a place named Rosenithon. When a junction is reached, turn right and head uphill, when the road becomes flatter, climb across a stile that is placed on the left-hand side. You will find yourself in a field, where you should head towards the right. There is a path that leads onto a road, by turning left, then right you find yourself in the small village of Porthoustock. Here there aren't very many amenities, just toilets and beach access if you have the time for a walk on the beach.

To leave Porthoustock, take the road and follow it up the hill, as the road bears right, continue straight onwards onto a path. Look out for the footpath markers which are on the right, they will lead you onto an undefined path that heads uphill and across fields. Follow straight on the road, the road turns left into a junction, however you should bear right. This will lead to a second junction, at this junction there is a small path to the right, there are hedgerows on either side of the path, you should take this. Follow this downhill to a B&B named Parc-an-tidno, there will also be a Cider Press Barn. Walking along a concrete road and turning right down into a tarmac road will lead you to the village of Porthallow, where there is an inn called the Five Pilchards Inn.

There is a marker which states that this is the halfway point for the South West Coastal Path. Porthallow has a small amount of accommodation to offer, as well as toilets, a pub, a post office and cafes. It is possible to catch a bus back to the Lizard, via Helston or onwards to Helford.

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Day 25 - Porthallow to Falmouth

Starting at Porthallow and finishing at Custom Quay House in Falmouth. The total walk distance is 18 miles (29km). The path can be rough in areas, the hills are quite short. The wooded areas around Helford can be muddy if it has recently rained or is raining. It is worth noting that tide needs to be out for Gillan Creek in order to cross it, and a ferry is needed to cross the Helford River. Refreshments can be found at Helford, Helford Passage and Maenporth.

Begin on the bridge which is near the Five Pilchards Inn and then walk along the beach at Porthallow. Continue along, until you reach a set of concrete steps, climb these and then proceed to follow a track which cuts through a gap in the bushes. After this there should be a path in a field which will run to rough slopes, the path now goes through some dense gorse bushes. Continue past a sign which says "Nare Point." Go down into a field in order to get back onto the cliff path, then come into a field at Nare Point, head towards a building at the end of the point.

Take the grassy path which runs along the coast, you will be able to see some of the views through the gaps in the hedges along this section of the coastal path. When a gate is reached, go through it and cross over a bridge. There is a lot of scrub, however, stay on the path and climb across the stiles, then walk to Trewarnevas Cliff. The track now continues uphill and is covered by trees, bear right down some steps and head towards the shore at Gillan Harbour, where you will find a cove.

Climb up a ramp, follow a track that runs behind a building called The Tower House. Follow the path downwards towards Flushing Cove, where you will pass through some bushes. Flushing Cove has a pebbly beach, the path continues through the bushes. After this, it will reach a junction which is signposted, here you should go straight ahead as marked. If the tide is out, it is possible to walk down the steps, cross the tidal ford or stepping stones in order to reach St Anthony-in-Meneage. Alternatively, if the tide is in, then it is possible to catch the ferry to follow a different route. The different route involves following a concrete lane, continuing straight on to pass a house named Dolton. There is a coastal path sign which indicates you should turn right into some fields. When in the fields, turn through a gate, when a second gate is reached turn right and follow over a stile. Cross this field diagonally, where you will come to another stiles and a small road. At the road, turn right which will bring you to a road junction where there is a bus stop at the head of Gillan Creek. Turn right at this junction and continue to follow the road uphill, it will start to come into the small village named St.Anthony-in-Meneage. This alternative route does add an extra 2 miles (3km) on to the route for today. The number for the ferry to get from Gillan to St.Anthony-in-Meneage is 01326 231357.

To leave St.Anthony-in-Meneage take the road that follows past the church and continues uphill. At the top of the road, there is an iron gate so be sure to look out for this, as it is set quite far to the right. Go through this gate and continue to walk up through a field, which reaches a fairly unkepmt section of the headland, although this can be looked around and explored, in order to stay on track, keep to the edges of the field. This track leads inland and runs alongside the Helford river. The views from this section of the path are quite confined, since it is a muddy, woodland path, but there are three small coves that are passed on the way. Once you pass a house, climb the path uphill, at the road bend, turn right which will lead you downhill. From here, look out for steps that are on the left hand side, these lead back to the muddy coastal path. Keep close to the Helford River Sailing Club, turn down the narrow road at the junction, where there is a chapel and gallery. This road leads to a ford, cross over the footbridge and into Helford. Turn round the passage via road, where you will see opportunities for cream teas, pub food at the Shipwrights Arms and the post office shop. Continue down to the point and check the ferry times. In order to call the ferry, you need to open the brightly coloured sign.

In Helford there are some pubs, restaurants, accommodation, a post office, cafes, toilets. There are buses back to the Lizard via Helston, or onwards to Falmouth via Helston. The ferries run from April to October, dependant upon weather and tides. The number for the ferry is: 01326 250770. Please remember to close the sign once you have finished with it.

The ferry crosses the Helford River to reach Helford passage, the Ferryboat Inn sits close to the water's edge and provides a place to eat and drink. Turn right, the turning will be signposted as Durgan, but leads onto the coastal. The path is a field path, which has some coastal views, but becomes more woody, continue down a road and pass a building named The Old School House at Durgan.

The road continues uphill in a wooded area, granite pillars with a chain run alongside the path. Continue to climb uphill in order to avoid dropping down onto the beach on the right hand side, pass the tall pines and take the track on the right which is signed Bosloe. The track now runs on the edges of fields and sometimes it is possible to catch glimpses of the Helford River from the path. Advance to a small beach, this will lead to you pass a boat house, continue to cross over a second beach, passing a sign for Mawnan Glebe.

After this follow along the path which becomes encumbered by dense gorse around the Toll Point region, come onto a field track which leads to a woody slope near to the village Mawnan. However, avoid going up to the church. If for any reason you find yourself heading towards it then just go back onto the woody path and follow along it. Walk through more dense vegetation after turning around a point, follow the path past some fields and cross a footbridge to head in the direction of Rosemullion Head. Continue to walk around the head, follow onto a slope which has short grass.

Go on through a wooded area around Nansidwell. Advance onto a field track before crossing a valley mouth, then continue up past some tall pine trees and follow the path, eventually this leads to passing between people's backgardens and the cliffs. Keep pushing through the bushes, then turn around a point on a field track and walk to a road. When you round the head of Maenporth, there are some facilities: places to eat and toilets. After refreshing, if you chose to do so, head behind The Beach Cafe and pick up the coast path, which now starts to head uphill between hedges. Further on, the path becomes quite encumbered by the bushes, but it will eventually run beside a golf course before heading into a woodland. When in the woods, be sure to turn left and then the path will lead out onto a road. Turn right, passing The Three Mackerel before finding yourself inSwanpool. The beach can often be busy in this area, toilets, food and drink are available. Walk in front the of the Swanpool Cafe, walk alongside a concrete block and follow the tarmac path along to the next beach.

Gyllyngvase is a beautiful, white beach in Falmouth, there is a cafe, toilets and the Queen Mary Gardens. Turn right onto Cliff Road and advance onto the tarmac tracks which run alongside to the cliffs. Take the road which goes around Pendennis Head and walk against the one-way system, against the flow of traffic. Look out for the paths which you choose to take. Some of them come to dead ends after seeming to lead into a coastal walk. Head onto the road to Falmouth.

Follow the signs into the town centre and the harbour is on the right hand side, it is the third deepest natural harbour in the world. Notice Arwenack House, which has been restored. It is mostly 16th century, but has 14th century parts to it. Ferries run toSt. Mawes from Custom House Quay, which is just on the right after Trago Mills (a big shop which sells a multitude of cheap things). Follow the road through Falmouth town centre, which has lots of lovely independent shops, restaurants and cafes. Note the Church of King Charles, the Martyr and it is possible to also use the ferry services from the Prince of Wales Pier.

Falmouth has a large range of accommodation including a youth hostel, it is possible to sail over to St. Mawes for a day trip, the town centre offers a variety of things to do, there is also Pendennis Castle, and Gyllyngvase beach, Kimberly Park also offers a place of relaxation. There are banks, shops, toilets, pubs, bars, clubs, restaurants and a tourist information centre. Falmouth has a train line, which connects to the main line at Truro, Penzance, Camborne and Redruth. Buses can be caught from on The Moor to a variety of different places including back to the Helford Passage and The Lizard area, or onwards to St. Mawes, Portscatho or Portloe via connections at Truro. National Express coaches also run services to Plymouth, Exeter, Poole and Bournemouth.

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Day 26 - Falmouth to Portloe

Starting Point is Custom Quay House in Falmouth and the finishing point is Portloe. The total distance of this walk is 13.75 miles (22km). The path is easy at first, but gradually gets harder.

Commence by taking a ferry from Falmouth over to St. Mawes from the Prince of Wales Pier or Custom Quay House. The ferry is not seasonal and runs all year round, but you will need to check the times that it departs at before leaving, to check the times ring this number: 01326 313201.

In St Mawes there are some pubs and restaurants, a post office, shops, banks and a small amount of accommodation. You can transfer across ferries just by walking from one to the other, but St Mawes is worth looking around if you have the time.

The ferry that runs from St Mawes to Place is a seasonal ferry, running from April to October, again it is worth checking the times in advance with this number: 01326 372703. The dropping off point depends on the tide, if the tide is low then they will drop you off near a flight of steps a little set back. At high tide, they will drop you off near a pier close to Place. After this follow the road which heads inland and is signposted for St. Anthony's Church. Then bear right where you will walk past a church, walk up the track and turn right again, then turn left onto a second track. Continue along this field track and head towards St. Anthony's Lighthouse. However, turn left onto a tarmac track before reaching the lighthouse. Proceed to take the second right, which will have markers on it as the coastal path, continue along this road until you reach a set of steps, climb these and you will find yourselves on a small tarmac road at the top of them.

From here, bear right and pass the battery which dates from the 19th century, there are toilets in the bunker. If you want to know more about the battery and the surrounding areas there atr information boards which are available. Advance along the path which follows around the headland and Zone Point, where you will pass through thick bushes and along the outer edges of fields which are generally used for cereal crops. Continue past the beach access point for Porthbeor Beach, unless you have the time to spare to explore it. If you look back you will see all the way back along the coast, from here turn towards Killigerran Head and continue along the slightly overgrown path towards a wreck post.

Walk across an indent and again if you have the time to spare you can enjoy Towan Beach, if not then follow on, the path will run alongside fields which climbs slowly. Pass another beach and take the path which veers inland towards a campsite based at Treloan Farm. When you reach a cottage at Pencabe, take the sudden left which will take you to the small village of Portscatho.

The facilities at Portscatho are limited, but there are toilets, a post office, pubs, restaurants and some accommodation. There are buses back to St Mawes and onward to Portloe.

To leave Portscatho walk along North Parade, which falls into a path to pass by Tregerein Guest House and runs along the cliff. Continue along the steps which rise and fall on each side of a beach access point for a beach named Porthcurnick. Drop onto the beach and walk along it (there is a refreshment hut available), then proceed up a ramp and onto a road before reaching a gate where you should bear right as the coastal path is signposted and continue along the cliff. Walk past the National Coastwatch Station which is positioned onPednvadan Point, follow the path along the coast until you come toPorthbean Beach. Turn left from here, then take a second left which will lead you inland, however, take a right when the path forks. This path should have hedges either side of it, follow along the path which can be alongside fields as well as amongst the bushes. You should avoid going down a flight of steps on the right or taking a left turn as it will lead you inland. Walk across a footbridge, follow uphill, then continue downwards until you reach a woody area on Treluggan Cliff.

Walk across the slopes which are covered with bracken and bushes before turning left uphill. When you reach a big white house named Pendower Court veer inland. Take a right turning onto a road which heads down to Pendower Beach House Hotel, cross another footbridge before crossing sandy heath and climbing a flight of stairs that leave Pendower Beach. At the top of the steps there is a road and some toilets. Advance right uphill from here, then right again towards Carne (it is signposted). Here the path is straightforward, continue along it before following it uphill and inland which will lead you around The Nare Hotel. Keep on the road and don't turn off, follow it around to the right which takes you to the coast, when the path starts to head uphill take a right hand turning which will take you onto a field path. This path will eventually start to get bushier, and start to climb, before heading downwards into a valley which is covered with gorse. Walk across a footbridge, and follow the path as it climbs again, the track will transition from a rugged slope, to a field path and back again before reaching Nare Head.

Follow the path that continues through the gorse covered land and a field. Walk approximately 100m (330ft) before reaching a stile which you should climb over in order to get back onto another gorse covered slope. The path begins to descend and you will find a sign which states information about where the path heads: "footpath runs round the head of valley and along fence to stile." Follow along the path, from here if you look down, you will be looking down ontoKiberick Cove, the path begins to ascend towards and around the headland at The Blouth, when you reach a second stile, climb over it.

Once this stile has been crossed, you will have to look down a small hill in order to see the next one, head down towards it and cross over. Head down into the woody area, then down a slope which is covered in more rough vegetation which leads towards the shore, but before reaching the shore the path begins to climb. Cross the footbridges and follow the meandering path that goes uphill. Walk past Broom Parc, a B&B, before walking up a flight of stairs, continuing through the hedges and then head downwards before coming across an unexpected view of Portloe. Bear left, then right at the junctions. Pass a toilet block on the way before heading down to a small harbour.

There are some facilities at Portloe, a post office, some accommodation, a tearoom, toilets and a pub. Transport links include buses back to Portscatho and St Mawes or onwards and inland towardsTruro where there are other connections by bus and rail.

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Day 27 - Portloe to Mevagissey

The walk begins at Portloe and ends at Mevagissey, the total distance is 12.5 miles (20km). The path is quite rough to start off with, but begins to get easier. There are refreshments along the way, particularly at Gorran Haven.

To leave Portloe walk up the road passing a B&B named Fuglers, then turn right which will lead you down an access road, take a second right where you will find yourself between a chapel and an old boathouse, which are now used for private residence. Bear left where the path begins to climb, then turn right in front of a row of cottages, take a flight of steps on the left hand side which is signposted for the coastal path andFlagstaff.

Follow the rough path and cross a stream, climb a set of steps and continue along the path before reaching a National Trail Sign at Tregenna, where there should be a second set of steps, take these before continuing along path which transitions from a rough path to a leafy slope. Walk down a woody slope and head into a valley which should be quite bushy, from here cross a couple of footbridges, climb with the path and then veer inland. Look out for a grassy track that heads downhill and is set in between the bushes on the right hand side, the path does get smaller and narrower before forming into a set of steps which lead to a footbridge at West Portholland. The beach here is quite gritty and full of shingle like sand.

The coast path now leads toEast Portholland along a small road, but it is also possible to find a sea wall and walk along that as it connects both villages. Here there are toilets, a post office, a tearoom and an old church. Stay on the road which meanders alongside the beach and walk past the far cottages, then follow onto a path which later has hedges on either side of it. When a gate is reached, turn right, before walking downwards and around two or so fields and turn on to a road. From here bear right and head down a road, where you will see Caerhays Castle on your left hand side and on the right hand side isPorthluney Cove. A cafe and toilets are available if needed. The coast path has been signposted on the right if you just follow down the road.

Head towards a small section of wood, then heading towards the corner of this area, turn right and climb across a stile. If you walk alongside a fence you will find a second stile, cross this and you will find yourself in a second wooded area, from here climb up a stone flight of stairs before heading downwards and into some fields. From here there are some more stairs which lead downwards to a small cove named Lambsowden Cove where you will have to cross a small footbridge. Take the path which is a little rough here and leads onto a slope, make sure to stay on the cliff edge when walking through the fields, don't wander off! Take the steps down, which will lead you out to a house next toHemmick Beach. A stream runs across the road, take a left which will lead you to Boswinger where there is a youth hostel. However, the coastal path continues along the road which bears to the right. To stay on the coastal path, take the steps to the right and follow the National Trust sign for The Dodman. From here the path ascends steeply, but then drops when it is by a rocky cove, before ascending again. Again, the path is quite rough and leads onto a slope. At the top there is a granite cross and the views are great since the cliffs are so high.

Head along a thin path, which will change between slopes, fields and hedges. You will pass a sign for Lamledra, before heading on. At one point you will find yourself above Vault Beach, keep heading out to a headland, there is a beach access point past a stile if you have the time to explore on the right hand side. But to stay on the coast path stay left and you will come round a point named Pen-a-maen and then onto a slope. Head along the cliffs towards Gorran Haven which you can see as you are walking towards it from the cliff tops. As you pass the cliffs, take a set of stairs which will bring you into the harbour on Foxhole Lane.

There are toilets, a pub, some accommodation, a post office, shops and some restaurants available at Gorran Haven, as well as buses onwards to Mevagissey.There is also a seasonal ferry which runs from Mevagissey to Fowey.

To leave Gorran Haven, head up Church Street, there is a signpost on the right which will lead down to a beach, but also brings you back onto Church Street. Instead of turning right, head up the road and walk past Mount Zion Church, before bearing right onto Cliff Road. At the top of this road the coastal path is signposted, where you should take the path on the right hand side, heading towards Portmellon.

Continue along the road which will bring you to Penhaver House, then climb across a stile which is situated on the left hand side, keep to the field edges and follow over a small hump before heading down and crossing over a footbridge, then head uphill, at the top you will come out ontoPabyer Point.

Walk around the point, then descend and walk around Turbot Point which will bring you to a small bay, here you should walk across the access road which is at Chapel Point. Continue on the path crossing the slopes which are gentle at first, but then become a bit more rough before heading onto a road. When you reach Chapel Point Lane, turn right down into a junction, where you should take a second right down into Portmellon. This will lead you around the point of a beach and to the Rising Sun Inn a 17th century inn which has food, drink, toilets and accommodation if needed. Carry on up Portmellon Road where you will pass more offers of accommodation. When you reach a road junction, continue to follow the coastal path by taking the path that runs through the park. By now you should be able to see the harbour ofMevagissey. Take the road and you can reach the harbour by walking down the steps and alleys or head into the town centre by staying on the road.

Mevagissey offers accommodation, toilets, a post office, a bank, pubs, restaurants and a tourist information centre. There is also a small aquarium and theMevagissey Museum. There are buses back to Gorran Haven, or onwards to Pentewan, St Austell and Par. It is possible to get a seasonal ferry from Mevagissey to Fowey, but it is best to check the times.

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Day 28 - Mevagissey to Polmear

Starting at Mevagissey and finishing at The Ship Inn at Polmear. The total distance of the walk is 11.25 miles (18km). The walk is quite hard and rugged at first, but the easier later on. Refreshments and toilets are available at Pentewan, Charlestown and Par.

To leave Mevagissey start at the point of the harbour and head to the museum, as you walk towards it, look out for a small concrete path which is climbs on the left hand side. This path is marked as the coastal path, however if you miss it and find that you have gone too far and arrived at the museum, then climb up a steep set of stairs. From either direction you will need to continue by climbing more steps up towards the coastguard lookout before walking across an grassy, open space at the top of the cliffs.

Walk along the leafy path, keeping seaward side of the houses you see, before walking between the gardens and the rough cliffs. Head downwards into a valley, walk across a footbridge then climb the flight of stairs. From here you can either walk through the rugged areas around Penare Point or walk alongside the fields, but from either route you must continue downwards afterwards and walk across a footbridge which lays over a large, muddy space. The path climbs from here and follows to the right, but turn left where you will find yourself at the top of a road, bear right and advance onto a path which runs alongside the road. Walk across the access road for Pentewan Sands Holiday Park, then continue onto the pavement which runs alongside a busy road. Head right for Pentewan and then walk to The Square in the centre of the village.

At Pentewan there are some shops, toilets, a pub and some accommodation. Transport includes buses back to Mevagissey and Gorran Haven or onwards to St Austell, where other connections are possible either by bus or rail.

To leave Pentewan follow up Porthpean Road and Pentewan Hill, which is quite steep. Take a right to turn onto The Terrace where you will walk past a church, named All Saints Church. When you reach the end of this road, you will notice a path, take this, but almost straight away, take the steps on your left hand side. This will bring you to fields, walk around these and here the path undulates quite a lot. Follow the steps which also undulate and the path now becomes enclosed by gorse bushes, cross a small bridge before ascending another set of steps. Follow on before heading down into a woody valley area, there are more steps which head down to another bridge. From here bear right, heading downstream where you will find yourself standing near some tall pines at Hallane Mill, there should be a house nearby.

Veer left, this will take you inland, walk past a gate than take a right and climb over a stile, this will take you towards to coast again. From here you can see how the river meets the sea as a waterfall, before ascending the steps, follow the path and walk down to Black Head, a headland. There is a path which leads out onto the headland if you wish to take it and explore, if not then make a left turning around the memorial stone for the Cornish poet A.L Rowse. Head for a wooded area, ascend onto a cliff path, then continue alongside the fields. Follow across Ropehaven Cliffs, which are a nature reserve, head down into another wooded area, then turn left and walk uphill when you reach a bench.

The woodland path eventually gives way to a track, when this happens turn right onto a road from Trenarren House. The coastal path is signposted on the right hand side of the road, follow onto it and walk between fields and along the cliffs which are woody in this area. Climb down some steps and cross over a stream via a footbridge, and walk back up the steps on the other side of the stream. Walk across the top and then walk alongside a fence which will lead down to a small stream, cross the footbridge. Take a second set of steps, follow over the rise and head down to a track which heads towards a road at Porthpean. Here the coastal path is directly above the beach and runs in front of Porthpean Sailing Club, walk down a ramp, then along the concrete wall where you will pass toilets. Walk up the stone steps, bear left, then walk straight, heading inland and climb uphill along Porthpean Beach Road. From here, take another right turning and continue down Porthpean Road, another right turning will lead you onto Duporth road, before rounding the point of the harbour into Charlestown.

At Charlestown you can find toilets, pubs, restaurants, some accommodation, and a post office. There is also a Shipwreck & Heritage Centre which is situated at the head of the harbour. St Austell is close by which is accessible by bus, it has a greater range of facilities including more bus links and a link to the main railway line.

To leave Charlestown, walk down to the far end of the harbour, then turn left and and take a tarmac path which passes some toilets, from here the path starts to turn inland across the fields. Bear right in order to head back towards to coast, and take a right again which will lead you past Porth Avallen Hotel. Continue along the track, then walk across a green area which will lead you to pass the front of the Carlyon Bay Hotel. Advance through a second green area, continue across an old car park and walk across the access road for the Cornwall Coliseum. Follow along an unkempt track and continue to walk beside the Carlyon Bay Golf Course and head on towards a china clay pit at Spit Point. Take a left turning inland and walk along the tarmac track alongside the fence of china clay works. Walk across a bridge which covers piping and then walk beside the rail road where you will come out onto a road. Walk past the access point for Port of Par before making a right hand turn and walking underneath the arch of a railway bridge. When you reach the junction near The Par Inn, turn right and walk over the level crossing and under a second railway arch, continue to walk along the road until you are out of the village of Par. Walk past the church and turn right when you reach a junction. Turn right again and follow onto a path which heads towards Par Sands, follow the path which is set slightly back from the beach, where you arrive into a car park. From here you can access the Ship Inn and Polmear.

Par and Polmear have a post office, some accommodation, shops and pubs. Transport links include buses back to St Austell where other connections are available, or onwards to Fowey. The railway line atPar connects to Newquay as well as the main railway.

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Day 29 - Polmear to Polperro

Starting at The Ship Inn in Polmear and finishing at Polperro. The total distance of this walk is 13 miles (21km). The is easy enough at the start, but gradually gets harder, particularly from Gribbin Head and onwards. Refreshments can be found at Polkerris, Fowey and Polruan.

When leaving Polmear look out for the coast path which is signposted to the left hand side of The Ship Inn. Follow the path upwards and round to the right, where it runs close to the coast. The path in this section is fairly simple and easy to walk along, if you had the time to explore Par Sands, then you can take the path back up which meets up with the coastal path. Follow this path which ascends for a little while, take a path that goes through some bushes, the harbour that you can see from here is Polkerris harbour. When you see Rashleigh Inn and the Lifeboat House Beach Shop & Cafe, walk between them, toilets are available here if needed.

Bear left down onto the beach, walk inland somewhat, then bear right and take a path before climbing up a set of stone stairs, the path meanders and runs into a slope which has beech trees on it. Advance along the fields which brings you closer to the coast, continue to cross the slopes which become rougher and sometimes have gorse bushes on them. Keep going along the path where you will eventually come round to Little Gribbin, followed by Gribbin Head. From here you must either stay on the current, cliff path and then turn around the headland or head towards the Gribbin day-mark, which is red and white. Whichever way you choose, make sure to climb down to a small cove at Poltridmouth, walk across the footbridges and turn right at the signposted coastal path. This will lead you round to a smaller beach.

Walk across a stream and after this, bear right onto the path, which is woody, this will lead you to Lankelly Cliff. It is possible for the path to be quite worn in some areas, take the steps and follow along the path near the field edges, which undulates for a little while, continue downhill into the valley and cross the bridge. Continue to walk up, then come down again where you will be at Coombe Hawne, there is a small beach here, which if you have the time you may choose to explore. Again, head uphill where you will come ontoAllday's fields and Covington Wood. Keep going through the wood until you come to Readymoney Beach. The beach itself is overlooked by St. Catherine's Castle, built in the 16th century. Toilets, food and drink are available if needed.

Head along Readymoney Road and walk along the promenade in order to reach Fowey (pronounced Foy). If you want to explore, then head down the road and keep going until you get to the town centre, which can be incredibly busy at times.

Facilities at Fowey include: toilets, shops, accommodation, pubs, restaurants, a post office and ATMs. You can get buses back to Par and St Austell, where further connections are available.

If you don't have the time to stop in Fowey, or you wish to leave then find the ferry for Polruan, which is signposted on the right. When the weather is poor, then the ferry runs from Town Quay, in which case carry on into the town centre. The ferry runs regularly and and all year, if you do want to check the times the number is: 01726 870232

When you arrive in Polruan you can find a post office, some accommodation, shops, pubs and restaurants and toilets. Transport includes buses to Polperro and Looe. You may choose not to make use of any of these facilities if you have just stopped in Fowey.

To leave Polruan, ascend the hill from The Lugger Inn and The Quay, this can be done by steps or road. Turn right into West Street, pass the Russell Inn, take a left into Battery Lane and walk past theHeadland Gardens. Continue along the path, which runs near a car park and the National Coastwatch Station. Advance along the road, passing a school and then turn right which will bring you back to the path.

The coastal path roller coasters somewhat and crosses a small stream. Climb upwards where it is possible to look down onto Lantic Bay. From here the path drops down and crosses a slope. As you are ascending, make sure you don't veer off down to the beach access point via a stile. Turn left, walk uphill, then take a right and start to descend. Turn left which will keep you on the coastal path, as opposed to dropping down onto the beach, this will lead you toPencarrow Head.

Follow the path across the slope, where you will be above a cottage. Advance with the path into the field, keeping to the right. The path undulates somewhat here. Continue along, crossing the footbridges and the stile. When you come to the gateway, take the right and head down into West Combe. The drop is quite steep, walk across a footbridge and walk above a waterfall situated at Lantivet Bay. Keep left for the coastal path, unless you have the time to explore the beach access on the right. Carry along, as you begin to reach a gate, turn right and curve across the slopes, head downwards into a valley and then cross a stream.

Follow the path which is narrow and steep here, you will pass another day-mark. There is also a bell out to sea, which is used to warn mariners of the Udder Rock. Cross a hill, and continue down the steps. Continue over a footbridge, ascend a set of steps on a slope, continue over the top of the slope and head down the other side where you will be at Raphael Cliff. Turn around the cliff and walk up, then follow down another slope, cross over a stream and walk past a sign for Chapel Cliff. The walk becomes quite steep, the track gradually becomes more and more enclosed by bushes and trees. When you start to spot houses ahead of you, take the path on right that is closest to the cliffs. When you reach a rocky stance, you can see Polperro harbour. Turn right onto a tarmac track that follows downhill, the steps to the right hand side will take you to the harbour. Turning left will take you past the Blue Peter Inn, a block of toilets and the area where the Polperro fishermen land their fish. Head round to the point of the harbour, then cross a river when you reach House on Props.

At Polperro you can find shops, accommodation, a post office and pubs and restaurants. Transport links include buses back to Polruan or onwards to Looe.

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Day 30 - Polperro to Portwrinkle

The walk starts at Polperro and finishes at Portwrinkle. The total distance is 12.5 miles (20km). To start with the walk is easy, it does become more difficult, but there are easy periods along the way. Refreshments can be found at Talland Bay, Looe, Millendreath Beach, Seaton and Downderry.

 At the point of Polperro harbour, there is a river, cross this and then continue right along a path beside The Warren, it will be labelled as “Public Footpath Talland Bay.” You will pass by toilets and the views from this section of the path are good, they look back over Polperro harbour. The path climbs, when a junction is reached take the right, which will be signposted as Talland.

Descend with the track and then walk around Downend Point, you will walk close by a granite memorial. From here the path runs onto a gorse covered slope, follow it and stay on it when it transitions into a tarmac path. When this path begins to veer inland make sure to take the path on the right hand side to stay close to the coast. To reach Talland Bay, you need to take a right, leading you downhill, then a left and a second right.

There is a tarmac road which leads from Talland Bay Café, take this and walk past the toilets, after this take a right which will lead you past the Smuggler's Rest Café. From here you can see that there is a car park opposite and the way back to the coastal path is via a set of steps. Climb the steps and the field path will transition into a path which heads into a woody area becoming narrower, follow the path which becomes increasingly bushier before climbing up some steps towards Hendersick. Once again the path runs onto a slope before heading to a rocky tor which is position above Hore Stone. When looking down from here, it is St. George's Island that you can see.

Head downwards before climbing steps and staying on higher ground around a bay named Portnadler Bay. Descend down another set of steps, cross a bridge and walk along the path, which is flat around this section, it will lead you through more bushes and eventually onto a road. You follow either take the grassy coastal path or the Marine Drive, as both run alongside each other around the Hannafore Point. Keep following the path until it is possible to see Banjo Pier in Looe Bay.

Then you need to walk down the road and look out for the Coast Path which drops down to the harbour. There is a seasonal ferry which carries passengers between West and East Looe, but if you are travelling out of season, or don't want to take the ferry then it is possible to walk across the bridge which doubles up as a road. Head towards The Guildhall either by walking along the main high street, named Fore Street or by following along the harbour.

Facilities in West & East Looe include (though there are more facilities in East Looe), shops, toilets, accommodation, banks, a tourist information centre, restaurants and pubs. Transport is available either by bus or train. There is a train station with links back to the main railway line at Liskeard, and buses back to Polperro and Polruan or onwards to Seaton, Downderry, Portwrinkle and Torpoint where you can connect to Plymouth.

The tourist information centre address is: Tourist Information Centre, The Guildhall, Fore Street, East Looe, Cornwall, PL13 1AA. And their telephone number is: 01503 262072.

To leave East Looe, turn from Fore Street onto Buller Street, then take a left onto Castle Street. Walk up the steep hill, continue through a crossroads and head onto East Cliff. The road now becomes a tarmac track which continues uphill. When the path forks, take the right and walk along the gravelly path amongst the bushes before heading onto another tarmac track. Walk past houses, follow down the road to Plaidy Lane where there is a junction, turn right and follow down the hill, begin to head towards a beach, but instead of turning onto it, turn onto the road which ascends and keep on it, though it veers inland. Look out for a tarmac track which heads up a steep hill on the right hand side, take this and then advance along the road to the top of the hill. There are concrete steps which head downhill and follow between two houses, take these before taking a path which runs down to Millendreath Beach. There are toilets, food and drink. Carry on past the beach and continue up a road which heads inland. The tarmac path changes at The Watch House and becomes a track which leads through a woody area. You will come out onto a road nearBay View Farm campsite. From here carry on walking along the road looking out for a sign for Seaton, which is also the coastal path. It is on the right near a sign for Bodigga Cliff.

The track starts off in an open area, but goes downhill, then roller coasters before heading into a woody slope. At Murrayton there is the Woolly Monkey Sanctuary, however there is no direct access from the coastal path. Walk past a National Trust sign which signposts Struddicks, ascend the hill before the path flattens out. Walk up a second hill and follow the steps which head down into another woody area. Bear right onto a road which is named Looe Hill, take a second right crossing a river. Follow along Bridge Road before coming into Seaton.

At Seaton you can find toilets, accommodation, a post office and places to eat. To get to The Seaton Valley Countryside Park, cross the road from the beach. Transport links include buses back to Looe, or onwards to Downderry, Portwrinkle or Torpoint to connect for Plymouth.

The tide can decide which route when to take when leaving Seaton. If the tide is out then you can take the track that runs alongside the seawall, which will drop down onto the beach, obviously this is no good if the tide is in, because you may not be able to walk along the beach. If the tide is in, then walk along the road, but ultimately both of these paths end up by the access for The Inn on the Shore. There is a path near the inn connects the main road and the beach.

In Downderry there are a small amount of facilities including, toilets, some accommodation, a post office, and places to eat and drink. Transport links include buses back to Seaton and Looe or onwards to Portwrinkle.

To leave Downderry either follow the road through it or if you choose to walk along the beach then you should take a ramp which leads off the beach and head onto a road named Beach Hill that heads inland. Turn right and walk along Main Road (the B3247). Continue along the road before heading down into a dip and walking past St. Nicholas' Church. The road climbs uphill from here and veers to the left, follow it around. By the entrance for Downderry Lodge, there is the coastal path sign. The path now heads into a slope which is bushy and woody. Near the top you should bear right to bring yourself into another path that runs along a run down wall on top of Battern Cliffs. The path does become somewhat easier from here and there are views down onto a slope that heads down onto a beach. The Long Stone stack is quite visibly pronounced from here. If the weather is fine and clear then it is possible to see Plymouth.

Begin to descend before passing through a gate, head down a set of steps and follow the path upwards as it ascends. It begins to undulate, continue along it and pass through the gates that you come across. There is a wooden building which you will walk below before passing through another gate, continue uphill before taking a set of steps which descend. Follow along the path which stays close to the coast before arriving into Portwrinkle, a small village. The coastal route from here is marked above the houses, continue to follow it. Make a right hand turning onto a road which will bring you to a small harbour. Take the road which is coastal and looks over onto the shore before reaching the Whitsand Bay Hotel.

Facilities in Portwrinkle include: toilets, a couple of B&Bs, a hotel which has a restaurant and a beach shop. There is a second village named Crafthole which is 0.5 miles (800m) away, set a little inland. There is also the Finnygook Inn which offers accommodation as well as food and drink. Transport links include buses back to Downderry and Seaton or onwards to Torpoint, where you can connect to go onwards to Plymouth.  

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Day 31 - Portwrinkle to Plymouth

Starting at Portwrinkle and finishing at Admiral's Hard in Plymouth. The total distance of the walk is 13.5 miles (22km), the walk is mostly easy in places, there are some short ascents and descents. Towards the end of the walk you will be mostly walking in the woodlands. Refreshments can be found at Freathy, though the cafe is off-route. There are also pubs and restaurants at Cawsand and Kingsand, and refreshments are available at Cremyll when waiting for the ferry.

In order to leave Portwrinkle, follow the ascending coastal path, starting from opposite the Whitsand Bay Hotel. Ascend a set of steps before following the path which now runs beside the golf course. When you reach a sign for Trethill, turn through a gate and then continue the follow the path. You will reach a line of marker posts and there are signs which announced that there is amilitary range ahead. The path is now diverted somewhat inland onto a road, which runs alongside another road for about 330ft (100m). On top of the hill is Tregantle Fort, take a road which runs past it.

When firing is not taking place at Tregantle Fort, it is possible to take a seaward path which is clearly marked out. However, when firing is taking place it will also be obvious that the path is closed, if you want to check the details of when firing will be taking place then ring Range Control on this number: 01752 822516. Roughly speaking there isn't any firing during August or on alternate weekends.

Bear right, heading for Whitsand Bay, as the road runs around to the left, take the path which runs adjacent from where the National Trust sign for Tregantle stands. When looking back to Portwrinkle, you can see sandy beaches which are included the in the military range. Keep walking along the path, heading towards Sharrow Point, walk across a slope which is covered in holiday cabins at Freathy. From here the road ascends before dropping down to a small junction, where on the left hand side there is the Whitsand Bay Holiday Park and there is also access to the Cliff Top Café. It is however, off route and it's access path does not connect up with the coastal path.

Bear right just past a bus stop and post box and continue along the coastal path which is signposted. The path now winds through all the cabins, so be careful to follow the markers through them to avoid getting off track, you will come to a hollow where there are only a few cabins, from here head back onto the road. Then turn right and head down, where you will walk past more cabins across the rough slope. When you reach the grass track, advance along it heading towards the road, before turning right, this will take you down another path. This path bends round to the left and you will walk past the Plymouth Wiggle Hut. Advance along a slope, cross the access road for a row of cottages which are nearby before climbing steps which head inland. Cross another access road which will lead you to walk above Polhawn Fort.

Walk along the field path, which gives way to rough slopes and ascending steps. Follow the path which hugs Rame Head tightly. Here, you can explore St Michael's Chapel which was built in 1397 if you choose to, cross the gap and it is on top of the headland. Positioned slightly inland there is the National Coastwatch Rame Head Station. When you are walking down the gap, make sure to turn off to the left onto the coastal path (the clearest of the paths).

The path from Rame Head to the next point is fairly easy going. When you reach a bend in an old road, keep right. Then walk down to Penlee Point, keep an eye open for Queen Adelaide's Chapel which is on the right hand side. Keep along the road which heads into a woodland, but look out for a track on the right, take this then continue along some more road before heading on to the woodland path. Walk past some houses and take the tarmac path which leads into the woods, before heading down into the The Square at Cawsand. You are able to find toilets, refreshments, Cawsand Bay Hotel, a shop and buses.

After stopping if you choose to do so, head uphill and cross over a rise by road, before heading down onto Garrett Street and intoKingsand. Keep a lookout for a house on the right hand side before you reach the Post Office. There you will see “Devon/Corn” where the old county boundary once ran through the house. When you reach the Post Office, make a right turning, where you will pass an access point for the beach and you will come to Maker with Rame Institute.

At Cawsand and Kingsand you can find: a post office, some accommodation, toilets, shops, pubs and restaurants. Transport links include buses to Cremyll and the Torpoint Ferries, where you can head back Freathy or go on to Plymouth.

After you have walked past the Institute, make a left turning where a street sign for The Cleave is visible. Turn right ontoHeavitree Road, continue up the steep hill, when you see a sign for Lower Row, then make a right turn and walk through a gate which will lead you onto Mount Edgcumbe Country Park. There is a clear path which crosses the slopes before heading into a woodland, then coming out onto a road.

On this road you should make a right hand turning, then a left onto a track. Where the path forks (after an iron gate), take the left, then keep on right on the level path in the woodlands. You will pass a stone shelter, before ascending stairs and cross over a landslip. Take the steps downwards on the other side, then head down towards the coast, walk over a bridge and advance into more woodlands. There is an open area underneath a ruin which is sat on a knoll, walk across this then cross through a gate and fence before heading into woodland. Continue along where at one point you will pass a pretty looking pond which is covered with lilies. Walk on the wide concrete path where you will pass Barn Pool, a small bay.

From here you can turn left which will bring you to a wide road, line with trees. Alternatively you can continue straight on where you will reach the Formal Gardens and The Orangey Restaurant. When you come to a junction, although there is a view of Mount Edgcumbe House to the left, turn right and continue to head downwards until you reach the Edgcumbe Arms and a ferry slip at Cremyll, where you can catch the ferry to Admiral's Hard in Plymouth. Although the ferry does run regularly throughout the year, if you do want to check the times then here is the telephone number: 01752 822105. You can also catch a bus that will take you into the centre of Plymouth, but you also have the option of walking along the Plymouth Waterfront Walkway.

In Plymouth there are a large range of facilities, this city is the biggest on the South West Coast Path and is worth exploring, because although it is a city, there is also The Hoe and The Barbican seafronts to walk along. There are a large amount if shops, restaurants, pubs, banks, ATMs, accommodation, post offices and toilets. You are able to get trains to the far North and Scotland, or to London, or back to Cornwall. There are also buses that can take you to the next stretch of the coastal path, as well as around Plymouth. There are long haul coaches which can take you back to Penzance or to Poole, Bournemouth, Brighton, London, Birmingham and Scotland. The tourist information centre address is:

Tourist Information Centre,

Plymouth Mayflower Centre,

3-5 The Barbican,

Plymouth,

Devon,

PL1 2LR


Telephone number: 01752 306330

Email: barbicantic@plymouth.gov.uk

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Day 32 - Plymouth to Wembury & Wembury Beach

The walk starts at Admiral's Hard ferry slip in Plymouth and finishes at Wembury Beach. The total distance of the walk is 13.5 miles or 22km. The walk is fairly urbanised to start with, but eventually becomes more open and easy after a wooded area. There are plenty of refreshments and toilets available around Plymouth, but also at Pomphlett, Oreston, Turnchapel, Mount Battern and Heybrook Bay.

In order to leave Plymouth, start at the Admiral's Hard ferry slip, in the ground a stone has been set, it reads: “Welcome to Plymouth. Please wipe your feet.” Begin to walk inland, where you have the option of either turning right onto Strand Street or onto Cremyll Street, if you would like to make use of the toilets, shops or pub. On this walk you will come across coded words which are from The Nautical Telegraph Code Book, if you want to know what they mean, you'll be needing a copy! You will be able to catch sight of the docks and Ede Vinegar Works from here.

Walk between the Butchers Arms and the thick granite arch belonging to the Royal William Yard which was built in 1825, you will arrive at a road junction where there is the Artillery Tower restaurant which dates from around the 15th century. At the junction head inland via road rather than taking the promenade which doesn't actually lead to anywhere. From here you are able to view The Sound and Drake's Island. When heading inland, pass the toilets and then stay on the right, keeping on it until you reachDurnford Street.

This street does have a bit of history to it, as Arthur Conan Doyle (author of Sherlock Holmes) used to work as a doctor at No. 1, along the street are quotations from Sherlock Holmes. To continue walk past the Royal Marines Barracks, then turn right onto Millbay Road, then follow onto Caroline Place and head towards Millbay Docks. Walk past a roundabout where you may notice the “Wall of Stars” which celebrates celebrities that have sailed from Plymouth over the years. Walk past some gold bullion lying on the pavement to head up to the Duke of Cornwall Hotel. On the pavement the stones interlock, giving a demonstration of how Eddystone Lighthouse was built. Bear right onto West Hoe Road, follow onto Great Western Road where there is a plethora of accommodation in this area.

Walk past the West Hoe Pier and advance onto Hoe Road, before heading onto The Hoe itself where it is possible to stop and looking at Eddystone Lighthouse. Head down Madeira Road, above you there will be the walls of the Royal Citadel, and below there is the thick sea wall. On one corner you will see a commemoration stone for the Eclipse that took place in 1999. If you head further down the road, then there are boat trips available including a ferry to Mount Battern. Although the ferry runs daily all year, if you want to check the times, then here is the number for that: 07930 838614. However if the Waterfront Walkway catches your attention then keep walking. The Mayflower Steps as well as marking the leaving of the Mayflower, also commemorates other comings and goings. The Tourist Information Centre is easily found on The Barbican.

The Waterfront Walkway runs all the way round Sutton Harbour and the marina, if you want to get to the National Marine Aquarium, then a lock gate and swing-bridge can be used to access it. Follow around the marina and onto Sutton Road, Commercial Road and Clovelly Road. However, if you decide to take the route by the Aquarium then follow a path and Teats Hill Road which will bring you onto Clovelly Road where the two routes meet up. After this, bear right up on to Breakwater Hill where you will pass a large navigation beacon which marks the South West Coast Path. Advance along a tarmac path, following it up and down along the limestone cliffs where you will walk past a large St Christopher medallion. Head onto Cattledown Road, which is quite industrial, you will pass the Cattledown wharves. The Passage Pub House is available for refreshments if needed before a level crossing, turn right on toMaxwell Road, take a second right when you reach the Float Bench on Finnigan Road. Take another right and walk across theNew Laira Bridge which was erected in 1962 alongside an old railway bridge. Then take Billacombe Road where you will pass The Morley Arms, on this road there is a “Poem Wall.”

Bear right onto a cycle and footpath that is situated at the head ofPomphlett Lake, there is access to Morrison's and McDonald's if any refreshments are needed. Up on Oreston Road, the coastal path is signposted, but if you wished then you could follow an old railway path up to Radford Castle in order to stay off the road. If you chose Oreston Road, then walk up and over it before turning right along Rollis Park Road, follow down to The Kings Arms where you can see across Cattlewater. Head up Park Lane, cross a stone stile before heading onto a tarmac track which will reach a road, but then continues down between two houses. Walk cross the railway path that has been mentioned before, there is a dirt road which leads to Radford Castle. It is an old lodge which was built on a dam between Cattlewater and Hooe Lake. Take the gravel path which runs across a woody area, as you are ascending you will notice a sewage works. Then turn right and in a while, begin to walk downwards on Hexton Hill Road, you will reach the Royal Oak which is beside Cattlewater. If needed there is a Post Office shop not too far away.

There is a tarmac track which runs alongside the water, take this and then bear right onto Barton Road, which is owned by the MOD. Take a left turning onto Undercliff Road, which leads intoBoringdon Road where you will pass by the Boringdon Arms. When you get to the New Inn, make a left turn up onto St. John's Road. When you reach the top, make sure to stay on the right hand side as this will allow you to find the marked route. Go down the steps that lead down to a marina at Turnchapel. Keeping following the marked path, though avoid a small boatyard. Continue along where you will pass the Mount Battern Centre and also Hotel Mount Battern. This is where the water taxi from The Barbican from Plymouth arrives, if needed there are toilets situated slightly inland.

Keeping walking round until you arrive at the Breakwater, placed around here there are monuments to the RAF Mount Battern and Lawrence of Arabia. By Cobblers Restaurant there is a bus turning area, take the steps which lead up to Mount Battern Tower located on a small hill where you can see views of The Sound. From here descend down and onto the coastal path which now begins to leave the Mount Battern peninsula. Climb towards the open areas around at Jennycliff, the second of which has refreshments and toilets available if needed. There is a view indicator which compares the modern view with one from when The Sound was dry land, circa 20,000 years ago.

From here head uphill onto a woody slope, the coast path continues even though the Waterfront Walkway ends. There is a marker which shows how far it is to Poole, around 175.5 miles or 283km. Head down several steps before ascending more steps on the woody slope, cross a stream via a bridge. You will come out from the woody area and be able to see Plymouth Breakwater which gives The Sound protection from bad weather. Take a simple path on the cliff, descend some steps where you will be able to see the small harbour at Staddon Point, walk across a footbridge and take another set of steps leading downwards to a few houses. Then turn left onto a road where you will pass a car park and a café, stay right and take the path, then some steps heading down towards Bovisand Bay. Walk across a footbridge, walk upwards, take the access road which leads toBovisand Park, more toilets are passed as well as The Beachcomber Café.

Continue to follow the path along, and cross over the bridges, turn around Renney Rocks where you will be able to see Great Mew Stone, an islet which is shaped like a wonky pyramid. Keep on the path which will lead close to the Heybrook Bay Hotel, then stay on the right hand side, by road to stay on the coastal path that leads around Wembury Point. Here the path is fairly easy, cross a bridge at Wembury Beach, climb the steps which lead to toilets, a café called the Old Mill Café and the Wembury Marine Centre. Slightly inland is the village of Wembury, if you wish to continue then make sure to check the ferry times (the ferry will carry you across the River Yealm). The ferry times are posted at Wembury Beach.

Facilites at Wembury and Wembury beach include: some accommodation, pub, shop, toilets, restaurant and a Post Office. It is best to check the times of the ferry in advance as well as the tide times as the River Erme can ford further along. Transport links include buses back to Plymouth where you can connect to a number of different places, including a service that runs to Noss Mayo if the ferry isn't running across the Yealm.  

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Day 33 - Wembury Beach to Bigbury-on-Sea

The starting point is Wembury Beach and the finishing point is Bigbury-on-Sea. The total distance for the walk is 14.25 miles or 23 km. Easy to start with, but things get a little harder around the River Erme. The river is tidal, and if you are going to ford it, do so with care, there are other means of crossing it. It is best to check the times of low water in advance. Towards the end of the walk, things become harder with more steep ascents and descents. There are very few refreshment points along the way, so it is best to bring your own food!

To leave Wembury Beach take the upward coastal path towards the church. It does not matter which path you take when the path forks,as the two link back up again near a white cottage. Take a track on the right hand side that points towards “Warren Point and Ferry.” The path leads down to the house, steps continue down to the ferry pier. The ferry runs from Easter to September, to check the times in advance the number is 01752 880079, although generally the ferry runs from 1000-1100 and from 1500-1600. There is an arrow on the pier to tell you which way to wave in order to get attention.

If you aren't on a tight time schedule then you could use the ferry and visit Newton Ferrers, there are pubs, restaurants and shops. If not then go straight to the shore of Noss Mayo, but you won't go into the village itself. Ascend the steps from the pier, turn right onto a road which is narrow, make sure to stay on the right hand side, which will lead you pass Ferryman's Cottage. Advance along through Passage Wood, if you look closely you might be able to see a woodpecker or a treecreeper. The track leads to a woodland path, then there is Revelstoke Drive, an old carriage drive, which was ordered to be constructed in the 1880s by Lord Revelstoke. The path now leads out of the woods, passes the old coastguard cottages and a building named Cellars, the path goes back into the woods when it reaches Brakehill Plantation. Continue along the track which comes out onto a rough slope, where you can look out across the Yealm. The path here transitions from gravel to grass and becomes quite easy to walk along. To the left there are mostly fields, and the path will pass Warren Cottage, follow the gravel track. The track does veer inland later on, so make sure to take the grassy path as marked which is past a gate.

Follow the path uphill where you will pass underneath an old coastguard lookout. Head downhill, rounding a corner at Stoke Point, you will see an old gate pillar. Take the gate through into the woody area, follow through into the car park and then cross the access road for Revelstoke Park (a holiday park) to follow the coastal path. Some refreshments are available from the holiday park, but definitely not out of season. There is also a B&B situated inland at Rowden if needed. Once the access road has been crossed, once again the gravelly path becomes grassy with hawthorns on either side. Continue along until you come to a point where the path veers inland to the left, where you can see an old lookout on Beacon Hill (100m or 330ft), at this point be sure to take the coastal path which drops down, quite steeply into a grassy hollow. It possible to walk down into the hollow then back up the other side, but it is also possible to walk around the edge of the hollow. Head up a path, when you reach a gate on a corner keep walking straight on as the signpost indicates you should. Advance along this flat section of the coastal path, you will notice marker points on the right hand side which tell you go downhill, follow these downwards. Cross a slope, down into a wooded area, then cross a valley where you will notice a large tor, named St. Anchorite's Rock. You will walk past it on the right hand side, continue through the fields, crossing over V-shaped stiles. The route now passes out of fields and onto the cliffs, where you can see Butcher's Cove. Head down a slope, then come into a valley where you will notice stacks out to sea.

Walk over a bridge that covers a stream in a valley, climb the steps on a slope, at the top you will find a field path. Follow it along, where it will start to transitions into a wooded slope, descending it comes to Meadowfoot Beach. Bear left which will lead you past a boathouse, then walk across a beach and walk over a headland to follow the coastal path. Follow the steeps steps uphill, head onto a road then come onto the Mothecombe Slipway at Erme Mouth.

There is information board about the River Erme, which is tidal. Do not cross the river if the conditions are not favourable, it is possible to walk around, it will extend you journey by 7 miles or 11km, alternatively you can arrange for a taxi. Most authorities agree that the river can be forded for one hour on each side of low water. However, if there are gale force winds which are pushing salt water into the river mouth, or it has flooded it is unlikely that it is passable. If the conditions are calm there may be a larger window of around 3 hours to pass before low water. Never cross if the tide has already covered the fording point. If you are going to ford then cross from Mothecombe Slipway over to Kingston Slipway, you can always head towards Wonwell Beach in order to cut a corner on your walk.

If you do come onto Kingston Slipway then head towards the car park, and bear right onto a path that follows across a slope, walk across Wonwell Beach, take the path that leads out across the headland. Above Fernycombe Beach there is a dip which you should cross before climbing up to Beacon Point, which stands at 100m or 330ft. From here if you look inland you can see the higher parts of Dartmoor. Take the gate which is placed in a thick stone wall, head down into a second dip before ascending again. Follow through a gate, advance along the path before going into another valley, then climb up to Hoist Point. Take the path down toWestcombe Beach, which is steep and quite rough, cross the bridge. Ascend some steps and walk along the cliffs, where you can enjoy the views.

Head down to Ayrmer Cove, then come up the other side to find yourself at Toby's Point. Now head down to Challaborough Bay, where are some shops, toilets and The Regatta Bar. Buses do run back to Plymouth, but they are very irregular. Follow a path that runs by the beach café, it will lead you Bigbury-on-Sea. There is a road that leads down to the sea, if you wanted to, you could take a trip out to Burgh Island if the tide is right. The low tide exposes sand you can walk across to explore the island. There is The Pilchard Inn which dates from around 1336 as well as other things. If the tide is in then the island is still accessible by means of a sea tractor!

Facilities at Bigbury-on-Sea include: a post office, toilets, shops, pubs, cafés, a small amount of accommodation, there is also a hotel on Burgh Island. There are buses back to Plymouth or inland to Kingsbridge, but these are irregular too. It is best to check the ferry times for the following morning for crossing the River Avon.

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Day 34 - Bigbury-on-Sea to Salcombe

The start point is Bigbury-on-Sea, the finishing point is the Ferry Inn at Salcombe. The total distance of this walk is 13 miles or 21 km. To begin with the ascents and descents are gentle enough, but they become sharper as the walk continues. Refreshments can be found at Bantham, South Milton Sands has a beach cafe, Outer Hope and a pub named Port Light Inn is available on Bolberry Down.

 To leave Bigbury-on-Sea go to the main car park, and take the coastal path as signposted which will lead you away from the car park and down the few steps onto the beach. You can follow along the sandy banks of the River Avon when the tide is out to the Cockleridge, however when the tide is high make sure to follow the markers, they will lead you over Folly Hill. Keep to the left hand side of the buildings, then come onto a road (the B3392), stay close to the sea, before crossing over.

When you reach Mount Folly Farm, make a right hand turn and then follow the signs for the coastal path, the markers now go steeply downhill before making a left hand turn at the bottom. If you look along the Cockleridge there is a sign giving information about crossing the River Avon via ferry. It is also possible to walk around it, but it adds 7.5 miles or 12 km onto your journey. Generally speaking the ferry runs everyday from March until September, from 1000-1100, 1500-1600, if you want to check the times then the number is: 01548 561196. To attract the ferry's attention, jump up and down and shout, it looks like Bantham is far away, but they will hear you!

When you have made the crossing, walk along the slip road which leads away from the ferry, bear right in order to leave Bantham, if you wanted you could always visit The Sloop Inn. Advance on the coastal path, walk through a road which is in a car park, pass by some toilets and walk down to a beach. When you reach the lifeguard base, be sure to keep to the left of it before ascending the headland, looking back you can see Burgh Island. This small section is walked on the edge of the Thurlestone Golf Course, the cliffs here are quite crumbly, so take care. Take a tarmac track which runs seaward of Links Court, once a hotel, if needed toilets are situated just inland, with Thurlestone village further inland. Continue along, keeping to the edge of the cliff when you reach a small car park, then head onto a path and stay on it until the road end, then cross a long, wooden bridge. As you are doing this you will find yourself looking inland onto a small lake, which has reeds around the outside of it. If you look out to Thurlestone bay area, you will be able to see Thurlestone Rock, an arch formation.

Continue along where you will be able to find refreshments: a café and toilets at South Milton Sands. There is a dusty, dirt road which heads out of the car park, take this. When you reach the Thurlestone Rock Apartments, begin to head inland, when you reach a thatched building, turn right (as signposted) back onto the coastal path. Follow the cliff path now, passing Beacon Point Hotel, then begin to ascend before dropping sharply intoHope Cove.

Outer Hope & Inner Hope, facilities include: toilets, pubs and restaurants, shops, post office and some accommodation. These facilities are mainly base in Outer Hope. Transport links include buses running inland to Kingsbridge where further connections are possible.

To leave Outer Hope, follow the road through the village, then come onto a tarmac path, keeping seaward side of the Cottage Hotel, this will lead you into Inner Hope. Ascend the steps, come onto a woodland track and follow along where you will come out into some open slopes this will lead you to the headland ofBolt Tail. Although here it is possible to take short cuts, it is worth the effort of walking around the headland. Be sure to pay attention to where you're walking as at times the coastal path can be a little unclear at points, although this is mostly just to start off with. When climbing Bolberry Down, do it in stages in order to make it easier on yourself as it sits at 395ft, or 120m. When you reach the top begin to follow a wide path which starts just beyond a car park, unless you want to go to Port Light Inn for refreshments, in which case head to the left. The wide path does become an apex, walk along this where you will be able to see inland to Southdown Farm. Dropping down into Cathole Cliff into a valley, the track does become rougher and stonier, head through a valley. Now cross a bridge where you will be able to see the rough looking Soar Mill Cove, head upwards where the path should level out somewhat around The Warren. The path here is quite gorse covered. Again there options to take short cuts, but the coastal path keep to the right where it meets Bolt Head, an abandoned lookout sits close. Head downwards to this lookout, bear left and head onto a rough path. When you reach the bottom, cross over the stream, then pass through the gate which is above Starehole Bay.

Begin to ascend (it is quite steep here), then climb some steps which will lead you past a Tor named Sharp Tor, where the “stare hole” has been stabbed through Sharp Tor. Continue along, rounding a rocky brim, looking onwards where you can see Salcombe. The path now heads into a woody area, before becoming a broad, dirt road, turn right down onto a road where you will pass theBolt Head Hotel, then the South Sands Hotel. From here if you wish to stop walking then there is a summer ferry service which runs from South Sands to Salcombe. However if you wish to continue walking, then the coastal path continues to follow the road, before climbing uphill, dropping down to North Sands. Cross a beach, before heading uphill again and descending into Salcombe.

Salcombe facilities include: toilets, pubs, restaurants, a large amount of accommodation, including a youth hostel which is situated at South Sands and a number of campsites, there are also an abundance of shops including a museum, banks, a post office and ATMs. Transport includes buses inland to Kingsbridge, or back to Plymouth. On Sundays there are direct services to Exeter. The tourist information centre is based at this address:

 

Tourist Information Centre,

Council Hall,

Market Street,

Salcombe,

Devon,

TQ8 8DE

Tel No: 01548 843927
Email Address: info@salcombeinformation.co.uk

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Day 35 - Salcombe to Stoke Fleming

The start point for this walk is the Ferry Inn at Salcombe and the finish point is Stoke Fleming. The total distance for this walk is 19.25 miles or 31km. At first there are some sharp ascents and descents, but it does become a bit easier around Prawle Point, take care around Start Point where the cliffs are somewhat exposed. Once again, the route becomes more rugged after this, finishing using a newly made route. Refreshments can be found at The Gara Rock Hotel, Hallsands, Beesands, Torcross and Strete.

 To leave Salcombe, start the Ferry Inn and take the ferry from Salcombe to East Portlemouth, this runs through the year on a daily basis, but if you do want to check the times then the number is: 01548 842364. This ferry makes landfall at a small café, then bear right onto the coastal path to Mill Bay (as is signposted), take the minor road which is wooded, the path undulates from here until when you reach Mill Bay, where there will be toilets. Now turn right onto a wooded path, you will notice that it has been signposted for Gara Rock. This path now comes out onto a slope that is covered with gorse bushes, you will notice that there are two path, it does matter whether you take the upper one or the low one, since they conjoin further along. Keep an eye out for a small lookout, which has been whitewashed, it has an oddly shaped, conical roof. Behind this building there is the Gara Rock Hotel, which offers refreshments and accommodation if you are willing to take a short detour.

The track now heads downwards into a dip, cross a small bridge which is next to a ruin, before climbing upwards round a second slope that is covered in gorse and bracken. Now head downwards and walk across a stone ditch, head uphill, cross the notch and ledge. Follow along, where you will cross over the back of Gammon Head, cross a dip by a rocky cove, the cliff does continue around a second adjacent cove, turn around the point and continue up the rocky steps. Walk through a narrow gap between the wall and a boulder, continue towards the National Coastwatch Station on Prawle Point. If you have the time to spare, there is a small visitor centre here which can inform you about the local birds. Refreshments are also available at the Pig's Nose pub which is situated inland at East Prawle, there is also a café.

After refreshments, or if you chose to move on straight away then begin to head towards the coastguard cottages before crossing the field which sits below them. Walk through the cereal fields that are set close to the coast, an arch formed out of rock can be seen if you look back towards Prawle Point. At one point the track begins to head inland, follow it initially but then come back round to the right hand side to stay on the coastal path, which now passes in front of Maelcombe House. Continue along the path which goes into a woody area and is quite rough, as well as being slightly sloped around a small point. Begin to head inland a small amount, then make a right turn at the gate in order to walk past a big house where the track is quite grassy. You will pass a second large house, seaward side before heading gently downhill to Lannacombe Beach, a third large house sits on mouth of the valley.

There are danger markers and signs on the next stretch of the path as the cliff is dangerous and particularly crumbly at The Narrows, however, the path does tend to be inland for most of the way. Take special care when you come across the sign that reads, “Please exercise extreme care when using this section of coast path,” as there is exposed bit of cliff ledge, looking ahead you can see the lighthouse based on Start Point. Later on the path meets the ridge quite far back from the light itself and joins the access road. You will notice a signpost that gives the distance back towards Minehead 449 miles (722km) or onwards to Poole 164 miles (264km). From here bear left to come to a car park where an information board is present, take the path on the right hand side which will lead you a steep slope and to Hallsands.

Hallsands is a deserted village, once it had 37 houses and around 128 residents. However, due to developments near Plymouth which shifted the shingle ridge which once protected Hallsands, the cliffs began to crumble. Eventually the houses ended up in the ocean, some sitting low in the cliffs can still be seen today. Most of the village went around 1917. The Trouts Hotel (built by the Trout sisters) sits on top of the cliffs and offers refreshments, though not accommodation because it is used for apartments. There is a view point where you can see the ruins.

After Hallsands head along the cliff path and follow the steps which lead up and down, this will lead you to toilets and a B&B which is situated near a car park. The beach at Greenstraight, is pebbly and runs along until Tinsey Head, follow it, until you will see a path which leads up onto Tinsey Head. Now take a field path which transitions into a track that runs across a rough slope, then runs down to Beesands. The Cricket Inn is useful for refreshments if needed, there is a tearoom in addition to accommodation.

Follow a road which will lead you past St. Andrew’s Church, a factory that processes shellfish and toilets, you will notice that large sea wall that protects cottages. Look out for the coastal path sign which is signposted on a dirt road from the village green, turning inland you can see a small lake which is rimmed with reeds. Stay on the left hand side of Sunnydale, a white house, then take a small path in wooded area and follow it uphill, you will walk above a hollow. Then begin to descend through a field and woods. Follow down hill, wandering from side to side as is marked, you will pass Cliff House and Cliff Cottage. Take the stone steps leading down to the promenade and follow it to the far end where you will find yourself in Torcross.

Torcross is home the the largest natural lake in the West Country, it is estimated to be around 3000 years old, and it formed when a shingle bar was formed by the sea from around Start Bay. It is possible to see lots of different types of wildlife around the lake. There is also an American Tank which is there to pay tribute to the D-Day practices that took place on Slapton Beach. Facilities include: pubs, restaurants, accommodation, toilets and a post office. Transport links include buses back to Kingsbridge and Plymouth, or onwards to Strete, Stoke Fleming and then Dartmouth.

To leave Torcross walk through the car park which is situated at the far end of Torcross, before coming onto a path which is placed on the strip between the main road and the reeds. Near Slapton Bridge cross a road, from here there is access (which is off-route) to Slapton village where a post office, The Tower Inn and The Queen's Arms can be found. If not then head along the track, cross the main road, then follow a section of abandoned road before crossing back over onto the main road and onto the path. Cross once again to the Strete Gate picnic area, taking care this time as it positioned on a bend and can be busy. Toilets are here if needed, take a tarmac path and follow it upwards as it narrows, there is a wooded cutting which opens up onto an access road for the main road. Bear right, then be careful when walking along the main road into Strete.

Strete facilities include: pubs, restaurants, some accommodation, a post office shop and a campsite. Transport links include buses back to Torcross, Kingsbridge and Plymouth, or onwards to Stoke Fleming and Dartmouth.

To leave Strete, follow the main road, make sure to keep the right as you will need to follow a path which runs parallel, bear right onto a concrete road and bear left in order to cross a footbridge and leave the concrete road. Advance through the fields, then far belowLandcombe House, cross a steep valley which has grassy sides, then cross the main road. Bear right onto a path which runs beside the road, cross a grassy hill which will bring you to a set of farm tracks. From here continue to walk downwards, make sure to bear right to head onto a field path which leads sharply downhill into a wooded area, then continue down the steps. On the main road, keep to the left hand side at first, then cross to the right where you will pass Blackpool Sands, toilets and a café are available if needed. From here head upwards on a wooded track which runs alongside the main road, come onto a short section of road, keep an eye for a minor road on the left. Take the minor road and follow it uphill, this will lead past a church and a pub and into Stoke Fleming. Continue to walk straight along Rectory Lane and the tarmac path, afterwards walk beside a playing field, cross the main road which will lead you out of the village.

Stoke Fleming Facilities include: pub, toilets, shop, some accommodation, a post office and a campsite. Transport links include buses back to Kingsbridge, Plymouth and Torcross or onwards to Dartmouth.

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Day 36 - Stoke Fleming to Brixham

This walk starts at Stoke Fleming and finished at Brixham harbour, the total distance of the walk is 15 miles or 24km. This is quite a tough walk, full of lots of sharp ascents and descents, at times the path can be quite rough. Places for refreshments include: Dartmouth and Kingswear, but from then onwards there isn't much at all.

 To leave Stoke Fleming, take a minor road which heads away from it, it is signposted from the main road which is the A379. Follow the road which advances along, head downwards before running around Rockvale. The road follows uphill before going down again, and heads up once more at Redlap House, then leads to a junction and a car park. When you reach a National Trust sign for Little Dartmouth, turn right, then walk into some fields and head towards the coast. Looking back towards Strete Gate from Warren Point, you can see the poor condition of the path between Start Bay to Torcross and Start Point, they may improve the path at some point during the future.

Bear left and walk across the slopes following the coastal path, before rounding a rugged cove. Follow along the path which now transitions into patchy woodland areas, that at times can be overgrown, after this the path is wide and heads into older woods. Now head up an access road for a house called Wavenden, bear right, then right again. This will take you onto a path which runs across a wooded slope, take another right and this will lead you onto a meandering path with steps. Just as you almost arrive at a quiet beach, ascend the steps which have chains on the side and follow the tarmac track onto a road. Turn right once more and go down a set of steps that will lead you to Dartmouth Castle. The castle has different areas of it built throughout the centuries, and a tea room is now available if you wished to stop.

Go to St Petroc's Church which is situated nearby and then take a tarmac path which leads to a road, there is a seasonal ferry on the right hand side which runs to Dartmouth, the coastal path continues parallel to Castle Road. Continue on the road which runs through Warfleet, it is overlooked by Darmouth Pottery. Keep an eye for the coastal path which is signposted down some steps and to the right for the ferry. Walk on the cobbled waterfront towards the ferry where you can see Agincourt House which was built in around 1830. You can continue further into Dartmouth if you wish to explore and then catch the ferry from Boat Float to get to Kingswear. The ferry runs from Dartmouth to Kingswear runs daily all year round, but if you do want to check the times, then telephone number is : 01803 752342.

Dartmouth facilities include: pubs, toilets, restaurants, accommodation, ATMs, a post office, shops and museum which is located at The Engine House. Transport links are buses back to Stoke Fleming, Strete, Torcross, Kingsbridge and Plymouth. There are also services which run inland to Totnes where you can connect to the main railway line. Boat trips and ferry services across the river are available. The tourist information centre is located at:

The Tourist Information Centre,

The Engine House,

Mayor's Avenue,

Dartmouth,

Devon,

TQ6 9YY

Tel No: 01803 834224

Email address: holidays@discoverdartmouth.com

Kingswear Facilities include: toilets, pub, accommodation, shops, a post office and restaurants. Transport links included buses onwards to Brixham and Torquay, as well as having the Paignton & Dartmouth Railway – a steam service which connects with the mainline at Torbay, but is used just for fun as well!

To leave Kingswear, follow the coastal path which runs underneath an arch by the post office, make a left turn turn and climb the Alma Steps. When you reach the top, turn right and take a narrow road which leads out of Kingswear and onto a private road for Kingswear Court. Then fork left and keep advancing along the road which leads inland. Bear right and descend some steps to reach Warren Woods and continue walking along the path which now meanders. At the there bottom there is a stream, cross it using the small concrete bridge, walk a small way up an access road where you will see a folly on the right hand side. Now turn left up a set of steps and follow a woody path which wanders from side to side. After this the path transitions over into a wide and clear path.

Follow this path across woody slopes and looking back you can see Dartmouth Castle. When you pass a National Trust sign for Higher Brownstone, the path becomes narrower and then leads to Brownstone Battery which lived a short life between 1940 and 1951, from here you can see out over Inner Froward Point. Continue along the narrow path and down towards to sea, the path will veer to the left and later on it heads uphill. For a small time, follow a wide path before it narrows down and heads downwards towards Outer Froward Point where you can see Mew Stone. Advance along the cliffs and Pudcombe Cove, following the rollercoaster path which swings not only from side to side, but up and down as well! Make a right turn for Sharkham Point, follow the track which turns away from the woody cove and onto a slope before dropping and turning to the left. Climb up the side of the valley and head down towards the coast, then bear left and walk across a rough slope. Another drop leads down to a valley where is there is access for Scabbacombe Sands.

Walk across a bridge where there is access for the beach and then pass a sign for Woodhuish, climb sharply uphill, then descend, before ascending once again, though not quite so steeply. Walk along the cliff edge, which when at the right of the time year is flowery and overgrown, head downhill before keeping to the right hand side of some whitewashed cottages which will lead to to Man Sands. On the beach you will notice that there is an old limekiln, head along the top of the storm beach, then continue by climbing steeply onto Southdown Cliff. Advance on the path at the top, which is enclosed somewhat by bushes, then cross over a rugged slope and a footbridge. Take a path which heads towards Sharkham Point, stay on the marked path the full way round.

At times around St. Mary's Bay, the path can be enclosed by bushes and there are lots of wooden steps to ascend! There is a possible diversion route to avoid any land-slips around St. Mary's Holiday Village. Walk alongside the perimeter fence and then turn right onto Douglas Avenue to find a path back towards the coast. The path for this section is relatively easy, when crossing over the stiles you might notice the limestone which is specific to Devon, the stone looks almost marble like, and was used to build walled forts on Berry Head. This area is managed as a National Nature Reserve and if you have the time to spare then there is an interesting Visitor Centre. A tea room named the Guardhouse Tearooms is available if you follow a road which leads into the fort on the end of the headland.

If you don't wish to visit the fort on Berry Head, then make a left on the road beforehand and head to a pair of gates. Then head to the left which will lead you onto a gravel path and down into the woods, on the right hand side there will be steps; take these. Now bear right down a road, where you will pass the Berry Head Hotel, keep walking where you will reach Shoalstone Car Park and some toilets. There is a waterfront walk which leads into Brixham, though you will have to follow the road at some points. A harbourside walk will take from the Breakwater into the town centre. At the head of the harbour you might notice a statue, it is a statue of William Prince of Orange which records his landing on November 5th 1688.

Brixham facilities include: toilets, shops, pub, restaurants, ATMs, a post office, lots of accommodation and a museum. Transport links include buses back to Kingswear or onwards to Paignton and Torquay. There are also National Express coaches which run to London and Birmingham, and seasonal ferry services from Brixham to Torquay. The Tourist Information Centre is based at:

The Tourist Information Centre,

The Old Market House,

The Quay,

Brixham,

Devon

TQ5 8TB

The telephone no is: 09066 801268

Email address: brixham.tic@torbay.gov.uk

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Day 37 - Brixham to Shaldon

The starting point is Brixham Harbour and the finishing point is Shaldon, the total distance for this walk is 19.25 miles (31km). This route is slightly rough and rugged to begin with, becomes easier around Goodrington, Paignton and Torquay, but then becomes harder with lots of short and sharp ascents and descents. There are lots of refreshments available throughout the Torbay area, after this refreshments are available at Babbacombe, Watcombe and Maidencombe.

To leave Brixham began at the Golden Hind which is at the head of Brixham harbour. Continue around the harbourside, you will pass various offers for day trips in boats to Dartmouth and similar activities. Look out for the coastal path which is signposted between Brixham Harbour Office and the Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen. Walk past the AstraZeneca Brixham Environmental Laboratory and ascend the steps, at the top you will find the Battery Gardens. The battery itself dates from around the 1940s, later on the coastal path diverts to a road-end where there is the Brixham Battery Heritage Centre.

Make a right turn onto a tarmac track which is situated between holiday developments, it will bring you to The Grove. The Grove is an ancient woodland which is partly natural. Now head downwards and take a path which is the clearest and most seaward through the woods. Walk across the beach at Churston Cove and climb the steps. Head down into the wooded area, the path is easier here and there is a golf course to the left hand side. Advance along until you reach the end of the woods and begin to walk along a ridge at Elberry Cove, cross over to the far side. Take the path which leads into the woods for a short amount of time before transitioning into a wide and grassy area, follow this and it will bring you Broadsands. You can see the long line of beach huts which run almost all the way around the cove, there are toilets and refreshments here if wanted.

Walk towards and then beyond the last beach hut. Pick up the tarmac track which is below a railway viaduct. When you see the coastal path sign for Goodrington, turn right up the concrete stairs. Continue along where you will find yourself sandwiched between houses and mobile homes and the railway line and then follow the dip down and up again. Head downwards and then walk below the railway, then out onto the promenade situated at Goodrington South Sands. There are refreshments and toilets here as well as some shops, amusements, the Waterpark and the Inn on the Quay. Walking around the promenade will lead you into Goodrington North Sands where more refreshments are available. The lower path ends soon by some beach huts, and there are numerous different meandering paths all around Roundham Head. The correct path is marked out by coastal path markers, but it is easy enough to find your own way to the top of Roundham Head. Continue around the cliffs and into Roundham Gardens. When reaching Cliff Road, bear right and walk down to Paignton Harbour where you will arrive The Pier Inn and a post office.

Paignton facilities include: pubs, restaurants, toilets, ATMs, post office, lots of accommodation and shops. Transport links include buses which go to other pats of Torbay, there is a branch line which links with the main railroad at Newton Abbot as well as the Paignton & Dartmouth Railway. National Express coaches also serve Paignton and run to London and Birmingham. The tourist information centre is located at:

The tourist information centre,

The Esplanade,

Paignton,

Devon,

TQ4 6ED

Tel No: 01803 558383

Email address: paignton.tic@torbay.gov.uk

To leave Paignton head through the Harbour Light Restaurant via a covered gap, this will lead you to the Esplanade. The seafront hotels are set back from the sea slightly, and around this area there is a cinema, plenty of food and drink and a pier to explore. If the tide is in, then head inland a little onto a busy road. If not then walk along beach for a small while to reach Preston Sands, where toilets and refreshments are available. Before reaching the last beach huts, head between the gaps of earlier beach huts. Now follow along a tarmac track which runs over the cliffs. Bear left and then cross over a bridge which is above the railway, bear right into Hollicombe park, toilets are available if needed.

To leave Hollicombe park, head out of the main gate then bear right onto the main road. Walk downwards and cross a railway bridge before heading into Torquay via the coast. At Corbyn Head there are hotels and toilets. You can avoid the road by walking on the sea wall or by walking along the grassy spaces further inland around Torre Abbey, but try to end up at the Tourist Information Centre and harbour.

Facilities at Torquay include: pubs, restaurants, toilets, post office, ATMs, lots of accommodation and shops. Transport links include buses run to the other Torbay resorts, or onwards to Shaldon, Teignmouth and Exeter. There is a branch line to the main railway line at Newton Abbot. Once again National Express coaches run from here to London and Birmingham. The tourist information centre is located at:

The Tourist Information Centre,

Vaughan Parade,

Torquay,

Devon,

TQ2 5JG

Tel No: 0870 7070010

Email Address: torquay.tic@torbay.gov.uk

To leave Torquay, follow along from the harbour and walk up Beacon Hill arriving at the Imperial Hotel. Follow right as signposted for the coastal path and continue along a tarmac track placed between stone walls. Bear left up a set of steps on a wooded slope where there is a viewpoint. Walk downwards for a small amount of time, follow along before climbing more steps. The path passes below Rock End Walk which is a castellated summerhouse. Ascend to reach a car park and green space, looking out to sea you can see a line of stacks which look like stepping stones. Continue by keeping close to the edge and descending down some steps, head onto a tarmac path and follow it until a road bend. Bear right and descend down more steps where you will reach refreshments and toilets situated below the The Osborne Hotel. Take the coastal road and follow it along, passing Meadfoot Beach. Lookout for a signpost at a car park where there is a path that heads upwards. This is the one you need, make sure to bear right in order to follow on to it.

On the right hand side you will notice that there is a sign for the coastal path and Thatcher Point, however the path ahead has encountered a landslip, meaning that you will be forced to the road. An alternative route is to head uphill on the road. Later on you will pass a sign for Hope's Nose, again, if you take that way you will have to walk along the road. Take path which runs uphill parallel to the road, follow over the rise then head back down. Make a right hand turn which is signposted as the coastal path and heads towards Ansteys Cove. Here you will walk along Bishops walk which was created around 1840 for the Bishop of Exeter.

Now follow an easy path across a slope which is wooded. When you come to a junction bear left, where you will pass a shelter, be sure to avoid the steps that lead downhill. Upon exiting the woods you will reach a car park, bear right onto Palace Hotel Road. Palace Hotel was once named Bishopstowe and it was where the Bishop of Exeter used to live. Redgate Beach now has no access due several rock falls which made the area dangerous.

Make a right turn from the Palace Hotel which is signposted as “To Babbacombe & St Marychurch over the downs.” Climb up the steps on the slope, then make a right turn where you will come out into an open, grassy space on top of the cliffs. The cliffs here are fenced off, there isn't much of a view to Redgate Beach or to Long Quarry Point. Continue walking along the grassy space (as marked), before heading down into a woody area. Walk down the steps, follow round a road bend, then take a right through into the woods. Look out for the markers to hit a sharp road bend at the Cary Arms, situated far below Babbacombe.

Head down towards the beach where you will find a beach café and toilets. Follow along, walking over the wooden and concrete walkways, climb upwards a few steps and bear right onto a wooded edge which is above Oddicombe Beach. There is a cliff railway which where the coastal path begins to head inland via a beach access road. Next to the cliff railway, on the right hand side there will be a path and a set of stairs. Take these, eventually you will drop from alongside the railway to underneath it, keep following the well marked route, which heads downhill before going uphill. Watch out for the diversion inland due to an unstable cliff edge. Walk up to a busy road in Babbacombe then make a right turning, then make a second right which will lead you onto Petitor Road, bear left and this will bring you back to the coast path.

The path here runs near to the Torquay Golf Course and is woody as well as hilly. When walking be careful of the path if it veers too near to the left or the right as this could lead you inland, instead you follow the marker posts for Watcombe and Maidencombe. Then follow the posts down to the beach access at Watcombe, if needed there are toilets and a beach café further down towards the beach. From here follow the coastal path uphill, up the steps on the slope on the left, which is signposted for Maidencombe. Continue along the path which heads into woodlands, veers right and then heads up a set of steps which have a rail. When you reach a signpost, bear right for the coastal path which at this point heads downwards onto a slope. Then make a left turn and head uphill, head along the path that now runs more next to fields rather than woodlands. The path reaches a toilets by another beach access road, keep following the road up to the left, then when you reach a car park, turn right. If refreshments are needed there is a nearby pub in Maidencombe named the Thatched Tavern.

If not, then turn right at the car park, but before the pub. The path will be marked for Shaldon, before reaching the last the house make a left turn onto a path and keep following it, mostly near fields, sometimes through the woods near the cliffs. The path here is quite hilly, the ascents are not always as gently graded as the descents and sometimes use steps. The path leads out onto a woody slope, follow upwards, then walk down some steps and round a wooded edge where you will come to a house on the cliff top which has a tall fence around it. Follow this fence which heads inland and uphill, use the steps to get onto a road situated above Labrador Bay.

Bear right around a bend in the road and walk parallel to the road on the path. Then follow the signposts and make a right turn into a field for Shaldon. Following the track which leads over a steep hill. After this, walk up a few steps and next to a golfcourse. Look out for an exit on the right hand side down some steps, then turn right onto a track. From here there is a path which goes off to the right and into Ness Woodland, which after walking beside a fence and up to a view point, will take to you to Ness House Hotel & Restaurant. There is a small coastal road which will take you directly into the village of Shaldon.

Facilities include: toilets, pubs, restaurants, some accommodation, a campsite, shops and a post office. Transport links include: buses back to Torquay or onwards to Teignmouth, Dawlish, Dawlish Warren, Starcross and Exeter. There is also a ferry which runs year round from the Ferryboat Inn at Shaldon to Teignmouth.  

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Day 38 - Shaldon to Budleigh Salterton

Fairly easy going to begin with, but becoming rougher around Budleigh Salterton. There are options for refreshments at Teignmouth, Dawlish, Dawlish Warren, Starcross and Exmouth. The total distance of the walk is 14.25 miles or 23km.

To leave Shaldon catch the ferry from in front of the Ferryboat Inn to Teignmouth. The ferry runs all year and has been operating since the 13th century, but if you do want to check the times then the number is: 07760 240927. If for any reason the ferry is not running then it is possible to cross Shaldon Bridge to Teignmouth.

Facilities in Teignmouth include: pubs, restaurants, ATMs, a post office, accommodation and shops. Transport links include: links to the main line railway, where both Cross Country and First Great Western Trains operate, these can take you onwards to the far North or London, or back towards Penzance. There are also buses which run back to Shaldon and Torquay or onwards to Dawlish, Dawlish Warren and Starcross, National Express buses also operate. The tourist information centre is located at:

Tourist Information Centre,

The Den,

Sea Front,

Teignmouth,

Devon,

TQ14 8BE

Telephone No: 01626 215666

Email Address: teigntic@teignbridge.gov.uk

When you make landfall at Teignmouth, make a left and lead into town where you will pass the Lifeboat Inn, before heading to the promenade. Follow the promenade to the pier where the tourist information centre and the town centre are both easily accessible. If these are not needed, then continue along the promenade until you reach the Teign Corinthian Yacht Club. If the tide is out then you can walk along the sea wall which runs alongside the railway whilst heading towards an eye-catching headland. However, along this route you will have to come down stairs underneath the railway line which get flooded at high tide. If this route is still passable then walk up Smugglers Lane where you will reach Holcombe Cross and the main road. If the tide is already fully in, then take the inland route. Proceed from the Yacht Club, climb up the road and then cross over the railway bridge. The road now narrows and there will be a park on your left hand side. If you chose to, then you can walk in the park, or you might prefer to continue along a path and then a field path which lies inland.

Now continue along by passing between tall walls, houses and you will arrive at a bus stop which is positioned on a main road. Bear right down a hill, you will reach where Holcombe Cross and the Coast Path conjoin from Smuggler's Lane. Begin to walk up the main road then make a right turning onto Windward Lane, look out for the coastal path signposts on the left, and follow them. The coastal path now rollercoasters through a field, follow this path before heading down some steps which lead down towards the railway. Climb uphill and head inland to reach the main road where you will find a bus stop. Now bear right onto a quieter road and continue along, you will pass The Toll House. From now the road begins to narrow and will lead back to the main road, so keep a lookout for a path which leads uphill to the right, to a cliff viewpoint. Head downwards, meandering on a path, cross a bridge over the railway tracks and continue walking along the sea wall before arriving into Dawlish. There is also access into the town from the railway station.

Facilities include at Dawlish: shops, accommodation, pubs, restaurants, toilets, ATMs and a post office. Dawlish is well connected in terms of public transport, and both by bus and railway you can go anyway up or down the coast. The tourist information centre is located at:

The Tourist Information Centre,

The Lawn,

Dawlish,

Devon,

EX7 9EL

Tel No: 01626 215665

Email Address: dawtic@teignbridge.gov.uk

To leave Dawlish walk along the sea wall from the station. If the weather is bad, then be careful because large waves crash over the wall. However, if the weather is good then simply continue along the sea wall which runs alongside the railway. Follow the path and the railway as they make a left turn past Langstone Rock and Langstone Cliff Hotel. Now walk across a bridge over the railway, bear right and walk through a car park before coming onto a road and following it through Dawlish Warren, where refreshments and toilets are available. There is a signpost which reads 'Starcross Ferry 2.5 miles (along roads)'. If you don't want to do this section of the walk, then you can catch a bus or a train to Starcross or go to Exmouth going round the River Exe.

If you do decide to walk to Starcross, then there is a footpath which you can take that runs on the road. However this doesn't run through Eastdon, so be careful of traffic. Later on there is a second footpath that runs between the road and the railway, however it stops before Cockwood. Here the road bends round a harbour and runs past The Anchor Inn. Bear right onto a busier road and pick up another a footpath in order to reach Starcross. Head towards the railway station, cross a bridge over the railway tracks, then double back on yourself in order to gain access to the ferry for Exmouth. It's situated at a large, wooden pier.

Starcross facilities include: toilets, pubs, restaurants, a post office, some accommodation and shops. The ferry which runs from Starcross to Exmouth runs hourly from mid-April to October. If you want to check the times then the number is: 01626 862452. If the ferry can't be used, then take a train or bus to Exeter, then to Exmouth.

Exmouth facilities include: pubs, toilets, restaurants, lots of accommodation, ATMs, a post office and shops. It is also well frequented with buses and trains. The tourist information centre is located at:

The Tourist Information Centre,

Alexandra Terrace,

Exmouth,

Devon

EX8 1NZ

Tel No: 01395 222299

Head from the ferry dropping off point and towards the Esplanade to walk through Exmouth. Looking around you can see that part of the beach becomes dunes, just inland from here there is The Maer, which is managed as a nature reserve. At the end of the road there are refreshments and toilets at Foxholes. Round the back of the car park which branches off Foxholes Hill, keep an eye out for a coastal path sign. It will read Sandy Bay and Budleigh Salterton on it. Now follow the tarmac path which heads uphill with bushes on either side, if you look downwards after continuing for a while you will be able to see the beach. The path will cross a beach access point and come to the High Land of Orcombe. A crumbling cliff edge is just past the grassy space, make sure not to head down some steps to the beach, but to stay higher up and keep going uphill. Afterwards, head downwards and you will find yourself near a large mobile home site at Sandy Bay, make sure to stay the seaward side of this.

Keep to the left of the Beachcomber Pub Diner and then pass directly through a car park. Between the mobile homes and Royal Marines Ranges on Straight Point, there is steep uphill climb. However, there isn't any access available to the point. Stay slightly higher on the grassy cliff edge, before cutting across a dip before heading uphill which will allow you to enjoy the views over to Budleigh Salterton from Littleham Cove.

Head onto a field path, where you will find there are steps and footbridge which lead across a small wooded valley. Follow another field path, but be careful as there is a crumbling cliff edge. Follow uphill in a deep-set path which leads to Beacon Hill, if you look carefully amongst the gorse and shrub bushes you will a trig point at 129m or 423ft. Continue along the path which runs down a slope enclosed by holly and pines before heading into woodland. You may notice that there is a diversion to the main road, if this is the case and you wish to remain on the coastal path then turn right and make a second right again via Victoria Place. This will lead you onto the coast. A tarmac path will appear alongside the houses at Budleigh Salterton, follow along this to reach the beach.  

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Day 39 - Budleigh Salterton to Seaton

The start of the walk is fairly easy, but becomes more difficult further on, as there are a series of steep ascents and descents. There are refreshments available at Sidmouth, Branscombe Mouth, Beer and Seaton. There is a pub at Ladram Bay towards the beginning of the walk. The total distance for this walk is 17.5 miles or 28km.

To leave Budleigh Salterton walk along the sea front, which is called the Marine Parade. Pass the pebbly beach and then cross onto a tarmac path which passes by beach huts and toilets before reaching a car park. When you reach the car park, turn inland and take the path which goes through the Otter Estuary Nature Reserve. You might notice that there are observation platforms, these are from the Napoleonic Wars, where French prisoners built an embankment and claimed some of the land from the marshes. Make a right turn and continue along a road which crosses the River Otter. Make a second right onto the coastal path which will be signposted.

Now follow the path along, it runs between a wooded slope and a field; if you are interested then there is a bird hide on the right hand side. If not, then continue straight on and follow the path which gently rises along the red sandstone cliffs, before rising and fall slightly as it passes underneath run-down building. At Ladram Bay, a series of red stacks begin to appear, from here turn into Ladram Bay Holiday Centre and walk through it. Turn inland somewhat and cross the beach access road, start uphill from the Three Rocks Inn to follow along on the cliff path.

The field path is now overtaken by a steep ascent of wooded slopes which lead to High Peak. However, the route turns towards the left meaning that the summit (157m/515ft) is missed. Continue along a wide path, when it begins to head downhill, make a right turn. Then walk across the dip in the fields which is situated close to a wooded area, before following climbing the uphill path. When you reach a kissing gate, make sure to turn right and onto a slope of gorse bushes. Walk along the grassy top of the slope, then head downwards towards a National Trust sign for Peak Hill. From here, drop down onto a wooded track and continue along it down to a road, then follow on a stretch of old road which is marked on the right hand side. Then head onto a grassy slope positioned between the cliffs and the road which heads into Sidmouth. Head downwards to the sea and walk on the path at the base of the cliffs to enter Sidmouth.

Sidmouth facilities include: shops, toilets, lots of accommodation, banks, places to eat and drink and a post office. The Clock Tower Café and Jacob's Ladder are notable features. Transport links include buses back towards Budleigh Salteron, Exmouth and Exeter. Or onwards to Branscombe, Beer, Seaton and Lyme Regis. The address of the Tourist Information Centre is:

Tourist Information Centre,

Ham Lane,

Sidmouth,

Devon,

EX10 8XR

Tel No: 01395 515441

To leave Sidmouth, head down to the Esplanade and walk along it, before crossing the River Sid via the Alma Bridge. Head up towards a tarmac path which runs through a steep and wooded slope, as the old steps and cliff path have been closed. From the tarmac path head onto Cliff Road and Laskeys Lane, heading back towards the cliffs. Now head up a track, which is next to a field, towards Salcombe Hill. Follow the steps which head up through the woody area, eventually you will emerge into a clear area. The altitude is 160m/525ft, it is marked that you may be able to see Normandy or Brittany on a clear day! Around you will see benches and a view indicator.

Continue along the signposted coastal path, before heading onto the top fields and down some steep steps. Then continue through more fields, but make sure to head inland somewhat as marked, rather than heading down to Salcombe Beach. Follow over a footbridge over a small stream, then continue across a field in order to get to the cliffs again. Now climb over a stile and follow a path with steps, this will lead you to the top of Higher Dunscombe Cliff. Head along the flat clifftop, it's possible to look down to Weston Mouth, but don't walk down there yet! Instead, make a left inland onto a grassy path, follow the path round as it turns round the head of valley in a wooded area. Continue along the path, pass through a kissing gate and note the view from the cliff.

Head down into another wooded area and follow the meandering path which is marked. Then head down the steps to the beach at Weston Mouth and make a left turn. Climb the zigzagging steps, head uphill across a field and then head up a steep slope. Continue along and you will pass the Weston Wild Flower Meadow; nearly 100 species of flowers and grass have been established here, amongst butterflies, insects and birds. From here, keep a close look out for markers as the coastal path heads inland, to cross a small valley somewhat inland from Coxe's Cliff, in order to avoid complications later. After this, make a right turn as signposted, head around the edges of the fields and make your way onto a grassy clifftop. Looking down there are wooded slopes, these hide the ruins of an ancient fort.

Make a left turn for inland, head downwards on a woody slope before turning onto another track which heads further inland, now make a right and follow the track across a woody slope. There is one open stretch where the village of Branscombe can be seen, follow on the woodland path where you will begin to head steeply down towards the cliffs. Head through a couple of fields, where the stony beach at Branscombe mouth can be reached. If needed there are toilets and the Sea Shanty Restaurant.

After this pit stop (if you chose to do so), cross the river via a footbridge below the restaurant, make a right turn onto the coastal path and climb to East Cliff. Then go towards the cliff edge, before crossing a cattle grid. This will lead you into the Sea Shanty Caravan Park, turn right after entering the park and walk towards Beer as marked. Make a right turn along the coastal path, this will take you through the Hooken Undercliff. The chaotic slope was formed by a landslip in 1790 and white chalk, red marls and yellow greensand can all be seen. (Note: There is an alternative route to Beer, where you could use the paths over the Hooken Cliffs to reach Beer, but this would mean that you could not see the undercliff).

Continue along the path that runs along the jumbled slope, views of the towers of chalk ahead and cliffs above can be enjoyed. Head to the top of the cliff and make a right turn towards Beer Head. Enjoy the fine scenery around Seaton Bay as the path follows through fields and then through a caravan and camping site. Now make a right turn onto a tarmac path, Little Lane and then another right onto Common Lane and into the village of Beer.

Facilities in Beer include: refreshments, toilets, and a little accommodation including a youth hostel.

To leave Beer, walk across the beach access road where you will reach the toilets. Now take the coastal path which continues up steps, turns to the right and then heads up more steps from a shelter.

There is also an alternative route, which avoids so many steps and meets the main route without adding more than a couple of minutes to your walk. If you wish to take the alternative route follow these instructions:

Head towards the Jubilee Memorial Grounds, then take a tarmac path which runs round the wooded slopes of the grounds. Drop down to a road, enjoying the views over Seaton Bay and drop down onto a road, then make a right turn onto Beer Hill where you will reach Cliffside Cabin – here there are refreshments and toilets. If the tide is low then go down onto the beach at Seaton Hole and make a left turn before coming onto the coastal path a bit later. If the tide is high then follow the Old Beer Road before linking with a coastal path on a grassy strip that overlooks Seaton.

Whichever way you decide to take, come to a roundabout for access to Seaton.

Facilities at Seaton include: food, drink, toilets, a fair amount of accommodation including a campsite, banks, shops and a post office. Transport links include: buses back to Sidmouth, or ahead to Lyme Regis. There is also the Jurassic Coastlinx bus which operates a regular service between Exeter and Bournemouth, this provides a link to coastal path towns such as Beer, Seaton, Lyme Regis, Charmouth, Bridport, West Bay, Burton Bradstock, Abbotsbury, Weymouth, Osmington, Poole and Bournemouth. The Tourist Information Centre address is:

The Tourist Information Centre,

The Underfleet,

Seaton,

Devon,

EX12 2TB

Tel No: 01297 21660

Email Address: info@seatonic.freeserve.co.uk

 

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Day 40 - Seaton to Seatown

The walk starts off in the "undercliff" to Lyme Regis, it can be a rugged and tough walk at times. After Lyme Regis, there are a series of diversions inland which can be hard-going due to the steep ascents and descents. Refreshments at Lyme Regis and Charmouth can be found. The total distance of the walk is 13 miles or 21km.

 To leave Seaton follow along the promenade, before making a left hand turn inland. This will leave you walking beside the edge of boatyard before reaching a main road, after this make a right turn onto the Axmouth Bridge and cross the River Axe, continue along the main road for a short while after. When you see the access road for the Axe Cliff Golf Club, make a right turn up the access road, which is also signposted as the coastal path to Lyme Regis. Head up to the club house, then continue as marked through the golf course. Then follow a track which leads away from the golf course and make a right turn onto the coastal path as signposted. Note that there is a sign which states that the path can be difficult and it can take up to four hours to reach Lyme Regis.

From here the path runs along a series of fields, follow it along, across the top of the wooded slopes and then head downhill into the woody area, pass an English Nature National Nature Reserve sign. The Undercliff covers 800 acres of wild land and many different types of trees and plant grow here. As the track enters into heavier woodland, it becomes less narrow and uneven and instead, widens out. Once again it becomes slightly more arduous, before becoming easier where there is another English Nature sign. Now head downwards just for a few steps, before turning left and inland, then take a right as signposted for the coastal path. Continue along the rugged, woodland path which runs up and down steps, then uphill. Once you pass a manhole cover, the path broadens even further and pipelines run alongside the path, walk along to reach the Pinhay Springs and Pumping Station; more English Nature information signs are available.

Make a left at the pumping station and head uphill on a small and rugged access road, you will head downwards a little too. When you reach the tall beech trees, make a right turning; the path from here heads across rough slopes and at times, can be muddy. Follow the steps upwards and onto the path, which broadens after it passes another English Nature sign. The broad path now meets with an access road for Underhill Farm, continue along the road, and then right onto a path where you will pass a National Trust sign for Ware Cliffs. After you have passed the sign, make another right turn and head onto a grassy path, it has woods on either side and the island of Portland can be made out in the distance. Now cross a stream, bear right and head into a wood when you reach a sign post that reads for the coastal path and The Cobb, walk down some steps on a woody slope and walk past some mobile homes where you will reach the small Cobb harbour. It was originally constructed in the 13th century, but rebuilt with stone in the 19th.

Make a left turn and this will lead you along the seafront of Lyme Regis, keep heading on until you reach the Rock Point Inn.

Facilities at Lyme Regis include: toilets, pubs, restaurants, shops, a post office and a decent range of accommodation. The transport links include buses back to Seaton and Sidmouth, or onwards to Charmouth, Bridport and West Bay. There are a number of museums available, boat trips and plenty of information about the town's history and the fossils which lay in and around the town itself. The Tourist Information Centre can be located at:

Tourist Information Centre,

Guildhall Cottage,

Church Street,

Lyme Regis,

Dorset,

DT7 3BS

Tel No: 01297 442138

To leave Lyme Regis, there are two options. You may have noted that the sea wall ends just beyond the Rock Point Inn. The route is diverted far inland and unfortunately, does not reach the coast again until Charmouth. The first option is to leave when the tide is out and walk to Charmouth, make sure to keep clear of the base of the cliffs in case there is a rock fall), obviously, this is not an official walking route. The second option is to take the detour inland, if the tide is in.

If this is the case then follow the ramps and steps which lead up from the sea wall, then pass through the churchyard, join the main road and follow it uphill, after this, past a set of toilets and a large car park and take a right onto the coastal path which is signposted. From here, the path runs across a few fields, before meeting woody area on Timber Hill, after this, make a left turn onto a track, then a right which will lead you onto a woody path. Follow on up a set of steps, and the diversion to the left which leads onto a road and then once on the road, turn right up it and pass by the entrance to the Lyme Regis Golf Course. Head down the main road.

At a gap, make a right turn and follow a path which runs across the golf course via white markings, which you should follow. Afterwards, head through the woodland area, before reaching the main road once again, this time by the Fernhill Hotel. Now, veer right and walk beside the road, make sure to keep right when crossing a roundabout in order to stay on the road to Charmouth. You can take either Lower or Higher Sea Lane to the shore.

Facilities at Charmouth include: toilets, food and drink, shops, a post office, the Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre and a small amount of accommodation, which includes a campsite. Transport links include: buses back to Lyme Regis, or ahead to Bridport and West Bay.

To head onwards with the walk, begin to head inland from the beach via road, then make a right turn into Charmouth, make another right turn onto Stonebarrow Lane, where you will reach a car park on Stonebarrow Hill, make another right where you will meet the original coast path; it comes down a set of steps on a hillside. Follow along the path which leads down into a valley, across a footbridge situated below Westhay Farm, up the other side of the valley and inland. Cross another small bridge over a stream. Begin to head uphill and inland when you meet a woody landslip, after this head down through a set of fields to cross yet another footbridge, this time it is situated above St. Gabriel's Mouth. Now climb up a set of steps, walk along an edge which is crumbling and meander on a gravel path, here there are steps and a rope which acts as a handrail. You are coming up to the highest point of the coastal path. Towards the top of the slope, it is covered with gorse bushes, however, at the very top of Golden Cap it is covered with grass and heather, there is also a monument and a trig point. The height is 627ft or 191m. From the top you can enjoy distant views of the surrounding coast.

Follow the path which now heads downhill and inland, at this point the path does seem as though it double-backs on itself, but head along it and you will find that turns round, then is signposted on the right hand side from a wooded area below the summit of Golden Cap. Continue to walk downhill through the fields, and make sure that you note the diversion. It heads inland once again, on the left hand side and into a small, wooded area, crosses over a stream via a footbridge, through a field, and finally, veers right onto a road which leads into the tiny village of Seatown.

Facilities at Seatown include: a small shop by the beach toilets, a holiday park (which also has a shop), a campsite and The Anchor Inn which provides accommodation. More accommodation can be found half a mile (1km) inland at Chideock.

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Day 41 - Seatown to Abbotsbury

The first half of the walk is somewhat arduous, as it has several steep ascents and descents. Later on, the walk becomes more level and far easier on field tracks, or beaches. Refreshments are available at Down House Farm, Eype's Mouth, West Bay, Burton Beach and West Bexington. The total distance of the walk is 12.5 miles or 20km.

Head out of Seatown by crossing over a footbridge and then cut through a car park to meet the coastal path, after this begin to walk uphill along Ridge Cliff. Follow along the path which heads over a grassy bump, dips and repeats the same process once more. The last bump is Thorncombe Beacon and here there is a beacon post stating the height of 509ft or 155m. From Thorncombe, follow along the path which steeply drops before climbing again, if you wish there is a less arduous path via Down House Farm. The farm offers cream teas as well! However, the descents from here are less steep, save the last descent down to the beach at Eype's Mouth. Refreshments and a shop are available at Eype's House Caravan Park and inland a little there is also Eype's Mouth Hotel.

After Eype's Mouth, cross a stream near a pebbly beach via stepping stones or a small bridge, now head straight on and upwards which will be signposted for West Bay and Abbotsbury, be careful of West Cliff, as it's edge is crumbling. Later, the path begins to move inland somewhat as it works its way around a campsite, now begin to head downhill to the promenade of West Bay and walk on the quayside path and head inland somewhat to get around the harbour.

West Bay facilities include: pubs, toilets, restaurants, shops, a post office and some accommodation. Transport links include: buses back to Bridport, Charmouth and Lyme Regis or onwards to Abbotsbury. Bridport is easily accessible if a larger range of services are wanted.

To leave West Bay, head onto the road which leads away from the harbour to the West Bay pub, then head into the car park, as here the coast path crosses the car park in order to return back to the cliffs. Follow up the steep hill and afterwards make sure not to get too close to the edge of East Cliff because it overhangs in places. Here the walk is quite easy and not graded too harshly, there is a golf course which runs alongside the coastal path, this comes to a dip, with a sharp descent and ascent either side. Continue along after the dip, before descending down to a large mobile home park and walk along until you come to an embankment.

It is possible to cross the mouth of the River Bridge without getting wet feet! The coastal path follows alongside, upstream of the river, it then crosses a footbridge by a campsite which is situated halfway to Burton Bradstock, afterwards the path heads back down to the river mouth. Continue along, following the path uphill to the top of Burton Cliff, before it evens out for a while, then head down to the beach at Burton Hive, where if wanted refreshments can be found at the Hive Beach Café. Now climb gently uphill, you will pass fairly close to Bronze Age burial mound of Bind Barrow, before passing another caravan site and then a sign for Cogden.

Head downwards onto a pebbly beach and continue walking along until you reach Chesil Bank, where you will transfer onto a track. Follow the track inland, where at Burton Mere you will pass a reedbed. Although Chesil Bank blocks views of the sea, so the view is just of fields, the path is very pleasant to walk along compared to the pebbly beach. Head through a small woody area and over the wooded boardwalk, take care as it can be wet and slippery. Continue ahead and keep to the marked path, look out to be re-directed bank to Chesil Bank again and turn left when you see the signpost for it, passing by a log seat and a small pool. Pass by a second reedbed and a beach car park to reach West Bexington.

West Bexington facilities include: a café, toilets, a hotel and a B&B. Transport links include: irregular buses to Dorchester. If wanted, it would be possible to walk the South Dorset Ridgeway, this means missing out Weymouth and the Isle of Portland, however, it is a shorter route and the coastal views are good.After West Bexington, head onto a shingle path which gradually hardens as it passes some old coastguard cottages which are situated inside a walled garden, head along a narrow coastal road which passes by Castle Hill Cottages. At a set of toilets, car park and refreshment hut, the road begins to turn inland; situated inland slightly are the Abbotsbury Sub Tropical Gardens, which are worth as a visit as they are full of unusual plants. Whether you choose to visit the Abbotsbury Gardens or not, come back to the toilets, car park and refreshment and pick up the coastal path which now runs behind Chesnil Bank from the car park, and then enters Chesnil Bank and The Fleet Nature Reserve. Now, walk along the shingle, but when you begin to reach reedbeds, be sure to head inland, you will reach a junction of paths, take the right and follow the route which is signposted for the Swannery, though if you wanted, it is also possible to continue straight on for Abbotsbury.

The coastal path now runs over a hillside, and begins to head far inland, you will notice a couple of wartime pillboxes as you pass by. Keep walking to find a track which is near a restaurant at the entrance of Abbotsbury Swannery; to enter the village of Abbotsbury, turn left up the road.

Facilities at Abbotsbury include: toilets, pubs, restaurants, some accommodation, a post office and some shops. Transport links include the Jurrassic Coastlinx which runs between Exeter and Bournemouth, as well as connecting coastal towns such as: Beer, Seaton, Lyme Regis, Charmouth, Bridport, West Bay, Burton Bradstock, Abbotsbury and then onwards to Weymouth, Osmington, Pool and Bournemouth.

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Day 42 - Abbotsbury to Ferrybridge

The walk is fairly easy going for whole duration, and terrain underfoot is easy to walk on. Refreshments are available at Moonfleet Manor Hotel & Restaurant and Lynch Cove. Early in the walk there is a pub which is situated in the inland village of Langton Herring. The total distance of the walk is 11.25 miles or 18km.

To leave Abbotsbury, head back down to the path by restaurant that sits outside of the Abbotsbury Swannery. Pass by the restaurant and toilets, and keep following the road, when it begins to head uphill, cross a stile on the left hand side, once in the field, walk to the next corner, where there should be another stile, cross this too. Follow along the grassy, field path which begins to climb. The path is marked to show the way, down a crest and then across a slope, keep on walking to pass Clayhanger Farm. Then cross over all the stiles, until you a reach a rough and rugged slope, now cross a stone stile and head downwards through a small woody area.

Keep walking beside the field, there will be a small wooded area to your right. Upon entering into a big field, bear left and walk along the edge of the field, then cross a footbridge and a small road. Afterwards, head straight uphill, round a field and then head on. Follow the markings, which turn left and then right around a wooded area, before walking downwards. The coastal path now zig-zags through fields towards the sea, keep an open eye out for stiles and signposts which point towards the shore, follow them when you see them.

Take a left to walk between the shore and some large fields, then cross a road-end. If wanted, then the small of village of Langton Herring has a pub, but it is inland and out of sight. If not, then follow along and around a bay, before crossing a footbridge at the head of the bay, cross the small peninsula at Herbury by following the drystone wall that cuts across the fields. Now head from Gore Cove to the Moonfleet Manor Hotel & Restaurant, note that are boats which are moored close by. Head on, crossing over a boardwalk situated in a small woody area and then walk along the shore the East Fleet passing by yet more fields, walk beside a campsite and then pass some more huts and boats. Walking around the bay, you will find yourself at Tidmouth Army Rifle Ranges.

Looking at an information board will reveal that there is the coastal path available, alongside an inland diversion and both are signposted. If firing is taking place, then take the inland route on the left hand side, if not then continue along the coastal route. The coastal path now runs to the end of the point, passing a lot of gorse bushes before arriving at Lynch Cove, a holiday centre and a campsite. Follow the path up a heavily vegetated slope, as it heads inland around the fences of the Wyke Regis Training Area Headquarters. After this, follow the signposts back down to the coast and walk along a cliff top, before crossing a small beach at Pirate's Cove. The path now runs in front of a caravan site, follow it and then head down a set of steps and pass by the Abbotsbury Oysters Seafood Bar, this will bring you to a busy road in Ferrybridge. The pub in Ferrybridge does offer accommodation, though more services are available in accessible Weymouth.  

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Day 43 - Ferrybridge to Lulworth Cove

The first half of the walk is fairly easy going. However, towards Osmington Mills and after the ascents and descents become much steeper, before becoming quite a difficult roller-coaster route towards the end of the walk. Refreshments can be found at Weymouth, Bowleaze Bay, Osmington Mills, Ringstead Bay and there is a chance of ice-cream at Durdle Door! The total distance of this walk is 14.25 miles or 23km.

Head out of Ferrybridge by following the coastal path signs to Weymouth and then follow along a tarmac cycle and footpath. This is the Rodwell Trail and can be followed all the way to Weymouth, however, stay on the right hand side when a cutting appears in order to follow the true coastal path if you wish. From here, head down from the old trackbed towards the coast before following a road inland, on the right hand side there is a park and the ruins of the 16th-century Sandsfoot Castle, there are also toilets nearby if needed. To the right-hand side there is also an old footpath which has been closed due to a landslip at the Western Ledges. Now follow along the road, make a right turn and stay right in order to head onto a path at a coastguard station.

Head round the grassy top of the cliff top, cross over a road via a concrete bridge, head into Nothe Gardens, where there are a large quantity of paths to choose from that will guide you towards Fort Nothe on the point, before swinging around heading left towards Weymouth. Choose the one where you head down stone steps, this will lead you to the quayside and a ferry can be boarded for a short ride to Weymouth, across they River Wey. However, if you don't want to use the ferry, then crossing over the Town Bridge will only take a few minutes longer.

Facilities at Weymouth include: plenty of pubs and restaurants, toilets, many shops, a wide range of accommodation including a campsites, a post office and a local history museum. Transport links include buses back to Abbotsbury and Bridport, or onwards to Osmington Mills and Lulworth Cove. The buses are frequent and also run to the Isle of Portland and Ferrybridge. National Express buses also run from Weymouth to Birmingham, London and Liverpool. The trains also run services to London Waterloo. The Tourist Information Centre is located at:

The Tourist Information Centre,

The King's Statue,

The Esplanade,

Weymouth,

Dorset,

DT4 7AN

Tel No: 01305 785747

Email Address: lic@weymouth.gov.uk

To leave Weymouth, head past The King's Statue, The Tourist Information Centre and walk along the Esplanade; the busy road eventually becomes quieter and a sea wall forms. Further inland is the Lodmoor Country Park. As you pass the last café on the sea wall, the route then comes onto a road and runs up past the Spyglass Inn, make a right turn which will lead you onto a grassy slope and down below is the Furzy Cliff, which is crumbling. Follow the path along, it rises very slightly before descending down to Bowleaze Cove, now stay somewhat inland in order to work through a holiday development, then cross the River Jordan and head back onto the Coastal Path where it passes the Riviera Hotel.

Now head around Redcliff Point, you may notice that you pass underneath an adventure centre, walk alongside the perimeter fence which uphill and inland, before continuing along the marked path, which runs fairly far back from the cliffs. Head through the fields, into the woody area on Black Head, cross over the wet and boggy areas by using the boardwalks. The path does return to the cliffs, but only momentarily before heading back inland on the left hand side. Follow it along as it heads downwards to a woodland area which is beside a campsite. Keep walking and once on a road, make a right turn down into Osmington Mills. Here the South Dorset Ridgeway rejoins the main route.

Facilities in Osmington Mills include: toilets, a 13th-century inn, a café and a small amount of accommodation. Transport links include: irregular buses back to Weymouth or onwards to Lulworth Cove. Some buses need to be boarded at the shop and holiday park just up the road, others need to be boarded in Osmington Village.

To head out of Osmington Mills, head down to the Smugglers Inn and around the left hand side of the Inn, from here the coast path heads back to cliffs and pushes through the bushy undergrowth on top of the hills. Follow along as the path gently descends down into woody areas to meet a coastal path at Ringstead Bay, near some houses. Keep following the path, however, it will make a left towards some toilets, a café and a car park, if you do not wish to use these then turn right and follow the coastal path for White Nothe.

The path does become grassy and begins to climb through the woods. Keep right, as the marked path indicates, then take a path which rises up and out of the woods and leads onto Burning Cliff. Keep heading uphill, you will come onto a small road that takes you past the tiny St Catherine's Chapel, now turn right above the chapel and onto a woodland track. The path now crosses the Holworth House access road, runs upwards and through a field to the top of a cliff, if the visibility is good then the views are stunning. Follow along the chalky cliff, it leads to the White Nothe Headland, here turn inland very slightly and pass by the old Coastguard cottages. For a short while, the walk is fairly stable and easy as the path runs along the top of the cliff, before descending down to The Warren.

From here climb up the steep hill, taking care of the sheer drop off the crumbling cliff edge, cross the top of the hill and descend gently down into Bat's Head, if you wanted a short detour can be made out onto the headland for spectacular views, if not then head down a steep hill. Here a gap will allow you to look at a chalk stack before climbing steeply uphill once again at Swyre Head, head downwards and climb once again. On the ascent, keep an eye out for Durdle Door – the famous rock arch. At one point you will reach steps for beach access, this will allow you to go and look at the arch more closely, however, if you do not want to, then follow the coastal path uphill.

Head along the track, where an ice-cream van may be passed, the path will run to a campsite, but make sure to follow the coastal path to right hand side. Now head up a long slight of stairs, they lead up and above St Oswald's Bay, now follow a wide and paved path that leads towards the Heritage Centre, however, make sure to turn right to avoid the road and walk towards Stair Hole. Head downwards across the green where you will find that the beach and road meet.

Facilities at Lulworth Cove include: shops, toilets, a post office, pubs, restaurants, accommodation including campsites and a youth hostel, there is also the Heritage Centre and the Dolls House. Transport links include: buses back towards Osmington Mills and Weymouth, inland towards Wareham and Poole where further connections for buses and by rail can be found.

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Day 44 - Lulworth Cove to Swanage

Although there are some easy parts, most of the walk is fairly hard-going with lots of steep ascents and descents. Pay particular attention to refreshments as there are no definite refreshment areas until Durlston Castle, just outside of Swanage. At best there may be a chance of ice-cream around Gaulter Cap, if needed then diversions can be made inland to Kimmeridge or Worth Matravers, but it's probably best to bring a packed lunch! The total distance of this walk is 20.5 miles or 33km.

To leave Lulworth Cove walk along the road almost to the shore, before turning left up a set of steps that sit beside The Beach Café; it will be marked for Bindon Hill and the Range Walks. Follow on up the woody slope which eventually emerges as a grassy slope, bear right and then walk beside a fence which runs around the top of the cove, make a second right and head down a set of steep, stone steps. When you reach the bottom, make a left turn away from the beach, plunge through the bushes, they will bring you out onto a grassy top of Pepler's Point.

Now enter into the Lulworth Ranges via the Fossil Forest Gate, on the right hand side you might to want to examine various fossils near the shore, although they can be seen from the coastal path. Once done exploring, or if you just wish to continue then follow along the grassy track and stay between the yellow marker posts, sticking to the path. Looking out towards Mupe Bay you can see the stacks which lead out to Worbarrow. Now head around Mupe Bay. Follow up the steep hill and be careful of Bindon Hill, where there has been a large rockfall, keep walking along the clifftops before heading down a steep hill which leads to a beach at Arish Mell.

Continue up the other side, climbing steeply, before veering inland and away from the cliffs. The path becomes flat and level before rising once more, then runs across a stile situated by a gate, before running through the ramparts of an Iron Age fort, named Flower's Barrow. If you have brought a lunch with you, then are picnic sites available around the ramparts. You will notice that there are two gaps in the ramparts, to continue on, walk through the gap on the right-hand side and it will lead you down a sharp hill to Worbarrow Bay. Walk along the path which follows almost right down to a beach, crosses over a footbridge and then follow the path inland a little bit. Look out for steps on the right which lead up to a viewing point, from which you can see Warbarrow Tout and the bay. The track leads onto Tyneham which is an abandoned village; it was used by the Army in the 1940s as a “temporary” training area!

Keep following the yellow posts, head along the top of Gad Cliff before reaching a junction of paths and a stone seat if wanted! If wanted, then a detour left would take you to the top (548ft/167m) of Tyneham Cap, if not then continue right and follow the coastal path down to Hobarrow Bay, keep heading along the cliffs; the level path continues until Kimmeridge Bay. You know that you have left the Lulworth Ranges when you reach BP oil pump, which has a famous “nodding donkey” pump! From here, keep walking along the path until it reaches a road and then stay right in order to take a path which runs seaward side of some cottages at Gaulter Cap, then cross over a footbridge, head up some steps which will bring you to a car park and where, if you're lucky, an ice-cream van may be parked. If not, and refreshments are wanted then the village of Kimmeridge is inland and offers refreshments.

To continue on, walk around to a second car park and toilets, then follow down a small road which leads towards the Fine Foundation Marine Centre. Unless you wish to visit the centre, then turn left before it in order to continue on the coastal path. Follow up the steep set of steps alongside a woody slope and note the Clavell Tower, which dates from 1830. Now gently descend, before ascending again. This gentle roller coaster will continue for a while, whilst crossing small bridges. However, the route does become much steeper around Houns-tout Cliff; make your way across dip above a small waterfall and then climb up the steps to A woody slope. At the top (490ft/150m) there is a much needed stone seat! Afterwards, continue steeply down the steps on the other side, veer left and inland, cross field before coming to a gate, then cross an embankment before making a right turn onto a small road.

Bear left onto a track which meets a gate alongside a few houses at Hillbottom, bear right onto a run-down road, make another right when you reach a gate, then bear left onto a grassy path, then right again, as marked, onto another grassy path – this route will lead you back to the cliffs and all the junctions are marked for St Aldhelm's Head. Now continue along, following the path which runs along the top of the cliffs, before it descends steeply and then continues up some steps. Around this area is St Aldhelm's Chapel, just to the left-hand side, and a National Coastwatch Station. Keep walking the coastal path, a detour inland will be necessary around an area which has been quarried, then cross a valley where a couple of houses sit. At this point, if any refreshments or accommodation are wanted then the village of Worth Matravers is situated inland – to access it walk up on a track on the left. If not, then take a right down a track, followed by a left onto the coastal path, this should avoid quarries. There is a path that heads inland before Seacombe Cliff is reached, which passes by the quarried blocks, after this make a hard, right turn to head back to the cliffs.

Now cross over a stile where you see a National Trust sign for Easington, and one close by it for Spyway Frm, then follow the path across the rough slopes over Dancing Ledge, pass by daymark Pylons and enter into Durlston Country Park, keep walking along and keep seawards of the lighthouse. After this, head down to Tilly Whim Caves. Head up the steps and walk past more daymark pylons to pass the old entrance for the Caves. The caves in this area were mined for Purbeck Marble, this gives the cliffs their unusual appearance of being quarried into caves! Tilly Whim itself opened up as a tourist attraction, but closed in 1967 because of rockfalls. Around you will find verses carved onto stone, as well as viewing area. After exploring, if you chose to do so, follow the path, just before it reaches a dead-end follow up set of stone steps where at the top there is a giant globe that has been carved out of a 40-tonne stone!

Now head up to Durlston Castle, where if needed there are refreshments. To follow the coastal path, follow the wide path which winds though the woods away from the entrance of the castle. Turn left, this leads out onto a road, now turn right and follow uphill. Make a second right onto Belle Vue Road, follow along until the road follows sharply around the left, then turn right onto a grassy area and head down to the bottom of Peveril Point, toilets are here if needed. Now look out for and follow a concrete path which runs alongside the shore, however if the weather is bad, then give the path a miss as the waves can cover it! Instead, use a minor road, follow around the Swanage Sailing Club and walk along the promenade to get into town.

Facilities at Swanage include shops, toilets, a post office, pubs, restaurants, a lot of accommodation including campsites and a youth hostel. Transport links include buses back to Worth Matravers, inland to Wareham and Poole or onwards to Studland, South Haven Point and Bournemouth. There are also National Express coaches which run to London. The rail line is only a local, steam-line attraction. The Tourist Information Centre is located at:

The Tourist Information Centre,

The White House,

Shore Road,

Swanage,

Dorset,

BH19 1LB

Tel No: 01929 422885

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Day 45 - Swanage to South Haven Point (Poole) - end of SWCP

A fairly short and easy walk, there is one steep ascent towards the end of the walk. About halfway, there will be a choice as to whether or not to walk along the beach, or to head onto an alternative coastal path along the heather-covered dunes. Refreshments are available at Studland. The total distance of the walk is 7.5 miles or 12km. This is the final Point A to Point B walk on the South West Coastal Path!

To head out of Swanage, begin by walking along the promenade, if the tide is out then walk along the beach until you can climb up onto a low cliff and rejoin the coastal path. If the tide is in then begin to follow the coastal path which heads inland from the promenade, walk along Ulwell Road and then along the right-hand side of the All Saints Church which will lead you to a post office that sits at a road junction. Now make a right turn onto Ballard Way, head into the Ballard private estate and begin to follow the footpath signs and you will emerge on a private green on a clifftop. Bear left, head down some steps, cross a footbridge, climb up a set of steps and then being to head along the coastal path, it will be marked for Ballard Down.

As you are climbing, look out for a gate on the right hand side, when it emerges cross through it and after walking through the gorse you will reach a clear, grassy area. Walk along a wide and grassy path and note the chalky scenery that is passing by. Now walk around the end of a point and follow onto another wide and grassy path, keep an eye out for a stone which has the coastal path to Studland marked upon it and turn right when you see it, make another right after that to come onto the coastal path which now runs to South Beach.

Follow the coastal path across the beach, head up a set of steps and walk along the woody edge of a cliff. If wanted there is access inland to the Manor House Hotel and the Bankes Arms Inn for refreshments, if not then follow the path which now runs behind Fort Henry and then meets a beach access road. At the end of the road there are toilets and a beach café if wanted. There is now another choice of routes. The coastal path runs along the sandy stretch of beach, at first this can be quite busy, but becomes quieter later during the walk where naturists sometimes use the beach. The second choice is the 'alternative coastal path' which runs on past the café and toilets and then heads along sandy paths that sit behind the beach huts. If you choose, walk along it and pass by the Middle Beach Shop, more beach huts, a set of toilets and a National Trust shop. The shop offers food and drink. Continue walking and pass through a barbecue area before heading inland following the yellow marker posts along a sandy track, you'll notice that the path has lots of heather surrounding it; consequently it is named Heather Walk.

Make a left turn for inland, then take a right to head along a sandy, narrow path, which once again has heather either side of it. Keep heading along, following the marker posts – on one side there is bog myrtle with heather and on the other side there is soggy woodland. At Shell Bay the alternative route meets the coastal path, walk along the beach to meet the road-end at South Haven Point.

You have completed your walk around the South West Coastal Path! You will see that there is a steel sculpture, looking at it closely you will see the different kinds of landmarks and wildlife that you would have seen around on your walks. In terms of getting home, a ferry will need to be caught to Sandbanks, it's regular, year-round service. But if you need to call, then the telephone number is 01929 450203.

If you wanted you could spend some time in Sandbanks, as it offers refreshments and accommodation. From Sandbanks, there is transport which can take you to various places within the UK, where national and international connections can be made. Local buses run to Poole or Bournemouth where rail connections can be made, or at Bournemouth, some international flights. Rail connections run all over the UK from Poole or Bournemouth, including to the far North and London. There are also National Express coaches which run to London, Birmingham or Liverpool. Enjoy the rewarding feeling of what you've accomplished and soon you'll be on your way home!

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Day 46 - Isle of Portland Circuit to This is an extra walk on the isle just off the Dorset Coast - South of Weymouth.

This is an extra walk on the South West Coastal Path. The route begins at a fairly busy main road, there is a steep ascent followed by a fairly easy and steady walk around the Isle. It can be punctuated by some short ascents and descents at some point. Refreshments are available at Fortuneswell and Portland Bill, more refreshments can be found if you are willing to detour off-route. The total distance of this walk is 15.5 miles or 25km.

Head along the Portland Beach Road which runs across the Ferry Bridge and then decide from a number of different paths which one you would like to take to the Isle of Portland. The first is to follow the footpath and cycleway which run alongside the road to Portland, on the left hand side f the road there is an abandoned railway track, you could also walk in this or head down to Chesil Beach and the Nature Reserve Information Centre, where if wanted, there are refreshments and toilets. Then head along the pebbly beach to the Isle of Portland.

After passing the Mere Tank Farm, an oil storage depot, head towards Victoria Square and then pass by The Little Ship pub, make a right turn to Cove House Inn before heading along a sea wall. However, don't follow the sea wall all the way to the end, instead turn off into a tarmac path which will be marked as “Round the Island Path.” Head uphill on this path, then when you reach West Weare, transfer onto a steeper and narrower path and follow up a flight of stairs. Note the sculpture of the fisherman and quarryman entitled “The Spirit of Portland” before making a right turn onto the cliff tops and coastal path.

Follow the path as it runs close to the closed Tout Quarry and keep heading along a broad path noting the large stacks of stone, walk through an stone-stack arch and then head past a concrete structure staying seaward side of it. At this point note that there may be a diversion, in which case followed the marked route. If not then follow these instructions. Head along wide and grassy path, passing a housing estate on the inland side and then the Southwell Business Park before walking between the National Coastwatch Station and an old lighthouse. Now follow down a grassy, gently graded slope and begin to walk to the right of the lighthouse (Portland Bill), head through the quarried stone and emerge onto Pulpit Rock, be careful when exploring around this area, and give it a miss when the weather is rough. If wanted the lighthouse centre could be visited, there are also refreshments, toilets and summer buses to Weymouth around. Keep walking along past beach huts and look out for the signs that announce you are on the Crown Estate.

From the cliffs you can now see that the coastline has many quarries, the Cave Hole stands close to an old hand crane, and another sits further along the coastline. Now walk along the quarry tracks that run closest to the cliffs before being diverted uphill to the road and the make a right for the coastal path as signposted and follow onto a grassy path that runs alongside the road. Keep walking along, noting that many things are dusty as there is still a working quarry up the road, follow along and pass by a viewpoint at Cheyne Weares. Further down the road, look out for a coastal path sign pointing down to the right. Head along the meandering path with steps, the path crosses over a slope and there are markers which show the way to Church Ope Cove. There are beach huts and toilets if wanted at the beach. To continue with the walk, climb steeply up the steps, both the ruins of the 13th century church and a 15th century Rufus Castle are signposted, to arrive at a viewpoint, keep climbing the steps.

Make a right turn up a few steps onto the coastal path, before making a second right turn onto a path, after walking for a short time, make a left turn onto another path, then a right onto a clifftop which will be marked as the coastal path. Once again, the path runs past a working quarry, before becoming narrow and meeting a road. Walk seaward side of the prison wall (The Young Offenders Institution) and then follow the footpath signpost, along a private road which continues to run alongside the prison wall. Eventually, turn away from the wall as marked and then follow along the route which now runs across MOD property, stay right at junctions as instructed and follow along a tarmac road which meets with a moat and a tunnel entrance.

Turn left, away from the tunnel entrance and follow along the path which runs along the entrance of the High Angle Battery and then onto the road along New Ground. Looking around you can see Chesil Beach and Portland Harbour, head past the viewing point and the Portland Heights Hotel, this will bring you to a war memorial. Now from here follow a track downwards and walk across the road to return to the “The Spirit of Portland” structure, now follow your earlier steps to Victoria Square and follow the main road back to the Ferry Bridge.

Facilities at the Isle of Portland include: refreshments, toilets, shops, a post office, some accommodation including a post office. There are frequent buses to and from Weymouth.

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Day 47 - West Bexington (South Dorset Ridgeway) to Osmington Mills (South Dorset Ridgeway) - extra walk

This is an alternative, inland route to the coastal path. Walkers who are happy to take the longer coastal route to Weymouth don't need to pay attention to this! For those who are in a rush, or looking to shave a couple days walk off their route then take South Dorset Ridgeway from West Bexington to Osmington Mills, where the main coastal path is rejoined. The walk is mostly easy going, with good tracks along the way. At times, there are steep ascents and descents and the paths can be vague. The total distance for this walk is 16.75 miles or 27km.

This route is quicker than the traditional coastal path to Weymouth and shaves off a couple of days. Those who are happy to take the longer, coastal route to Weymouth need pay no attention to this article, however if you wish to hurry along by a couple of days via an inland route then follow these instructions.

To leave West Bexington, head down the beach car park and café, then follow the road uphill and inland through the village, walk by The Manor Hotel, before turning left, carrying straight on and uphill. The route should be signposted for the Hardy Monument and Osmington Mills, keep following the path uphill, when you reach a junction, make a right hand turn which brings you to the B3157 road. After a very short while, head to the right into the fields and walk alongside the road, pass by a National Trust sign for Limekiln Hill. After this, head away from the road towards the bushy boarders of the fields, head through the bushes and then through a gate and onto another path before coming out onto the road again. Note: the path here can be somewhat vague, so keep an eye out for it!

Continue walking and following the signposts and finally, cross a road at Tulk's Hill and then walk along a ridgeway path that leads to a hillfort with a trig point, note the views of the Isle of Portland, Chesil Bank, Weymouth and the Hardy Monument. Keeping heading along the path which now runs through rough vegetation, along the crest of the downs, across a road, along the grassy crests past the road and continues until Weares Hill later on. Now head through a gate and head round an edge which looks over the village of Abbotsbury, later on you will arrive at two gateways. Take the left gateway and continue on, when another gate is reached, go through it, into a big field and then follow the wheel-marks that have been made in the grass to White Hill.

From White Hill, make a left turn and go through another gate, walk downhill to a road, looking forwards you can see a signpost pointing off to the right for the Hardy Monument, turn left when you reach a stone marker, follow up a few steps before walking alongside the field edges which will bring you to a gate that has “Evershot Farm Hampton Dairy” marked upon it. To the right of the gate you will notice that there is a stony circle. Take a clear path to the road on Portesham Hill and then bear left. Very soon after coming onto the road, make a right into a field and follow the fence across it. In the next field keep walking, and look out for a detour on the right up to Hells Stone (this can be taken if wanted). Walk alongside the fields before meeting a corner of a wooded area, make a left turn and then head uphill along a woodland path, make a right and exit from the wood. Now follow a track through a slope, this will lead you to the Hardy Monument. Here there may be an ice-cream van!

Looking down a road below the monument you will see a signpost which reads “Inland Route Avoiding Road.” Head down the road, and then come onto a path which heads into a forest on Black Down, further on and downhill, you rejoin the road. Once on the road again, make a left, and then a right to Osmington (it will be signposted). Walk along the path that is flanked by hedgerows either side and then walk along the crest of Bronkham Hill: many tumuli can be seen around here. Head through a gate, which will be marked by a blue arrow, and along a crest covered by vegetation before coming out onto a much grassier crest: some storage tanks sit near the path. Now walk downwards and beside fields on Corton Down, passing underneath pylonds. Keep walking, and head along a path which gradually ascends, again with tumuli situated around it. Here the path is signposted for Bincombe, follow along the grassy path and walk by a communication mast, head down to reach the B3159 road and then cross over it.

Now follow a wide, gravelly path to the very busy A354 road, two years ago in 2011 a footbridge was constructed so that walkers could cross safely over it. Cross over the footbridge and then cross over a gate, walk along a bushy path, head towards a radio mast, but just before reaching it make a right turn and pass through a gate. Now walk across a track to a field and walk along to meet a road, make a right turn and begin to walk beside the Came Down Golf Course, when you reach a road junction, make a right and begin walking along a signposted track for Bincombe. When you reach the small village of Bincombe, bear left down onto a road, take a second left and head along, passing by a church. Keep heading along, staying left as signposted for Osmington, head uphill on the slopes of the combe, when you reach the top, head downhill towards a gate and then pass through, before making a left and heading down to a road. Now, make another left and walk past a building, when you reach a road junction, make a right turn for Sutton Poyntz.

Then turn left again, it will be signposted for Osmington and walk up the ridgeway path and then on the crest of the downs, after you spot a ruin make a right turn onto a track, then follow a track over Whitehorse Hill. If wanted, then a diversion to the right would allow you to see the horse, carved into the hillside. To continue, walk on and then look out for a signpost for Osmington and Lulworth, follow it down to the right. Head now a chalky path before walking along a road which leads into Osmington. At a crossroads, make a left, then a right; this will bring to you to the main road and The Sunray Pub is close. Now turn left along this main road and at Craig's Farm Dairy, cross over it. Walk on the footway, before turning right for Osmington and then walk over a footbridge and head uphill on a field path. Head through the stiles, and then begin to descend through the fields and beside a campsite, walk through a small wooded area and this will bring to you the road where you rejoin the main coastal path. Make a final right turn into Osmington Mills.

Facilities in Osmington include: some refreshments including a café and a 13th century Inn, there is some accommodation: mostly B&Bs and a campsite, toilets are also available. Transport links include buses back to Weymouth, or onwards to Lulworth. Some buses will pick you up from a shop, or the holiday park, but others are to be joined at Osmington. The ones that need to met at Osmington are specifically the Jurassic Coastlinx which runs between Exeter and Bournemouth.