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What is the hardest part of the South West Coast Path?

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Ask any walker who’s completed the Path “What’s the hardest part of the South West Coast Path?” and most will answer with one of two locations.

  • Hartland – The two days walking between Clovelly and Bude are exposed, and have a good number of ascents and descents to keep your concentration up all day.  It’s also an area with limited access, meaning once you’ve started walking for the day, you’ll have very little opportunity to leave the path.  That said, this area does offer some of the most spectacular scenery of the entire path.
  • West Penwith – The area around St Ives, Zennor and Pendeen.  Whilst not as challenging as some other areas on the path, this particular section is often quoted as being tough due to the rocky and boggy ground.  This area is known for its granite, which protrudes from the ground across the entire Cornish landscape.  You will spend a lot of time looking at your feet, and won’t be walking at the same pace as other sections.  But, be assured, you will be rewarded with some of the most stunning views and turquoise seas in the UK.  Do not let this put you off.

Whilst both of these areas are considered the hardest, it does not stop walkers of all abilities venturing to these areas.  The rewards far outweigh the difficulties.

*However, please note that we would say that the hardest part of the South West Coast Path is very much dependent on each individuals ability, the weather conditions and the footwear worn when walking.