Walking The South West Coast Path, Somerset, Devon, Cornwall & Dorset

Luggage Transfers is the only baggage transfers service covering the entire 630 miles of the South West Coast Path. Established in 2009, we move thousands of bags each year for visitors walking and cycling throughout the area.

Below, you’ll find more information about the route, a popular itinerary for the South West Coast Path, as well as a link to our walker-friendly accommodation for the entire route.  There’s everything there you need to plan your South West Coast Path walking holidays.

Start: Minehead
Finish: Poole
Total Distance: 630 miles / 1014 km
Luggage transfers available: 1st March to 31st October

Walk and explore the South West Coast Path

Whether you decide to start in Minehead or Poole, or somewhere in between, the South West Coast Path offers you the opportunity to explore so many differing landscapes across the counties of Somerset, Devon, Cornwall and Dorset. Described as one of the UK’s best walking routes, it boasts Heritage coastlines and numerous Nature Reserves as well as five Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, two World Heritage Sites (the Jurassic Coast and Cornish Mining Heritage), a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and a National Park!

How long is the South West Coast Path?

If you only walk for a week at a time or decide to take on the whole 630 miles of the National Trail challenge in one go, you can mark off every mile with the knowledge and satisfaction you have actually scaled the equivalent of Mount Everest 4 times, or if not being one to brag, Ben Nevis 26 times by the time you have finished!

In whichever season you decide to walk the South West Coast Path, wildlife, flora and fauna abound allowing you a chance to relax and to get away from the hassles of everyday life and immerse yourself in nature and its wonders. Ancient woodland, magnificent waterfalls, lofty windswept clifftops and hidden valleys and creeks as well as miles of open beaches all await you as you hike your way around this well-trodden and popular path.

Each section of the South West Coast Path offers its own treasures and something for everyone to enjoy, whether you wish to walk in the footprints of the dinosaurs, check out the mythical and mystical legends of Cornwall or just want to experience pretty harbour towns and well-hidden villages as well as bustling seaside communities, rest assured Luggage Transfers will be there with your bags at the end of each rewarding day.

Since 2009, with the help of our walkers, we’ve donated over £10,000 to the South West Coast Path Association.

Quick stat – The South West Coast Path running record was set by Kristian Morgan in September 2020.  He completed it in 10 days 12 hours and 6 minutes.

Popular walking itinerary on the South West Coast Path

Section 1 - Somerset, Exmoor and North Devon - Minehead to Westward Ho! (87.3 miles / 140.5 km) over 6-11 days

Start your adventure in the Somerset town of Minehead, grab a photo by the monument as you set off.

This section offers you days of woodland walking into deep valleys, uncovering magnificent waterfalls with glimpses of the Bristol Channel and South Wales as you tour the outer edges of Exmoor. Gentler terrain opens up before you as you reach the surf haven of Croyde and the UNESCO site of Braunton Burrows. The River Torridge and a gentle crossing at the Appledore ferry brings you to journey’s end at Westward Ho!

Section 2 - North Devon and Cornwall - Westward Ho! to Padstow (87.7 miles / 126.6 km) over 7-12 days

Your journey begins in Westward Ho! following the coast path to the pretty village of Clovelly nestled in the cliffside. From here you climb to the wild and rugged clifftop walking of North Devon, along the North Atlantic coastline. Cross the border into Cornwall before reaching the mythical and mystical town of Tintagel, onward through Doc Martin’s village of Port Wenn/Port Isaac to where the foodie haven of Padstow welcomes you.

Section 3 - Mid Cornwall Coast - Padstow to St Ives (66.5 miles / 107.1 km) over 5-7 days

This section of the South West Coast Path showcases the culture and heritage of North Cornwall at its finest.

Leave Padstow behind and walk through the Cornish Mining World Heritage Sites and nature reserve at St Agnes, with ruined engine houses and mining stacks a legacy of a time long gone. Wide expanses of sandy beaches allow you to blow away the cobwebs whilst dipping your toes in the water. The artistic hub of St Ives with its plentiful galleries awaits you.

Section 4 - Land's End Peninsula and the Lizard - St Ives to Falmouth (101.7 miles / 163.7 km) over 7-9 days

Travelling to the far South West of Cornwall allows you to walk from the bustling town of St Ives to see some of Cornwall’s most iconic landmarks such as Lands End, the Minack Theatre and St Michaels Mount.

Walking around this rugged and wild area of the path affords you outstanding views and varied landscapes between the Land’s End and Lizard peninsulas before turning eastward. This stretch takes in the half way marker at Porthallow, so you know you are racking up the miles. A more gentle walk than previous days takes you across the River Helford onwards to the busy and vibrant town of Falmouth.

We’ve put together 3 suggested itineraries when walking the South West Coast Path between St Ives and Falmouth. You can view them here.

Section 5 - South Cornwall Coast - Falmouth to Plymouth (78.9 miles / 127 km) over 6-8 days

A naval town to start and end on this popular stretch of the South West Coast Path.

Falmouth, with its castle and old naval history, gives you the chance to enjoy ferry journeys to the Roseland peninsula as the walk unfolds along the coast of South Cornwall. Pretty fishing villages dot the route, the main one being Charlestown, used as a film set for the popular TV series Poldark. This is also a literary route, with many writers inspired by its beauty, Rosamunde Pilcher and Daphne du Maurier amongst them. The end of Cornwall draws near as you emter Plymouth and end the walk in South Devon.

Section 6 - The South Hams of Devon - Plymouth to Brixham (73 miles / 117.5 km) over 5-7 days

A chance to leave behind the bustling city of Plymouth and explore the quieter and more serene areas of South Devon. Small villages spread before you, interspersed with many rivers crossings as you make your way to the sailing paradise of Salcombe the navel town of Dartmouth and the beautiful harbour town of Brixham.

Section 7 - Jurassic Coast Part 1 - Brixham to Lyme Regis (57.4 miles / 92.4 km) over 4-5 days

The Victorian and Georgian seaside towns are some of the many delights along this stretch of the South West Coast Path.

Walking along promenades as well as high clifftops gives this part of the path a diverse cross section of countryside to explore, incorporating the World Heritage Site of the Jurassic Coast between Exmouth and Lyme Regis.

Section 8 - Jurassic Coast Part 2 - Lyme Regis to Poole (86 miles / 138.4 km) over 7-8 days

A chance to finish the path with a walk through the rolling hills of Dorset, climbing Golden Cap, the highest point on the South Coast of England and visit some well known natural and historic spots; the bank at Chesil beach leads you on to the Isle of Portland and onward to the seaside town of Weymouth.

Two of the most iconic geological sites of Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door grace the coast before walking on to the Isle of Purbeck, home to Corfe and Swanage. Don’t forget to get a photo at the end-point monument at Studland Bay before hopping on the ferry to end this memorable journey in Poole.

For a break down of this section, please check out our Lyme Regis to Poole itineraries.