Introducing the South West Coast Path
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.
England’s longest National Trail. Immerse yourself within miles of beautiful English coastline through Somerset, Devon, Cornwall and Dorset.
From breath taking cliff faces to historical smugglers’ coves, fossil-filled rocks to subtropical woodlands. It is no wonder why the South West Coastal Path is a multi-award-winning route.
Winding its way around the edge of the UK, walking the South West Coast Path offers 630 miles (1,014 km) of mesmerising scenery for its visitors. What sets The South West Coast apart from others is the sheer diversity in the scenery. Unlike many man-made routes around the UK, here you can truly appreciate the beauty of mother nature and travel back in time to when smugglers, tin miners and even dinosaurs roamed these lands.
It is not just the locals who have picked up on this coastal goldmine, with The Lonely Planet Guide listing The South West Coastal Path up there with Himalayan Trekking and the famous Inca Trail in Peru!
Quick Facts about the South West Coast Path:
Official Name: The South West Coast Path | Occasionally Called: The Southwest coastal path
Managed by: The South West Coast Path Association
Located: The South West of England, in the counties of Somerset, Devon, Cornwall and Dorset
Made up of: Some of the Somerset Coast Path, Devon Coast Paths, Cornwall Coast Path, Jurassic Coast, and Dorset Coast Path
Distance: Officially 630 miles / 1014 kilometres but, by the time you’ve come off the path for accommodation and an evening meal, it’s closer to 680 miles / 1094 kilometres
Start / End locations: Minehead, Somerset and Poole, Dorset
Average time to complete: 6-8 weeks, which for most people is completed over a couple of years, when annual leave allows.
Quickest time to complete: 10 days! A number of ultra marathon runners have completed the path averaging 63 miles per day.
The Ultimate Long-Distance Challenge
With 115,000 feet of ascent and descent, the trail offers the ultimate hike for avid walkers. So much so, that completing the entirety of the walk is equivalent to scaling Mount Everest 4 times! It would take 8 weeks to complete the trek in one go, so most visitors tend to take on the South West route in segments.
Enjoy the Seasons changing
The great part about trekking England is that no two seasons will offer the same scenery. Along The South West Path, in spring you are likely to see lambs rolling around the hills; in summer, the blooms of tropical plants are truly something to behold, alongside the turquoise waters of the sea; autumn is the perfect time to spot birds migrating; and in winter, there is no better location to watch storms rolling in from the ocean.
But remember, we operate March 1st to October 31st every year, so if you’re planning to walk outside of these dates, you will have to carry your bags or make your own arrangements. It’s worth noting that many of the river crossings do not have ferries operating all year.
Planning Your Trek
The route is usually trekked from Minehead in Somerset, around the peninsula of Devon and Cornwall, finishing in Poole, Dorset following one of the many guidebooks written. However, the route is well signposted in both directions so the route can fit around your itinerary. With more people using navigation apps such as AllTrails, walkers are less reliant on paper guidebooks and maps.
We’ve written a handy article called Booking Yourself vs Holiday Company to help you choose whether you’d like to organise a trip yourself, or have someone else do it all for you.
How we can help
At Luggage Transfers, we want to make your South West Coastal Path trek as enjoyable as possible, which is why we offer transport for your luggage so you can spend more time enjoying the journey, and less time worrying about your back! We cater across the whole trail and are proud to offer the cheapest prices across the whole South West Coastal Path. So, if we’ve whet your appetite for a walk on the South West Coast Path, click here to look at South West Coast Path accommodation or here to book your transfers.
Explore the South West Coast Path with some of our popular walking itineraries
The route begins in Minehead, Somerset, and you could not ask for a better way to start your trek. With bursts of dramatic scenery, you are immediately immersed in another world. Navigate through Exmoor National Park, where the rolling moors touch the striking cliffs, where waterfalls cascade down the rock face into the pools below.
At Great Hangman, in Ilfracombe, you will ascend to the highest point along the entire path. However, your perseverance will be rewarded with incomparable views across the Devon moors and the Celtic Sea to the peaks of Wales in the distance.
Here you may be lucky enough to see the sheer diversity in wildlife from both environments, with roaming goats, Exmoor ponies and herds of stag habiting the hills of Exmoor, to basking seals and swooping peregrine falcons occupying the waters.
Exit Exmoor Park and enter into a new world entirely, with stretches of unspoiled sandy beaches and protected wildlife areas within the Taw and Torridge estuaries. Retrace the steps of many smugglers, wreckers and Custom Men that frequented these shores. You can even opt to travel by steam train along this stretch to relax, or for the adventure seekers, try your hand at coasteering or kite surfing some of Devon’s most impressive waves.
Leaving Devon, this section of the trail offers panoramic views across impressive cliffs, secluded golden beaches and shipwrecks peppered along the coast. This section of the South West Coast can seem the hardest with its continual rises and dips, but walkers are rewarded with incredible views, cosy stays in charming fishing villages and remote tranquillity at the clifftops.
Must sees along this section include Tintagel Castle and the Museum of Witchcraft. This section prepares you for the stunning scenery of Cornwall, finishing in the quaint town of Padstow, offering world-class food at Rick Stein’s restaurant.
This journey along the dramatic Cornish North coast will give you a burning desire to don a wetsuit and try your hand at water sports in this surfing mecca. With some of the best waves in the UK, people travel from all over the country to master these shores.
If surfing is not your thing, the route brings far more than waves, with golden sand beaches contrasting with the rugged cliff faces, you will witness mother nature at its finest. For the historians, transport back in time, passing Bronze Age castles, abandoned mines and holy wells along your journey.
Finishing in the cobbled streets of St Ives, meander through the art galleries and independent stores before embarking on the next section of the South West Trail.
Hugging the most westerly point of England, many believe Land’s End is both the start and the end of Great Britain. Here you will start to witness the contrast between the powerful waves that dominate the North coast, before moving to the tranquil, turquoise waters of the south coast.
Along this section, you can gain a deeper understanding of Cornwall’s mining and fishing history. For 2000 years tin and copper mining were Cornwall’s main income and the scars from these times are now part of a protected world heritage site. Wander along the paths paved by tinners and miners of the past and immerse yourself in the rich history of these lands.
The Lizard Peninsula, this untamed, battered headland can seem to the viewer you are at the end of the world. Along this stretch, you will be greeted with mystical creeks home to sub-tropical gardens and some of the UK’s rarest plant life.
Across the sea, be witness to the dramatic coastline, with over 400 ships claimed by the sea along these shores.
The forceful waves of the north coast stop here and walkers are met with the peaceful stillness of the south coast. With endless views across the shades of blue, navigate around fields of headlands and cherry-pick your own beach stops, with a never-ending choice of calm waters and soft sand to visit.
For those looking to explore away from the South West Coast Path, local attractions include the Eden Project, a natural biome home to thousands of tropical plant species. Finish this section in one of the magical harbours that inhabit this coastline and dine on seafood that is ‘straight off the boat’.
Between Plymouth to Brixham, navigate through estuaries busting with wildlife, untouched tidal fingers and river mouths that are often described as the most beautiful in the whole of the UK. Being the most isolated part of Devon, this section can take some planning to navigate over tiny rivers with foot ferries, but the rewards of these areas of untouched beauty speak for themselves.
Here, we start to enter the finale of the trail, and walkers are rewarded with an expanse of geological beauty, where landslips have made way for new worlds in the undercliff, now home to rare wildlife. Peppered along the unique coastline you will find a number of welcoming seaside towns offering atmospheric overnight stays. Finish this stretch entering the historic Jurassic coastline.
The final stretch of the South West Coastal Path. Awarded World Heritage Status in 2001, the Jurassic Coast is nothing short of breath taking. Here is the only trail on the planet where you can travel back millions of years to when the dinosaurs roamed the lands. The isolated headlands paint a picture of where barren deserts and dense forests once stood. The spectacular cliff tops offer walkers the chance to spot dolphins, deer and kestrels, while the mystical valleys are home to beds of rare wildflowers, butterflies and birds.
Finish your South West Coastal Trail in the seaside town of Poole, and reflect on the incredible adventure you just embarked on, where no coastline was the same and each section offered different challenges and rewards. Think back to all the wildlife you were able to spot, the history you uncovered and the memories you made.