South West Coastal Path

The South West Coastal Path is a 630mile walk around the south west coast of England, taking in the counties of Dorset, Devon, Cornwall and Somerset. It can take a serious walker around a month to complete, although for most 6 or 7 weeks is more likely. Many others complete the path by doing separate walks over many, many years, picking off small parts either by doing shorter 2, 3 or 4 days walks, or just a day here and there. The coastal path starts (or ends depending which way you go!) at South Haven Point (Poole Harbour) and runs all the way around to Minehead, on the north Somerset coast. The path originated as a way for the coastguard to walk from lighthouse to lighthouse checking for smuggling activity. As a result they needed to be able to look down into every bay and cove and that requires the path to closely hug the coast and the tops of cliffs, thus providing excellent views down to see the smugglers. Luckily for us today’s path follows, as near as it can, to that route giving us fantastic views of the seas and ocean off this coastline. There are small parts (the south coast of East Devon and Dorset) where the cliffs are crumbling under the pounding seas and have resulted in the paths being diverted, but this hardly distracts from what is a superb long distance path, probably the best of its kind in the country. Below are a number of pictures from around the coastal path alongside walks which form part of the coastal path and my attempts to complete it, the walks, links below, will be ordered in a clockwise direction around the whole route..

West Bay

Sidmouth to Branscombe Church

Budleigh Salterton to Sidmouth

Man Sands to Kingswear

Slapton Sands

Start Point from Beesands

Hallsands to Lannacombe Beach

Prawle Point

Bolt Head and Bolt Tail

Bigbury to Mothercombe

St Anchorite’s Rock

Warren Point walk

Coastal Walk around Wembury

Langdon Court

Mountbatten Fort and Breakwater

Rame Head

Polperro to Polruan

Fowey to Par Sands

Porthpean to Pentewan

Padstow to Stepper Point

Fowey Harbour taken from Fowey castle

Fowey Harbour taken from Fowey castle

Looking to Burgh Island from Hoist Point

Plymouth Sound and Breakwater, Cornwall (Rame Peninsula) across the bay

From the Coastguard station at the tip of Padstow Bay looking back in the direction of Padstow

From the Coastguard station at the tip of Padstow Bay looking back in the direction of Padstow and Rock

Brixham harbour and pier

Brixham harbour and pier

Plymouth Sound from Mount Edgcumbe Park

Mevagissey Harbour as evening draws in

Mevagissey Harbour as evening draws in