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..
Mevagissey Harbour as evening draws in