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September 25, 2020

Walking the South West Coast Path

by Abi Purvis

Walk this captivating and addictive hike along the notorious national trail of the South West Coast Path with our week by week guides.

From Minehead to Poole, with over 35,000 meters and ups and downs, this entire 630-mile trail is perfect for keen hikers and lovers of the outdoors seeking a challenge and a new adventure.

Its heritage, wildlife, and geology is so spectacular that it’s no wonder why the South West Coast Path is highly ranked by the Lonely Planet as one of the worlds best hikes.

It is even ranked alongside; the Chilkoot trail in Alaska, the Milford trail in New Zealand, and the Torres de Paine trek in Chille — yes, the scenery is that awe-provoking.

“As anyone who has ever walked the South West Coast Path will attest, this is a truly breathtaking route with some of the finest scenery you will ever see. It is fantastic to have been included in Great Adventures, and especially gratifying to know that the Coast Path is up there with other high-octane hikes such as the Tour du Mont Blanc.”

Mark Owen, the National Trail Officer for the South West Coast Path team

How long does it take to complete?

Most walkers take 56 days, across 8 weeks, to complete this legendary route round England’s longest waymarked path, around the southwest peninsula.

Fit and fast walkers have been known to do the trail in 46 days or even 30 days, but 56 days is the ideal time to take in the views and enjoy a more leisurely walk with a couple of rest days.

The quickest time the route has been completed was by ultra-runner Damian Hall. Damian ran the entire trail in just 10 days and 15 hours and 18 minutes.

If doing it all in one go doesn’t tickle your fancy then you can break it down. Many walkers over the years have broken the route down into sections and have completed stints of the epic path over their lifetime – yes, it is that worth it.

Every new bend in this path and headland that you stumble across on each day of your hiking expedition, you’ll always see something different and you’ll discover a new love for the ocean views.

How do I break 630 miles down?

For geographical ease, we have broken down our 56 day recommend itinerary into counties and weeks so you can complete the path county at a time, either in one stint or across many years.

It really shows the sheer length of arguably Britain’s most beautiful and dramatic footpath!

We aim to run through the walks in a week by week basis and showcase the best places to stay — we are a Staycaytion site after all!

Where are some of the places I will stay?

Here’s a breakdown of what types of accommodation you’ll be looking to stay at and we will identify the coolest places to stay:

Bed & Breakfasts, and Guest houses

These are perfect for one night stays as the welcoming owners will keep you warm and feed you up on carbs for your next day of hiking!

Self Catering

This is is ideal if you are breaking up the path into sections.

If you’re in the same area (perhaps if you are doing the path county by county), a self catering property gives you the freedom and the opportunity to have a base camp, or home away from home, as you complete a section of the route.

A self catered Staycaytion also opens up the opportunity to have some company from friends or family as you adventure round the southern coastlines of the country

Hotels, Pubs, and Inns

Often located directly alongside the path these stays are a touch of luxury.

Their local and British classic cuisine and comfy beds are the stylish way to complete the route.

Camping, Glamping, Holiday Parks, and hostels

If you’re on a smaller budget, these types of accommodations are a great low budget option.

There are some quirky sites and lodges out there that are great for the outdoorsy hikers among you.

Or, you can get 10% off many youth hostels with a South West Coast Path association membership.

Keep your eyes on our site as each week we will post our week by week guide, and the best places to stay along each section of the South West Coast Path.


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