South West Coast Path
The South Coast Path is currently England's longest National Trail and stretches for 630 miles (1,014kms) from Minehead on the Somerset to Poole on the Dorset coast. It involves 115,000ft (35,000m) of ascent and passes through one National Park, two UNESCO World Heritage Site, six AONB's (Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty), seven National Nature Reserves, and sixteen stretches of coastline designated and protected as Heritage Coast. Eventually the South West Coast Path will be integrated into the planned England Coast Path, and become part of the longest managed and way-marked coastal path in the world.
Over the next few years Footpath Holidays will be offering a guided walk along the whole of the South West Coast Path.
In 2019 Footpath Holidays will be offering two stretches of the South West Coast Path; Minehead to Instow from a base in Lynton and Instow to Crackington Haven from a base in Bude.
Taken together the two holidays will provide 133 miles (216kms) of fantastic coastal walking, but either section is a great walk in its own right.
The dates in mid-May should see the coastal flora at its very best, with carpets of pink thrift on the clifftops.
South West Coast Path (Minehead to Instow)
Total distance covered; 75 miles (122kms)
6 days walking, based in Lynton
This 75 mile (122km) section of the South West Coast Path starts in the seaside town of Minehead on the Somerset coast of the Bristol Channel and finishes in the charming village of Instow on the North Devon Coast. It offers wonderful walking across the heather-clad hills of the Exmoor National Park and and lightly-wooded slopes which reach down to the sea between Minehead and Lynmouth; along a roller-coaster of spectacular rocky cliffs between Lynton and Morte Point; through sand dunes teeming with flora and fauna between Baggy Point and Instow.
Highlights include the sweeping views northwards across the Bristol Channel to South Wales from the summits of Selworthy Beacon and Bossington Hill; the towering pinnacles and wild goats in the Valley of the Rocks; the massive cliffs of Great Hangman, at 1043’ (318m) the highest point on the South West Coast Path; and Braunton Burrows National Nature Reserve, where one of the largest sand dune systems in Britain attracts a host of wild flowers, butterflies, small mammals and birds of prey.
South West Coast Path (Instow to Crackington Haven)
Total distance covered; 58 miles (94kms)
6 days walking, based at Bude
This 58 mile (94km) section of the South West Coast Path starts in the village of Instow on the North Devon Coast and finishes at the unspoilt hamlet of Crackington Haven on the North Cornwall Coast. It offers leisurely walking around Appledore and the estuaries of the rivers Tawe and Torridge; a roller-coaster of ups and downs, attractive villages and a cool walk through dappled woodland between Westward Ho! and Hartland Point; a stretch of dramatic, wild and increasingly hilly coastline between Hartland Point and the seaside resort of Bude, before a day's introduction to the splendid coast of North Cornwall.
Highlights include the delightful villages of Appledore, Morwenstow and Clovelly, with its steep cobbled high street and whitewashed fisherman’s cottages; the breathtaking coastal panorama that opens up as you round Hartland Point and look straight along the Atlantic coast; the views back to Hartland Point Lighthouse from the west; the waterfall at Speke Mouth; the rock pools and folded rock strata in the shelter of Crackington Haven; and the challenge of some of the wildest and most remote walking on the whole of the South West Coast Path.
Day 1: Minehead to Porlock Weir 9 miles (15kms)
Day 2: Porlock Weir to Lynmouth 12 miles (19kms)
Day 3: Lynmouth to Combe Martin 13 miles (21kms)
Day 4: Combe Martin to Woolacombe 14 miles (23kms)
Day 5: Woolacombe to Braunton 14 miles (23kms)
Day 6: Braunton to Instow 13 miles (21kms)
Day 1: Instow to Westward Ho! 11 miles (18kms)
Day 2: Westward Ho! to Clovelly 11 miles (18kms)
Day 3: Clovelly to Hartland Quay 10 miles (16kms)
Day 4: Hartland Quay to Morwenstow 8 miles (13kms)
Day 5: Morwenstow to Bude 8 miles (13kms)
Day 6: Bude to Crackington Haven 10 miles (16kms)
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