Walking the South West Coast Path
National Trail From Minehead to South Haven Point
By Paddy Dillon
Guidebook to walking the entire South West Coast Path National Trail. The route stretches 630 miles from Minehead to Poole along the north Devon, Cornish, south Devon and Dorset coastline. Divided into 45 stages, this national trail could be completed within 4 weeks, or walked in sections. Guide includes maps and essential information.
SeasonsSummer is when everything is running, but it is also very busy. Spring can be good, as can Autumn. Winter is best avoided as many facilities are closed and the weather can be bad.
CentresMinehead, Ilfracombe, Bideford, Bude, Padstow, Newquay, St Ives, Penzance, Falmouth, St Austell, Plymouth, Torquay, Exmouth, Lyme Regis, Weymouth, Swanage, Poole
DifficultySome stretches are very easy and other stretches include several steep ascents and descents. Most people would enjoy a day's walk almost anywhere on the path in good weather, but it can be exposed in stormy weather. Long-distance walkers should bear in mind that this is a very long trail. Normal day walking kit is fine, but for extended periods on the trail take a change of clothes. Backpackers will of course take everything they need, but should be aware that food and drink are available at regular intervals, so there is no need to carry too many supplies.
Must SeeExmoor National Park, abundant AONBs, long stretches of Heritage Coast, fishing, smuggling and tin mining heritage, Land's End, Lizard Point, Plymouth's naval history, Jurassic Coast, Lulworth Cove
The South West Coast Path National Trail (SWCP) measures a staggering 630 miles (1015km) from Minehead on the Somerset coast right round Devon and Cornwall to Poole in Dorset. The guidebook divides the route into 45 stages of between 12.5 to 37.5km, beginning and ending where amenities are available.
Written by prolific outdoor writer Paddy Dillon, this guidebook is packed with lots of information for planning your walk, including clear step-by-step route descriptions and OS map extracts, public transport links, accommodation and facilities along the way. Also described is the 17-mile South Dorset Ridgeway, from West Bexington to Osmington Mills, which can be used as a scenic way to shave 42 miles off the total distance.
This epic route takes in Exmoor National Park, five AONBs and the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, besides various nature reserves and SSSIs. No other stretch of coastline compares for scenic splendour, historical sites and availability of refreshments, accommodation and public transport, making it easy to split the South West Coast Path into week or weekend-long sections.
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Paddy Dillon is a prolific walker and guidebook writer, with over 100 guidebooks to his name and contributions to 40 other titles. He has written for several outdoor magazines and other publications and has appeared on radio and television.Paddy uses a tablet computer to write as he walks. His descriptions are therefore precise, having been written at the very point at which the reader uses them.Paddy is an indefatigable long-distance walker who has walked all of Britain's National Trails and several European trails. He has also walked in Nepal, Tibet, Korea and the Rocky Mountains of Canada and the US. Paddy is a member of the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild and President of the Backpackers Club.View author profile
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