Discover challenging and dramatic walking trails shaped by the footsteps of traders, smugglers, saints and pirates. Cornish walking trails will reveal ancient tin mines, clifftop castles, timeless fishing villages and wild moors as you travel through a landscape of huge cliffs and hidden coves that goes back to the depths of time itself. In between the coastal drama, iconic harbours such as St Ives and Padstow give walkers access to some of the UK‘s best restaurants and coastal hotels. A county encircled by the wild Atlantic ocean, there is over 330 miles of spectacular world class coast path here taking you around the farthest corners of England - put simply it feels like walking on the edge of the world.
Stretching from coast to coast across the southwest of England, Devon is a richly diverse county with rugged shores and cliffs in the north, and classic Victorian seaside resorts in the south. In between you'll find tranquil green pastures, wooded gorges and the two dramatic wild moors in the National Parks of Dartmoor and Exmoor. Choose Devon for its walking variety, and you'll find that the popular image of cream teas and thatched cottages is true - but that Devon is so much more once you explore it on two feet. Coast to coast routes like the Two Moors Way will offer a journey through it all from the wild northern shores that inspired the Romantic poets to the maritime ports of the south coast.
Free your soul and clear your mind! Walking on the wild moors of these National Parks is a wonderful antidote to modern living. England's last true wilderness, Dartmoor offers 365 square miles of virtually uninhabited freedom with high moors and twisted dramatic granite tors a land of myths, ghosts and legends. Exmoor, its smaller and more gentle neighour, is 250 Square miles of near perfect and unique beauty, with high uplands swathed in heather and steep, wooded gorges and rushing streams. See Dartmoor ponies and Exmoor stags in these wildlife rich areas, home to 30 species of mammals and over 240 types of bird. The moors offer a unique opportunity for more challenging walking where the only human sound you will hear is the rhythm of your own breath.
Avoid the crowds and discover “Secret Somerset” missed by so many rushing headlong for the far South West. The 'land of the summer people' was named in a time when this area could only be visited in the summer months as the sea receded. Today its a rich, fertile and 'for real' landscape crowned by the fine walking ridges of the Mendip and Quantock Hills both protected areas of outstanding natural beauty. Rising up over King Arthur‘s Vale of Avalon along with the magical Tor at Glastonbury, walkers will find hidden gorges, wooded combes and the best inland panoramas of the South West. Also boasting its own Jurassic Coast Path, providing a gateway into the wilds of Exmoor National Park, Somerset offers walking routes without the crowds for those who want to find..... what the rest miss.
Dorset has a comfortable old world “English” feel to it and its walking routes traverse a rather more green and agricultural land of thatched cottages, cream teas.... and fossils ! Walkers here will find the more gentle rolling farmland, pretty villages and chalk ridges beloved by Thomas Hardy that sweep down to end abruptly at the World Heritage Jurassic Coast. Here, alongside the sea, those after more challenging routes can take a walking holiday through time itself amongst the dramatic chalk stacks, cliffs and arches of the Dorsetshire fossil coast. An area that can be very busy in high season but often suits walkers looking for more gentle and less exposed walking than the far west of the region.
Wales offers some of the best walking and outdoor activities to be had anywhere in the world. The 870-mile Welsh Coast Path was only fully opened in 2012 and is the world's first walk along the entire coast of a nation. The terrain is on an equally grand scale with towering cliffs, vast stretches of unspoilt golden sands, imposing castles, offshore islands and to the north there is the backdrop of Snowdonia National Park with its stunning mountains. Wales in general offers walkers great value for money compared to more popular areas like Cornwall with walking options to suit everyone, from those who want the cosmopolitan restaurants and facilities of towns like Tenby and St Davids, through to isolated and remote forests and coastal hills that sit on the very cusp of the Snowdonian Peaks. Bursting with confidence and pride in its “Welshness”, its Celtic history, language and culture there has never been a better time for walkers to enter Wales.
The South West Coast Path is the UK's longest National Trail and one of the top ten walking routes in the world. It snakes, dips and rises continuously on its way through a staggering 1014km (630 miles) of pristine coastline, 450 miles of which is through nationally protected areas. It's a challenge too; walking the entire South West Coast Path is the equivalent to scaling Mount Everest four times! From towering cliffs to hidden coves, ghostly tin mines to lush subtropical wooded creeks. One minute a dramatic rock theatre hewn out of the cliffs, the next a prehistoric fossilized forest or a 20thC Art Deco Island Hotel. What sets The South West Coast Path apart from other trails is that around almost every corner is yet another surprise as you retrace the footsteps and histories of the tin miners, fisherman, smugglers, wreckers and the customs men who chased them.
South West Coast Path
The Coleridge Way
Go Walking in Wales
Cornwall Coast Path
Exmoor National Park
Jurassic Coast Path
Walking in Somerset
"Rail to Trail" Walks
Dartmoor National Park
The largest walking site for the SW & Wales
Run BY walkers...FOR walkers
300 pages of Interactive Maps, route profiles, FAQ's, videos & trail reviews
Find the answers to ALL your walking queries from the region's most comprehensive walking website
We don't do "STANDARD" walking holidays
Benefit from individual advice and tailor made itineraries to create the walk YOU want
Work with walking advisors who KNOW the trails & can plan the right route, accommodation & support for you - from the moment you enquire until the end of your adventure
We are the regions premier Walking Experts
Use our interactive map to research your ideal walk ...
Contact a walking expert for route ideas, accommodation options and walk planning
630 miles of coastal drama along the UK's premier long distance trail
Majestic castles, isolated beaches, dramatic cliffs and off-shore islands
Iconic harbours, smuggler's coves, wild moors & ancient stones - uniquely Cornwall
Including the Two Moors Way, Dartmoor Way and Coleridge Way routes
"Simone Stanbrook-Byrne revels in her surroundings as a newly re-launched route takes her through some of the most dramatic and varied terrain in the country."
Simone Stanbrook-Byrne's excellent review of the Mendip way is available as a downloadable PDF by clicking here or you can read it online by visiting Somerset Life's website and reading the magazine article by clicking here.
We are currently taking enquiries and bookings for all months on all walks including our new routes on the Ceredigion and Snowdonia Coast Path in Wales - during January you will also see details arriving online on our new St Austell Brewery Ale Trails in South and West Cornwall and the three day Exmoor Adventure on a circular route out of Porlock - CLICK HERE to send in a quote enquiry
The Mendip Way offers 50 miles of top quality walking through an area of outstanding natural beauty along the Mendip Plateau in beautiful Somerset, through an ancient landscape of hidden caverns and gorges. Visit places replete with myths and legends including King Arthur's Vale of Avalon, the cathedral city of Wells and the iconic Glastonbury Tor. Read more about The Mendip Way. Contact us for more information and to request a quote.
We are providing all our walkers with copies of this excellent guide to help answer questions about our walking holidays. Those booking onto them receive booklets with their maps and guidebooks but if you have general questions about how our holidays work day to day its work looking at it online for more info. There is lots of useful information if you have not walked in the UK or not been on a walking holiday before.
Click here or click on the image to view The Walkers Information Booklet now
We also have a section of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) - Click here and of course you are welcome to just contact us directly with any specific questions if you can't find the answers you need.
To subscribe to future Newsletters with updates on new walks and offers (2 or 3 times a year) to to the very bottom right of this page to find the sign up box
Would you choose Encounter Walking Holidays for future holidays? Yes
Would you recommend Encounter Walking Holidays to others? Yes
As always my walking holiday was very well organized. Even the weather turned out nice, mostly dry and sunny, a few misty days and only a few hours of real rain.
I enjoyed the mix of hills, coastal and inland walking. Although the big coastal cliffs still hold the biggest thrills too me, I might return for the mountains in Wales at some point. Nothing was too long, difficult, steep or vertigous. And many of the days north of Pembrokeshire, I walked alone without meeting anyone. Very nice that that is still possible.
All accommodations were very good with good comfortable rooms.
Among the hotels/Inns Ocean Drive in Barmouth, the Golden Lion Inn in Newport, and the Coach House in St Davids were my favorites. Due to a personal welcome by friendly hosts.
Among the B&B's Pentower stands out. I could easily have stayed there a week. I had a wonderful room and enjoyed the friendly talks I had with Mary - and the privilege of warming the feet of Jasper the cat. But also in Pen Y Garth in Harlech and York House in Borth, I enjoyed the friendly atmosphere?.
The choice of start and finish was very convenient. I had long transportdays, but could use bus and train, and had no need of expensive taxies.
Thank you for arranging a perfect walk once again.
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