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.
If you ask us for a quote we will include public transport or parking information to suit your walking holiday and for those booking we advise and assist in helping you to work out and book the best travel options for your walk.
Train Arrival - Fast direct trains run from London, The Midlands and the North to Bodmin Parkway station in Cornwall taking around 4 hours from London. For Padstow regular buses connect with the trains to take you onto Padstow taking 1 hour. We can also arrange or advise on private transfers from the station.
Train Departure - From St Ives a short ten minute branch line journey by train takes you to St Erth where you join the main London to Penzance Line with connections to the Midlands and the North. Time to London Paddington is 5.5 to 6 hours.
There is also an overnight sleeper service to and from London and you can also use the train to arrive or depart from Newquay station for shorter walking breaks on this section.
Car - Long stay parking is available in the council run car parks in both Padstow and St Ives and we advise on the options with all our itineraries and quotes.
Getting back to your car by public transport involves taking the train from St Ives to Bodmin Parkway where you change for the connecting buses to Padstow (1 hour) or we can arrange a private transfer for the last to avoid the bus. Average travel time for the full journey is 2.5 to 3 hours.
Coach Arrival - National Express Coaches from London run to Bodmin or Wadebridge with connections from other parts of the UK. You can then take a local bus to Padstow taking 1 hour from Bodmin or 1/2 hour from Wadebridge.
Coach Departure - There are direct bus services from St Ives to London offering connections to other parts of the UK. Newquay has regular National Express coach options for those accessing the trail at the midway point.
Arriving from Overseas - Those arriving from overseas will usually arrive in the UK at London Gatwick or London Heathrow airport from where you can catch direct trains to Bodmin Parkway Station for Padstow (see the train information above). Those arriving at London Heathrow will usually take a 1/2 hour underground train / overland train service into London Paddington to catch the fast inter city trains to Devon and Cornwall.
Internal Flights - Newquay airport allows easy access to the starting point at Padstow (1/2 hour bus or transfer) There are also a few buses a day returning from St Ives to Newquay or you can take the train - around 3 hours. Private transfers taking around one hour can also be arranged.
There are also regional airports at Exeter and Bristol that take international flights and connect by train to Bodmin Parkway (for Padstow) and St Ives. These will be quicker than flying via London if you can find international flights arriving at these airports.
Remember do ask us for help, advice, timetables and options covering how to arrive and depart as quickly and cheaply as possible.
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