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.
The original Coleridge Way Route of 36 miles runs from Nether Stowey to Porlock in Somerset - if you are short of time you can still finish at this point where the route first reaches the sea having crossed Exmoor National Park.
However - from 2015, the extended official route (which is absolutely worth doing) now continues a further 16 miles through the remote Brendon Valley of Lorna Doone fame to finish in the stunning gorges of Lynmouth.
Options shown below for The Coleridge Way are suggestions only - we tailor make your itinerary to suit you so just ask if you want to vary distances or overnight locations - if it can be done, we will advise you on how to do it and we will accommodate it!
More Information and examples of these Walking Grades
You can build in a rest day anywhere but as the inland villages are very small we suggest that Porlock or Porlock Weir are the best options with lots more to explore, more facilities and good short circular walks if needed.
Many walkers will finish with an extra day in Lynmouth known as "little Switzerland" - its unique mix of steep gorges and rocky coastline is stunning. The largest town in the area it offers lots of accommodation and eating options around the harbour and in its inland town of Lynton.
- we can drop you high on Exmoor at Exe Head (the source of the River Exe) so that you can walk down off the moor all the way back to sea level through the gorges on the last day of the Two Moors Way - Options from 10 to 16 miles.
- South West Coast Path - you can be taken over to Combe Martin to walk one the most stunning days of this route back to Lynmouth including a climb up the mighty Great Hangman on route - at 1044 feet England's highest sea cliff with stunning views from its summit cairn. Options from 8 to 13 miles Click Here to read more about this walk
Great opportunities for more varied scenery using the SWCoast path and inland Exmoor Routes
A great option to see the interior of Exmoor National Park and highlights such as the unique Tarr Steps and Exe Head. From Lynmouth climb on the dramatic Two Moors Way route right across Exmoor National Par and into the rolling countryside of mid-Devon - an area rarely visited by walkers or tourists. You can walk to the train station at Morchard Road which is on the route - add between 3 and 5 days. CLICK HERE to read about the route but note you would be walking it in the opposite direction!
Full details to come on our new route for 2017 season which is a circular route including all the Coleridge Way, The South West Coast Path back to Minehead then the rarely walked Somerset Coast Path back to Nether Stowey. The Ultimate Somerset Walk including the Quantocks Ridge, Brendon Hills, Coleridge, North Jurassic Coastline and much more. CLICK HERE to find the latest details on the 100 mile challenge
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