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.
Huge thanks goes to our accommodation providers on Dartmoor and Exmoor, along the South West Coast Path and on The Pembrokeshire Coast Path in Wales. Without them walking these routes would be impossible. Many of those running the inns, B&B's and small hotels on these routes are keen walkers themselves and are supporting us by donating to Shelterbox
Walkers Accommodation on Dartmoor
Walkers Accommodation on the South West Coast Path
Evergreen Computing Ltd - Websites, web solutions and much more for businesses. Encounter Walking have been working with Evergreen for over 10 years now and they created, host and maintain not just our website but also our email systems and our cloud based bookings database. Without them we simply would not be able to provide the information or service we do! Run by outdoor types who fully understand what is need for walking, outdoor related and tourist based web services - if you need to create a new web presence CALL THEM FIRST ! www.evergreencomputing.com Tel 01454 269 087
Luggage Transfers South West - Provide a superb service for walkers delivering your luggage on any section of South West Coast Path and on The Pembrokeshire Coast Path in Wales. We work with Luggage Transfers to move our walkers luggage and fully recommend and endorse their service as the most reliable and economical way of moving your luggage from place to place leaving you free to enjoy the trail.
www.luggagetransfers.co.uk Tel: 0800 043 7927 or 01326 567247
LT Taxis - Taxi service for walkers to be extended for 2015 season to cover the whole of the South West Coast Path as well as The Two Moors Way, Exmoor and Dartmoor National Parks, the Coleridge Way and Saints Way long distance paths. Encounter Walking use and fully recommend LT Taxis to get you onto, around or off the trails. You can call a taxi 7 days a week and will get a cheap, reliable and comprehensive service so you only need to have one number with you when walking in the South West www.lttaxis.co.uk Tel 03332 10 10 10
A-Z Maps - We all know about their excellent city guides but A-Z Maps now provide a huge range of Map Books for Walkers using the highest scale OS Mapping in a convenient Book format - no more struggling with fold out maps on the moors. Covering the South West Coast Path, The Pembrokeshire Coast Path, National Parks and more, we use these for ALL our walking holidays. Cheaper to buy and easier to use than old style maps they are also packed with info and extras for walkers CLICK HERE to view the full range
Make use of the following places and links if you are looking for accommodation and want to stay in places run by people and organisations committed to supporting walkers and if you do use the information below to make your own bookings please consider donating a few pounds to our Dartmoor Challenge Appeal. CLICK HERE to donate and read more about the Shelterbox project
Sitting right on The Dartmoor Way Route and just off the Two Moors Way Devon coast to coast walk, the Globe makes a perfect stopping point for walkers. A traditional Inn right in the heart of the moorland Capital of Chagford with real ales in its drinking bar, a resident lounge bar and great food in the dining room.
Log fires, hidden Courtyard Garden and a range of large and comfortable recently refurbished ensuite rooms make this a great choice in Chagford. Also happy to take well behaved dogs
www.theglobeinnchagford.co.uk Tel 01647 433485
Right on the The Dartmoor Way Route and with easy access for walkers wanting to explore the superb Teign Gorge Valley and Castle Drogo areas. The White Hart is at the centre of one of Dartmoors most interesting and lively towns. One of the oldest hotels on Dartmoor it dates back to 1639 but today welcomes weary walkers with its sofa-filled lounge, roaring log fire, welcoming bar and excellent restaurant. Dog friendly, walker friendly and able to help you plan all sorts of activities on the Moor
www.whitehartdartmoor.co.uk Tel 01647 440500
Ideally placed this is the closest accommodation to the official start of the Two Moors Way Route in Ivybridge and the Southern Dartmoor National Park area. As such the Sportsmans has been welcoming walkers for years giving them a comfortable nights stay before they start their climb onto the Moor and The Two Moors Way. Easy access from the station, long stay parking often available and evening meals and packed lunches on site.
www.thesportsmansinn.co.uk Tel 01752 892280
A traditional Coaching Inn set in the 6 acres of gardens running down to the beautiful River Taw. This is the heartland of Devon and a luxury place to explore it from. Used by our walkers on the Two Moors Way who divert here from the trail using the scenic branch line train service from nearby Morchard Road and benefit with a night of luxury. Set between Dartmoor and Exmoor it gives those staying longer options to explore both National Parks from one location. AA Rosette awarded Restaurant and a bar which offers a choice of 3 local ciders and real ale drawn straight from the barrel.
www.foxandhoundshotel.co.uk Tel 01769 580 345
High quality B&B accommodation right in the middle of Porlock Village the best base for Exmoor Walkers. With easy access to the Coast Path, Coleridge Way, Dunkerry Beacon (Exmoor Highest Point) and the Lorna Doone Valley this is a superb location for a walking break offering, High Moors, Rugged Coast, Lush Forest and everything in between. Large Ensuite rooms in this 18th Century cottage have loads of historical character mixed with modern perks such as luxurious toiletries and flat screen TV's. Very walker friendly offering packed lunches and a warm welcome for all those arriving on The Minehead to Westward Ho! section of the South West Coast path.
www.cottageporlock.co.uk Tel: 01643 862996 or 07899 950626
Another great Porlock BB option the Gables is right on the Coleridge Way route and also has easy access to the Minehead to Westward Ho! section of the South West Coast path. The Gables is a stunning thatched cottage with beautiful rooms, king size beds but retaining its cottage atmosphere. 4* B&B rated by Visit England with Silver Award. Guests Lounge and walker friendly and right in the beautiful village of Porlock with an easy level walk to evening meals, shops and more.
www.thegablesporlock.co.uk Tel 01643 863432
A 3* Enjoy England Rated Guest House with awards as a Walker and Cycle Friendly Establishment. Right beside the coast path in the pretty village and bay at Combe Martin its only a few minutes to the beach and close to all the village facilities.
Licensed Bar on site, this place is totally walker and dog friendly with evening meals and packed lunches by arrangement and easy access to climb 1000ft to the heights of nearby Great Hangman on the Minehead to Westward Ho! section of the South West Coast path.
www.channelvista.co.uk Tel 01271 883514
Claims to be "everything a village inn should be" and we would fully agree with this from a walkers viewpoint. Right in the centre of the village and just off the coast path route a 4* rated Inn with an additional Walkers Welcome Award. Find real Ale, a restaurant and bar with free wi-fi on site. Large ensuite rooms with a choice of family, double and twin bedrooms - most with sea views and spacious surroundings downstairs to relax in after your walk with the Conservatory and patio garden. Very much the centre of the village and experienced in supporting walkers for many years on the Minehead to Westward Ho! section of the South West Coast Path.
www.villageinndevon.co.uk Tel: 01237 477331
Right in the middle of Boscastle two minutes from the harbour and coast path (Westward Ho! to Padstow section) This is one of Cornwall's oldest Coaching Inns dating back to the 16th Century. Past guests have included royalty and celebrities such as King Edward VII, Sir Henry Irving, Guy Gibson and Thomas Hardy. Restaurant and Bar on site along with the chance to upgrade to one of the two Turret Rooms ! Very walker friendly and well recommended.
www.wellingtonhotelboscastle.com Tel: 01840 250202
5* rated small hotel with Silver Award (Enjoy England) The Riverside dates back to the 16th Century and was built by the same Sir Richard Grenville who is included in many of Daphne du Mauriers novels. Its location is as good as it gets in Boscastle village on the Westward Ho! to Padstow coast path section The hotel sits right beside the beautiful Valency River directly on the coast path and only a minute or two from the natural harbour. 13 Ensuite rooms all have modern facilities with Wi-Fi and LCD TV's whilst downstairs you can relax in the restaurant which offers a range of fresh seafood or finish the walking day in the riverside tea garden.
www.hotelriverside.co.uk Tel: 01840 250216
A haven for walkers Bosayne provides 4* Rated B&B Accommodation and also holds Walker and Cyclist Friendly Awards and a Green Tourism Gold Award.
With 8 bedrooms there is a full range of room options in this charming Edwardian B&B which is situated only around 300m from the coast path with easy access to the facilities of Tintagel. The owners are keen walkers themselves making this a perfect base for walking in the North Cornwall area of the Westward Ho! to Padstow coast path section.
Four Star Rated B&B with an English Tourism Gold Star Award situated in the old part of town only a few minutes walk from the Harbour, restaurants, shops and Coast Path and opposite Padstow's 6th Century St Petroc's Church. Very Walker Friendly Accommodation offering luxury ensuite double rooms for those walking the Westward Ho! to Padstow or Padstow to St Ives sections of the coast path. Also located right opposite the coast to coast Saints Way Walking Trail.
www.50churchstreet.co.uk Tel: 01841 532 121
Base your walking from a recently renovated 18th Century Cottage in the old town area of Padstow. Four Star Rated with English Tourism Silver Award. Around 200m from the harbour and coast path, relax in beautifully furnished ensuite rooms that reflect the character of the cottage but also have the modern touches with Egyptian cotton sheets, Wi-Fi and digital TV's.
www.cyntwell.co.uk Tel:01841 533 447
Ideally situated just behind the golden sands beach in the hamlet of Porthcothan on the coast path between Padstow and St Ives. Walker friendly and dog friendly with good sized ensuite rooms with modern touches including flat screen satellite TV and free wifi internet. Short walk to the village stores and the Tredea Inn for evening meals where you can get the most amazing views from the decking over the coast while you eat and underneath find an authentic Cornish Working Art Gallery to explore. Accommodation here has its own access and you can enjoy breakfast with eggs from their own organic free range hens.
www.porthcothanbay.co.uk/pcb2_bandb.html Tel: 01841 520440
Situated just over the beautiful river Gannel Estuary this is a perfect alternative for those walking the Padstow to St Ives coast path section who want to avoid staying in the larger town of Newquay. Visit Britain 2* Gold Award small hotel with well decorated accommodation and a large choice of ensuite rooms many with superb views over the north Cornish coast path which is just a few minutes walk away. Prebooked evening meals are available on site or in the peaceful and atmospheric village of Crantock close by. Gardens and guest lounge to relax in or just enjoy a post walk drink in the Halwyn Bar conservatory lounge.
www.fairbankhotel.co.uk Tel:01637 830424
AA4* rated Country House accommodation on the hill above Perranporth situated in its own grounds and a short walk off the coast path giving an ideal location. Licensed bar and bistro offering Home cooked, locally sourced and organic food on site and plenty of space within the country house for guests to relax in.
Great location for exploring the superb sections of coast path on the Padstow to St Ives Route with easy access to the sands of Perranporth, high cliffs near St Agnes and iconic tin mines around Wheal Coates
www.stgeorgescountryhotel.co.uk Tel: 01872 572184 or 07989 434051
Beautiful 18th century working farmhouse, with inglenook, range, log burners, sun terrace and other character features inland of the village of Gwithian. The village with its Red River Pub and the Coast Path (Padstow to St Ives Section) are accessed by a pleasant walk down a private drive. Set it its own gardens with a lounge for guests use and drying facilities for walkers. 3* Visit Cornwall Rated Farmstay Visit England Silver award for accommodation and service for 2012- 2013
www.nanterrowfarm.co.uk Tel: 01209 712 282
Four star rated B&B Accommodation (Enjoy England). Immaculate Walker Friendly B&B in one of the older fishermans cottage in the best location in St Ives just off the harbour area and a minute or two from the coast path. Used by Daphne du Maurier when she visited St Ives and set in a labyrinth of cobbled lanes which used to be the fisherman's quarter.
Complimentary tickets for the nearby Tate St Ives art gallery for all visitors staying here. Cornerways’ rooms have been renovated and totally redecorated over the last 7 years and all have en-suites. All bedrooms have LCD TVs, DVD Players, Wi-Fi, tea and coffee facilities, fridges and complimentary Cornish bottled water.
www.cornerwaysstives.com Tel:01736 796706
Superb boutique B&B with St Ives Hotel Association Approval Status situated right in the heart of St Ives. Feedback is always excellent from our walkers staying here -
Close to the train station, just off the coast path and a very short wander to the main harbour area. Super friendly owners used to lots of walkers and their needs, stay here and you get free entrance to The Tate St Ives and The Barbara Hepworth Museum as well. Choice of ensuite rooms some with beautiful sea views over the harbour and a lavish apartment for those looking for a longer stay in St Ives
www.seaforthstives.co.uk Tel 08000 236 813
Built in 1729 this B&B is based in Mawnan Smith 1 mile inland of the coast path on the Penzance to Lizard section near Helford. (Note there is no accommodation on the path at Helford Passage). Easy access to the path and the stunning gardens at Glendurgan (National Trust) and Trebah that run from the village to the coast path. Very walker friendly providing luggage transfers, packed lunches and pick ups from the trail if required and plenty of space to relax with a living room, gardens and conservatory for guests use.
www.goldmartin.co.uk Tel:01326 250666
Four Star rated Guest House Accommodation (Enjoy England). Located right on the coastpath (Falmouth to Plymouth Section) enjoying the most stunning views over both the inner and outer harbours of the village and miles of the Cornish Coastline and Coast Path.
Five beautifully furnished ensuite rooms (one with Private Bathroom) and if you can get one of those with seaview balconies though you need to book early to get them. Very high standard of accommodation this is a favorite with our walkers who often choose to stay two nights and take a "rest day" visiting the nearby Lost Gardens of Heligan an easy 2 mile walk away. All rooms have Double glazed windows and central heating controlled via a thermostat on the radiator with Digital LCD or Freeview colour T.V. and Wi-Fi. Lovely short stroll into the harbour for all the restaurants and facilities of Mevagissey - as recommended in the Lonely Planet Guidebook to the South West.
www.honeycombehouse.co.uk Tel:01726 843750
Stay in one of Polperro's most Iconic buildings, the well known House on the Props or house of stilts which sits right on the Coast Path and just behind the harbour propped on its ancient timbers over the bubbling valley stream. This is one of the oldest buildings in the harbour area most of its timbers having come from a shipwreck known as the Maverine in the days Props Cottage was used by the smuggling fraternity. Today well designed ensuite rooms with views out over the harbour sit above the patisserie and tea shop on the floor below and give a real sense of the deep history and prime location of this accommodation.
www.houseontheprops.co.uk Tel:01503 272310
An elegant Victorian Guest House set only one hundred metres off the coast path in West Looe with pretty views over the Looe Estuary just minutes from the restaurants, shops and pubs in the centre of Looe. 4* rated by Enjoy England with additional Silver Award and "Walkers Welcome" award for its spacious ensuite and private facility rooms. Great for walkers arriving on the Falmouth to Plymouth section of the coast path with river view gardens to relax in and packed lunch and laundry service (small charge) if needed.
www.schoonerpoint.co.uk Tel: 01503 262670
Crossing the River Erme on the South West Coast Path Plymouth to Brixham Section is a tricky business with no ferry and only a short window to try and wade the river. A much better option is to break the journey with a stay just inland at Holbeton allowing you to transfer around the estuary or fit in with the tides. The Ivy Barn offers excellent walker friendly accommodation right in the middle of this classic Devon village (unspoilt and well off the usual tourist route) with its 2 handy pubs.
Comfortable and recently refurbished ensuite rooms with Flat screen TV's and WiFI for those who need them but the rest can relax in the pretty gardens where Cream Teas are served in the Summer.
www.theivybarnbnb.co.uk Tel 01752 830 293
Lovely well run, light and spacious mid sized guesthouse with a choice of ensuite rooms (or private shower rooms) available as doubles, twins and single occupancy options. Everything is taken care of here for the walker with rooms offering Flat screen TV's, WiFi and off road parking, packed lunches and a dog friendly room if required. Only a 5 minutes walk from the centre of Salcombe and its restaurants, bars and facilities. Just off the coast path as you arrive in Salcombe on the Plymouth to Brixham Section.
www.waverleybandb.co.uk Tel: 01548 842 633
If you are struggling to find accommodation in any sections of the path contact us for help and suggestions OR send in a quote request form for a detailed quotation covering a self guided walking holiday on any Coast Path section.
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