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.
17th May 2023 - We are open for enquiries for 2023 and 2024 dates on all routes
The Devon Coastal Path – encounter wild Atlantic Cliffs and Cove Scenery, lush hidden creeks, golden sands or Jurassic Coast Geology.
Inland Devon Walks - Cross Devon on a Two Moors Way Walking Holiday, circle Dartmoor National Park on the Dartmoor Way or follow the Tarka Trail through North Devon’s secret river valleys to top out on Exmoor National Park
Almost twice the size of its wild west Cornish neighbour, at first glance Devon presents itself as a county with a more tranquil and timeless feel , a more rounded landscape of sweeping pastures, thatched cottages serving up cream teas, picture postcard villages and twisting lanes. Yet for those taking a Devon Walking Holiday whilst you will find all this on your walk, your two feet are a passport through so much more than the usual “scrumpy” and village fete sterotype.
In fact, Devon provides the widest variety of walking routes and some of the wildest hiking in the South West boasting two National Parks at Exmoor and Dartmoor as well as four very distinct sections of coastal walking on the South West Coast Path.
With the variety of trail comes an equally energizing diversity in your overnight stays. Rest up in low beamed and slate floored village inns or remote and windswept moorland farmsteads, upmarket coastal Regency Hotels and cosy cottage B&B’s. Take a Devon Walking Holiday and you tread the walking routes that have long inspired the UK’s writers from Coleridge and Dickens to Agatha Christie and you will wander through locations that have inspired everything from the terrifying Hound of the Baskevilles to the playful Tarka the Otter.
Fully supported Self Guided Walking Devon Walking Holidays run all year with options and lengths suitable for all levels of walker. For guidance and ideas on how to best link the network of footpaths and get the most variety of scenery within your timescale get in touch with one of our walking advisors for advice.
View the Devon Walking Map to see the location of Walking Holidays in Devon
The Devon coastal walks will amaze you with everything from the lost and remote wooded valleys of the South Devon Hams to the epic golden estuaries and dunes of the Taw and Torridge river system around Barnstaple. Head to the border with Somerset and you walk into Gorge country, valleys of immense rocks and twisted headlands that collide with Exmoor’s purple heather Moor at “little Switzerland” in Lynmouth . Finally to the east of the Exe River the Devon Coast Path enters the protected World Heritage Site along the superb Jurassic Coast and you start your own walk through time itself.
Use the links below for the full walking route descriptions and pictures of each of the Devon Coast Path Options
Section 1 The North Devon Coast Path –Lynmouth & Exmoor to the Cornish Borders on the Atlantic Coast
Section 2 The South Devon Coast Path – From Plymouth to Brixham through the hidden “South Hams”
Section 3 The East Devon Coast Path - From Brixham to Lyme Regis on the Jurassic Coast Path
Not sure where to start walking on the Devon Coast Path?
Away from the mighty Ocean discover walking routes through Devon’s two National Parks at Dartmoor and Exmoor or better still link them both together with the unique Two Moors Way coast to coast route across the heart of Devon.
The Dartmoor Way - An ideal route for those wanting to get beyond the tourist sites of Dartmoor and encounter its drama, solitude and beauty away from the crowds. A weeks walking takes in an impressive run of absorbing moorland villages and market towns at night and by day you will encounter the Tors, Castles, dramatic gorges, prehistoric sites and open moorland of Dartmoor itself.
The Two Moors Way – Running Coast to Coast from Plymouth to Lynmouth this is the ultimate Devon Walking Holiday linking North and South Coast Paths. On route the walk slices right through the centre of wild Dartmoor and then Exmoor. In between gentler sections run along ancient tracks and lanes through a lost Devon Heartland that non walking tourists just never discover.
The Tarka Trail – Walk unspoilt countryside little changed since it was described by Henry Williamson in his classic novel ‘Tarka the Otter’ first published in 1927. The big draw of The Tarka Trail is its variety of landscapes within just a weeks walking which include wooded river valleys, rugged moorland, coastal cliffs, dramatic gorges and sandy bays. A walking holiday on the Tarka Trail offers the chance to walk the best sections of The North Devon South West Coast Path and also experience two days of wild Exmoor Walking.
Other Devon Walking Ideas - Contact us if you need help and advice with other route ideas in Devon
Other Walking Holiday Regions - Return to our UK Walking Routes Map to look at other walking areas.
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