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
Highlights on The Jurassic Coast Path – Take a Fossil Fevered walk from Lyme Regis through time itself along this World Heritage Trail, a Geological Wonder that also boasts ancient Abbeys, lost villages and world class beaches.
View our Map of Dorset Walking Holidays
What is the Walking in Dorset like? Well, it’s simply reassuringly English! Dorset fits most peoples vision of the green and pleasant land at its most comfortable and furthermore at its most comforting. Lush gentle rolling hills sweep down through rich pastures to sparkling bays and azure seas linked by the ever rising and falling coastal path. Those on our Dorset walking holidays will rest up in ancient thatched villages hiding ivy clad churches, crumbling castles, hillside chalk carvings and the inevitable teashops, a scenery with strong literary connections to the likes of Thomas Hardy, Jane Austen and John Meade Falkner.
In Dorset, the whole of the South West Coastal Path runs through a protected world Heritage site “The Jurassic Coast” and the much talked of “walk through time” takes you on a coastal trail of rock arches, sandstone stacks, oil wells, burning cliffs, landslides, fossils and hidden lagoons. Astounding geology meets the essential green England, meets the chalk cliff stacks and coves. Much of the Jurassic Coast Path is more gentle walking than further west but don’t be lulled into complacency. You climb Golden Cap here one of the highest points on the whole South West Coast Path and between Lulworth Cove and Swanage will be challenged by 2 days of coastal walking as steep, dramatic and severe as it gets within the surreal wilderness area of the Lulworth Army Ranges.
A major advantage for travellers passing through London is you can reach a Dorset Walking Holiday with only two hours on the train making short walking breaks and walking weekends ideal on this section. Read on for a fuller flavour of what a Dorset Walking Holiday has to reveal and don’t forget to pack your fossil hammer with your walking boots.
View walking options in full detail using these links or check our Dorset Coast Path Map showing all our Dorset Walking Holiday Routes
The Dorset Coastal Path – Lyme Regis to Poole – walk the full coastline of Dorset in a week of wonderful walking or just take a short break through the highlights at Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove.
Jurassic Coast Path West – Starting in East Devon at Exmouth the full World Heritage Walking Holiday walks you into Dorset via the unique jungle that is the Downlands under cliff path
Jurassic Coast Path East – The classic trail sections in Dorset, from the Fossils of Lyme Regis, the drama of the Isle of Portland to the wave battered arches and chalk stacks around Durdle Door.
The South Dorset Ridgeway – The inland alternative walking route bypassing Weymouth and running high above the coastline on a Dorset Walking Holiday in classic rolling downland through ancient earthworks, standing stones and never ending panoramas from the Dorset Ridgeway.
The Portland Circle – a unique piece of the coast path around this dramatic, storm battered and history soaked island.
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