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.
We can offer short breaks on ANY section of ANY of our walks. For general information about how these work visit our introduction page for Walking Short Breaks. -
For some specific walk examples that work well for a long weekend away, just read on -
18 to 30 miles - Moderate walking with strenuous sections - what this means - 2 to 3 days walking
Enjoy the best Cornwall has to offer in a short break without the usual holiday region prices. As our offices are based just north of Fowey (which is one of the highlights of this route), this is short break we can keep the costs as low as possible on. You still get to stay in a run of the most inspiring harbour towns at Fowey, Charlestown and Mevagissey whilst walking The Cliffs and Coves of Daphne du Maurier's wild coast line. Discover golden beaches at Lantic Bay, Tall Ships at historic Charlestown and the ancient medieval Fishing Harbour at Polperro. Options to visit The Lost Gardens of Heligan, The Eden Project and even take a gentle adventure up into the wooded creeks of the River Fowey by Canoe
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Around 25 miles of generally moderate grade walking in the Pembrokeshire Coastal National Park - what this means
A classic walk in Wales taking in a great mix of golden beaches, forested headlands and wild rocky coastline over only 2 or 3 days walking. On route overnight in delightful Tenby, visit the monks at Caldey Island, explore Manorbier Castle and look for otters at the Bosherston Lily Ponds ending at the iconic windswept hermits chapel of St Govans. Great walking in between with easy access to the area by train making this a great short break adventure into the far west of Wales Click here for more information
51 miles - Moderate Grade Walking - what this means - option for a strenuous climb of Dunkery Beacon on Exmoor
Following in the footsteps of the romantic poet Samuel Coleridge this 3 or 4 day short break completes a delighful route covering not only Exmoor National Park but also the lesser vistited Quantocks and Brendon hills of North Somerset. Rich uplands and moorland scenery mixed with hidden villages, dark forest and leafy valleys this is a route suitable for all with its run of charming pub and tea shop villages to sustain you on the way. Close to Bristol and Exeter this cuts several hours of travelling time out over Cornwall for a quick short break.
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Up to 35 miles of moderate to strenuous walking through the coastline of Exmoor National park - what this means
The first part of the South West Coast Path from Minehead walking from Somerset into Devon is unique to the trail, a section where the wild heatherclad moorland and steep wooded valleys of Exmoor National Park literally roll into the ocean. Walk along the edge of the drama through lush coastal woodland, the Valley of the Rocks and undertake an ascent to climb to the highest point of the whole coast path at Great Hangman. Over night stops in unspoilt little harbours with the option to add in an inland day of walking from the heights of Exe head descending all the way to the coast on the best day of the Two Moors Way via the gorges to Lynmouth
Around 30-40 miles over 3 or 4 days - Mainly Moderate Grade walking with options for Strenuous Routes - what this means
If you don't have time for the full Dartmoor Way route then it breaks down well into two sections East and West. Follow the link to read about the route and then check the options out for details on how to get a short break on whichever section you feel is the most interesting for you. Both sides of the walk are very different and have unique attractions and world class walking.
Experienced Walkers also combine 2 days walking the Dartmoor Way East with a high moorland return on The Two Moors Way giving a challenging 3 day circular walk from Buckfastliegh which includes lots of the highlights of the Moor including the iron age remains at Grimspound, the forested Teign Gorge, Stone Rows and a handful of Tors on the way.
28 miles - 10 miles Easy Grade, 18 Moderate - what this means - 2 or 3 days walking
Our most popular short break walk with good reason. In just 2 or 3 days walk coast to coast across Cornwall on the route linking the routes of ancient Saints with their Holy Wells, Churches and Celtic Crosses. Climb powerful Helmans Tor, pass lonely standing stones and walk ancient drover tracks through lush hidden valleys. Suitable for all walkers, enjoy the superb restaurants and overnight facilties at Padstow and Fowey two of Cornwall's finest harbour towns at each end of the route. Make the most of your time with a route in Cornwall which is quick to reach from the rest of the Uk and yet presents a "real" side of Cornwall in remote areas missed by most of its visitors.
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