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.
1st March 2023 - We are now fully booked on our coast path routes until the end of May but please send quote requests in for June onwards as there is availability for the rest of the year. If you do plan to walk between now and June then our inland routes, Coleridge Way, Mendip Way, Saints Way Dartmoor Way and Two Moors Way still have availability for most dates so please get in touch.
If you ask us for a quote we will include public transport or parking information to suit your walking holiday and for those booking we advise and assist in helping you to work out and book the best travel options for your walk.
Arriving and departing by public transport works best for this route and saves a fairly long or expensive journey back to your car at the end of your walk though it is possible if you prefer to drive - see below
Train Arrival - Fast direct trains run from London, The Midlands and the North to Exeter station where you change for the scenic branch line journey to Barnstaple on the North Devon Coast. Time from London to Barnstaple is 3.5 to 4 hours. From Barnstaple regular buses take 1 hour to reach Westward Ho ! OR we can advise on or arrange private transfers to the trail.
For those arriving for shorter holidays at Bude you take the train to Exeter (between 2 and 3 hours from London) and then the fast bus from Exeter Station direct to Bude (around 2 hours)
Train Departure - From Padstow regular buses take one hour to Bodmin Parkway Main Line Station. Fast trains to London from here take 4 hours with connections for Bristol, the Midlands and The North.
Car - Long stay parking is available free or for a very small charge in Westward Ho! and Bude at several of our B&B's. In Padstow most long stay parking is in the long stay council run car parks and we can advise on the options and prices.
Getting back to your car by public transport does take a while. Bus from Padstow to Bodmin Parkway then train to Barnstaple (change at Exeter) and bus to Westward Ho! You can speed up the transfer time with private transfers to and from the stations to avoid the bus journeys which we can advise on. It is also possible to take a private transfer all the way back to your car taking just over an hour though this is an expensive way of doing it - ask us for a quote if you are interested.
For those walking a smaller stage from Bude there are better public transport options by bus (one change around 3 hours) though we can also arrange a private transfer if you are in a hurry.
Coach Arrival - National Express Coaches from London run to Westward Ho! with connections from other parts of the UK.
Coach Departure - There is also a return service to London from either Wadebridge OR Bodmin a 1/2 hour or 1 hour bus ride from Padstow. Coach travel is usually the cheapest way of getting too and from the trail but it is slow and less comfortable than the train.
Arriving from Overseas - Those arriving from overseas will usually arrive in the UK at London Gatwick or London Heathrow airport from where you can catch direct trains to Bridgwater and Taunton (see the train information above). Those arriving at London Heathrow will usually take a 1/2 hour underground train / overland train service into London Paddington to catch the fast inter city trains to Devon and Cornwall. Bristol and Exeter airports are very close to the walk and also have a number of international flights
Internal Flights - Exeter airport allows easy access to the starting points at Westward Ho! or Bude within 2 hours - see the train section for details from Exeter. You can return by bus and train to Exeter from Padstow (see above) in around 3.5 hours. If you can find cheap flights then Newquay airport is linked to Padstow by a direct bus or is a short 20 minute transfer at the end of the walk.
Remember do ask us for help, advice, timetables and options covering how to arrive and depart as quickly and cheaply as possible.
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