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.
Pembrokeshire Coast Path Full Route | Pembrokeshire Coast Path North |
A place from the dawn of time itself, the wild, mysterious and rocky plains of the Preseli Hills tower above the northern sections of The Pembrokeshire Coast Path above the overnight stop of Newport where at Carn Ingli – (Angle Rock Mountain) the local Welsh Saint Brynach would climb to commune with the angels" in the 5th century.
A place of huge prehistoric significance the whole area is a protected wilderness within the Pembrokeshire National Park. It was from here that the huge Bluestone rocks were dragged to build the inner circle at Stonehenge hundreds of miles away in Wiltshire and the Preseli slopes are covered in standing stones, Neolithic hut circles and hill forts.
Legends about the region abound, these foothills are the Annwn or ancient entrance to the Celtic Underworld recounted in the ancient Mabinogion Texts in the story of King Arthur who, its claimed, chased the evil Giant Boar TwrchTrwyth, here from Porthclais harbour on the Pembrokeshire coast path near St Davids.
This is a place to climb to and view the world of Welsh Walking mapped out below you. There are incredible views of the coastline and as you gaze from the rocky peaks you will see your route on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path in miniature below you. West over the ocean on clear days you will see the Wicklow Mountains in Ireland, whilst the jagged shapes of Snowdonia stand proud in the north and the expansive Brecon Beacons rise to the east.
With Newport offering the best overnight stop and facilities since St David’s this is a place to take a rest day to wander into the Preseli Hills – missed by regular tourists and a complete contrast to the days of walking along the ocean cliffs and coves.
A steep climb to the scree sloped Mountain of the Angels at Carn Ingli before heading into the wild moorland plateaus of the Preseli Hills and the stunning valley of Cwm Gawaun.
An area devoid of walkers you enter the deep valley with its long abandoned dwellings and rich beech forest. There is the chance to stop at the time stood still Dyffryn Arms also known as "Bessie's" after its 80 year old landlady – one of the most remote inns in Wales where Welsh is still first language and the beer is served in a jug through a hatch.
The route returns passing the Bed Morris standing stone and on through immense open spaces, bluestone Crags and little rocky peaks before dropping back down to the sheltered estuary and sands of Newport.
Or an alternative walk keeping to lower ground is to the best preserved burial chamber in this part of Wales at Pentre Ifan with its huge capstone which sits at the foot of the slopes to Carn Ingli and is reached via the wooded Ty Canol National Nature Reserve.
Ty Canol is a blissfully peaceful 170-acres of ancient oak woodland. This unique area is of international importance as its home to more than 400 species of lichens, which thrive in the light, moist clean air conditions and smother the oaks, walking through gives a sense of a very ancient lost woodland.
Beyond the Bed Morris Standing Stone you cross the rocky peaks of Carn Edward and Carn Enoch before the steep drop off the mountain side at Carn Ingli to return to Newport far below.
CLICK HERE to read more about staying in Newport and its other attractions and facilities. If you are keen to explore the Preseli Hills just ask us to add one rest day and night at Newport where you can enjoy fine food in one of its excellent restaurants with rooms... and be well fuelled up for the final day on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path to St Dogmaels
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