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.
Now taking bookings for all dates in 2023........
Easy to Moderate Walking (what these grades mean) - 28 miles Coast to Coast or a 40 mile option using all sections
Sample everything that Cornwall has to offer on the Saints Way, the region's premier mid-distance footpath across the heart of the region.
Based upon ancient trade routes the path takes you through the complete spectrum of Cornish Landscapes, from tranquil harbours and ports, options to include rugged cliff top coastal paths, to inland tors and uplands as well as passing by the white peaks and dams of our own unique China Clay Country!
Also known as the Drover's Way, the route has been used as far back as the Bronze age by traders, drovers and pilgrims en route from Ireland and Wales to mainland Europe, anxious to find a way to avoid the long and dangerous sea passage around Lands End. Animals driven along the route were "fat walked" by the drovers... encouraged to gorge and grow on route before being sold on to be sent to France from Fowey.
Resurrected in 1986, the Saints Way is a well walked, signposted trail marked fully on the OS maps that follows public footpaths, quiet back lanes and leafy tracks that unlocks the atmosphere of the fascinating Celtic past and traditions of the region.
As a walking experience its ideal as you can relax in the superb facilities and restaurants of Padstow and Fowey, two of Cornwall's best loved harbour towns, at each end of the walk.
In between you will discover the hidden places of Mid-Cornwall missed out by the majority of visitors, to give a truely peaceful and remote feel to your coast to coast adventure, something not always possible on the more popular long distance walks in other parts of Cornwall.
Your route takes you from the bustling harbour of Padstow on the North Coast, meandering inland following the tranquil Camel Estuary before heading for the hills and uplands of Central Cornwall.
On the Saints Way interior you will be staying in remote country inn's, welcoming farmhouses and comfortable B&B's whilst there are very good hotel options in Padstow and Fowey for those who want a more luxurious start or finish.
With plenty to spot en route, the trail links the shrines, standing stones, holy wells and Neolithic sites of past ages with today's sleepy hamlets, stunning scenery, a modern day wind farm and you can fit in a visit at the end of the walk to the world famous Eden Project. The Saint's Way, or Forth an Syns in Cornish, ends after two or three magical and memorable days walking in the stunning natural port of Fowey deep in Daphne du'Maurier country on the South Coast.
A unique chance to encounter the full variety of Cornwall, experience its Celtic roots and its wonderful scenery, the Saints Way will take you away from the crowds and into the mysterious beauty of Cornwall past.
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