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.
More information and examples of these walking grades
Over the years there has been little agreement on mileage figures for the Two Moor Way walking route. Previous guidebooks, signs on the ground and GPS measurements have all been at odds with each other by up to 10%. With the publication of the new Cicerone Guidebook in 2015 we have adopted the figures used there to be consistent with the guidebook as we provide this to all walkers. These are the most recently taken measurements and are also the most conservative figures. Given the strenuous nature of the walk, particularly on the open moor sections, we feel these are the best to work with for planning your walk.
Longer days (Days 2,3,4 & 6) can be split into 2 days for these sections if you prefer - please ask for advice.
Add one day of 16.5 miles for the full Coast to Coast Walk from Wembury or Plymouth - CLICK HERE
Longer days (Day 3 and Day 8) can be split into 2 days for these sections if you prefer - please ask for advice
Add two 8 mile days for the full Coast to Coast Walk from Wembury or Plymouth - CLICK HERE
The Devon Coast to Coast Walk Option Those wanting to walk the full coast to coast route will take the optional Erme-Plym trail from Plymouth or Wembury to the start of the Two Moors Way in Ivybridge and should add 1 or 2 additional days for the extra 18 miles (Plymouth) or 16.5 miles (Wembury).
Coast Path and Moorland Option - view suggestions on combining all or part of the Two Moors Way with the South West Coast Path for a fully varied moors and coast walking experience.
- Std Walkers Route - Ivybridge to Morchard Road 3 days average 16 miles
- Relaxed Walkers Route - Ivybridge to Morchard Road 4 days average 12 miles
Perfect for those without the time to walk the full route, or where you want to complete the Two Moors Way in two stages. These options give you the highlights of the Dartmoor crossing, Hangershell Rocks, the Dart Valley, Grimspound and the mighty Castle Drogo gorge walk.
In between 3 or 4 nights in some of the enchanting Moorland villages such as Holne, Chagford, Widecombe-in-the-Moor and Drewsteignton. Easy transport connections in and out with trains to Ivybridge and from Morchard Road.
- Std Walkers Route - Morchard Road to Lynmouth 3 days average 17 miles
- Relaxed Walkers Route - Morchard Road to Lynmouth 4 days average 12.75 miles
For those with only a few days to spare this route takes you from the mid Devon heartland over mighty Exmoor, with wild deer, ponies and buzzards only for company as you cross the carpets of heather in the land of Lorna Doone.
Highlights include the ancient clapper bridge at Tarr Steps, the remote and wild upper Barle river and the source of the River Exe with a final dramatic descent to the coast down powerfull gorges to emerge on the South West Coast Path in North Devon.
On route some superb overnights including Withypool, the capital of Exmoor, Simonsbath and of course stunning Lynmouth to finish the "little Switzerland" of North Devon with its dramatic valley of the rocks.
Transport in by train to Morchard Road with transfers on to Barnstaple train station after completing the walk or even better take a few days extra along the coast to meet up with the train on our Moors and Coast Combination Walks from Morchard Road to Barnstaple (see below)
For the ultimate in walking variety walk either Exmoor OR Dartmoor on the Two Moors Way before joining the South West Coast Path for some superb walking along the coastline. There are plenty of options but the following are tried and tested examples
Starting from the Jewel of the South Coast Harbours at Fowey walk the South West Coast Path through Looe to explore the maritime history of Plymouth before crossing Dartmoor on the Two Moors Way
Read about the South Cornwall Coast Path walking from Fowey to Plymouth
Cross Exmoor National Park from Morchard Road to Lynmouth on the Two Moors Way before heading through the Valley of the Rocks, Illfracombe and Woolacombe and into the Taw and Torridge estuaries to finish in Barnstaple.
Read about Somerset Coast Path walking from Lynmouth to Barnstaple
Cross Exmoor National Park from Morchard Road to Lynmouth on the Two Moors Way before heading East on the first stages of the South West Coast Path to Minehead.
Read about the Somerset Coast Path walking from Lynmouth to Minehead.
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