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........
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.
Arrival at Ivybridge or Plymouth - Mainline fast Trains from London and the Midlands run regularly to Plymouth for the start of the Devon Coast to Coast Route and with one change to Ivybridge for the start of The Two Moors Way. Wembury can be reached by bus from Plymouth or we can arrange a transfer from Ivybridge.
Departure from Lymouth - There is no train station at Lynmouth at the end of The Two Moors Way but regular buses from Lynmouth take 1 hour to reach Barnstaple Train Station amd its also possible to take buses to Taunton via Minehead to join the train network. From Barnstaple the branch line train service takes one hour to reach the fast mainline at Exter St Davids. The bus service on Sundays can be very limited so do ask for advice if arriving or departing on a Sunday from Lynmouth as we can also arrange / advise on private transfers to the train station.
Short Break Walks - For those walking on shorter breaks covering Exmoor OR Dartmoor only, Morchard Road station just north of Dartmoor is only around 20 minutes from Exeter St David Mainline station and is on The Two Moors Way route.
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 trains to the trail from the airport.(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.
Internal Flights - There is also a regional airport at Exeter and you can catch internal flights from other UK airports as well as Heathrow and Gatwick. Once in Exeter a short bus ride connects you with the Train Service which you can use to reach the trail (see above). Bristol airport may also be of use if you can find flights arriving there from overseas.
Arrival - National Express Coaches run from London to Plymouth and Ivybridge for the start of the trail. Coach travel is the cheapest way of arriving if you have the time and patience (but generally the service is much slower and less comfortable than the trains).
Departure - National Express Coaches run from Barnstaple and Minehead back to London - local buses connect the end of The Two Moors Way at Lynmouth with both Barnstaple and Minehead.
Long Stay Parking is available in Ivybridge at the start of The Two Moors Way - some of our accommodation will provide this free for our customers or at a low weekly charge. Long stay parking is availble in Plymouth for the Devon Coast to Coast but this tends to be expensive as its a large city - please ask for details. For those wanting to park at the end of the walk in Lynmouth there are long stay car parks run by the local council in the centre of the village - we can provide info on prices and locations.
Getting back to your car. For most people returning to Ivybridge requires a bus from Lynmouth to Barnstaple. The train from Barnstaple to Exeter where you change for Ivybridge.
We can arrange private transfers over the whole or any part of the distance for those in a hurry to return to their car - please ask for a quote.
Contact us for for further travel advice and options to fit your particular itinerary and dates.
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