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.
March 29th 2016
Completed 28th March Nether Stowey to Lynmouth
Storm Katie passed through Easter Weekend 2016 without any significant damage reported to the walking routes.
August 25th 2014
The Coleridge Way Walk in Somerset has now been officially extended by around 16 miles as far as Lynmouth and we have been up and walked the route which runs down the remote Brendon valley and is a superb addition to the walk which is now around 50 miles in total. We are currently updating our webpages with the new information and maps but already have walkers out on the new part of the route and the feedback is excellent.
So for the rest of this year you can walk the Coleridge Way as currently shown on the website pages as far as Porlock OR add on the additional walk to finish at Lynmouth - just ask for more details
January 4th 2014
Very High Spring Tides combined with fierce storms have battered both the South West Coast Path and the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path at the start of January 2014 - visit our Twitter Page @EncounterWalk for photos and updates as the process of identifying any damaged sections gets underway in the next few weeks. We will keep updating via Twitter on any diversions / repairs as we get news of them. https://twitter.com/EncounterWalk
For those planning to visit from overseas to walk during 2014 please note that these winter storms do come every year and in an ever changing coastal environment there is always some movement and damage of the path during winter storms and landslides. We keep in close contact with those maintaining the path to bring this information to all our walkers. In general issues are resolved / rerouted before the walking season proper starts in March but in any event we provide detailed information to our walkers on any diversions still in place when you are walking.
September 25th 2013
Great to see that Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset Councils, despite the economic climate, have been proactive in providing financial support to repair the damage suffered on the South West Coast Path during the winter of 2012/2013.
This season got off to tricky start with over 30 landslides or diversions in place during February but the vast majority have been addressed by the Local Authorities and major funding bodies. The coast path is always prone to these issues as an ever changing and eroding coastal landscape - which is very much part of its appeal but the path suffered with over 10 years worth of slips and slides during last winter which created a major test for those organising on the route for this years walkers. 8 months on however and with the best weather for 6 years its been a great season on the path for walkers with unprecedented numbers enjoying the trail.
Not often we get to praise our local Councils but its great to see their recognition and support for the UK's longest (and best) National Trail. The Coast Path is very much open for walkers and we are all looking forward to getting out again during 2014.
CLICK HERE for the full story http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-23683722
Updated 18th Septmeber 2013
Virtual drought conditions in early 2012 followed by the wettest year on record has led to a number of winter cliff falls for walkers to be aware of. The South West Coast Path is continually reviewed and checked by an army of wardens from the local authority, Coast Path Team, National Trust and other major landowners and problems are located very quickly and the route revised to take account of any slips.
Those walking the route this season will find sections of the path more tricky and so please be vigilant and use common sense - stay well clear of the Cliff Edges particularly during the winter and avoid the bottom of cliff faces where you are at most risk of any movement.
For up to date information on all of the following closures visit
The News page at the South West Coast Path Association - CLICK HERE
The News page at the South West Coast Path Team - CLICK HERE
Please report any problems or potential problems that you notice on the trail by clicking here this will go straight through to the Coast Path Team.
There are many small diversions of a few hundred metres for minor slips or path deterioration that you may not even notice and we are not listing as they will not affect your walk in any major way.
More significant diversions we are aware of that you should allow for in your daily mileage follow. All walkers with Encounter Walking Holidays will as ever be fully briefed on significant diversions in their daily walking itinerary - for those not walking with us please note the following.
In order from Minehead to Poole
West Cornwall: Porthchapel near Porthcurno Bridge Collapse
The Coast Path Team and their partners are working to resolve these issues and have made great progress with the list since February but some of them will take time and money to reopen fully. Please help with the ongoing repair work by supporting The Great South West Walk celebrations for the 40th birthday of the Coast Path and join in by walking a section to help us fund raise to maintain and improve the nationals best walking route for all walkers.
October 16th 2012
Click Here to read about the successful Great South West Walk Event and the work to improve access to the Coast Path at Lansallos near Fowey (South Cornwall) sponsored by Encounter Walking Holidays in partnership with The National Trust and The South West Coast Path Team
December 22nd 2010
Congratulations to the National Trust and in particular the staff at Castle Drogo just off the Two Moors Way long distance path. They have just received the silver award for Large Attraction of the Year 2010 in a competition that covers all of the many visitor attractions in the West Country.
The last castle to be built in England from a walkers perspective Castle Drogo occupies a superb position above the Teign Gorge Hunters Path which is part of the Coast to Coast Two Moors Way walk. Those walking the sections between Chagford and Drewsteignton at the end of the Dartmoor section of walking visit Castle Drogo on route towards the second moor at Exmoor.
Two Moors Way Walking Information
Castle Drogo Visiting Information
Go to top
Company Registered in England No: 8227323
VAT Registration No: 138 8656 68