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National Trail AcornSouth West Coast Path National Trail

Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Plymouth, Somerset, Torbay

1014 km / 630 miles
Our longest National Trail gives the opportunity to enjoy some of Britain's finest coastal landscapes. These are extremely varied, from rugged and remote clifftops to sheltered estuaries, busy harbours and resorts. Moorland stretches contrast with plateaux incised by steep coastal valleys and intimate coves with long pebbly or sandy beaches.

South Cornwall and Devon offer spectacular 'drowned' estuaries while in East Devon and Dorset there are extensive 'undercliffs' resulting from landslips. Ferries operate across most of the larger estuaries but some offer a reduced service or cease altogether out of the holiday season. Details are available in the South West Coast Path Association's Annual Guide.

Two World Heritage Sites cover sections of the coastline. Mining was a major industry during the 18th and 19th centuries and transformed the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape. This Site comprises ten separate areas both along the coast and inland. The Jurassic Coast is England's only natural World Heritage Site and includes 95 miles of unspoilt cliffs and beaches from Exmouth in East Devon to Old Harry Rocks near Studland Bay in Dorset. The South Dorset Ridgeway is part of the South West Coast Path National Trail and was the original route to be designated (the longer coastal route around Portland was only added in 2003). Providing an inland option or a circular route if combined with the coast, it runs from West Bexington to Osmington Mills, decreasing the total distance from the coastal option of the South West Coast Path by 25 miles (40 km). Although it is some distance from the sea, it offers views of the Jurassic Coast.

In 2002, Plymouth City Council created a continuous walking route along its coastline and appointed a team of artists to mark the route and interpret the many stories along it. Promoted as Plymouth's Waterfront Walkway (9 miles) this is now part of the South West Coast Path National Trail and is not separately named on OS mapping.

For the E9 route that runs between Plymouth and Dover, Exploring the Bournemouth Coast Path covers the 37-mile stretch between Swanage and Lymington and includes the E9 route through Bournemouth.

East of Lulworth army ranges restrict access at certain times (for details telephone 24 hour answering service 01929 404701).

The St Michael's Way (12 miles), which is included on OS mapping, links Lelant (north coast of Cornwall) with Penzance/Marazion/St Michael's Mount on the south coast and can be extended into a much longer circular route when combined with the National Trail. Coast-to-Coast Trail (Cornwall Mineral Tramways) traverses 11 miles from the north to south coasts from Portreath to Devoran passing via Cambrose and Scorrier down the Poldice Valley and the Carnon riverside through past mining landscapes. The circular waymarked Dart Valley Trail (17 miles and on OS mapping) connects to the National Trail having the ferry between Dartmouth and Kingswear in common. It also links to the national rail network at Totnes. The Templer Way (18 miles and on OS mapping), which is waymarked except on open moorland, goes between Haytor Quarry and the National Trail at Teignmouth, using the ferry from Shaldon to Teignmouth.

As an alternative to the large number of OS maps, three Harvey stripmaps cover the full route. GPS track files may be downloaded from the National Trail's website.

The LDWA National Trails Register offers certificates for completers of several British National Trails.

See also E-Routes (E9)


Details:

Waymark: National Trail Acorn
Path Type: National Trails (England & Wales)
Waymark: National Trail Acorn
Attributes: National Trail (England and Wales)
Very Challenging
Coastal
World Heritage Site
Geological
Start: SS970467 - Minehead, Somerset View on StreetMap
Finish: SZ036867 - South Haven Point, Dorset View on StreetMap
Open Date: 1978
User Group: South West Coast Path Association Unit 2, Bowker House, Lee Mill Bridge, IVYBRIDGE, Devon, PL21 9EF
01752 896237
South West Coast Path Association
Email: hello@southwestcoastpath.org.uk
Web Sites: National Trails - South West Coast Path South West Coast Path Association South West Coast Path Association - Military Training Areas South West Coast Path Association - Estuaries and Ferries Explore Devon - South West Coast Path Dorset Council - South West Coast Path Jurassic Coast Trust - Walking the Jurassic Coast South West Coast Path - Plymouth's Waterfront Walkway Lulworth firing times Visit Dorset - South West Coast Path Independent Hostels UK - South West Coast Path Accommodation British Walks - South West Coast Path [blog] Griffmonster - South West Coast Path [blog] Jason McDonald's Walking Pages - South West Coast Path National Trail : South Haven Point to Minehead [blog] Annierak - Southwest Coast Path National Trail [blog] Stephen and Lucy Dawson - South West Coast Path [blog] Halfway Hike - South West Coast Path posts [blog] Cornwall Council - South West Coast Path Trailplanner - South West Coast Path [blog] Backpack Artist - South West Coast Path [blog]

Publications, Badges and Certificates:

Guidebook South West Coast Path : 2017-2018 complete guide  (South West Coast Path Association  - 2017 )
Guidebook South West Coast Path : Minehead to Padstow : National Trail Guide  (Aurum Press (an imprint of Quarto)  - 2016 )
Guidebook South West Coast Path : Padstow to Falmouth : National Trail Guide  (Aurum Press (an imprint of Quarto)  - 2018 )
Guidebook South West Coast Path : Falmouth to Exmouth : National Trail Guide  (Aurum Press (an imprint of Quarto)  - 2018 )
Guidebook South West Coast Path : Exmouth to Poole : National Trail Guide  (Aurum Press (an imprint of Quarto)  - 2016 )
Guidebook Exmoor & North Devon Coast Path (South-West Coast Path part 1) : Minehead to Bude  (Trailblazer Publications  - 2017 )
Guidebook Cornwall Coast Path (South-West Coast Path part 2) : Bude to Plymouth  (Trailblazer Publications  - 2016 )
Guidebook Dorset & South Devon Coast Path (South West Coast Path part 3) : Plymouth to Poole Harbour  (Trailblazer Publications  - 2018 )
Guidebook Walking the South West Coast Path National Trail : from Minehead to South Haven Point  (Cicerone Press  - 2016 )
General Interest Book A long walk home : a journey along the South West Coast Path  (David Eldergill  - 2017 )
General Interest Book Hidden landscapes of the South West Coast Path : walk - explore - discover  (Halsgrove Press  - 2016 )
Guidebook South West Coast Path: Reverse Guide  (South West Coast Path Association  - 2015 )
Guidebook Somerset Coast Path : National Trail Guide  (Aurum Press (an imprint of Quarto)  - 2014 )
Certificate Certificate for National Trails  (Long Distance Walkers Association )
Badge & Certificate Certificate & Badge for South West Coast Path National Trail  (South West Coast Path Association )
Badge Badge for South West Coast Path National Trail  (South West Coast Path Association )
Guidebook Plymouth's Waterfront Walkway  (Plymouth City Council  - 2015 )
Guidebook Exploring Cornwall's tramway trails : volume 2 : the Coast-to-Coast Trail : Portreath to Devoran & beyond  (Landfall Publications  - 2000 )
General Interest Book Big walks of Great Britain  (Summersdale Publishers  - 2007 )
Guidebook Walkers' Britain  (AA Publishing  - 2011 )
General Interest Book Exploring the South West Coastal Path  (Halsgrove Press  - 2009 )
General Interest Book The Jurassic Coast : guide to the Devon and Dorset World Heriitage Site  (Halsgrove Press  - 2007 )
Guidebook Walking the Jurassic Coast : Dorset and East Devon : the walks, the rocks, the fossils  (Cicerone Press  - 2015 )
Guidebook South Devon's Shipwreck Trail  (Amberley Publishing  - 2013 )
General Interest Book Walking away : further travels with a troubadour on England's South West Coast Path  (Faber & Faber  - 2016 )
General Interest Book Travels with Baxter : walking the South West Coast Path  (Richard Newton  - 2011 )
General Interest Book The South West Coast Path  (Frances Lincoln (an imprint of Quarto)  - 2012 )
General Interest Book She won't get far her bag's too heavy  (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform  - 2011 )
General Interest Book Big walks of the south  (Summersdale Publishers  - 2010 )
Badge Badge for National Trails  (Walk Unlimited )
External download Plymouth's Waterfront Walkway  (Plymouth City Council  - 2015 ) Download
Guidebook Walking the South West Coast Path : a companion guide  (Halsgrove Press  - April 2015 )
Guidebook A boot up the South West Coast Path : South Devon  (Halsgrove Press  - June 2010 )
Guidebook A boot up the South West Coast Path : South Cornwall  (Halsgrove Press  - June 2010 )
Guidebook A boot up the South West Coast Path : North Cornwall & Hartland  (Halsgrove Press  - June 2010 )
External download South West Coast Path : 7 day itinerary  (Visit Dorset ) Download
External download Somerset County Council - Walking, riding & cycling routes in Somerset  (Somerset County Council ) Download
Guidebook The National Trails : 19 long-distance routes through England, Scotland and Wales  (Cicerone Press  - 2015 )
Guidebook Exploring the Bournemouth Coast Path  (Countryside Books  - 2005 )
Guidebook Walking the south coast of England : from Land's End to South Foreland  (Summersdale Publishers  - 2008 )
Other National Trail mug  (Trails Shop )

Click to showhide 37 more Publications, Badges and Certificates


Maps:

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Related Paths
E Routes
National Trails (England & Wales)
Paths Marked on OS mapping
Other Paths
Anytime Challenges

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Hostel Accommodation
Camping Barn
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Walkers are Welcome

Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2016.
© OpenStreetMap contributors under Open Database Licence.
Rights of way data from selected Local Authorities.
Large scale digital mapping is provided by John Thorn.
At high zoom levels the route is indicative only.
Purchase Ordnance Survey Maps (path is named on OS maps):
OS Landranger 180, 181, 190, 192, 193, 194, 195, 200, 201, 202, 203, 204
OS Landranger Active 180, 181, 190, 192, 193, 194, 195, 200, 201, 202, 203, 204
OS Explorer 9, 15, 20, 44, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 111, 115, 116, 117, 126, 139
OS Explorer Active 9, 15, 20, 44, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 111, 115, 116, 117, 126, 139
Other Paper Maps:
Harvey National Trail map
Harvey National Trail map
Harvey National Trail map
Harvey National Trail map
South West Coast Path: Set of 3 Maps (Harvey Maps - 2015)
A-Z Adventure Atlas
SW Coast Path 1: North Devon & Somerset Adventure Atlas (Geographers' A-Z Map Company (an imprint of HarperCollins) - 2016 2nd edition)
A-Z Adventure Atlas
SW Coast Path 5: Dorset Adventure Atlas (Geographers' A-Z Map Company (an imprint of HarperCollins) - 2015 2nd edition)
A-Z Adventure Atlas
SW Coast Path 2: North Cornwall Adventure Atlas (Geographers' A-Z Map Company (an imprint of HarperCollins) - 2016 3rd edition)
A-Z Adventure Atlas
SW Coast Path 3: South Cornwall Adventure Atlas (Geographers' A-Z Map Company (an imprint of HarperCollins) - 2016 3rd edition)
A-Z Adventure Atlas
SW Coast Path 4: South Devon Adventure Atlas (Geographers' A-Z Map Company (an imprint of HarperCollins) - 2014 2nd edition)
ZigZag 16 Stripmap
South West Coast Path 1: Minehead to Woody Bay (Yellow Publications - March 2016)
ZigZag 16 Stripmap
South West Coast Path 2: Woody Bay to Saunton (Yellow Publications - March 2016)
ZigZag 16 Stripmap
South West Coast Path 3: Saunton to Buck's Mill (Yellow Publications - March 2016)
ZigZag 16 Stripmap
South West Coast Path 4: Buck's Mill to Menachurch Point (Yellow Publications - March 2016)
ZigZag 16 Stripmap
South West Coast Path 5: Menachurch Point to Trebarwith (Yellow Publications - March 2016)
ZigZag 16 Stripmap
South West Coast Path 6: Trebarwith to Mawgan Porth (Yellow Publications - March 2016)
ZigZag 16 Stripmap
South West Coast Path 7: Mawgan Porth to Portreath (Yellow Publications - March 2016)
ZigZag 16 Stripmap
South West Coast Path 8: Portreath to Trewellard (Yellow Publications - March 2016)
A-Z Adventure Atlas
SW Coast Path Complete Set Adventure Atlas (Geographers' A-Z Map Company (an imprint of HarperCollins) - 2012)

Click to show 15 more Other Paper Maps

Digital Maps:
Downloadable Digital Mapping
Downloadable Digital Mapping
Downloadable Digital Mapping
Downloadable Digital Mapping
Downloadable Digital Mapping
Downloadable Digital Mapping

Click to show 5 more Digital Maps


Walking Support Providers:

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Walking, Hiking and Cycling Holidays (Let's Go Walking! Ltd)
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Self-Guided Walking Holidays (Absolute Escapes Ltd)
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Baggage Handling and Self-Guided Walks (Great British Walks Limited)
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Self-Guided Walking holidays (High Point Holidays)

Click to show 20 more Walking Support Providers


Accommodation within 5 km of this Path:

 
 
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882 km
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969 km
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Click to show 55 more Accommodations


Additional Images:


Connected Paths:


Downloads:

GPX Route File
South West Coast Path National Trail GPX Exchange Format Route File
Last Updated 30/09/2016 16:40:23 - Recent path changes
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(Members Only)
MemoryMap Route File
South West Coast Path National Trail Memory Map Route File
Last Updated 30/09/2016 16:40:23 - Recent path changes
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(Members Only)
Tracklogs Route File
Southwest Coast Path
Last Updated 30/09/2016 16:40:46 - Recent path changes
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(Members Only)

Route Profile:

986.7 km (613.1 miles)
33,990 m (111,516 ft) ascent
310 m (1,017 ft)  maximum height