205miles/
329kms

South West Coast Path

About this route

Over the centuries fishermen, coastguards and smugglers have helped to create this historic path – now Britain’s longest National Trail – stretching over 600 miles/960km in total. Ranging from easy to challenging, the path is comprehensively waymarked; the Devon element of the South West Coast Path runs for 90 miles/144km in the north and 115 miles/185km in the south.

This long-distance walking trail boasts some of the most spectacular landscape, seascape, climate and vegetation to be found anywhere in the UK. To the north, the beautiful bay of Combe Martin, Ilfracombe’s picturesque harbour, the magnificent sweep of Saunton Sands and the dramatic cliff scenery around Hartland Point are all inspiring sights. To the south, the coast has many contrasts – from the city of Plymouth to the delightful estuaries of the South Hams; from the many dramatic headlands to the red cliffs of East Devon.

Getting Around

The South West Coast Path can be accessed at a number of points by bus and or train which will allow you to walk a short length of the route if you prefer.  For more advice on the some of the best places to combine a walk with the bus or train, see www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk and www.journeydevon.info

 

Facilities
Many of the towns and villages along the South West Coast Path have car parking, refreshments and toilet facilities.
Terrain
Ranging from easy to challenging, parts of the trail are very steep and uneven, care must be taken not to get too close to the cliff edges.
Accessibility
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Interesting information

The South West Coast Path has something for everyone.  It offers a challenge to the long distance walker and provides immense enjoyment for the many people who wish to spend a day or half-day experiencing this stunning and really special part of Devon.

It has been rated as one of the best walks in the world by Lonely Planet, and voted Britain’s best walking route by the readers of Walk magazine.

Photo along the South Devon coast showing fields, coastal cliffs and sea with the Daymark in the distance
Daymark Beacon, SWCP Copyright Derek Harper, licenced for reuse - geograph.org.uk

You can explore more in this area

Photo of a stream through fields on the East Devon Way
38miles/
60kms

East Devon Way

This 38 mile/60km path takes you from Exmouth in the west to Lyme Regis, Dorset in the east, and follows
Photo of a trail through beech woodland in spring
18miles/
29kms

Templer Way

The Templer Way is a route for walkers linking Haytor on Dartmoor with the seaport of Teignmouth. It has a
Photo of a trail through woodland
35miles/
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John Musgrave Heritage Trail

John Musgrave was a keen walker from Torquay who left a legacy to the South Devon Group of the Ramblers
Photo of the Two Moors Way path across moorland with a granite way marker in the foreground
100miles/
160kms

Two Moors Way (Devon’s Coast to Co..

Running for just over 100 miles/160km between Ivybridge in the south and Lynmouth in the north, this famous path links
Photo showing the north Devon coastal cliffs above the sea at Great Hangman
5.5miles/
9kms

A Visit to the Hangman

The North Devon Coast is characterised by high cliffs and deep valleys, or combes. Combe Martin, a long, narrow village
Photo of the South Devon coastline with sea and coastal cliffs at Hope Cove
5miles/
8kms

A walk in Hope

Hope Cove, in the far south of the county, is one of the most attractive settlements on the South West
Photo looking down the river to Lynmouth town
5miles/
8kms

Devon’s Little Switzerland

This circular walk is based on the scenic little town of Lynmouth, on Devon’s Exmoor coast. A walk of contrasts,
Photo looking along the coast past rocky cliffs to Mortehoe and Woolacombe from Morte Point
6.25miles/
10kms

North Devon’s deadly coast

Mortehoe is a small hilltop village on Devon’s northernmost coast. Despite its proximity to the holiday resort of Woolacombe, it
Photo of cyclists on the Tarka Trail alongside the estuary near Instow
16.4miles/
26kms

Exe Estuary Trail

This newly constructed cycle trail offers an almost entirely traffic-free, wonderfully level route which forms part of the South Coast
Photo of cyclists on the Tarka Trail alongside the estuary at Instow
32miles/
52kms

The Tarka Trail (Braunton – Meeth)

Stretching for over 52km / 32 miles from Braunton to Barnstaple, then to Instow, Bideford, Great Torrington and on to
Photo of two cyclists on the Tarka Trail near Braunton
102miles/
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Devon Coast to Coast NCN27

The route combines the beaches and estuaries of North Devon with the lush green valleys of the Torridge, the Tavy,
Photo of cyclists crossing a wooden bridge on the Exe Estuary Trail
75miles/
120kms

South Coast NCN 2

This route stretches from St Austell in Cornwall to Dover in Kent and covers 359 miles  / 574 kms in total. 
Photo across a dune slack to sand dunes in the background

Braunton Burrows

Lying at the entrance to the Taw-Torridge Estuary, Braunton Burrows is one of the most important sand dune systems in
Photo of white grassland flowers

Axmouth to Lyme Regis Undercliffs Wildli..

This magnificent reserve comprises 304 hectares of coastal landslides and cliffs – one of the largest such areas in Britain.
Photo of the pink flowers of sea lavender

The Otter Estuary

This compact and accessible estuary supports a particularly well-developed saltmarsh flora that includes such characteristic plants as glasswort, sea purslane
Photo of grassy fields down to coastal cliffs and the sea at Berry Head

Berry Head

The towering cliffs and rocky headland of Berry Head are the wildlife gems of Torbay. The extensive areas of limestone
Photo of a bar-tailed godwit wading on mud

Wembury VMCA

The Wembury Voluntary Marine Conservation Area (VMCA) runs for about four miles from Yealm Head to Fort Bovisand, extending out to
Photo looking down on sea and beach with rocky cliffs behind
21miles

North Devon VMCA

The North Devon Voluntary Marine Conservation Area (VMCA) runs for about 21 miles along the coast from Hangman Point in
Photo of coastal cliffs with chalk cliffs in the background

Axmouth to Lyme Regis Undercliffs

This magnificent 304 hectare nature reserve, managed by Natural England, offers dramatic coastal scenery and is of international importance for
Photo of red cliffs and pebble bed layer above Budleigh Salterton Beach

Budleigh Salterton Cliffs and the Otter ..

The cliffs in the western part of Budleigh Salterton expose the full thickness of the Lower Triassic Budleigh Salterton Pebble
View across a rocky shore to Wembury beach

Wembury

This site spans from Wembury Beach west to Wembury Point. The area has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural
Photo of red cliffs and pebble bed layer above Budleigh Salterton Beach

Budleigh Salterton Cliffs and the Otter ..

The cliffs in the western part of Budleigh Salterton expose the full thickness of the Lower Triassic Budleigh Salterton Pebble
Photo of grassy fields down to coastal cliffs and the sea at Berry Head

Berry Head to Sharkham Point

This dramatic stretch of coastline is of tremendous geological, historical, ecological and landscape importance. Berry Head is a large headland
View across a rocky shore to Wembury beach

Wembury

This site spans from Wembury Beach west to Wembury Point. The area has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural
Photo looking down to the sea from the South West Coast Path at Revelstoke Carriage Way
1miles/
1.6kms

Noss Mayo – Revelstoke Carriage Drive

A section of the South West Coast Path uses the Revelstoke Carriage Drive along the cliff tops.  This gives incomparable
Photo looking along the coast over the sea and red rocks to Parsons tunnel at Dawlish
2miles/
3.2kms

Dawlish to Dawlish Warren

Part of the South West Coast Path, this path runs between the pretty town of Dawlish and the National Nature
Landscape photo of the South Devon coastal cliffs at Bolberry Down
1.7miles/
2.7kms

Bolberry Down

Bolberry Down has a network of paths running along high cliff tops with great views and providing a choice of
Photo of the view along the beach at Budleigh Salterton
2.5miles/
4.2kms

Budleigh to Otterton Mill

A delightful path along the River Otter which meets with other paths at the lower end of the Otter Estuary,
Photo of walkers on the Exe Estuary Trail looking through binoculars
2miles/
3.2kms

Exe Estuary Trail: Exmouth to Lympstone

Exmouth to Lympstone is just one section of the Exe Estuary Trail, a multi-use route being built by Devon County
Photo of the shoreline on a pebble beach
1miles/
1.6kms

Northam Burrows Country Park

The Northern Burrows is a scientifically important area which juts out into the mouth of the estuary. It is a
Photo of Ox-eye daisies on cliffs above the sea at Baggy Point
2.7miles/
4.3kms

Baggy Point

The SW Coast path out to a viewpoint at Baggy Point has been levelled and compacted to make access easier