Top 10 Coastal Walks in the South West
The South West has so much going for it, but this region’s vast coastline is easily its best loved feature. From sweeping bays and sandy beaches, to quiet coves, craggy cliffs and quaint little fishing villages, the scenery it creates is a joy to behold. The 630-mile South West Coast Path tracks this coastline all the way around, offering up spectacular vistas as you go. Naturally it would be a challenge of epic proportions to complete in full, so here we’ve picked out our top 10 South West Coast Path walks that you can do in a day.
1. Durdle Door
One of the most iconic sights anywhere along the UK’s coastline, this 150-million-year-old rock formation rises up along the prehistoric Jurassic Coast. Whether you’re keeping your eyes peeled for fossils, swimming by the arch or hiring a kayak and paddling around from Lulworth Cove, Durdle Door is a must-see natural attraction.
2. Land’s End
Another of the UK’s most famous coastal spots, Land’s End does what it says on the tin. The Cornish headland is England’s most westerly point, and one of the most popular South West coastal path walks you can do.
3. Penwith Peninsula
Staying in Cornwall for a moment, this 40-mile peninsula is a beautiful stretch of heritage coastline. It starts by Land’s End, but you can also pick it up further north and dive down to spectacular little coves like Portheras for a peaceful packed lunch.
4. St Ives Bay
The Penwith Heritage Coast runs all the way to St Ives, which is home to a superb selection of beaches. The bay forms a stunning backdrop for a relaxing walk, while the town is packed with great attractions including the Tate St Ives art gallery.
5. Chesil Beach
If you’re searching for South West walks beside beautiful beaches, don’t miss this option along the West Dorset Heritage Coast. Steep and shingly, it stretches for 18 miles towards Weymouth, where you can end your walk with a visit to Sandsfoot Castle.
6. Studland and Godlingston Heath
A little further around the coast not far from Bouremouth, this national nature reserve extends to nearly 1,600 acres on the Isle of Purbeck. Surrounded by spectacular coastal scenery including dramatic white chalk cliffs, the reserve is a wonderful place to spot wildlife and take in views across Poole Harbour.
Sidmouth Beach is a paradise for pebble skimmers the world over. It’s also a lovely place to go for a stroll along the waterfront promenade and out across the steep cliffs, which rise high to the east of town. You can also take the kids to the town’s donkey sanctuary, which is something of a local institution.
8. Porlock Weir
Up north on the Somerset coast, Porlock Weir is a small settlement based around its traditional harbour. Known for its salmon fishing, the nearby Hawkcombe Woods National Nature Reserve is a lovely spot to combine with a stroll along the beach.
Bantham Beach is one of the finest in South Devon, and there’s an excellent walk to get there around the coast from Thurlestone. Bantham lies at the mouth of the River Avon and is a popular surfing spot, but the area is equally suitable for relaxing in the golden sands after your walk. You can also head over to nearby Burgh Island at low tide, courtesy of a sea tractor that whisks you across.
The intriguingly-named town of Beer lies along the South West Coast Path and boasts a brilliant beach of its own, which is flanked by Branscombe Beach and Seaton Beach. If you’re feeling active, make your way east as far as the Axmouth to Lyme Regis Undercliffs National Nature Reserve.
Whether you’d love to live in the Cheltenham area or surrounded by countryside near Thame, the South West has so many great places to call home. There are also lots of wonderful new build developments where you can enjoy the very best of modern living. These include our Rosewood Grange site in Gloucester, Hunters Wood near Bath and Embden Grange in the Tavistock area; all of which we can tell you more about when you get in touch with us today.