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10 Reasons to Visit The South West Coast Path

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As anyone who has ever walked the South West Coast Path can attest, the reasons for visiting this beautiful trail of over a thousand kilometres long are plentiful. The journey, in full, takes you on a wild adventure from Poole Harbour, along the south coasts of Dorset, Devon and Cornwall until you reach Land’s End, where you can turn back north east to Minehead in Somerset. The path passes through the most spectacular coastal scenery in the UK and beyond, seeing 17 Heritage Coasts, 5 areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and 2 World Heritage Sites. Find below just a few of the reasons you should take a holiday in Cornwall this year and experience the beauty of the path for with your very own eyes.

beach on path in cornwall

Beaches

The South West Coast Path boasts a plethora of beautiful beaches that make up the wild and dramatic coastline of the south west, with Cornwall alone being home to over 400 beaches. Each section brings something different to the table, with the South Coast beaches including picturesque fishing harbours and more sheltered coves whilst the North Coast sees iconic golden sandy beaches backed by towering cliffs and dunes. Whichever route you take, you will pass a beautiful beach of some kind, making great picnic spots to stop for some lunch.

rabbit near path

Wildlife

One great reason to walk along the coastal path is the array of wildlife you are likely to encounter during your travels, creating an educational and enjoyable experience for all who walk the paths. The world’s fastest bird, the swift, has made a comeback to the coastline in the UK in recent years and you have a good chance of spotting the spectacular hunter in action on your walks. See these magnificent birds reaching speeds of up to 69.3mph is a real treat! Other path-dwelling animals include wild goats, ponies, deer, rabbits and hares, as well as plenty of farm animals. In terms of sea wildlife, dolphins, seals and basking sharks can often be spotted en route, particularly from the headlands of West Cornwall.

flowers near South West Coast Path

Plants

The versatile nature of the geology of the coast means that the plants you will come across tend to vary each year, depending on a variety of factors such as weather, rainfall and sunlight. The spring and summer months are those where the flowers are the most abundant, and the path and surrounding areas come alive with colour as flora burst into bloom. However, a walk around the Coast Path means varied plants are all but guaranteed, regardless of the season and you will be able to appreciate the diverse landscapes including charming woodlands, fields of flora and moody moors and all the plants that come with it. Take a look at our guide for a little taster of what you might expect to see on your travels.

cliffs on the South West Coast Path

Coastal scenery

The sheer beauty and wild character of the cliffs in the south west makes it no surprise to most of us that it’s the go-to setting for popular TV dramas such as Poldark; see our blog on Poldark filming locations here. The towering cliffs which shelter the mysterious bays below have been the inspiration for many world-famous authors, such as Winston Graham and Daphne Du Maurier. A walk along the South West Coast Path will guarantee the best view of the magnificent cliffs that encompass the UK.

Minack Theatre near coast path

Sites of Interest

Whether you’re planning a long walking holiday to Cornwall, or even if it’s just a few days, you will want to see some of the most famous landmarks and points of interest that are located in this area of the country. Land’s End, The Eden Project and the Minack Theatre are just a few spots in Cornwall, you may want to visit during your time here. No matter what your tastes, there are sites of interest for everyone consisting of both hidden gems and those which are infamously known in the area!

scones in Cornwall

Food and drink

The culinary scene on the South West Coast Path is rich in flavour and has an array of unrivalled tastes to accommodate for all. Whether it’s a traditional Cornish Pasty or a scrumptious Devon Cider, be sure to be experimental with the delicious, and somewhat unconventional local delicacies that are on offer. Seafood fans would be wise to make the most of the area, as fish and seafood produce couldn’t get any fresher unless it was chucked from the net to the pan…and that could be the case in some places!

Cornish culture in village

Culture

The lifestyle of the people in the south west is enviable, far away from the hustle and bustle of 21st-century urban areas. People here adopt more of a relaxed approach to day to day tasks, taking their time to appreciate their surroundings and welcome visitors. It is likely that you will meet an array of Cornish and Devonshire locals on your travels, and they will be more than willing to help you out with extra information on where to go, what to do and their favourite parts of the South West Coast Path!

sunny day in Cornwall

Weather

Whilst this cannot be guaranteed, the geographic position of the South West Coast Path means that it gets more of the most favourable weathers all year round. The sea helps to moderate the temperatures throughout the year, meaning it is a lot warmer than it should be considering the latitude. The path sees some glorious walking weather throughout Spring, Summer and early Autumn, with light rainfall and long daylight hours. This means that you will have plenty of time to explore during the day, and perfect weather conditions if you fancy a spot of stargazing of an evening!

festivals in Cornwall

Festivals and events

The Cornish celebrate their local achievements through food, drink and live music festivals throughout the summer months. Research what will be on when you are visiting and think about how you may want to alter your trip to attend as many as possible. There are also hundreds of village fetes, town carnivals and other seasonal celebrations that will be worth a visit and a raffle draw or two!

walking boots

Walking!

Most importantly, the best reason to come to the South West Coast Path is the fantastic opportunities to explore the beautiful region on foot. The versatile nature of your surroundings mean you’ll never get bored of seeing beautiful beaches or rolling landscapes, and each area brings something different to your experience. For a truly authentic experience of South West England, walk the Coast Path and make unforgettable memories with both the people you love and new friends alike.

At Way2go4 Walking Holidays, we offer a range of both guided and self-guided walking tours that will enable you to utilise our local knowledge and get the most out of your time in Cornwall. The guided walks are usually around 8 miles per day, setting out at around 10am and returning for 4pm, with options for individuals to curtail or extend the walk as necessary. During the week there will be a rest day, where you can visit any of the sites of interest nearby or simply relax with a well-deserved cream tea, just remember to put your jam on first if you’re in Cornwall! Take a look at our locations today and book a walking holiday to visit the beauty of the South West Coast Path.