5 of the Best New Year’s Day Walks in the West Country

One of the quickest ways to recover from the excesses of the night before is to head outside and blow the cob webs away on a bracing walk in a dramatically beautiful location. If you’re spending New Year in this idyllic corner of the country, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to scenic walks.

From beautifully bleak Dartmoor with its wild and craggy landscape, to remote rural footpaths snaking through picture-perfect countryside, to winding woodland trails and clifftop coastal paths – start the fresh year on the right foot with an invigorating New Year’s Day walk in the West Country.

Whether you’ve enjoyed a quiet night in front of the fire waiting up to see in the New Year, or you’ve had a late night of revelling with family or friends – the best morning-after remedy is to do something positive, fill your lungs with fresh air and soak up the stunning scenery.

If you’re lucky to be waking up to 2018 in the West Country, here are some of our favourite New Year’s Day walks…

Dorset Coastal Walk

  1. Burton Bradstock Coast Path Walk
    Distance: 1.1 miles, 30-40 minutes
    Start: Hive Beach car park – grid ref SY490889
    National Trust downloadable route and map


This short circular walk is perfect if you’re feeling fragile and can only manage a short spell of physical activity. Following the cliffs, it offers panoramic views of the spectacular Jurassic Coast before winding its way through idyllic countryside, and ending up back at the beach where you could pop into the Hive Beach Cafe (check opening times) for a restorative fresh seafood feast.

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Dartmoor Walk

  1. A short walk near Finch Foundry
    Distance: 1.3 miles, 45 minutes
    Start: Opposite tea-room, Finch Foundry – grid ref SX641940
    National Trust downloadable route and map


A short yet extremely pretty circular riverside walk along Belstone Cleave that takes in the River Taw and Tarka Bridge. Look out for salmon, trout and other local wildlife along the way.

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South Devon Coastal Walk

  1. Bolt Head walk
    Distance: 4.5 miles, 2-3 hours
    Start: East Soar National Trust car park – grid ref SX713375
    National Trust downloadable route and map


If you have a bit more energy in you, why not explore the dramatic coast around Salcombe? Walking from East Soar through pretty countryside to the beautiful secluded beach at Soar Mill Cove, you’ll then climb up the rugged cliffs at Bolt Head to take in the stunning views and then walk up the picturesque Salcombe Estuary. The walk ends up back at East Soar car park.

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South Cornwall Coastal Walk

  1. Chapel Cliff Walk
    Distance: 1 mile, 30-40 minutes
    Start: The shelter above Polperro harbour – grid ref SX210508
    National Trust downloadable route and map


This gentle scenic circular walk leads you along the edge of the bustling, ancient fishing village of Polperro along the coast with lots of stopping places to admire the magnificent views. It’s the perfect short walk to enjoy the dramatic winter scenery without staying out too long in the elements. Look out for caves and the old net loft along your route.

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North Cornwall Coastal Walk

  1. Pentire Headland walk
    Distance: 3.4 miles, 3-4 hours
    Start: Lead Mines car park – grid ref: SW942799
    National Trust downloadable route and map
    A moderately challenging route that takes in a scenic mix of North Cornish coast and countryside, including the spectacular Pentire Point and the Rumps. On a clear day this stretch of coast offers breathtaking views of Stepper Point to the south with Doyden and Tintagel Castle to the north. Look out for grey seals and peregrine falcons.

first time here, we’ll be back 😜😜😜😎👍

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