It’s the longest footpath in England, stretching six hundred and thirty miles across the magnificent coastlines of four separate counties, and it’s waiting to be explored.
Running from Minehead in Somerset, along the Devon and Cornwall coast to Poole Harbour in Dorset, this stunning walk has twice been voted ‘Britain’s Best Walking Route’ by Walk Magazine: The magazine for the Ramblers.
The South West Coast Path was originally used by coastguards and excise officers on the lookout for smugglers. It was designed to hug the coast so the watchmen had ample views of the bays and coves, and was regularly patrolled right up until the 1913.
The history of the path goes right back to the Bronze and Iron Ages, with ancient burial features, known as barrows and tumuli, still evident along the route. Larger man-made structures, such as forts and castles, remind us of the path’s strategic significance, also providing a vital role during the Second World War.
The geology of the coastline varies greatly, as does the wildlife and scenery. One of the most fascinating parts of the route is the Jurassic Coast in East Devon and Dorset; a designated World Heritage Site that stretches for ninety-five miles, wowing visitors who are quite literally able to ‘walk through time’ across its prehistoric cliffs.
Every year walkers are left beguiled by their encounters with the thriving wildlife as the path passes through its many nature reserves. While careful management of the landscape has allowed common fauna to continue to flourish, the path has also seen the return of rarer species such as the chough in Cornwall and the cirl bunting in South Devon. Peregrine falcons delight walkers with their aerial displays along the cliffs, while offshore, seals, dolphins, and basking sharks are frequently sighted, particularly off West Cornwall.
It’s not just our two-legged guests that love the coastal path either. Dog owners are offered countless adventures along the clifftops and beaches, making the West Country one of the country’s most popular dog-friendly holiday destinations.
If the thought of all these stunning views and memorable coastal encounters makes your ears prick up, why not head over to our website today to find your perfect holiday cottage.