The South West Coast Path

The South West Coast Path (SWCP) is Britain's longest waymarked trail, measuring a staggering 630 miles (1015km), from Minehead on the Somerset coast right round Devon and Cornwall and back to Poole harbour in Dorset. Although the route is long, it is described step-by-step here and should be accessible for any well-prepared backpacker, with days varying from fairly easy to difficult and always dependent on the weather conditions, which can make clifftop walking dangerous.

This epic route takes in Exmoor National Park, several designated Areas of Outstanding National Beauty and the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. No other stretch of coastline compares for scenic splendour, historical sites and availability of refreshments, accommodation and public transport, making it easy to split the SWCP into week or weekend-long sections.

Written by prolific outdoor writer Paddy Dillon, this guide provides a wealth of detailed knowledge to help tackle this immense route with confidence, with lots of information for planning a trek, including public transport links, accommodation and facilities along the way. Also described is the 17-mile South Dorset Ridgeway, from West Bexington to Osmington Mills, which can be used as a scenic way to shave 42 miles off the total distance.

Paddy Dillon

Paddy Dillon is a prolific outdoor writer with over 60 guidebooks to his name, as well as more than a dozen booklets and brochures. He writes for a number of outdoor magazines and other publications, and produces material for tourism groups and other organisations. He lives near the Lake District and has walked in every county in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales; writing about walks in every one of them. He has led guided walks and walked extensively in Europe, as well as in Nepal, Tibet, Africa and the Rocky Mountains of Canada and the US.

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  • The entire route in one guidebook
  • Day-by-day route descriptions covering 45 stages
  • notes on places of interest and planning information