At 630 miles (1,014 km), the South West Coast Path is England's longest National Trail and has good claim to being the most spectacular too.

South West Coast Path National Trail

The route spans a wonderful variety of running, over rugged clifftops, around sheltered coves, harbours, fishing villages, and across heather moorland.

Contours undertook it in 2013. Out there, we found stirring views over the open sea and the British countryside, alongside devlish daily mileages.

It's not just the distance that daunts, though: the route constantly rises and falls and will leave your calves whimpering. In fact, it's more common for runners to attempt it one chunk at a time rather than all in one go.

We offer the South West Coast Path in 4 sections, allowing you to piece together the most suitable route for your time and stamina. Of course, if you are prepared for the challenge of the whole route, all four sections can be run consecutively to cover the entire 630 miles trail.

The 4 sections of the South West Coast Path are:

Jump to our itineraries

Map of The South West Coast Path Minehead to Padstow Padstow to Falmouth Falmouth to Brixham Brixham to Poole

Route facts

Minehead to Padstow

  • Length 165 miles (264 km)
  • Ascent 34875 ft (10630 m)
  • High point 1043 ft (318 m)
  • Ascent per km 40.5 m
  • Start and Finish
  • Minehead/Padstow
  • Grade
  • Moderate to Strenuous  
  • Season
  • 2nd January to 24th December

Padstow to Falmouth

  • Length 166 miles (266 km)
  • Ascent 31768 ft (9683 m)
  • High point 381 ft (116 m)
  • Ascent per km 36.5 m
  • Start and Finish
  • Padstow/Falmouth
  • Grade
  • Moderate to Extreme  
  • Season
  • 2nd January to 24th December

Falmouth to Brixham

  • Length 148 miles (237 km)
  • Ascent 36726 ft (11194 m)
  • High point 509 ft (155 m)
  • Ascent per km 47 m
  • Start and Finish
  • Falmouth/Brixham
  • Grade
  • Moderate to Strenuous  
  • Season
  • 2nd January to 24th December

Brixham to Poole

  • Length 141 miles (226 km)
  • Ascent 27175 ft (8283 m)
  • High point 581 ft (177 m)
  • Ascent per km 36.5 m
  • Start and Finish
  • Brixham/South Haven Point
  • Grade
  • Moderate to Strenuous  
  • Season
  • 2nd January to 24th December

Jump to our itineraries

  • Jurassic Coast in Dorset

    Jurassic Coast in Dorset.

  • Port Isaac on the Atlantic coast of north Cornwall

    Port Isaac on the Atlantic coast of north Cornwall.

  • Sennen Cove to Cape Cornwall

    Sennen Cove to Cape Cornwall.

Minehead to Padstow

The South West Coast Path between Minehead and Padstow makes for an amazing backdrop for a run. Beginning with the high "Hog's Back" cliffs, purple moors and coastal oak woodlands of Exmoor, the path winds along low cliffs and sandy beaches into the Valley of Rocks with its jagged sandstone pinnacles. After this, the trail leads into the dramatic gorge of Heddon Mouth and visits Culbone Church - the smallest complete parish church in England - as well as the peaceful villages of Bossington, Porlock and Lynmouth, all adding to the varied intrigue of the trail.

South West Coast Path National Trail

As you journey from Westward Ho! to the little seaport of Padstow, the path passes by many notable viewpoints, including Gallantry Bower, Hartland Point and The Rumps. Along the way you will also visit the tiny inlets of Crackington Haven and Port Quin, the sleepy little village of Morwenstow and a number of picturesque fishing villages including Clovelly, Boscastle, Portgaverne and Port Isaac. This section of the South West Coast Path also plays host to Tintagel's dramatic ruined castle, which was the birthplace of King Arthur.

With a tantalising mixture of terrains and scenery across 165 miles of coastline, this trail offers a fulfilling challenge to any runner.

Trail Profile

South West Coast Path Profile

Itineraries

6 nights
5 days running

Grade: Strenuous

Minehead

55 km (34.5 miles) and 2798 m (9180 ft) ascent

Combe Martin

54 km (34 miles) and 1543 m (5062 ft) ascent

Barnstaple

65 km (40.5 miles) and 1956 m (6417 ft) ascent

Hartland Quay

39 km (24.5 miles) and 1886 m (6188 ft) ascent

Crackington Haven

51 km (32 miles) and 2469 m (8100 ft) ascent

Padstow

More Information

Tour code: TSWM-1

Price £630 per person

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8 nights
7 days running

Grade: Challenging

Minehead

34 km (21 miles) and 1499 m (4918 ft) ascent

Lynmouth

30 km (19 miles) and 1750 m (5741 ft) ascent

Ilfracombe

45 km (28 miles) and 1109 m (3638 ft) ascent

Barnstaple

48 km (30 miles) and 1142 m (3747 ft) ascent

Clovelly

41 km (25.5 miles) and 1951 m (6401 ft) ascent

Bude

33 km (20.5 miles) and 1750 m (5741 ft) ascent

Tintagel

33 km (20.5 miles) and 1463 m (4800 ft) ascent

Padstow

More Information

Tour code: TSWM-2

Price £760 per person

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12 nights
11 days running

Grade: Moderate

Minehead

15 km (9.5 miles) and 377 m (1237 ft) ascent

Porlock Weir

19 km (12 miles) and 1101 m (3612 ft) ascent

Lynmouth

21 km (13 miles) and 1319 m (4327 ft) ascent

Combe Martin

31 km (19.5 miles) and 1356 m (4449 ft) ascent

Croyde

39 km (24.5 miles) and 306 m (1004 ft) ascent

Bideford

32 km (20 miles) and 1017 m (3337 ft) ascent

Clovelly

17 km (10.5 miles) and 814 m (2671 ft) ascent

Hartland Quay

24 km (15 miles) and 1143 m (3750 ft) ascent

Bude

27 km (17 miles) and 1338 m (4390 ft) ascent

Boscastle

20 km (12.5 miles) and 1053 m (3455 ft) ascent

Port Isaac

19 km (12 miles) and 815 m (2674 ft) ascent

Padstow

More Information

Tour code: TSWM-3

Price £1040 per person

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Our prices are based upon two people sharing a room. If you are running on your own, or are part of a group, but require a room of your own, one of the following charges applies:

  • Solo Runner Supplement: £35 per person / per night
  • Single Supplement: £30 per person / per night

You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

  • Extra night (Standard): £50 per person / per night

The price you pay includes:

  • Breakfast each day.
  • Door to door luggage transfer.
  • Maps with the route marked on and a guidebook describing the trail.
  • An information pack containing an itinerary, instructions on how to find your accommodation each night, town plans, information about facilities and places of interest along the trail and a kit list.
  • Detailed travel instructions on how to get to the start of your holiday and back from the end of it.
  • Emergency assistance.

Detailed travel information is sent to you on booking, but we have provided a summary below.

Air

The most convenient major cities and international airports are Exeter International Airport and Bristol International Airport.

Rail

The nearest and most convenient railway station to the start of the tour (Minehead) is Taunton. From Taunton, there is a regular bus service to Minehead, or during the summer months, you can catch a steam train to Minehead. The nearest railway station to the end of the trail (Westward Ho!) is Barnstaple.

From London – Trains run regularly between Gatwick Airport and Taunton (the nearest railway station to Minehead), using several different routes. From Heathrow, there are 2 ways to reach Minehead – either by taking the Heathrow Express shuttle service to London Paddington, from where trains run regularly to Taunton, or by taking a bus from Heathrow Central Bus Station to Reading and on to Taunton by train. There are also regular trains from London Paddington to Taunton.

Car

For advice on driving to the start of the trail, please visit www.theaa.com which has a very useful route planner.

Returning to the start

To return to the start of the trail (Minehead) head to Padstow Subway and take the Plymouth Citybus bus 11A towards Liskeard, getting off at Pennycomequick Railway Station. Walk for about 5 minutes to Plymouth Rail Station and take the Cross Country Train towards Edinburgh Rail Station, alighting at Taunton Rail Station. From here it is a short walk to Taunton Station South Side, where you can take the Buses of Somerset bus 28 towards Minehead Parade.
The Minehead to Padstow stretch of the South West Coast Path passes through a variety of wonderful locations; if you want to take advantage of these amazing destinations, consider adding an extra night or two into your holiday and spend time exploring the areas more thoroughly.

Lynmouth, for example, is a charming seaside town with plenty to keep you occupied. The trek to Watersmeet, where the East and West Lyn Rivers meet, is a delightful option for a recovery jog, and those who enjoy the past time of Geocaching will be able to hunt for no less than 14 Geocaches around the local area. There are also plenty of water sports activities to enjoy around Lynmouth, from gentle rock pooling and boat trips to more adventurous kayaking and even surfing.

Barnstaple is another good choice for a rest day. This lovely old market town boasts some fine buildings, an entertaining museum to explore and plenty of shops, including several sports outlets should you need to refresh any of your running kit. There is often a number of exciting performances happening at the local Queen’s Theatre if you feel like catching a show, before taking your pick of a variety of bars and restaurants in which to enjoy a delicious meal.

If you are interested in visiting Lundy Island just off the coast, consider spending an extra night in Bideford, a little town nestled alongside the River Torridge in North Devon. There are frequent ferries to the island from Bideford throughout the year; a trip that is definitely worth taking for those interested in bird watching or indeed spotting any of the diverse animal and plant life that makes its home on the island. Lundy has everything you need for an enjoyable daytrip, including the friendly Marisco Tavern that serves delicious, locally produced food and refreshing drinks.

The lively harbour of Padstow is another ideal base to enjoy the unique Cornish atmosphere, as well as a perfect way to celebrate the completion of your trail running holiday. There is a variety of shops, cafes and restaurants to enjoy, as well as plenty of sporting activities including cycling, fishing, golf, horse riding, karting and a range of water sports to keep you entertained. If however you are looking for a bit of TLC, Padstow also has a few local spas and leisure centres where you can treat your tired muscles to a pampering massage or a relaxing swim.

Padstow to Falmouth

As you run between Padstow and Falmouth in Cornwall, this section of the South West Coast Path passes beautiful sandy bays, rocky promontories, long beaches and dramatic rock stacks like the Giants Stepping Stones of Bedruthan Steps, offering a variety of terrain to keep you engaged. There is always plenty to see as you journey past little fishing harbours, old tin-mining villages and ancient ruins as you head towards Britain's most westerly point.

South West Coast Path National Trail

This trail also includes the coastline of the Land's End peninsula, one of the most beautiful coastlines in Britain, boasting rugged granite cliffs dotted with the ruins of old tin mines. In Spring and early Summer the clifftops play host to a carpet of wildflowers, while heather and gorse cause the inland moors to glow purple and gold, highlighting the array of quoits, stone circles and other mysterious remains.

As well as the port of St Ives, with its narrow winding streets and picturesque harbour, the path also visits the pretty fishing villages of Mousehole, Lamorna and Sennen Cove, the tiny hamlets of Porthgwarra and St Leven, the open-air Minack Theatre - perched spectacularly on the cliffs above beautiful Porthcurno Bay - the sleepy mining village of St Just, and the old seaport of Penzance.

The coast then stretches around the beautiful Lizard Peninsula on its way to Falmouth, allowing you the chance to visit the picturesque island of St Michael's Mount, which is linked by a causeway to the mainland at low tide. This trail also takes in the idyllic coves of Kynance and Gunwalloe, the smugglers' hideaways of Prussia Cove and Coverack, and the pretty fishing villages of Porthleven, Mullion and Cadgwith, where whitewashed thatched cottages cluster around the tiny harbour. As you continue, the scenery changes to reveal cliffs of red-green serpentine, offering a superb contrast to the tranquil woods, creeks and inlets of the Helford River.

This trail offers a vast array of amazing sights, guaranteed to keep you entertained as you take it all in on your run.

Trail Profile

South West Coast Path Profile

Itineraries

5 nights
4 days running

Grade: Extreme

Padstow

62 km (39 miles) and 2230 m (7316 ft) ascent

St Agnes

71 km (44.5 miles) and 2565 m (8415 ft) ascent

Pendeen Watch

68 km (42.5 miles) and 2242 m (7356 ft) ascent

Mullion

65 km (40.5 miles) and 2561 m (8402 ft) ascent

Falmouth

More Information

Tour code: TSWP-1

Price £575 per person

BOOK ONLINE


6 nights
5 days running

Grade: Strenuous

Padstow

50 km (31 miles) and 1840 m (6037 ft) ascent

Perranporth

54 km (34 miles) and 1560 m (5118 ft) ascent

St Ives

54 km (34 miles) and 2299 m (7543 ft) ascent

Lamorna

54 km (34 miles) and 1993 m (6539 ft) ascent

The Lizard

54 km (34 miles) and 1922 m (6306 ft) ascent

Falmouth

More Information

Tour code: TSWP-2

Price £630 per person

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7 nights
6 days running

Grade: Challenging

Padstow

50 km (31 miles) and 1641 m (5384 ft) ascent

Perranporth

45 km (28 miles) and 1570 m (5151 ft) ascent

Hayle

46 km (29 miles) and 1590 m (5217 ft) ascent

Sennen Cove

48 km (30 miles) and 1818 m (5965 ft) ascent

Porthleven

40 km (25 miles) and 1822 m (5978 ft) ascent

Coverack

37 km (23 miles) and 1190 m (3904 ft) ascent

Falmouth

More Information

Tour code: TSWP-3

Price £695 per person

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12 nights
11 days running

Grade: Moderate

Padstow

29 km (18 miles) and 897 m (2943 ft) ascent

Mawgan Porth

21 km (13 miles) and 752 m (2467 ft) ascent

Perranporth

25 km (15.5 miles) and 1103 m (3619 ft) ascent

Portreath

29 km (18 miles) and 686 m (2251 ft) ascent

St Ives

22 km (14 miles) and 979 m (3212 ft) ascent

Pendeen Watch

32 km (20 miles) and 1272 m (4173 ft) ascent

Lamorna

31 km (19.5 miles) and 934 m (3064 ft) ascent

Porthleven

23 km (14.5 miles) and 1076 m (3530 ft) ascent

The Lizard

17 km (10.5 miles) and 767 m (2516 ft) ascent

Coverack

21 km (13 miles) and 678 m (2224 ft) ascent

Helford River

16 km (10 miles) and 508 m (1667 ft) ascent

Falmouth

More Information

Tour code: TSWP-4

Price £1040 per person

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Our prices are based upon two people sharing a room. If you are running on your own, or are part of a group, but require a room of your own, one of the following charges applies:

  • Solo Runner Supplement: £35 per person / per night
  • Single Supplement: £30 per person / per night

You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

  • Extra night (Standard): £50 per person / per night
  • Extra night (Hayle): £60 per person / per night
  • Extra night (Perranporth): £60 per person / per night
  • Extra night (Sennen Cove): £60 per person / per night
  • Extra night (St Ives): £60 per person / per night

The price you pay includes:

  • Breakfast each day.
  • Door to door luggage transfer.
  • Maps with the route marked on and a guidebook describing the trail.
  • An information pack containing an itinerary, instructions on how to find your accommodation each night, town plans, information about facilities and places of interest along the trail and a kit list.
  • Detailed travel instructions on how to get to the start of your holiday and back from the end of it.
  • Emergency assistance.

Detailed travel information is sent to you on booking, but we have provided a summary below.

Air

The most convenient major cities and international airports are Exeter International Airport and Newquay Airport.

Rail

The most convenient railway station to the start of the trail (Padstow) is Bodmin Parkway on the Cornish main line, with fast and frequent rail service from London Paddington. There is a railway station at the end of the trail (St Ives), within walking distance of most accommodations.

From London – Trains run regularly between Heathrow (using the Heathrow Express to travel to Paddington) or Gatwick Airports and Bodmin Parkway (the nearest railway station to Padstow). From St Ives, trains run regularly to Heathrow or Gatwick Airports, using several different routes. There is also a frequent service from St Ives railway station to London Paddington, from where the Heathrow Express can take you to Heathrow Airport.

Car

For advice on driving to the start of the trail, please visit www.theaa.com which has a very useful route planner.

Returning to the start

The easiest way to return to the start of the trail (Padstow) is to catch a train from the Great Western Railway towards Truro Rail Station, followed by a train transfer towards Plymouth Rail Station. Get off at Bodmin Parkway Rail Station and walk for about 4 minutes to Bodmin Parkway Station East-bound, where you can take Plymouth Citybus Bus 11A towards Padstow and alight at Padstow Subway.
Adding extra nights into your trail running holiday not only allows you more time to explore the amazing landscapes of the South West Coast Path, but they can also be used as vital rest days if you need to take a break from running and recover, ready for the next stretch.

The lively harbour of Padstow is an ideal base to enjoy the unique Cornish atmosphere, as well as a perfect place in which to relax and prepare for the start of your trail running holiday. There is a variety of shops, cafes and restaurants to enjoy, as well as plenty of sporting activities including cycling, fishing, golf, horse riding, karting and a range of water sports to keep you entertained. If however you are looking for a bit of TLC, Padstow also has a few local spas and leisure centres where you can treat yourself to a pampering massage or a revitalising swim.

The delightful town of St Ives, with its narrow streets and alleyways that invite exploration, is another good choice for an extra night. It has many fascinating museums, galleries and beautiful beaches where you can spend hours simply strolling and soaking up the wonderful atmosphere. There are plenty of attractions to take advantage of, including the Minack Theatre, the Surf School, regular boat rides and a choice of pleasant walking trails, not mention a range of shops, cafes and restaurants to browse and enjoy a delicious meal.

Mullion is the largest village on the Lizard Peninsula and has shops, inns, cafes, restaurants, craft shops and art galleries, ensuring that there is plenty to keep you occupied if you choose to spend an extra night here. In the centre of the village, the mainly 13th century church of St Mellanus is renowned for its richly-carved oak bench-ends depicting biblical scenes, including that of Jonah and the Whale. Nearby, the National Trust-owned Mullion Cove has a pretty working harbour that is still used by local fisherman, and is worth a visit for those seeking dramatic views.

The fishing village of Coverack is another good choice for a rest day, retaining much of its original charm and atmosphere while also catering for modern visitors. The crescent-shaped beach is perfect for walking or relaxing, with Coverack itself being the ideal holiday location for water sports enthusiasts, where you can try your hand at windsurfing, snorkelling, scuba diving or simply swimming in the calm water.

Falmouth to Brixham

This stretch of the South West Coast Path between Falmouth and Brixham is one of spectacular contrasts, passing along a coastline of tranquil estuaries, wooded inlets, sandy coves and headlands, giving glorious view over the bays. This path also visits some of the prettiest villages in Cornwall, like Mevagissey, Portloe, Portscatho and Polperro, where whitewashed cottages jostle for the best view of the harbour. The path also visits the historic ports of Plymouth, Falmouth and Fowey, the impressive coastal defences of Henry VIII and the beautiful Georgian harbour of Charlestown with its square riggers.

South West Coast Path National Trail

Take in the wave-battered sandstone cliffs and rugged headlands of South Devon's coastline as you continue along the trail, eventually giving way to tranquil wooded estuaries and lush, rolling farmland with patchwork fields. After this, it's a race to Plymouth and the picturesque Salcombe Harbour, along with the beautiful old town of Dartmouth with its spectacular sea defences. Even further along is Burgh Island with its ancient smugglers inn and a string of attractive coastal villages, before ending at the old fishing port of Brixham.

As you can see, this fantastically contrasting coastal trail offers many unique experiences to satisfy any runner.

Trail Profile

South West Coast Path Profile

Itineraries

6 nights
5 days running

Grade: Strenuous

Falmouth

54 km (34 miles) and 2544 m (8346 ft) ascent

Charlestown

45 km (28 miles) and 2305 m (7562 ft) ascent

Portwrinkle

45 km (28 miles) and 1455 m (4774 ft) ascent

Noss Mayo

41 km (25.5 miles) and 2110 m (6923 ft) ascent

Salcombe

52 km (32.5 miles) and 2782 m (9127 ft) ascent

Brixham

More Information

Tour code: TSWF-1

Price £690 per person

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8 nights
7 days running

Grade: Challenging

Falmouth

38 km (24 miles) and 1609 m (5279 ft) ascent

Gorran Haven

30 km (19 miles) and 1571 m (5154 ft) ascent

Fowey

31 km (19.5 miles) and 1652 m (5420 ft) ascent

Portwrinkle

45 km (28 miles) and 1141 m (3743 ft) ascent

Noss Mayo

21 km (13 miles) and 1116 m (3661 ft) ascent

Bigbury-on-Sea

40 km (25 miles) and 1929 m (6329 ft) ascent

Torcross

32 km (20 miles) and 1852 m (6076 ft) ascent

Brixham

More Information

Tour code: TSWF-2

Price £840 per person

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13 nights
12 days running

Grade: Moderate

Falmouth

25 km (15.5 miles) and 851 m (2792 ft) ascent

Portloe

18 km (11 miles) and 992 m (3255 ft) ascent

Mevagissey

16 km (10 miles) and 890 m (2920 ft) ascent

Par

21 km (13 miles) and 1222 m (4009 ft) ascent

Polperro

20 km (12.5 miles) and 879 m (2884 ft) ascent

Portwrinkle

28 km (17.5 miles) and 850 m (2789 ft) ascent

Plymouth

17 km (10.5 miles) and 601 m (1972 ft) ascent

Noss Mayo

21 km (13 miles) and 1116 m (3661 ft) ascent

Bigbury-on-Sea

20 km (12.5 miles) and 1009 m (3310 ft) ascent

Salcombe

20 km (12.5 miles) and 938 m (3077 ft) ascent

Torcross

16 km (10 miles) and 738 m (2421 ft) ascent

Dartmouth

16 km (10 miles) and 1124 m (3688 ft) ascent

Brixham

More Information

Tour code: TSWF-3

Price £1105 per person

BOOK ONLINE


Our prices are based upon two people sharing a room. If you are running on your own, or are part of a group, but require a room of your own, one of the following charges applies:

  • Solo Runner Supplement: £35 per person / per night
  • Single Supplement: £30 per person / per night

You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

  • Extra night (Standard): £50 per person / per night

The price you pay includes:

  • Breakfast each day.
  • Door to door luggage transfer.
  • Maps with the route marked on and a guidebook describing the trail.
  • An information pack containing an itinerary, instructions on how to find your accommodation each night, town plans, information about facilities and places of interest along the trail and a kit list.
  • Detailed travel instructions on how to get to the start of your holiday and back from the end of it.
  • Emergency assistance.

Detailed travel information is sent to you on booking, but we have provided a summary below.

Air

The most convenient major cities and international airports are Exeter International Airport and Newquay Airport.

Rail

There are two railway stations at the start of the trail (Falmouth) – Falmouth Town and Falmouth Docks, both of which are located in the centre of Falmouth and within walking distance of most accommodations. There is a railway station at the end of the trail (Plymouth) within walking distance of most accommodations.

From London – Trains run regularly between Heathrow (use the Heathrow Express shuttle to get from Heathrow to Paddington) or Gatwick Airports and Falmouth (Falmouth Docks). From Plymouth, there are regular trains to Heathrow Airport (changing at London Paddington for the Heathrow Express shuttle service) or Gatwick Airport.

Car

For advice on driving to the start of the trail, please visit www.theaa.com which has a very useful route planner.

Returning to the start

The easiest way to return to Falmouth from Brixham is to head to Brixham Town Square and take Stagecoach South West Bus 12 towards Newton Abbot Rail Station. Then it’s a 5 minute walk to take the Great Western Railway Train towards Penzance Rail Station, getting off at Truro Rail station and transferring to another train heading towards Falmouth Docks Rail Station. Then it is another short walk to Falmouth centre, to complete your journey.
As you blaze a trail along this challenging section of the South West Coast Path, it may be worth considering adding in a couple of extra nights along your run in order to allow time for recovery and further exploration of the fantastic surrounding areas.

Portloe is one of the most attractive and unspoilt fishing villages in Cornwall, filled with chocolate-box Cornish granite cottages and offering far-reaching views out to sea. The beaches, cliffs and the rest of the local area are perfect for stretching your legs on a gentle recovery jog, before retiring to the Ship Inn – the only pub in Portloe – to soak up the welcoming atmosphere and enjoy a drink of satisfying Cornish ale.

Charlestown, with its square riggers ships, lively harbour and fascinating museum, is another good choice for a rest day and a perfect example of a late Georgian working port. Those interested in Charlestown’s maritime past should visit the Shipwreck, Rescue and Heritage Centre, which contains a number of exhibits along with intriguing shipwreck salvage from along Cornwall’s Coast.

Plymouth, with its vast number of historic buildings, would make a great stopping location for any runner regardless of your interests. From museums, gardens and aquariums to boat trips, sports facilities and walking trails, this city is guaranteed to keep everyone occupied and entertained. There are also a number of health spas available if you are in need of a massage, as well as plenty of sports outlets and health food shops to restock your running kit as necessary. Plymouth also boasts a range of fantastic eateries to choose from, prepared by some of the best chefs around using fresh local produce, leaving you spoilt for choice for your evening meal.

You could also spend an extra night in Bigbury-on-Sea. Located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the sandy beach belonging to this settlement is ideal for a relaxing walk or a paddle in the shallow waters. The beach is also dotted with several rock pools to explore, and a variety of water sports are available all year round to take advantage of, particularly windsurfing and kitesurfing. As well as this, Burgh Island is accessible from Bigbury and is definitely worth exploring for its amazing views, art deco hotel and its literary links to Agatha Christie’s famous novels.

Brixham to Poole Harbour (South Haven Point)

The South West Coast Path section between Brixham and Poole Harbour (South Haven Point) is immensely colourful, with its red sandstone cliffs contrasting vividly with the lush green of the surrounding countryside. The path begins along a promenade through the bustling resorts of Brixham, Paignton and Torquay lining Tor Bay, where it then rounds the spectacular headland of Hope's Nose with its cluster of offshore rock islands and seabird colonies.

South West Coast Path National Trail

As the path winds east from Exmouth to the old port of Lyme Regis, it visits a number of picturesque towns and villages, including Branscombe with its whitewashed cob and thatch cottages, Budleigh Salterton, Sidmouth and the old fishing village of Beer where colourful inshore trawlers are launched from the pebbly beach.

As you trail blaze along the stretch of Dorset's coastline, this path allows you to take in its renowned dramatic beauty and variety. As you leave Lyme Regis and continue on your journey, you are met with the high cliffs of Golden Cap, which abruptly give way to the pebbled ridge of Chesil Beach and the tranquil shores of the Fleet Lagoon. Along the way the path passes famous rock formations including Durdle Door, Old Harry Rocks and Dancing Ledge, while also visiting the market town of Bridport and the picturesque villages of Burton Bradstock, Lulworth, Tyneham and Abbotsbury, complete with its medieval swannery.

Trail Profile

South West Coast Path Profile

Itineraries

5 nights
4 days running

Grade: Strenuous

Brixham

55 km (34.5 miles) and 1925 m (6316 ft) ascent

Budleigh Salterton

54 km (34 miles) and 2797 m (9177 ft) ascent

Bridport

56 km (35 miles) and 1064 m (3491 ft) ascent

Weymouth

61 km (38 miles) and 2452 m (8045 ft) ascent

Poole

More Information

Tour code: TSWB-1

Price £625 per person

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7 nights
6 days running

Grade: Challenging

Brixham

46 km (29 miles) and 1689 m (5541 ft) ascent

Exmouth

34 km (21 miles) and 1932 m (6339 ft) ascent

Seaton

43 km (27 miles) and 1389 m (4557 ft) ascent

Abbotsbury

42 km (26 miles) and 774 m (2539 ft) ascent

Weymouth

35 km (22 miles) and 1723 m (5653 ft) ascent

Worth Matravers

26 km (16 miles) and 741 m (2431 ft) ascent

Poole

More Information

Tour code: TSWB-2

Price £770 per person

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10 nights
9 days running

Grade: Moderate

Brixham

21 km (13 miles) and 785 m (2575 ft) ascent

Babbacombe

25 km (15.5 miles) and 904 m (2966 ft) ascent

Exmouth

20 km (12.5 miles) and 920 m (3018 ft) ascent

Sidmouth

27 km (17 miles) and 1291 m (4236 ft) ascent

Lyme Regis

30 km (19 miles) and 1097 m (3599 ft) ascent

Abbotsbury

40 km (25 miles) and 772 m (2533 ft) ascent

Weymouth

19 km (12 miles) and 658 m (2159 ft) ascent

Lulworth Cove

18 km (11 miles) and 1075 m (3527 ft) ascent

Worth Matravers

26 km (16 miles) and 741 m (2431 ft) ascent

Poole

More Information

Tour code: TSWB-3

Price £900 per person

BOOK ONLINE


Our prices are based upon two people sharing a room. If you are running on your own, or are part of a group, but require a room of your own, one of the following charges applies:

  • Solo Runner Supplement: £35 per person / per night
  • Single Supplement: £30 per person / per night

You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

  • Extra night (Standard): £50 per person / per night
  • Extra night (Bridport): £70 per person / per night
  • Extra night (Lyme Regis): £60 per person / per night

The price you pay includes:

  • Breakfast each day.
  • Door to door luggage transfer.
  • Maps with the route marked on and a guidebook describing the trail.
  • An information pack containing an itinerary, instructions on how to find your accommodation each night, town plans, information about facilities and places of interest along the trail and a kit list.
  • Detailed travel instructions on how to get to the start of your holiday and back from the end of it.
  • Emergency assistance.

Detailed travel information is sent to you on booking, but we have provided a summary below.

Air

The most convenient major cities and international airports are Exeter International Airport and Bristol International Airport.

Rail

The nearest rail link to the start of the trail (Brixham) is Paignton railway station. There is a railway station at the end of the trail (Exmouth), which is within walking distance of most accommodations.

From London – Trains run regularly between Heathrow (use the Heathrow Express Shuttle to get from Heathrow to Paddington) or Gatwick Airports and Paignton (nearest railway station to Brixham). There are regular trains between Exmouth and Heathrow (use the Heathrow Express Shuttle to get from Paddington to Heathrow) or Gatwick Airport.

Car

For advice on driving to the start of the trail, please visit www.theaa.com which has a very useful route planner.

Returning to the start

To return to the start of the trail (Brixham) from Poole Harbour you will need to head to Poole Rail Station and take the South West Trains train towards London Waterloo, alighting at Bastingstoke Rail Station. From there, make a transfer at Basingstoke Station towards Exeter St Davids. Changing at Exeter Central Rail Station, take another transfer onto the Great Western Railway Train towards Paignton Station. From Paignton Rail Station it is a short walk to Paignton Bus Station, where you can complete the journey by taking Stagecoach South West Bus 12 toward Brixham Town Square.
The Brixham to Poole section of the South West Coast Path passes through many wonderful towns and villages, with plenty to satisfy the needs and preferences of any runner. By adding an extra night or two into your holiday, you will have more time to explore these locations and discover hidden gems that you might have otherwise missed.

Exmouth is a popular town in which to spend an extra night. Its location on the beautiful Exe Estuary and at the very beginning of the Jurassic Coast makes it a wonderful place to spot birds and other wildlife. The town also has a vibrant shopping centre that hosts a wide range of leisure and entertainment facilities, including a cinema, a theatre, sports amenities and a range of excellent restaurants to enjoy. With a glorious sandy beach and a variety of water sports on offer, Exmouth has something to offer everyone.

Lyme Regis, with its beautiful harbour, fine old buildings, literary connections and its fossil-rich cliffs is another excellent choice for an extra night. As well as its various historical landmarks offering plenty to discover about the UK’s heritage, this resort boasts a range of shops and delicious eateries to choose from, including a number of independent shops specialising in rocks and fossils found around the area that would serve as a fantastic memento of your trail running holiday.

There is also a lot to see and do in Bridport, a lively market town with a friendly and vibrant culture. The town has a very rich history and its heritage is evident in its many landmarks, including a fine medieval church, an engaging museum, a thatched brewery complete with waterwheel and a lovely traditional harbour. Bridport also has a fantastic reputation for quality local art and food, with plenty of art centres, theatres, pubs and restaurants to enjoy. The Bridport Leisure Centre also has an indoor swimming pool available for those needing some gentle exercise to get them recovered and warmed up for the next stretch of the trail.

Finally, Poole is a fantastic option for an extra night or two, and would make for the perfect end to your holiday. With its rich history and wealth of fine buildings, including the beautiful Old Town and a variety of museums to visit, Poole is a fantastic resort for budding historians and those wanting to learn more about the town’s fascinating heritage. As well as all of the usual amenities, those seeking more active pursuits can take advantage of a range of attractions including water parks, Jet Ski hire, animal parks and even a Go Ape treetop adventure site.

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