Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Minehead to Westward Ho! Walking Holiday on the South West Coast Path
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Highlights

  • The first stretch of the South West Coast Path from Minehead to Westward Ho!
  • Hollow Brook, one of the highest waterfalls in Britain.
  • An abundance of wild flowers, grasses and wildlife.
  • Incredible views of Porlock from Hurlstone Point.
  • Restored chapel of St Nicholas, the oldest lighthouse in the UK.

Follow the first stretch of the South West Coast Path along diverse coastlines between Minehead and Westward Ho!

The path takes you along the highest coastline in Britain and other highlights are its sandy beaches, coastal woodland and rugged cliff tops.

It also incorporates the Tarka Trail; a series of footpaths that follow the route taken by Tarka the Otter in the book by author Henry Williamson. The trail gently meanders down from the coast to a lower level, passing marshland and nature reserves so you can enjoy the abundance of plants and wildlife.

Day 1: Arrive Minehead

The official South West Coast path begins at Minehead, where Exmoor meets the sea. It is a traditional seaside town with its promenade and long sandy beach Minehead can be reached by regular bus services from Taunton, which is the nearest mainline rail station.


Overnight: Minehead


Day 2: Minehead to Porlock Weir

The first section of the South West Coast Path takes you along the highest coastline in England, which lends itself to steep climbs and descents. You have two options to choose from on this first day, you can opt for a laidback stroll through open farmland amongst the country’s livestock or you can take the rugged coast path which has some adventurous climbing and dramatic scenery.


Walk:  9 m, 14 km


Overnight: Porlock Weir


Day 3: Porlock Weir to Lynmouth

Start off with an invigorating climb up to the Yearnor Wood as you leave the sleepy harbour of Porlock Weir behind. This is followed by a steady meander through thick oak trees which lead you to Culbone Church. The path then divides allowing you to decide between the main southern trail leading onto open farmland or the northern path through the thick woodland of Culbone Wood. No matter which route you choose it will be a day of invigorating walking.


Walk: 11 m, 18 km


Overnight: Lynmouth


Day 4: Lynmouth to Combe Barton

Today traverse the finest stretch of North Devon coastline. Begin with a challenging climb to the highest point on the South West Coast Path. It is the longest of the three days spent in Exmoor and it doesn't disappoint, beginning with a climb that leads to the infamous “Valley of the Rocks” before a contrasting walk on the moorland below.  


Walk: 13.5 m, 22 km


Overnight: Combe Martin


Day 5: Combe Martin to Woolacombe

Set off on your day’s walk and admire the diverse and changing landscapes walking along a cliff top around the village of Ilfracombe and onto Lee Bay. The final section immerses you in the glorious heather, pink thrift and yellow gorse land of Morte Point, a site of special scientific interest. Here you can see the terrain of dunes and estuaries beyond Woolacombe.  


Walk: 13.5 m, 22 km


Overnight: Woolacombe


Day 6: Woolacombe to Braunton

The steep climbs have now finished as you walk along fine sandy beaches en route to the largest sand dune nature reserve in the country. This tantalising section, which is also part of the Tarka Trail, is renowned for its abundance of wildlife and geological interest.


Walk: 15 m, 24 km


Overnight: Braunton


Day 7: Braunton to Instow

Follow the Tarka Trail out of Braunton as you join the flat disused railway tracks leading you to Barnstaple; the biggest town on this trail. Your route continues through marshland and nature reserves rich with wildlife and into the village of Instow.


Walk: 12.5 m, 20 km


Overnight: Instow


Day 8: Instow to Westward Ho!

Say adieu to the Tarka Tail and meander through woods and grassland amongst an array of plants and birds that are inhabitants of the Burrows Country Park. At  day’s ends follow sandy beaches onto the famous landmark ridge at Westward Beach and take a final stroll along the beachfront to Westward Ho!   


Walk: 11 m, 18 km


Overnight: Westward Ho!


Accommodation

You will stay in a mixture of carefully chosen country inn’s, B&B’s and guest houses.


Solo Walkers & Single Rooms

The South West Coast Path is available and well suited to solo walkers as the route is popular and well marked. Single rooms are available but a single supplement is payable.


Meals

A hearty breakfast is included each morning. Lunch and dinner are not included so you are free to choose from the available options. Most of your accommodations will be more than happy to provide a packed lunch on request and this can be booked on arrival. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or nearby pubs and restaurants.


We regularly use the following properties but may accommodate you elsewhere if these are not available.



 

 

 



The Parks Guest House - Minehead



The Parks Guest House - Minehead

This Grade II listed Georgian property is located in a quiet area of Minehead. The rooms are serviced and freshened every day and all have en-suite bathrooms.


 

 

 


 

 

 



The Ship Inn - Porlock



The Ship Inn - Porlock

Surrounded on 3 sides by Exmoor and on the other side the sea, The Ship Inn is one of the oldest inns on Exmoor. It has 5 bedrooms and homemade food produced daily.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Bonnicott House - Lynmouth



Bonnicott House - Lynmouth

This charming hotel was a former rectory and all the sea-facing rooms enjoy magnificent views of where the village and river meet the Bristol Channel.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Mellstock House - Combe Martin

Mellstock House is an Edwardian 4* guest house and offers well-appointed comfortable rooms. Here you will receive superb hospitality.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Woolacombe Bay Hotel - Woolacombe

This timelessly elegant, yet friendly and relaxed hotel offers 60 uniquely inviting rooms, exquisite food and drink plus a gym, spa and swimming pool.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Silver Cottage B&B - Braunton

This family run B & B is a Grade II listed cottage with modern luxuries, set in a terraced garden and surrounded by woodland.There are just 2 bedrooms and you will be warmly welcomed.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Springfield House - Instow

This luxury B&B was built in 1879 and has idyllic surroundings and 2 large sumptuous rooms complete with an open fireplace and modern features, including free Wi-Fi.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Waterfront Inn - Westward Ho!

This hotel has a fantastic coastal location beside 2 miles of award-winning beaches and offers comfort and home from home hospitality. The 7 rooms are all light and airy.


 

 

 

Time of Year

Our favorite months are April, May and June when the spring flowers are out and September and October when the summer holiday makers have gone home.


Solo Walkers & Single Rooms

The South West Coast Path is available and well suited to solo walkers as the route is popular and well marked. Single rooms are available but a single supplement is payable.


Baggage Transfers

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 18kg per person.


Navigation, Grade & Fitness

This route is waymarked and much of it follows a well laid out path. We provide a comprehensive guide book and map so you should have no problem finding your way. As this is a self guided trip which is graded moderate. You will be responsible for navigation, decision making and safety during your trip. You must have a good level of walking fitness and be capable of negotiating terrain that has elevation gains and losses. If you do not have the right amount of fitness then you must engage in a fitness programme prior to the trip so that you can fully enjoy this walking tour.


General Information

The distances and ascent/ descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Getting to Minehead

By Air - Bristol Airport is the closest to the start of this tour and is served by Easyjet from UK Airports.


By Rail/Bus - Trains run from London Paddington to Taunton (2H). You can then take the bus to Minehead (1H) from here.


By Car - Minehead is a 3.5H hour drive from London. There are some long stay car parks here but can often be very busy in the summer months, so we advise that public transport is the best option.


Getting from Westward Ho!

By Air - Exeter Airport is the closest airport to Westward Ho! and is served by Flybe from UK Airports. The closest international airports are Bristol and London.


By Rail/Bus - You can reach London from Westward Ho! by taking a coach to Tiverton (2H) then catch a bus to Tiverton Railway station (30mins) before boarding a train to London Paddington (2H).


By Car - Driving to London from Westward Ho! takes approx. 4H30. However there is limited parking in Westward Ho! so we always recommend public transport.


To help plan your travel please visit the Traveline or National Rail websites.

Included

  • 8 Nights in B&B's, country inns and guest houses
  • 8 Breakfasts
  • Door to door baggage transfer
  • A detailed info pack, guidebook and map
  • Emergency telephone support from our office in the event of a problem.

Excluded

  • Lunches & dinners
  • Snacks & drinks
  • Travel Insurance
  • Transport should you need to skip a stage.
  • Travel to Minehead and from Westward Ho!

Extras

  • Additional nights before, during or after the walk
  • Single room supplements
  • Solo walker supplements
  • Accommodation upgrades

How fit do I need to be?

Although you are following the coast the ascents and descents are often steep and you will need strong knees and a good level of hill fitness. If you currently don’t enjoy that level of fitness, regular walking in hilly terrain supplemented by cardio vascular exercise for at least 3 months prior to your walk is recommended. A good gym or personal trainer will be able to draw up a personalised training programme.

Do I need to be able to navigate?

Yes, but it's not difficult. The path is well waymarked throughout and we supply a detailed map and guidebook so you shouldn't have any problem following the trail.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as the South West Coast Path is extremely popular over the summer months. Even if you are booking last minute we will always try and accommodate your plans, so please do give us a shout.

What personal equipment do I need?

You will need good walking boots (ideally waterproof), comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack and hats/gloves etc.

When is the best time of year?

April, May and June when the spring flowers are out are ideal months. September and October are quiet as all the summer holiday makers have gone home.

What meals are included?

A hearty breakfast is included each morning. Lunch and dinner are not included so you are free to choose from the available options. Most of your accommodations will be more than happy to provide a packed lunch on request and this can be booked on arrival. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or nearby pubs and restaurants.

How do the baggage transfers work?

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.

Am I able to take my dog?

Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers we use do not accept pets.

What happens if I can’t walk a stage?

You can use public transport, local taxis or our baggage van may be able to move you to the next overnight stop. Full details are included in your info pack.


REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
macs adventureSouth West Coast Path: Minehead to Westward Ho!
 
4.8

(based on 4 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Great accommodations (4)
  • Well organised (4)
  • Once in a lifetime experience (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

No Best Uses

Reviewed by 4 customers

Displaying reviews 1-4

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5.0

Wonderful walk

By Walking dutch couple

from Heemstede

About Me Avid Adventurer, passionate walker

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • beautiful villages
  • Great Accommodations
  • Once in a Lifetime Experience
  • unspoiled landscapes
  • Well Organised

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Holiday
    • tough walks

    Comments about macs adventure South West Coast Path: Minehead to Westward Ho!:

    This is a very beautiful walk. Perfect organized by Macs adventure! Do not underestimate it, there are many steep up and downs and distances are long.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Gorgeous coastal scenery, a must for those who enjoy hiking.

    By The Science Guy

    from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

    About Me Avid Adventurer, World Traveller

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Great Accommodations
    • Once in a Lifetime Experience
    • Well Organised

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about macs adventure South West Coast Path: Minehead to Westward Ho!:

        This was my 4th experience using Mac's Adventure for a self-guided long-distance hiking experience, and once again everything was well planned. All of my B & B or guest house accomodations booked by Mac's Adventure were excellent and the daily luggage transfers were done expertly. Based on the success of this experience on the SW Coast Path with Mac's Adventure, I will certainly use this company again for future adventures.

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        This is a wonderful product; I highly recommend it.

        By Joyce the Rock Collector

        from New Hampshire

        About Me World Traveller

        Pros

        • Fun
        • Great Accommodations
        • Well Organised

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Holiday
          • Relaxation
          • Trying Something New

          Comments about macs adventure South West Coast Path: Minehead to Westward Ho!:

          This was my third walking adventure with Mac's Adventure. Once again Mac's arranged everything beautifully. There was never any problem with baggage transfers. The accommodations came in all shapes and sizes, most importantly they were all comfortable and just what was needed at the end of a long walk. I must give a special tribute to the accommodation in Combe Martin. Mellstock House was lovely and comfortable in itself, but it was my host who made it special. I arrived late, having been caught on the moors in a driving rainstorm. My host had just called the Coast Guard to come look for me. I was sorry to have worried him, but so happy to know he was looking out for me. To top it off, I had a cold. My host had tea and biscuits ready for me in no time. Then, seeing the state I was in he offered to fix me dinner, a lovely homemade soup and bread - exactly what I wanted and needed. The next day he offered to drive me to the next stop on my journey if my cold was not any better. Not only did he drive me to the next stop, he made side trips to show me the major sights I would have seen if I had walked. My host went above and beyond to make sure I was okay. Kudos!

          (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          We would highly recommend this tour

          By Swiss Senior hikers

          from Appenzell/ Switzerland

          About Me Avid hiker

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Friendly Hosts
          • Fun
          • Great Accommodations
          • Lots Of New Experience
          • Once in a Lifetime Experience
          • There Was A Lot Of Pleasu
          • Well Organised

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Thrill Seeking
            • Trying Something New

            Comments about macs adventure South West Coast Path: Minehead to Westward Ho!:

            Perfect organization;lovely area;great B+Bs and endearing helpful hosts; great experience for non-marine residents;
            We encountered only one problem:Ossaborough House in Woolacombe is extremely remote, after a long hike we had to walk up the hill nearly an hour, mostly on a much travelled road ; this was definitely too much.You should necessarily recommend to ask for a lift by the host, or to take the bus or a taxi.

            Displaying reviews 1-4

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