Day 1: Arrive Plymouth
Arrive in Plymouth. Time permitting why not enjoy some of the many attractions Plymouth has to offer. Take a walk along the Waterfront Walkway which forms part of the South West Coast Path. Explore the Barbican area of Plymouth, with its many shops, cafes and art galleries, and visit the Mayflower Steps at Pilgrims point.
Day 2: Plymouth to Noss Mayo
Take the ferry across the Cattewater from the pontoon at the Barbican to Mount Batten Point. Begin to experience the peacefulness and isolation that this section of the path offers. After passing Wembury Point the path is easy to follow along low cliffs to Wembury Beach and onwards to Warren Point. From here you will cross the Yealm by ferry (seasonal) to the tiny settlement of Noss Mayo, your stop for the night.
Alternative routes — There is an alternative walking route around the Cattewater which is the official route of the SWCP. This is described in the guidebook.
Another alternative walking route round the Yealm estuary is described in the guidebook. This is an additional distance of 9 miles/14.5km. Public transport options are also available.
Walk: 7.5 miles/12 km
Overnight: Noss Mayo
Day 3: Noss Mayo to Bigbury-on-Sea
Leave the charming village of Noss Mayo and make your way along higher and more challenging coastal cliffs, perhaps getting a glimpse of dolphins, occasional whales or seals from the lookout above Warren Beach. When you reach the River Erme you will either need to wade across within an hour either side of low tide, or take the alternative inland walk or taxi transfer around the valley. After some steep climbing to the high viewpoints near Westcombe Beach you will descend past Ayrmer Cove to Bigbury-on-Sea, with stunning views across to Burgh Island.
Alternative route — The alternative walking route round the Erme estuary is described in the guidebook. This is an additional distance of 8 miles/14km.
Walk: 14.5 miles/23 km
Day 4: Bigbury-on-Sea to Salcombe
Cross the River Avon by ferry (seasonal) to Bantham this morning. Passing through part of the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a fairly easy takes you past Thurlestone to the picturesque coastal sanctuary of Hope Cove. The section through to Bolt Tail and Bolt Head, and on to Salcombe is thought to be one of the most scenic on the entire South West Coast Path offering spectacular views back along the Devon Coast.
Alternative route — The alternative walking route around the Avon Estuary is well way marked. This is an additional distance of 9 miles/14.5km.
Walk: 13.5 miles/22 km
Day 5: Salcombe to Torcross
A challenging but rewarding day is in store for you today, through one of the most undeveloped and wild sections of the path. Leaving Salcombe you will take the ferry to East Portlemouth. From here pass Pig’s Nose, Ham Stone and Gammon Point enroute to Prawle Point, meaning “lookout hill”, and enjoy the views from the most southerly point in Devon. Heading on towards Start Point and its Lighthouse, the path then levels out towards the waterside village of Torcross, your stop for the evening.
Walk: 12.5 miles/ 20 km
Day 6: Torcross to Dartmouth
Leaving Torcross enjoy a walk along the shingle of a long flat beach passing Slapton Ley, Devon’s largest natural freshwater lake. Heading inland ascend through pastures and sheltered woodlands, before descending down to isolated coves. Passing through the village of Stoke Fleming, you will then reach the popular boating town of Dartmouth, with its castle, cobbled streets, unusual shops and restaurants.
Walk: 10 miles/16 km
Day 7: Dartmouth to Brixham
Take your final river crossing as you board the ferry across the River Dart to Kingswear. Climb through wooded slopes covered in Monterey Pines to Froward Point where you can see the remains of WWII defences. Moving on to Pudcombe Cove you will be rewarded with yet more views of the cliffs dropping down to the white-capped seas below. Passing Kingswear Castle and on to Sharkham Point you will encounter one of the most challenging sections of the South Devon path.
Reaching the limestone Peninsula of Berry Head you will follow high cliff paths past the lighthouse, before descending into the busy fishing port of Brixham. Wander Brixham’s winding streets and arcades before celebrating the end of your walk with a meal of freshly caught seafood in a quayside restaurant.
Walk: 11 miles/ 18 km
Day 8: Departure and Onward Travel
You will stay in hand picked B&B’s, guesthouses and small hotels, normally either 3 or 4 star. We always book rooms with ensuite bathrooms, wherever possible. We always try and book your accommodation as close as possible to the line of the trail. Occasionally a short transfer may be required and this is included in the price of your holiday.
During peak summer months and due to minimum 2-night restrictions there is a possibility, in order to confirm your booking, that we may have to use accommodations that are not close to the trail. If this is the case, we will need to charge extra for these transfer costs.
If you require single rooms we would be happy to accommodate you, subject to availability. There is however, a single room supplement payable.
Solo walkers are welcome, but there is a solo walker supplement to cover the additional cost of luggage transfer.
Additional Nights and Extensions
If you have time and would like to break up your walk, we recommend adding an extra night in Salcombe or Dartmouth. Both offer inland walks, visitor attractions, and excellent amenities with shops, restaurants and cafes to allow you to relax for a couple of days. Additional nights can also be added in at any point of the walk.
Here's some examples of accommodations we use:
Sea Breezes - Plymouth
This luxury guest house in Plymouth has 6 tastefully furnished rooms with good quality beds, beautiful bed linen and fluffy towels.
Worswell Barton B&B - Noss Mayo
Worswell has been farmed by the Rogers family for over 60 years; this B&B on a farm is in a peaceful location. Sit on the patio, and enjoy the views and sounds of our quiet countryside.
Summer Winds - Bigbury-on-Sea
Summer Winds offers en-suite accommodation situated on the South West Coast Path and is in a stunning location with stunning views of Burgh Island and the sea.
Waverley - Salcombe
This quality B&B has 6 rooms and is located in the centre of Salcombe. The rooms are all bright, airy and tastefully decorated.
Seabreeze B&B - Torcross
The views from the Seabreeze B&B are always something new to behold. As it is east-facing sunrise and moonrise are particularly spectacular.
Appletree Court House - Dartmouth
Appletree Court House is a delightful, spacious and unique bed and breakfast with stunning views of Dartmouth and the beautiful river Dart.
Woodlands Guesthouse - Brixham
Woodlands offers award winning accommodation and a breakfast made with quality, local ingredients to suit everyone. There are 6 rooms in total with two overlooking the harbour.
Best Time of Year
This trip is available from March to September, however we would suggest the best time to travel would be between Easter and late September, with warmer days and longer evenings.
Single Rooms & Solo Walkers
If you require single rooms we would be happy to accommodate you, subject to availability. There is however, a single room supplement payable. Solo walkers are also welcome, but there is a solo walker supplement to cover the additional cost of luggage transfer.
Grade & Terrain
This holiday is graded as moderate to strenuous. Although you follow the coast quite closely it does include some long days with very steep ascents and descents climbing up and down from the cliff top paths, and an optional tidal crossing.
The majority of the path is well waymarked but you should have experience with map reading and navigation. Good planning is also important as there are several ferry crossings and a tidal estuary crossing. We supply detailed maps and guidebooks so you shouldn’t have any problem finding your way.
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.
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 Plymouth
By Air - Bristol is the closest airport and is served by Flybe and Easyjet from UK Airports. The closest international airport is London. From the airport you can take a train into the centre (Temple Meads Station) and then board a train to Plymouth (journey takes approximately 3H)
By Rail/Bus - You can reach Plymouth by train from London Paddington. (approx 3H30).
By Car - There is parking in Plymouth but it can be very busy. For this reason we recommend getting public transport if possible.
Getting from Brixham
By Air - The closest international airports are Bristol or London.
By Rail/Bus - Catch a bus from Brixham to Paignton (approx 4 miles) and trains then run from there to London (approx 3.5 hours) and Bristol.
By Car - There is parking in Brixham but it can be very busy. For this reason we recommend getting public transport if possible.
For information on trains and bus schedules consult the Traveline website. The Trainline website also has invaluable information.
- 7 Nights B&B, guesthouse and small hotel accommodation
- 7 Breakfasts
- Door to door baggage transfer
- A detailed information pack, guide books and map
- Emergency telephone support from our office
- Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks
- Travel Insurance
- Transport should you need to skip a stage
- Additional nights before, during or after the walk
- Single room supplements
- Solo walker supplements
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 really easy. 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 Devon 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.
Are there upgrade options available?
We use a variety of B&B’s, guest houses, small hotels and Inns on our trips. In the larger towns, there are hotel options available. Please note that these can be at a slightly higher upgrade cost, but they are not similar to our ‘In Style’ accommodation options
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. We will send you a full equipment list as part of your info pack.
When is the best time of year?
Favourites are April, May and June when the spring flowers are out and September and October when the summer holiday makers have gone home.
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.