South West Coast Path: Minehead to Westward Ho!
- 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.
ItineraryDay 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.
The Parks is a Grade II listed Georgian property located in a quiet area of Minehead on the lower slopes of North Hill. The town of Minehead is just a few minutes’ walk away offering shops, restaurants and amenities to fulfill all your needs. The rooms are serviced and freshened every day, and all have en-suite bathrooms. You will find soft fluffy towels and tea-making facilities, which include varied and generous options to suit all tastes and they provide a jug of fresh milk when requested.
In November 2013 the iconic Beach Hotel was purchased by YMCA Somerset Coast Group, who saw the old hotel as an opportunity to restore the heart of a community. Stay at The Beach Hotel for a luxury stay, contemporary cuisine, a wonderful location and, as a bonus, know that every penny you spend here goes back to good stuff.
Sunfield is a delightful family run private guest house, tucked away in a quiet corner of Minehead, only a few minutes level walking distance from the sea front and pleasure gardens, and the many local shops and other amenities.
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.
The Bottom Ship Inn is situated in the picturesque location of Porlock Weir, overlooking the Bristol Channel. The Inn is located right on the South West Coast Path, making it an ideal stop for walkers. There are three B&B rooms, which are all dog friendly, and come with en-suite bathrooms, tea and coffee facilities and a TV.
This charming B&B provide great hosts and comfortable accommodation. It is furnished with antiques, original works of art - and a wide selection of interesting literature. Newly remodelled, light/airy, all rooms en-suite, equipped with TV/radio, free Wi-Fi, complimentary tray, hair dryer, mini fridge, etc. Breakfast is served between 8am - 9am, using local fresh produce, with homemade bread /marmalades /jams.
Rose Bank Guest House is a high-quality B&B positioned on the high Street of the pretty Exmoor village of Porlock.
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.
A warm welcome awaits you at the Lyn Valley Guesthouse, all rooms are tastefully decorated featuring everything you need to make your stay comfortable. All rooms enjoy beautiful views over the river or out to sea, queen-size beds and spacious en-suite bathrooms with full size baths. There is also washing and drying facilities for those rainy days!
Lorna Doone House is situated close to the river in Lynmouth and is just a 5-minute stroll to the heart of the village and the harbour. We are open all the way through from February to end of November. At Lorna Doone House you will find friendly attentive service, tastefully decorated rooms, lots of little extras and excellent food and drink.
The North Cliff Hotel, standing in its own grounds, has some of the finest views of the North Devon coastline. It is in peaceful position some 500 feet above sea level on the well known marine North Walk overlooking Lynmouth Bay and the beautiful Watersmeet Valley. Each room is decorated in light tones, some with large or double aspect windows to make the most of the fresh sea air. An LCD TV and a kettle for tea and coffee are included. Meals are served in the bright dining rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over Lynmouth Bay. The town of Lynton is just 200 yards away, and has many shops, pubs and restaurants to enjoy. There is also a drying room on site for the wetter days!
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.
You can be assured of a warm and friendly welcome at Channel Vista. They have a licensed bar next to the dining room and in the Victorian conservatory which also has tea and coffee making facilities. There is also an outside seating area off the conservatory where you can relax in the evening.
Newberry Beach Lodge B & B is a pebble throw from the Award Winning Newberry and Combe Martin beaches and fronts directly on to the SouthWest Costal Path.
Our home is understood to have been built in late 1800's, Both the king rooms have large bay windows offering fantastic views across the bay, allowing you to lay in bed, watch the waves, whilst enjoying your morning cup of tea.
Blair Lodge is a licensed guest house on the South West Coast Path yards from the beach and Exmoor National Park. Their spacious, comfortable lounge is available at all times for you to play board games, watch television or simply to relax in front of the fire. Plenty of reading material is kept for guests to borrow and they have a well-stocked bar with a good range of soft drinks, beer, cider, wine and spirits.
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.
The Hotel has been lovingly restored from the mid 1800's, creating a unique and tranquil atmosphere, it has high ceilings, chandeliers and comfortable, quiet lounges. The hotel has an excellent restaurant, with lovely food and great service. You will find a large range of wines to complement the extensive menu.
A Boutique Hotel in Woolacombe, North Devon with one of the finest coastal locations in the whole of the West Country.
The Watersmeet Hotel is a luxury four-star hotel in Woolacombe with stunning sea views across the waters of Woolacombe Bay. The hotel overlooks Combesgate Beach and North Devon's rugged coastline with its own private steps down to the sandy beach.
Lundy House Hotel is set directly on the North Devon coastline, with views across to Lundy Island and placed midway between the quaint old village of Mortehoe and the seaside resort of Woolacombe in North Devon. The Lundy House Hotel is a small family run hotel where they aim to give guests a comfortable, relaxing and truly memorable holiday in idyllic surroundings.
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.
Matt and Sophie would like to welcome you to Silver Cottage, the family run B&B is a Grade II listed cottage with modern luxuries, set in a terraced garden and surrounded by woodland. The modern bedrooms have a luxury shower room and WC. Visiting guests have privacy; with your own front door with sitting room and dining room.
Set right in the heart of Braunton, you can now experience luxury pub accommodation just minutes from Barnstaple, Bideford, Ilfracombe and Exmoor National Park. The tastefully decorated bed and breakfast accommodation is ideal for those wishing to explore the North Devon coast or en route to and from Cornwall.
Nicky welcomes you to Stockwell Lodge B&B. The B&B hosts very comfortable rooms with all your facilities such as TV, tea/coffee making facilities and a hairdryer. Rooms are available from 15.30 and is only a few minutes’ walk from the centre of Braunton with its many restaurants, pubs and shops!
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.
Instow Barton is a beautiful farmhouse - the hotel opened in 2015 and has been lovingly refurbished by Caroline and Colin Hutchens, providing individually designed rooms with a contemporary feel. Their aim was to create a calm and relaxing environment for guests to enjoy.All the rooms have 3000 pocket sprung mattresses, sumptuous Egyptian cotton linen, duck down and feather duvets and pillows. Additional items in the rooms are free wifi, HD TV, tea and coffee making facilities with homemade shortbread biscuits to go with the Tregothnan tea.
Overlooking the Taw-Torridge Estuary, this upscale hotel is a 5-minute walk from the South West Coast Path. Bright and airy rooms provide TVs, and tea and coffeemaking equipment.
Built in 1879 as a gentleman’s residence, Springfield House offers luxurious B&B accommodation in idyllic surroundings, situated in the picturesque village of Instow, with its sandy beaches, good choice of pubs and restaurants and renowned delicatessen/village shop.
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!
The Waterfront Inn is sure to offer you a warm welcome and is a great place to relax after a day’s walking. The bar offers a wide selection of beer, wine and spirits to enjoy over the sunset of Lundy Island. Their menu is packed full of choice from snacks to traditional pub food, pastas, fish dishes, grills and burgers. Food is served to all areas including our comfortable restaurant area, the bar, the lobby, front and rear patios, the beer garden. All of their bedrooms offer en-suite bathrooms and are equipped with tea and coffee making facilities, freeview flat screen TV and free WiFi. Fluffy towels and toiletries are also provided for your added comfort.
Tors Top is a beautifully positioned and sensitively renovated former gate house at the top of The Kipling Tors. Richard and Lisa provide extremely comfortable beds, luxury bed linen toiletries and towels, a great bathroom and en-suite, a freshly cooked breakfast using local produce as much as possible along side the usual continental.
After breakfast, your walking holiday will come to an end. See the Travel Info section for some useful details for your onward travel.
Other InformationIs it for me?
Rich history, sandy beaches, hidden coves, great birdlife and quaint fishing villages. If these sound like the perfect ingredients for your walking holiday then this trip is for you!
Classic Routes | If you’re the active, outdoorsy type, who’s interested in taking on the great routes of the world or looking for a challenge, then our Classic Routes are for you. We’re talking the West Highland Way, Tour Du Mont Blanc and the Passau to Vienna Danube Cycle Path, to name but a few!
Inn to Inn Walking | Walk from place-to-place changing accommodations each night. Generally staying in B&B’s, inns, and guesthouses.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- Lunches & Dinners
- Snacks & Drinks
- Travel Insurance
- Transport should you need to skip a stage.
- Travel to Minehead and from Westward Ho!
- Additional nights before, during or after the walk.
- Accommodation upgrades.
Our favorite months are April, May and June when the spring flowers are out and September and October when the summer holidaymakers have gone home.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.
South West Coast Path, Adventure Your Way
Join us on a walk from St Ives to Penzance on the South West Coast Path. This remote and exhilarating walk along the clifftops visits the bustling towns, golden sands and secluded coves of Cornwall.
Walking the South West Coast Path
The South West Path stretches around the south-west peninsula of England, exposing dramatic coastal scenery as the walk unfolds. The route is split into several delightful sections as walking the entire route at once would be rather time-consuming. This video gives you an overview of the route and how best to tackle it.
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