Discover South West Coast Path
Download our Free Guide to the South West Coast Path
Thinking of walking the South West Coast Path? There is so much information on this mammoth coastal hike that sometimes it is difficult to know where to start.
Luckily it is Macs Adventure to the rescue! Simply download our Free 14-page South West Coast Path guide from the link below to read on your phone, tablet or good old printed page.
Why Book your South West Coast Path with Macs Adventure?
Macs Adventure has been running self guided walking holidays on the South West Coast Path since 2008. From the moment we walked a section of the South West Coast Path we knew that it was a trip we had to get on board with. The wild, rugged scenery, history and towns just grabbed us and we set out to make a trip we could be proud of.
We now send over 500 walkers on the route every year, each of them finding their own adventure on clifftops of South West England. We wanted to provide the freedom to choose your route, itinerary and travel companions and to take the South West Coast Path at your own pace, whether this was the full route on a once in a lifetime trip, or just seeking out the best sections.
We know how daunting it can be, setting off on an adventure of this scale and we quickly realised how important it was to have amazing partners on the ground, so we sought to seek out the friendliest accommodation owners and most efficient baggage handlers to make this beautiful route a hassle-free and memorable holiday.
We offer a flexible, tailor-made South West Coast Path experience that books you into comfortable, friendly overnight accommodation in local B&Bs and guesthouses. We carry your bags to lighten your load so you can concentrate on simply putting one foot in front of the other and enjoying the unique trails, scenery and villages on the route. You can book with confidence that we have it all covered for you.
We want to showcase our expertise, by giving you all the resources you will ever need. In the planning stage, we have free guides, comprehensive videos and a host of staff who have walked the route, waiting to answer your questions. On the route, we use high-quality digital mapping as well as the best maps and guidebooks to make sure you find your way.
We love the South West Coast Path and our main aim is to make sure that you do too.
South West Coast Path FAQs
Q: When is the best time to walk the South West Coast Path?
A: Whilst it is possible to walk the path at any time from March through to October, Spring and Autumn are two of the favourite seasons. In spring, you should see plenty of wildflowers along the coast and the light is lovely. In autumn, it becomes a bit quieter and some of the more popular villages like St Ives and Padstow will be less bustling with day-trippers and other holiday makers.
Q: Which section should I walk?
A: Here at Macs Adventure, we have split the whole South West Coast Path into manageable chunks so that you can fit different sections into your different time-frames. The section that is for you would depend on what you want to see and do. While many offer the same outstanding scenery and coastal wonder, there are a few sections that differ depending on food preference, highlights or simply just the length of time it takes. For more in-depth information on this, you can read our blog - https://www.macsadventure.com/walking-holidays/south-west-coastal-path-walks-which-section-is-for-me/
Q: Will I need a map and compass?
A: In short, no. The SWCP is waymarked with clear signposts and marker posts. For the most part, these are easy to see and follow and you should have no problem finding your way.
Q: Can I walk the path in the opposite direction?
A: In theory, yes. However, most of the guidebook directions are written going in anti-clockwise direction and so that is the way most people walk it.
If you choose to walk it in the opposite direction, you may find yourself walking against the flow but it will still be fairly easy to navigate, given how well way-marked the route is.
Q: Will my accommodation be close to the route?
A: We endeavour to book accommodation as close as possible to the South West Coast Path as possible. Generally, you will only have to walk less than a mile from the route to get to your overnight accommodation. We provide comprehensive details to guide you to your accommodation is each night.
Q: What happens if I can't walk a stage?
A: You can use public transport or local taxis or our baggage handlers may be able to transfer you to your next overnight stop. Full details are included in your info pack.
Q: How fit do I need to be?
A: Although you are following the coast the ascents and descents are often steep and sometimes take people by surprise! 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.
Q: Is vertigo a problem on the South West Coast Path?
A: Given that you are following coastal paths which cling to the coast fairly closely and sometimes are high on cliff tops, some sections may feel slightly vertiginous. However, for the large part the paths are fairly wide and in very good condition so it should be possible as long as your vertigo is not very serious.
Top Tips for the South West Coast Path
Take a Break - There are simply too many delightful coastal towns and seaside villages along the South West Coast Path to not take advantage of a slightly longer stay! Book an extra night in Padstow, syonymous with TV chef Rick Stein and enjoy its wonderful seafood restaurants. Linger a bit longer in the bustling seaside town of St Ives with its gorgeous sandy beach and streets filled with craft shops and art galleries. Or treat yourself to a couple of days in Charlestown, filming location for TV series Poldark and famous for its collection of tall ships.
Try a Devon Cream Tea - After all that walking, you will need something to give you an energy boost and a delicious Devon Cream Tea is one way to do this! Consisting of home-made scones topped with clotted cream and jam and accompanied by a lovely cup of tea, this is one typically English treat which you are sure to become addicted to on your South West Coast Path walk. You will also pass through three other English counties apart from Devon, where you can sample yet more delightful regional produce - read more about the gastronomical delights of the South West Coast Path in our Eating and Drinking on the South West Coast Path blog.
Keep your eyes peeled! - The South West Coast Path is home to plentiful wildlife and as you walk along the coastal paths don't forget to keep your eye out for some of the finest examples of birdlife including the Chough, Peregrine Falcon and the Swift as well as seals bobbing in the sea below you.
Meet the locals. - Quite often the B&B owners and locals are the best people to speak to about ideas for alternative routes, places to see, lunch stops etc. This local knowledge can really help make your walk go as smoothly as possible.