10 things you might not know about the South West Coast Path
A true English treasure, the South West Coast Path is 630 miles of some of the finest and most iconic seascapes in Britain, with all the charm and heritage of rural England and cool coastal vibes.
Here are 10 fun facts about one of our favourite trails...
1. If you walk the entire 630-mile route from Minehead in Somerset, along the coasts of Devon and Cornwall to Poole Harbour in Dorset, that's the equivalent elevation change of walking up Everest 4 times!
A typically beautiful coastal view - Port Isaac Cove
2. Visitors come from a total of 175 countries. The top five are, the UK, Germany, USA, Netherlands and Australia.
3. You can spot diverse wildlife, including the fastest bird in the world the peregrine falcon, which in the last few decades has made a strong comeback. Susan our destination specialist spotted some rare Choughs on her last visit.
4. The majority of the accommodations that Macs Adventure uses along the route provide a Full English Breakfast…great fuel to send you on your day’s walking adventure.
Enjoy a hearty start to the day!
5. There are many geological treasures along the South West Coast Path. One such is the Jurassic Coast (which you can walk on this section of the SWCP), a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and which stretches for 95 miles. Here’s a video created by the South West Coast Path Organisation...
6. It costs £1000 a year for every mile of the path to maintain it! As government funding for the SWCP has reduced by 30% in the past 3 years, you can donate to the cause or become a member, which helps fund the maintenance of path. In 2016 an event called the South West Coast Path Challenge helped to raise vital funds. Keep an eye out for further challenges to join the community of walkers helping support the path.
7. If you enjoy walking festivals here is a list of some festivals on the SWCP scheduled throughout the year. You may want to co-ordinate your booking dates with one of them! Sidmouth is a particularly lovely town in south east Devon and their festival is in mid-September, so still time to sign up to coincide your walk with that one!
8. Did you know that there are many religious and spiritual sites along the route? There are multiple Bronze and Iron Age burial features known as barrows or tumuli. Coastal cliffs would have provided extremely dramatic setting for prehistoric burials and other rituals. Spot them as you walk. Here’s a video offering more information...
9. These beautiful areas along the route have inspired much creativity with generations of craftspeople, writers and musicians. Rosamunde Pilcher, Daphne du Maurier and Winston Graham, writer of the Poldark books to name but a few. The recent BBC TV series of Poldark was also shot in several locations along the Cornwall coast.
10. Since these coastlines have always been on the front line for warding off invaders since the Iron Age, there is evidence of this along the way including forts and castles dotting the route. Makes for interesting walking, don’t you think?
St Mawes Castle near Falmouth - on the Falmouth to Plymouth section of the path.
If any of this sparks your interest in walking the South West Coast Path, the longest of England's national trails (which we heartily recommend!), you could take on one of these manageable sections as a week long holiday, each with its own highlights, or plan to complete the full route in stages, or all at once if you're feeling ambitious! Browse the SWCP itineraries on our website, or contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org for any more information.