Hiking the Jurassic Coast of Devon

South West Coastal Path

South West Coastal Path between Brixham and Coleton Fishacre, Devon – Photo by Anne Roberts

Today’s guest post has me ready to plan a hike along the South West Coastal Path of Devon, wouldn’t you agree??


There are many spectacular walks in the world, and one of Britain’s finest hiking trails has to be the South West Coastal Path that runs from Minehead in Somerset, through the whole of Devon and Cornwall and finishes in the county of Dorset at Poole Harbour.

The whole route is 630 miles, so few people actually do it all – there’s never enough time to do all of these things! However, it’s a great one to do chunks of, as and when you have the time to do so. The scenery along the path varies enormously – and you’ll have the constant backdrop of the rise and swell of the Atlantic Ocean. In some places you’ll be quite close to the water, whereas in other stretches you’ll be walking atop towering cliffs and the sea can feel quite a long way away.

The 95 mile section from Dorset through East Devon is known as the Jurassic Coast and attained natural World Heritage status as rocks here show us more than 185 million years of Earth’s history, through the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.

If you’re on a trip to the UK from overseas, the usual thing is to visit London and other major cities to see some of the culture and history first-hand. But it’s worth taking a few days out of your sightseeing schedule to see some of this amazing coastline.

The South West Coastal Path can be walked during any season, and each has its own appeal. The quiet of the winter months can be attractive, especially if you like having a trail to yourself, more or less. Summer is also great as you can always divert off the path for a dip in the sea, but you’ll have to share your walk with others.

Flowers on the South West Coastal Path

Flowers on the South West Coastal Path – Photo by Paul Foot

There’s never any problem in finding a place to stay. B & Bs and hotels are to be found in every village in the counties that the path cuts through. You will also find plenty of campsites. And you don’t always have to sleep under canvas on a campsite – many of the South Devon holiday parks have mobile homes and lodges for rent too, and you don’t need to book for the whole week, except in high summer.

Although it’s a coastal path, that’s not to say that there aren’t plenty of ascents to make along the way, so make sure your fitness and stamina is up to the section that you plan to cover. And also pack suitable gear and equipment, in case you get into any difficulty along the way. Wear base layers and a good waterproof layer, so that you can keep dry and regulate your temperature when necessary. Most importantly, make sure that you wear a pair of walking boots or trainers that you’ve already broken in so that you don’t get blisters on the first day!

Not many overseas visitors get to see much outside of London in the UK; those who do will have the richer experience!

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