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Southwest Coast Path- 4 days. Please help! :)

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London, United...
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Southwest Coast Path- 4 days. Please help! :)

Hi there,

Me and my partner are looking at walking part of the Southwest Coast Path over the Easter break (i.e. 4 days). We're both kiwis in our mid twenties and are pretty fit. We'll be coming down from London, so are looking at arriving in Weymouth and leaving at Exeter (by train). We've thought of two itineraries; one easy, one hard.

Looking at the distances I think the 'easy' option is probably best, but I'd appreciate your thoughts. Also accommodation advice would be great along with info about maps required! Thanks a lot :)


Friday- Isle of Portland Circuit (21 kms), Stay in Weymouth

Saturday- Weymouth to Abbotsbury. Abbotsbury to Seaton (37kms). Stay in Seatown.

Sunday- Seatown to Seaton. Seaton to Sidmouth (39kms). Stay in Sidmouth.

Monday- Sidmouth to Exmouth (20km). Train or bus to Exeter and then train to London.


Friday- Weymouth to Abbotsbury (17kms). Stay in Abbotsbury.

Saturday- Abbotsbury to Seatown (20 kms). Stay in Seatown.

Sunday- Seatown to Seaton(23kms). Stay in Seaton.

Monday- Seaton to Sidmouth (16kms). Train to Exeter and on to London.

Exeter, UK
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1. Re: Southwest Coast Path- 4 days. Please help! :)

personally I would give both Weymouth and Seaton a wide berth in terms of staying. Abbotsbury or Burton Bradstock for first stop MUCH better and nicer places, for second stop I would do either Beer (check out Anchor Inn) or Branscombe (check out Masons Arms or Great Seaside B&B).

And for Exmouth you may wish to pick Topsham (various options, i.e. Globe Hotel) or Lympstone.

They are all picture postcard villages, vs. the faded seaside 'charm' of Weymouth and Seaton. Exmouth is okay, but Topsham and Lympstone so much more gorgeous (and on trainline to Exeter).

Enjoy! (but book accomm. in advance - if you aren't already too late for some)

Manchester, UK
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2. Re: Southwest Coast Path- 4 days. Please help! :)

Unless you particularly want to walk a continuous section of the coast path, a different option would be to 'cherry pick' some of the best bits, using the bus service which runs along the roads parallel to the coast. For instance, Weymouth to Abbotsbury is a long slog with sea views partly interrupted by Chesil Beach (which is a very interesting coastal feature in its own right, but makes for very tiring walking). I think the most scenic stretches between Weymouth and Exmouth (and I've walked all of this stretch, some of it several times) are:

West Bay to Charmouth - some really steep climbs along this section, especially either side of Seatown, but glorious views around the sweep of Lyme Bay, especially from the top of Golden Cap, the highest point on the south coast of England, and great crab sandwiches at the Anchor Inn at Seatown.

Beer to Sidmouth - completely contrasting places at each end, with more great cliff walking in between, and a fine pub at Branscombe to break up the walk (Masons Arms). Sidmouth is one of the country's best preserved Victorian seaside resorts, and has managed to avoid the worst effects of the downturn in the fortunes of so many coastal towns. Beer is a charming fishing village, with a good choice of pubs, cafes, etc.

Sidmouth to Budleigh Salterton - again, plenty of 'ups and downs' along this section.

I'd think twice about doing the section immediately west of Lyme Regis, known as the Undercliff, which is where a massive chunk of the coastline dropped into the sea many years ago. The going is particularly hard here, with restricted views.

It's a pity you're not going to get to the section east of Weymouth, as far as Lulworth Cove, as this is largely on chalk cliffs, and provides a real contrast to the sections to the west. There are also some dramatic coastal features close to Lulworth itself (Durdle Door, Stair Hole); some of the most photographed places along the Dorset coast.

Manchester, UK
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3. Re: Southwest Coast Path- 4 days. Please help! :)

P.S. Forgot about the maps! Rather than buying a potentially unwieldy Ordnance Survey map (or possibly several at a larger scale), you might be better advised to get hold of a guide to the South-West coast path, which contains the relevant O.S. map extracts anyway, together with information on each section of the route (distances, features to look out for, etc.) As you're based in London, Stanfords on Long Acre is the obvious place to have a browse.

London, United...
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4. Re: Southwest Coast Path- 4 days. Please help! :)

Please don't stay in Seaton. I love the area but I honestly think it's best if you walk another 2 miles along the coast to Beer. Beer is hgreat, if you feel like it you can walk to Branscombe and stay there.

Oh, Sidmouth doesn't have a train station so you can't catch the train to Exeter. You can catch the X53 bus though.

I'll reply in more depth later but I'm off to bed now!

Penzance, United...
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5. Re: Southwest Coast Path- 4 days. Please help! :)

I would reiterate the advice to book in advance if you haven't already done so. To read about the places along this stretch of coast see here: http://postcards-pfte.blogspot.com/

Helston, Cornwall
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6. Re: Southwest Coast Path- 4 days. Please help! :)

The best maps for the South West Coast Path are Harvey Maps. Have a look on www.luggagetransfers.co.uk which have an accommodation listing for the entire path.


Somerset UK
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7. Re: Southwest Coast Path- 4 days. Please help! :)

Have a look at the different editions of the SW Coast path published by National Trail Guides - they do one called Exmouth to Poole which should be just what you need.

Okehampton, United...
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8. Re: Southwest Coast Path- 4 days. Please help! :)

I don't do much walking (as I passed my driving test just so I didnt have to! lol) but not sure if this will be of any use as North Cornwall but have you thought of the area around Tintagel. The walk from Boscastle to Padstow is fantastic. I used to live in Trebarwith and always walked to tintagel along the coast path to do the shopping and you can combine your walk with Boscastle such as the witches museum, walking to the church, then on to St Nectans Glen and waterfall, and old Lighthouse, then on to Tintagel have a nice dring in the Camelot Hotel, follow the coast path to Tintagel castle, then over to Tintagel Church (the graveyard has some good shipwreck graves) Follow coast path down into Trebarwith Strand, try you hand at surfing with the surf school down there, then up to Mystic Valley (it's just a valley!!) Past Delabole, towards padstow.. prob too much to do in 1 day but if you have hired a car just the boscastle to Trebarwith is a really nice day out with so much to see and do if you like walking.

Hope that helps.


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9. Re: Southwest Coast Path- 4 days. Please help! :)

I hope I'm not too late as Easter is nearly here but I wanted to comment on your easy/hard routes.

Route 1 is not just Hard I would say it's virtually impossible. I'm a fairly seasoned walker managing about 5kph but not on the coast path. It's very up and down, which is part of the beauty of it and the terrain is not always idea. I have the SWCPA guide and have covered around half of the path in the past few months and I've enjoyed every mile of it, it's incredibly varied and interesting.

I've been known to rush a bit when walking but it's never really worth it I usually check myself, relax, slow down, take in the scenery and enjoy it.

Enjoy your stay

Swindon, United...
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10. Re: Southwest Coast Path- 4 days. Please help! :)

I am planning a walk from Weymouth to Exmouth. Chose these locations for the train stations. There are a few of us doing in over 3 days and we will be wild camping.

Day 1 Leaving Weymouth about noon to West Bexington 18 miles.

Day 2 Branscombe 26 miles.

Day 3 Exmouth 19 miles.

Reckon this should be quite a challenge considerering the kit we will be carrying. Anyone got any advice? We are all fairly fit chaps and up for the task.