Best Exmoor SWCP/South West Coast Path Walking, Lynmouth, Exmoor National Park

Best Exmoor SWCP/South West Coast Path Walking, Lynmouth, Exmoor National Park

The South West Coast Path is a 630 miles long distance trail following the coast from Minehead in Somerset to Poole in Dorset. In Exmoor National Park, the coastal path runs along the highest cliffs in mainland Britain. It's a magnificent walk that can be completed in one go from Minehead to Combe Martin or in smaller chunks to which you can return every year to complete the trail.


Sections of the South West Coast Path in Exmoor National Park:


Minehead to Porlock Weir

Characteristics of this section. Huge whaleback hill that drops down to a beautiful, sweeping bay. Superb coastal and moorland views.

Highlights of this section. Statue at beginning/end South West Coast Path in Minehead. Views from Bossington Hill across Porlock Bay. Beautiful Porlock Weir.

Distance and terrain. About 9 miles. A long slog to begin as you climb towards Selworthy Beacon. Easy walking down to and around Porlock Bay.


Porlock Weir to Lynmouth

Characteristics of this section. Long stretch of coastal woodland walking and then immense views from exposed point.

Highlights of this section. Beautiful Porlock Weir. Porlock Bay views. Tiny Culbone Church. Foreland Point (Devon's most northerly point). Views over to Lynmouth and Lynton.

Distance and terrain. 12 miles. Terrain exposed at Foreland Point.


Lynmouth to Heddon's Mouth

Characteristics of this section. Remarkable, rocky coastline. Gorgeous beaches. Some of the most impressive high cliffs in the UK. Deep valleys.

Highlights of this section. The Valley of Rocks. Beach at Lee Bay. Coastal path Great Burland Rocks to Heddon's Mouth. The Hunters Inn.

Distance and terrain. 6 miles. Very exposed coastal walking, especially around Great Burland Rocks to Heddon's Mouth.


Heddon's Mouth to Combe Martin

Characteristics of this section. Continuation of extraordinary high cliffs. Sweeping coastline. Deep valley. High coastal hills with big views.

Highlights of this section. The Hunters Inn. The climb through Heddon's Mouth Cleave. The coastal path west of Heddon's Mouth. The views from the cairn at Great Hangman. Long descent to Combe Martin. Beaches.

Distance and terrain. 7 miles. Demanding coastal walking.


Other long distance trails within Exmoor National Park

Coleridge Way. Runs between Lynmouth Pavilion National Park Centre in Exmoor National Park and the National Trust's Coleridge Cottage in Nether Stowey on the edge of the Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Around 50 miles of walking.

Two Moors Way. A Westcountry classic. Over a 100 miles of long distance walking path running from the Exmoor coast at Lynmouth to the south border of Dartmoor at Ivybridge. Note that from Ivybridge, the Two Moors Way connects with the Erme-Plym Trail to take you to the South Devon coast. The combined Two Moors Way and Erme-Plym Trail are known as Devon's Coast to Coast. The Two Moors Way is approximately 103 miles. The Erme-Plym Trail is approximately 16 miles. Devon's Coast to Coast is approximately 119 miles.

Exe Valley Way. Follows the Exe Valley/River Exe from Exford in Exmoor National Park down to Starcross on the Exe Estuary across the water from Exmouth. The Exe Valley Way is over 50 miles long. Note that there's an extra section of path that takes you to Exe Head on remote high moorland. This extra section is about 12 miles long.

Macmillan Way West. Over a 100 miles of long distance walking path between Barnstaple in North Devon and Castle Cary in Somerset.

Tarka Trail. Huge figure of eight multi-use trail connecting Exmoor and North Devon with Dartmoor.