SWCP Day 2 - Spectacular and remote coastal walk.
|Length||18.5km / 11.5 miles|
|OS Maps||Explorer 9 (Exmoor)|
|Toughness||8/10 - Good, waymarked paths with easy navigation but lots of ascent and descents - 1,072m of ascent|
This walk is day 2 of the South West Cost Path (SWCP), and a very pretty walk in its own right
Porlock Weir is a pub and small harbour. Inland is Porlock a touristy village with pubs, small shops and B&s;Bs
The route follows the coast past Culborne Hill to Foreland Point and its lighthouse. Here, there is a choice of a higher, gentler path, or a more rugged, strenuous path closer to the coast - the above ascent is for the strenuous path.
There are 2 alternate paths - the 'rugged option' is lower down, but this day is rugged enough already
After Foreland point, its a final climb to Countisbury (pub, bus) before the gentle descent to Lynmouth/Lynton (shops, pubs, year round bus). Alternately, you couls detour south (inland) to Watermeet (poor NT cafe), and then walk to Lynmouth along the river.
Travel: the coast bus service between Porlock and Lynmouth is April-October only.
On the route : Nothing along the route - the pub at Countisbury is only a mile or so before the end.
The South West Coast Path (SWCP) is the longest of the national paths and follows the coastline of Somerset, Devon, Cornwall, Devon again and finally Dorset. This section, along the Exmoor coast, is its traditional start, as is done anti-clockwise.
The walk may be done as one long walk, staying overnight along the way, or as a series of day walks, returning by bus to your car or accommodation.
By car, you'd be better in a B&B, renting a cottage, or staying in one of the caravan parks near Combe Martin, and doing day trips by car (returning to it by bus), then you don't have to worry about carrying your kit, provisions, booking accommodation, etc. With 2 cars you can shuttle, and have far more freedom over how far you walk each day.
Minehead is a large seaside resort town with shops accomodation, but only heritage rail, not national rail.
Porlock is a small touristy village with several pubs, restaurants and B&s;Bs a few km inland. Porlock Weir on the coast has a hotal and a good pub.
Lynmouth (seafront) and Lynton (above it at the top of the hill) are a large very touristy village with lots of accomodation. Year round bus service inalnd, but summer only bus service along the coast
Coombe Martin is a small seaside village a few km from a much larger one - Illfracombe
The SWCP National Trail website has more details on each day's route. The SWCP Association has an annual handbook with updated accommodation guide.
Exmoor is a small National Park (NP) on the north coast of Somerset and Devon. It has a dramtic rocky coastline with the highest sea cliffs and largest coastal forest in England. Inland are steep sides valleys which lead up to bleak moorland plateau ("The Chains") and the NP's highest point - Dunkery Beacon at 519m / 1703 feet. The southern side of the plateau, bisected by steep valleys slopes much more gently, as is used for sheep farming. Formerley a royal forest, the NP has few towns, but 2 large seaside resorts outside it - Minehead and Barnstable. See Exmoor's wiki page
There are no train stations nearby. To get here, take 1) a National Express Coach to Minehead or 2) a train to Taunton, and then a bus to Minehead.
Regular buses run along the coast on the SWCP day 1 route to Porlock, then a summer only services along the SWCP day 2 route to Lynton. The coastal road heads inland, and doesn't rejoin the coast until the end of SWCP day 3 route - a summer weekend only bus service. NB the #300 bus along the coast runs in 2 sections: i) Minehead to Lynmouth, and ii) Lynmouth to Illfracombe
After the walk, we would love to get your feedback
|Map Walk||This walk requires an OS map and a compass or GPS for navigation. You can print out OS maps using the link above.|
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
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The directions for this walk are also in a PDF (link above) which you can download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone. OpenStreetMap (not OS) mapping is used in the PDF for licence reasons.
You could detour inland to Watermseet, and walk along the river to Lynmouth