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South West Coastal Path - SWCP

17 watchers
19 May
12:37pm, 19 May 2020
33443 posts
  • 0
♪♫ Synge ♪♫
I have just entered a virtual run on the SWCP and, as I am also walking the Path over several years, it seemed to be an ideal moment to set up a new thread for all things SWCP. I'll try and put some details of various reference sources in the sidebar.
19 May
12:42pm, 19 May 2020
33444 posts
  • 0
♪♫ Synge ♪♫
The virtual event is organised by Brian Lewis, well known in South Devon running circles, through windingpaths.uk

It involves running 636 miles in seven months, uploading your "real" run distances to a virtual race which will plot your route and position day by day.
19 May
12:58pm, 19 May 2020
48824 posts
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This is so me. Watches.
19 May
1:06pm, 19 May 2020
20484 posts
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Blimey! I love running on the SWCP around Polzeath, and walking the thing is somewhere on my bucket list. But, running all of it? No thanks, it's far too uppy and downy. :-)
19 May
1:10pm, 19 May 2020
48827 posts
  • 0
I love everything about this except that there is an entry fee. I can do my own virtual trip

(I appreciate the guy is just trying to continue to earn his living, and I hope plenty of those that can afford it sign up).
19 May
3:07pm, 19 May 2020
26788 posts
  • 0
Wriggling Snake
I am having a go.....
21 May
7:01pm, 21 May 2020
2447 posts
  • 0
Have been running & walking SWCP 'a week at a time' for a few years.
In comfort, ie cottage/house rental, prepared to sit out the bad days, and with a bath and good food/beer/wine and a real bed each night.

Downside is that often the days are there and back, not many places (Lands End excluded) with a good bus service.

But the progress never looks wonderful on the graphic ...

21 May
9:21pm, 21 May 2020
33550 posts
  • 0
♪♫ Synge ♪♫
We found the western part of Dorset brilliant for buses. There's a service that goes from Lyme Regis to (I think!) Bridport all alongside the coast. Each day we were able to park at our destination and get a bus back to our start point and be walking by about 10am.

North Somerset isn't going to be so easy. Even the first three days from Minehead to Combe Martin look impossible without either taxi or two cars.
21 May
9:22pm, 21 May 2020
33551 posts
  • 0
♪♫ Synge ♪♫
... And yes, a few gaps to plan there, um!
21 May
9:52pm, 21 May 2020
16115 posts
  • 0
I wish I'd got a record of the bits I've walked over the years.

I need to be assertive and tell husband that I have a walk to do ...

About This Thread

Maintained by ♪♫ Synge ♪♫
For walkers, runners and even virtual runners on the SWCP. Bring your questions, answers and experiences to share here!

The best place to start looking for information or for planning anything from a day trip to covering the full distance is the South West Coast Path Association, who maintain a very good website.

Virtual SWCP 2020
Some of us are taking part in a virtual event organised by windingpaths.uk in which the challenge is to log 636 miles of running and/or walking between 1 June and 31 December 2020 to complete the distance of the whole Path.

Participants in the 2020 SWCP virtual event:
Me (Synge)
Wriggling Snake
Derby Tup
Stef (Mrs DT)
Alice the Camel
Fragile Do Not Bend
Vancouver Jogger

Link to shared google maps, courtesy of Rosehip, for Fetch participants to pin their location to the map for sharing/tracking purposes:

This thread isn't exclusively for the one event though, so whether or not you are taking part, do feel free to join us on this clifftop bench overlooking the sea and share your love of the SWCP!

Guide books:
OS National Trail Guides (4 volumes: Minehead to Padstow; Padstow to Falmouth; Falmouth to Exmouth; Exmouth to Poole). Includes OS 1:25,000 maps.

Trailblazer Guides (3 volumes: North Devon; Cornwall; Dorset & South Devon). Includes detailed hand-drawn mapping.

Cicerone: The South West Coast Path (single volume).

Distances from Minehead:
This data is taken from the SWCP Association website, which reckons a total distance of 629.6 miles, With special thanks to um for working out where to find this comprehensive set of figures.

Town Distance from Minehead
Bossington 6.0 miles [9.7km]
Porlock Weir 8.9 miles [14.3km]
Culbone 10.6 miles [17.1km]
Lynmouth Harbour 20.9 miles [33.7km]
Lynton 21.4 miles [34.4km]
Combe Martin 34.7 miles [55.8km]
Ilfracombe 40.0 miles [64.4km]
Morte Point 46.7 miles [75.1km]
Woolacombe 48.5 miles [78.1km]
Baggy Point 52.8 miles [84.9km]
Saunton 57.2 miles [92.0km]
Braunton 63.5 miles [102.2km]
Barnstaple (Long Bridge) 68.9 miles [110.9km]
Instow (for Ferry to Appledore) 76.3 miles [122.8km]
Bideford 79.0 miles [127.2km]
Appledore 82.5 miles [132.8km]
Westward Ho! 87.3 miles [140.5km]
Buck's Mills 94.1 miles [151.4km]
Clovelly 98.4 miles [158.4km]
Hartland Point 105.8 miles [170.3km]
Hartland Quay 108.7 miles [174.9km]
Devon / Cornwall Border 114.4 miles [184.1km]
Bude (canal lock) 123.9 miles [199.4km]
Widemouth Bay 126.9 miles [204.2km]
Crackington Haven 133.7 miles [215.2km]
Boscastle 140.4 miles [226.0km]
Rocky Valley 143.2 miles [230.4km]
Tintagel 145.2 miles [233.6km]
Trebarwith Strand 147.3 miles [237.1km]
Portgaverne 153.5 miles [247.0km]
Port Isaac 154.2 miles [248.2km]
Portquin 157.4 miles [253.3km]
Pentire Point 161.4 miles [259.7km]
Polzeath 163.1 miles [262.5km]
Padstow (Ferry) 166.0 miles [267.1km]
Rock (Ferry) 166.0 miles [267.1km]
Trevose Head 175.3 miles [282.1km]
Treyarnon Bay (YHA) 177.3 miles [285.4km]
Porthcothan 179.5 miles [288.9km]
Mawgan Porth 184.0 miles [296.1km]
Watergate Bay 186.3 miles [299.8km]
Newquay (station) 189.8 miles [305.4km]
Crantock (via Tidal bridge) 193.9 miles [312.0km]
Porth Joke 195.7 miles [315.0km]
Holywell 197.8 miles [318.4km]
Perranporth 202.3 miles [325.6km]
Trevaunance Cove (for St Agnes) 206.2 miles [331.9km]
St Agnes Head 207.8 miles [334.5km]
Chapel Porth 209.5 miles [337.1km]
Porthtowan 210.6 miles [339.0km]
Portreath 214.7 miles [345.5km]
Godrevy Point 220.8 miles [355.4km]
Gwithian 222.3 miles [357.7km]
Hayle 226.4 miles [364.4km]
Lelant 228.7 miles [368.0km]
St Ives 232.5 miles [374.2km]
Zennor Head 239.0 miles [384.6km]
Gurnard's Head 241.0 miles [387.9km]
Bosigran Cliff 243.1 miles [391.2km]
Pendeen Watch 246.2 miles [396.2km]
Cape Cornwall 250.2 miles [402.6km]
Cot Valley (for Lands End YHA) 251.2 miles [404.2km]
Sennen Cove 255.3 miles [410.9km]
Land's End 256.6 miles [412.9km]
Porthgwarra 260.4 miles [419.0km]
Porthcurno 261.6 miles [421.0km]
Penberth 262.8 miles [423.0km]
Lamorna 267.0 miles [429.7km]
Mousehole 269.4 miles [433.6km]
Newlyn 271.1 miles [436.3km]
Penzance (station) 273.1 miles [439.5km]
Marazion 276.2 miles [444.5km]
Perranuthnoe 278.6 miles [448.3km]
Praa Sands 282.5 miles [454.7km]
Porthleven 287.0 miles [461.9km]
Church Cove, Gunwalloe 291.5 miles [469.1km]
Polurrian Cove (for Mullion) 293.3 miles [472.1km]
Mullion Cove 294.2 miles [473.4km]
Kynance Cove 298.9 miles [481.0km]
Lizard Point (for YHA) 301.1 miles [484.5km]
Church Cove, the Lizard 302.9 miles [487.5km]
Cadgwith 304.5 miles [490.1km]
Coverack (for YHA) 311.4 miles [501.2km]
Rosenithon 314.6 miles [506.3km]
Porthoustock 315.1 miles [507.1km]
Porthallow 316.3 miles [509.1km]
Gillan Creek 319.1 miles [513.6km]
St Anthony-in-Meneage 321.3 miles [517.1km]
Helford 324.0 miles [521.4km]
Helford Point (ferry) 324.3 miles [521.9km]
Helford Passage (ferry) 324.3 miles [521.9km]
Rosemullion Head 327.2 miles [526.5km]
Maenporth 328.8 miles [529.1km]
Swanpool Beach (Falmouth) 330.5 miles [531.9km]
Pendennis Point 332.4 miles [534.9km]
Place (ferry) 334.2 miles [537.9km]
Falmouth (ferry) 334.2 miles [537.9km]
St Anthony Head 336.3 miles [541.2km]
Portscatho 340.4 miles [547.9km]
Nare Head 345.2 miles [555.6km]
Portloe 347.8 miles [559.8km]
PorthluneyCove 351.4 miles [565.6km]
Dodman Point 354.2 miles [570.1km]
Gorran Haven 356.7 miles [574.0km]
Mevagissey 360.0 miles [579.4km]
Pentewan 362.3 miles [583.1km]
Charlestown 367.3 miles [591.1km]
Par 370.7 miles [596.6km]
Polkerris 372.8 miles [600.0km]
Gribbin Head 374.9 miles [603.3km]
Polruan (ferry) 377.5 miles [607.5km]
Fowey (ferry) 377.5 miles [607.5km]
Polperro 384.6 miles [618.9km]
Talland 385.9 miles [621.1km]
Looe 389.5 miles [626.9km]
Millendreath 390.8 miles [629.0km]
Seaton (Cornwall) 393.4 miles [633.1km]
Downderry 394.4 miles [634.8km]
Portwrinkle 397.2 miles [639.3km]
Freathy 400.8 miles [645.1km]
Rame Head 404.3 miles [650.6km]
Kingsand / Cawsand 407.1 miles [655.1km]
Cremyll (ferry) 410.5 miles [660.6km]
Plymouth (Stonehouse) 410.5 miles [660.6km]
Plymouth - Barbican (ferry) 413.1 miles [664.9km]
Plymouth - Mountbatten (ferry) 418.1 miles [672.8km]
Plymouth - Jennycliff 419.1 miles [674.4km]
Heybrook Bay 422.3 miles [679.6km]
Wembury (beach) 424.0 miles [682.3km]
Noss Mayo (ferry) 425.5 miles [684.8km]
Wembury - Warren Point (ferry) 425.5 miles [684.8km]
Stoke Beach 430.3 miles [692.5km]
Erme Estuary (Mothecombe) 434.6 miles [699.4km]
Bigbury-on-Sea 439.3 miles [707.0km]
River Avon (ferry) 440.5 miles [708.9km]
Thurlestone Sands 442.9 miles [712.8km]
Hope Cove 444.2 miles [714.9km]
Bolberry Down 446.6 miles [718.7km]
East Portlemouth (ferry) 452.4 miles [728.0km]
Salcombe (ferry) 452.4 miles [728.0km]
Prawle Point 456.8 miles [735.1km]
Lannacombe 459.7 miles [739.8km]
Start Point 461.5 miles [742.7km]
Hallsands 462.7 miles [744.6km]
Torcross 465.0 miles [748.3km]
Strete 468.5 miles [753.9km]
Stoke Fleming 470.9 miles [757.9km]
Dartmouth (ferry) 475.3 miles [764.9km]
Kingswear (ferry) 475.3 miles [764.9km]
Sharkham Point 482.9 miles [777.2km]
Brixham (harbour) 486.2 miles [782.4km]
Paignton (pier) 491.8 miles [791.5km]
Torquay (harbour) 494.6 miles [796.0km]
Babbacombe 499.3 miles [803.6km]
Maidencombe 502.5 miles [808.7km]
Teignmouth (ferry) 505.7 miles [813.9km]
Shaldon (ferry) 505.7 miles [813.9km]
Dawlish 509.4 miles [819.8km]
Dawlish Warren 511.2 miles [822.7km]
Starcross (ferry) 513.7 miles [826.8km]
Exmouth (ferry) 513.7 miles [826.8km]
Sandy Bay 516.7 miles [831.6km]
Budleigh Salterton 519.2 miles [835.5km]
Ladram Bay 523.8 miles [843.0km]
Sidmouth 526.2 miles [846.9km]
Branscombe 532.8 miles [857.5km]
Beer 535.1 miles [861.1km]
Seaton (East Devon) 536.5 miles [863.4km]
Lyme Regis 543.6 miles [874.8km]
Charmouth 546.6 miles [879.7km]
Seatown 550.7 miles [886.2km]
Eype Mouth 552.6 miles [889.3km]
West Bay 553.7 miles [891.1km]
West Bexington 559.3 miles [900.1km]
Abbotsbury (swannery) 563.0 miles [906.1km]
Weymouth (Ferrybridge) 573.9 miles [923.6km]
Portland Bill 579.5 miles [932.6km]
Weymouth (Ferrybridge via Portland loop)) 586.9 miles [944.6km]
Weymouth (Clock Tower) 590.5 miles [950.3km]
Bowleaze 592.6 miles [953.7km]
Osmington Mills 595.3 miles [958.0km]
Durdle Door 600.2 miles [965.9km]
Lulworth Cove 601.4 miles [967.8km]
Arish Mell 604.2 miles [972.4km]
Kimmeridge Bay 608.5 miles [979.3km]
St Aldhelm's head 614.5 miles [988.9km]
Durlston Head 620.0 miles [997.8km]
Swanage - pier 622.1 miles [1001.1km]
Old Harry Rocks 625.3 miles [1006.4km]
Studland 626.8 miles [1008.8km]
Poole Harbour - South Haven Point 629.6 miles [1013.2km]

Further reading:
McGoohan’s blog of a 1993 odyssey on the SWCP first appeared on 31 August 2016 and Day One is indexed as #974.

Raynor Winn's book The Salt Path is a travelogue with a bit of a difference. Published in 2018, it describes the experiences of the author and her husband who found themselves unexpectedly homeless and decided to walk the Path.

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