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Overview

Walking Holidays
8 - 10 Nights
88 miles / 142 km
  • Prices from: £730 per person
  • Start: Minehead, Somerset
  • Finish: Westward Ho!, Devon
  • Availability: Year-round
  • Grading: Moderate to Challenging
  • Way-marked: Yes

South West Coast Path - Minehead to Westward Ho! Highlights

Sweeping sandy beaches
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Discover pristine beaches and sandy shores as you traverse the coast.

Unspoilt harbour villages
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Explore hidden coves and beautiful fishing villages nestled amongst the stunning coastline.

The Valley of the Rocks
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Wind your way through the impressive set of jagged sandstone pinnacles at the Valley of the Rocks.

Oldest lighthouse in Britain
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Visit the oldest lighthouse in Britain at St Nicholas Chapel.

UNESCO sites
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Journey through North Devon’s UNESCO Biosphere Reserve where you will discover an abundance of plants and wildlife.

The adventure
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Take on the challenge of walking England’s longest long-distance footpath and enjoy a feeling of great achievement as you embark on this remarkable journey.

A Captivating Coastal Adventure Begins

The South West Coast Path (also known as the SWCP) is England’s longest waymarked long-distance footpath, running 630 miles from Minehead in Somerset to Poole Harbour in Dorset. This section is the beginning; covering the first 88 miles from Minehead to Westward Ho!

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Completing the whole path is the ultimate challenge for any long-distance hiker; however, we recommend starting off with the section from Minehead to Westward Ho! Covering the first 88 miles of the trail, this is a fantastic challenge as you journey through the highest coastline in England.

This National Trail is well waymarked and will lead you through stunning unspoilt harbour villages and pristine beaches. You will walk past natural wonders such as Braunton Burrows—a protected National Nature Reserve, which has become a rich habitat for flowering plants, small mammals and butterflies. Take the opportunity to explore the spectacular Valley of the Rocks, an impressive dry valley that runs parallel to the coast, renowned for its impressive geology and regular sightings of the Exmoor Ponies.

This section of the path would typically take 7 – 9 days to complete. We recommend that you plan to walk shorter distances than you normally would, due to the steep ascents and descents. Additional rest days are recommended and truly rewarding along this stunning coast.

South West Coast Path (Minehead to Westward Ho!) Route Map

Recommended Itinerary

Our most popular itinerary is SWCP-M-WH2 which covers the route in 9 days.

Travel to Minehead for your first night’s accommodation
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Arrive in Minehead, a popular seaside town and the official start of the South West Coast Path, and spend the evening at your first night’s accommodation.

Day 1: Minehead to Porlock Weir (9 miles / 14.5km)
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Your journey begins with a climb up North Hill and a walk along the highest cliffs in England. You have the choice to begin your walk with a leisurely stroll or take the rugged coast path for a more strenuous start to your walk.

Visit Bossington, a picturesque hamlet in the Selworthy Parish, renowned for its ‘chocolate box’ thatched cottages.

Day 2: Porlock Weir to Lynmouth (12 miles / 19km)
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Today’s walk from Porlock Weir is challenging as you cross the Somerset / Devon border. Visit the smallest complete parish church in England, Culbone Church, before zig-zagging your way into the picturesque village of Lynmouth.

Day 3: Lynmouth to Combe Martin (14 miles / 22.5km)
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Kick your day off with an invigorating climb up the other side of the valley to enjoy a remote and quiet stretch of the path. The coastal landscape is spectacular today as you pass The Valley of Rocks, climb the steep cliffs at Woody Bay, and along to the valley of Heddon’s Mouth.

Enjoy impressive views from the highest point on the entire Coast Path – the Great Hangman – before descending into Combe Martin. 

Day 4: Combe Martin to Ilfracombe (5.5 miles / 9km)
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Today’s walk is never too far from the road but is full of impressive rocky inlets. This short distance allows you time to enjoy the changing landscape as you pass Watermouth Cove, Widmouth Head, and Rillage Point. Visit the oldest lighthouse in the UK – St Nicholas Chapel – proudly perched on the top of Lantern Hill.

Day 5: Ilfracombe to Woolacombe (8.5 miles / 13.5km)
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Your route today is along many grass topped cliffs which, after crossing two steep valleys, will eventually lead you to Bull Point Lighthouse. Continue around Morte Point where you can spot seals before hugging the coast past beautiful sandy bays which lead you into Woolacombe.

Day 6: Woolacombe to Croyde (5.5 miles / 9km)
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Enjoy an abundance of wildlife and interesting geology today as you depart Woolacombe and walk a 3 mile stretch of golden sands to Baggy Point. The short distance today will provide you with an opportunity to rest your legs and enjoy time relaxing on the beach or visiting Sandleigh Tea Rooms & Gardens.

Day 7: Croyde to Braunton (9.5m / 15km)
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This section of path takes you to the Braunton Burrows Nature Reserve – a rich habitat for flowering plants, small mammals and butterflies. Take the opportunity to appreciate the wildlife, before heading inland to Braunton.

Day 8: Braunton to Instow (13 miles / 21km)
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Follow the Tarka Trail all the way to Barnstaple along the former Barnstaple to Ilfracombe Railway line. This section is, naturally, low level and continues like this as it passes through marshland and pastures. For those fond of birdlife, this section holds great value, interest and character.

Day 9: Instow to Westward Ho! (11 miles / 17km)
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The final leg of the Minehead to Westward Ho! section of the South West Coast Path gives the option to take a foot passenger ferry from Instow over Appledore, cutting 6 miles off today’s mileage. The path follows the estuary of the River Torridge, passing through the old fishing town of Appledore.

A beautiful long beach and tasty ice-cream await in the seaside village of Westward Ho! – the only town in the UK with an exclamation mark in its name!

Onward travel
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After breakfast, you will start your journey home after a wonderful walking holiday on the South West Coast Path – Minehead to Westward Ho! 

What’s Included?

Your South West Coast Path walking holiday includes:

  • Carefully selected accommodation along the route and trail transfers when applicable
  • En-suite or private bathroom facilities whenever possible
  • Daily door-to-door baggage transfers
  • Comprehensive information pack, kit list, guidebook and map (one set per room)
  • Personalised itinerary with details of your accommodation, route and recommendations for lunch and dinner
  • Traditional English breakfast
  • 24-hour emergency contact number
  • Full financial protection

Your walking holiday doesn't include:

  • Travel insurance
  • Transport to and from the start and end of the walk
  • Lunches and evening meals

Itineraries & Prices

We offer 2 suggested itineraries for walking the South West Coast Path – Minehead to Westward Ho!

Our most popular itinerary is SWCP-M-WH2 which covers the route in 9 days / 10 nights. 

Please note that due to the busy nature of the South West Coast Path and 2-night minimum stays at most accommodation in the area, we may need to accommodate you for 2 nights in one location with return taxi transfers from the trail. The cost of these transfers would be included in your package.

Tour code
Itinerary
Average miles infoAverage miles per day
Difficulty infoLevel of difficulty
Price per person
SWCP-M-WH1
7 Days / 8 Nights
12.5 miles per day
Challenging
From £730
Average miles infoAverage miles per day 12.5 miles per day
Tour code: SWCP-M-WH1
Difficulty infoLevel of difficulty Challenging

7 Days / 8 Nights (SWCP-M-WH1)

This itinerary lists our preferred overnight stops for this package. Transfers are included when you are staying away from the trail.

Additional nights can be added at any stage along the walk and we would be delighted to adjust it for you.

All of our prices are per person based on two people sharing a room. Our packages include all accommodation, baggage transfers and full information pack.

Single room & solo walker supplements

Single rooms are available at a supplement which covers the additional costs of a single room or single occupancy of a twin or double room.

  • Standard: £30 per night

As we incur additional costs for transferring a single bag there is a solo walker supplement of £10 per day in addition to the single supplement.

Arrive Travel to Minhead for your first night's accommodation
1
Day 1 Minehead to Porlock Weir 9 miles / 14.5km
2
Day 2 Porlock Weir to Lynmouth 12 miles / 19km
3
Day 3 Lynmouth to Combe Martin 14 miles / 22.5km
4
Day 4 Combe Martin to Woolacombe 14 miles / 22.5 km
5
Day 5 Woolacombe to Braunton 15 miles / 25 km
6
Day 6 Braunton to Instow 13 miles / 21 km
7
Day 7 Instow to Westward Ho! 11 miles / 17.5 km
Depart Onward travel from Westward Ho!

Prices

Standard
Good quality B&Bs, Guest Houses & Hotels
£730 per person

Good quality and comfortable B&Bs, guest houses and some hotels located as close to the trail as possible. We will prioritise en-suite facilities or a private bathroom, although in remote areas with limited accommodation this may not always be possible.

SWCP-M-WH2
9 Days / 10 Nights
10 miles per day
Moderate
From £850
Average miles infoAverage miles per day 10 miles per day
Tour code: SWCP-M-WH2
Difficulty infoLevel of difficulty Moderate

9 Days / 10 Nights (SWCP-M-WH2)

This itinerary lists our preferred overnight stops for this package. Transfers are included when you are staying away from the trail.

Additional nights can be added at any stage along the walk and we would be delighted to adjust it for you.

All of our prices are per person based on two people sharing a room. Our packages include all accommodation, baggage transfers and full information pack.

Single room & solo walker supplements

Single rooms are available at a supplement which covers the additional costs of a single room or single occupancy of a twin or double room.

  • Standard: £30 per night

As we incur additional costs for transferring a single bag there is a solo walker supplement of £10 per day in addition to the single supplement.

Arrive Travel to Minhead for your first night's accommodation
1
Day 1 Minehead to Porlock Weir 9 miles / 14.5km
2
Day 2 Porlock Weir to Lynmouth 12 miles / 19km
3
Day 3 Lynmouth to Combe Martin 14 miles / 22.5km
4
Day 4 Combe Martin to Ilfracombe 5.5 miles / 9 km
5
Day 5 Ilfracombe to Woolacombe 8.5 miles / 14 km
6
Day 6 Woolacombe to Croyde 5.5 miles / 9 km
7
Day 7 Croyde to Braunton 9.5 miles / 15.5 km
8
Day 8 Braunton to Instow 13 miles / 21 km
9
Day 9 Instow to Westward Ho! 11 miles / 17.5 km
Depart Onward travel from Westward Ho!

Prices

Standard
Good quality B&Bs, Guest Houses & Hotels
£850 per person

Good quality and comfortable B&Bs, guest houses and some hotels located as close to the trail as possible. We will prioritise en-suite facilities or a private bathroom, although in remote areas with limited accommodation this may not always be possible.

South West Coast Path Accommodation

All of the accommodation that we reserve for you has been personally selected by our expert team to ensure it meets our exacting standards. We regularly review our extensive database.

We will always prioritise accommodation as close to the walking trail as possible. Occasionally, your accommodation may be located a short distance from the trail, or you may need to spend more than one night in the same place, in which case we will provide return transfers.

Travel Information

As an environmentally conscious tour operator, we actively encourage the use of public transport by providing clients with a detailed breakdown of travel options in their information packs. The following information may help with your pre-trip planning.

Getting to Minehead
By Air

Nearest International Airports: London Heathrow Airport and London Gatwick Airport.

The Heathrow Express runs regularly to London Paddington (journey time 15 min).

From Gatwick, you can take the Gatwick Express to London Victoria (journey time 30 min) and then connect on the London Underground to London Paddington. 

From here, there are direct trains to Taunton, the nearest train station to Minehead.

By Public Transport

Nearest Railway Station: Taunton.

A direct train service operates from London Paddington Station to Taunton Station (journey time 1 hour 45 min).

From Taunton, you can connect with a regular bus service to Minehead (journey time 1 hour 30 min).

By Car

Minehead is 1 hour 45 min drive from Bristol and 4 hours from London. It may be possible to leave your car at Minehead, however leaving your car here is at your own risk and the parking is often very busy and expensive in the summer months, so we do advise that public transport is the best option.

Departing Westward Ho!
By Air

Nearest International Airports: London Heathrow Airport and London Gatwick Airport.

 From Westward Ho! you can get a bus to Barnstaple Rail Station and connect to a train to Exeter.

There is a direct train from Exeter to London Paddington (journey time 2 hours 30 min). From London Paddington the Heathrow Express operates a train service to Heathrow (journey time 15 min). 

For Gatwick, you can take the London Underground to London Victoria and then connect on the Gatwick Express to Gatwick Airport (journey time 30 min).

By Public Transport

Nearest Railway Station: Barnstaple.

From Westward Ho! you will need to get a bus to Barnstaple Rail Station (journey time 55 min) and connect to a train to Exeter from here. Exeter has many rail routes serving London and the rest of the UK, and there are trains from Exeter which will take you directly to London Paddington (journey time 2 hours 30 min).

As the train and bus services can be very busy, we recommend booking in advance.

By Car

We do advise that public transport is the best option, as parking can be limited and expensive in summer months. However, if you do need to return to Minehead from Westward Ho! to collect your car you will need to take the National Express bus to Taunton and change onto a local bus to Minehead (total journey time 3 hours 55 min).

Additional Days

We would be delighted to arrange additional accommodation for you along the South West Coast Path – Minehead to Westward Ho!

You may wish to plan a rest day or have an additional night at any of the locations along the route which offer activities or sightseeing opportunities – we’ve made some suggestions below. Please request this when you make an enquiry.

Lynmouth
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  • Relax in this picturesque harbour town where the high ground of Exmoor falls dramatically to meet the sea
  • Travel to Lynton – situated high on the cliff above Lynmouth – by taking a ride on the funicular Cliff Railway, which is driven by the weight of the downcoming car
  • Discover the impressive and diverse history that Lynmouth and Lynton have shared for years
Ilfracombe
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  • Visit Lundy Island – the largest island on the Bristol Channel, located 12 miles off the coast
  • Explore Tunnels Beaches – unique tunnels hand-carved in the 1820s, leading to sheltered bathing areas, a tidal pool and a cafe/bar
Woolacombe
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  • Stroll, surf and swim on one of the best beaches in the UK, enjoying 3 glorious miles of rich golden sand
  • Visit Morte Point, a ‘Site of Specific Scientific Interest’ where you can spot swimming seals and hovering kestrels
Instow
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  • Take the passenger ferry over to the quaint village of Appledore and visit the North Devon Maritime Museum
  • Explore the Tarka Line Rail Ale Trail – a self-guided tour around the local pubs offering locally-brewed ales

Make an enquiry

South West Coast Path – Minehead to Westward Ho!

Need something more tailored?
Contact us via email:
enquiries@absoluteescapes.com

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