The South West Coast Path: Minehead to Croyde

Follow the South West Coast Path between Minehead in Somerset and Croyde in North Devon, an untamed stretch of England’s coastline designated a ‘National Heritage Coast’. This guided eight-day walk takes us from the mellow hills and woodland of Exmoor National Park to the wild cliffs of North Devon, including the charming twin towns of Lynton and Lynmouth, the Valley of Rocks, and the secluded idyll of Heddon’s Mouth.

Explore the unique landscape of Exmoor – much of which has remained largely unchanged since smugglers plied the lonely coastline and romantic poets strode out across the moors in search of their muse. All along this walk there are some fantastic views across the Bristol Channel to the Welsh coast and Lundy Island.

The first day’s walk takes you to Selworthy Beacon with spectacular views over the moor and on to Hurlstone Point overlooking the magnificent Porlock Bay. Your experienced guide will lead your group to Hollow Brook – one of the highest waterfalls in Britain, dropping 200 meters to the sea.

It then leads you to the twin villages of Lynmouth and Lynton, connected via a water-powered cliff railway that’s been operating since 1890. There are more rewarding views after a steep climb to the highest point on the Coast Path at Great Hangman: 1043 feet above sea level. After many ups and downs, you’ll feel a great sense of achievement on reaching Croyde.

Tour Overview

The icons below highlight the distance, difficulty and theme of this itinerary.

Distance

110km

Days

8

Grade

Moderate /Challenging

Theme

History /Geology

Landscape Type

By Water

The South West Coast Path: Minehead to Croyde

Every step of the journey has been carefully planned to help you make the most of your walking adventure. Click on the blue tabs below for more information.

Tour Details

This group tour itinerary has been operated by HF Holidays – one of the UK’s largest activity holiday companies – which specializes in guided walking holidays in the UK and Europe.

Our experienced and knowledgeable volunteer leaders undergo a thorough assessment to lead you on your Guided Trail and will also be delighted to share their knowledge and enthusiasm with you. Your trail leader will carry all the necessary maps and guides.

All walking days involve minibus or local transport between the walking route and your accommodation and this is included in your holiday price.

Packed lunches are provided each day and after a sociable evening meal, you can join in an organized activity such as a quiz or a talk about the local area, relax in the bar, or use the accommodation’s guest facilities.

To find out more about this itinerary and make an enquiry or a booking, click on the Enquire Now button at the top of the page. The Save to My Rucksack button allows you to save itineraries to view later, or to download them as a PDF.

Itinerary

This wild stretch of coastline includes some fairly strenuous climbs up and down steep slopes and steps to reach beautiful coves. The daily distances are fairly consistent and some involve several hundred meters of ups and downs, so don’t underestimate the time/effort required.

Day 1 - Arrival

Your leader will give an introductory talk about the holiday.

Day 2 - Minehead to Porlock Weir

From the seafront at Minehead, we ascend gradually to a high-level cliff path which takes us to Hurlstone Point, either via Selworthy Beacon or via a wilder and more rugged coastal path. From Hurlstone we continue to Bossington village and westwards to Porlock Weir across Porlock Marsh. 14.5-16km / 9-10 miles with 330 – 420m of ascent.

Day 3 - Porlock Weir to Lynmouth

Leaving the shore, we make our way through woodland to the cliff path and on to Culbone Church, the smallest parish church in England, and the woodland path through Glenthorne Estate. The path then becomes more remote, overlooking parts of the cliff edge with some fine viewpoints. We continue to Countisbury Hill and a spectacular cliff path which takes us down to Lynmouth. 20km / 12.5 miles with 420m of ascent.

Day 4 - Rest Day

A day without any walks programmed, giving you the opportunity to explore the local area independently.

Day 5 - Lynmouth to Trentishoe Down

From Lynmouth, we take the path near the cliff railway which winds uphill to Lynton, and then follow the North Walk along the seaward side of Hollerday Hill and into the Valley of Rocks. After a descent almost to sea level, we climb steeply up out of Heddons Mouth Cleave then follow the high level path west above East Cleave and inland for Trentishoe Down and Holdstone Down. 15km / 9 miles with 540m of ascent.

Day 6 - Trentishoe Down to Ilfracombe Harbour

Today sees a steep ascent to Great Hangman (the highest point on the whole of the South West Coast Path) continuing on to Little Hangman overlooking Combe Martin. We continue along the coast path to Watermouth Bay, round the headlands to Hele, and up to Hillsborough for its fine views. We then descend into Ilfracombe where there may be time for a Devon cream tea. 15km / 9.5 miles, with 510m of ascent.

Day 7 - Ilfracombe Harbour to Croyde Bay

From Ilfracombe we ascend via the spectacular Torrs Walk to the old coast track on the open downs. From Lee to Woolacombe the coast path hugs the cliffs and has a remote feel to it, with many ascents and descents. The path takes us out to Baggy Point, our most westerly point, with its fine views of Lundy Island. We follow the track east to the finishing point at Croyde Bay. 21km / 13 miles, with 480m of ascent.

Day 8 - Departure Day

Depart after breakfast for your return travel.

Accommodation

Accommodation for this holiday is at HF Holidays’ Holnicote House in the village of Selworthy, near Minehead. The bedrooms – all with their individual layout and character as befits a historic building – are located in the main house and adjoining cottages. In your room you’ll find a TV with digital radio, hair dryer, towels, and tea and coffee making facilities.

The public rooms at Holnicote House retain the period charm of this Victorian house.

There’s a comfortable lounge with access to the extensive gardens, a dining room, and licensed bar, open throughout your stay. You can also enjoy the heated outdoor swimming pool (open in summer). The boot and drying room is available to store your boots and to dry wet outdoor clothing. Secure cycle storage is also available. WiFi is accessible in all public areas of the house.

 

Travel

Air

Fly to Bristol or Exeter then train and bus to Minehead. Taunton is the nearest mainline railway station.

Rail

The nearest railway station to Holnicote House is at Taunton. For train times and general rail inquiries call +44 03457 484950 (24hrs) or visit www.nationalrail.co.uk. If phoning from outside the UK call +44 (0)20 7278 5240.

Local taxi transfer

The 29-mile journey from Taunton takes approximately 50 minutes (please allow up to an extra 30 minutes for a week day transfer). We have negotiated a preferential rate with Bossington Private Hire for all pre-booked journeys, of £56 per taxi. They will arrange shared taxis wherever possible. To book a transfer please phone or email giving at least 7 days notice.

Bossington Private Hire

Tel: +44 (0)7971 044871

Email: inbossington@gmail.com

Bossington Private Hire is not owned or managed by HF Holidays.

Station transfer by bus

The 28 bus operates between Taunton and Minehead. At Minehead change for the 10 bus or the 300 bus that will take you to the Selworthy turn (which is at the end of Holnicote House drive). A 2 minute walk along the drive will bring you to the house. Alternatively Bossington Private Hire will offer a preferential rate of £10 for the 4½ mile, 10 minute journey from Minehead to Holnicote House if this is pre-booked.For details of bus times contact Traveline at www.traveline.info or phone 0871 200 22 33.

Car Parking

Parking is available in the grounds. No responsibility can be accepted for loss or damage to guests’ property or vehicles. We advise not to leave valuables in cars.

Advice

This Guided Trail involves walking as a group on well-defined paths, though often in hilly or upland areas. These may be rough and steep in sections and will require a good level of fitness. We want you to be confident that you can meet the demands of each walking day and get the most out of your holiday. Please be sure you can manage the mileage and ascent detailed in the daily itineraries. It is important for your own enjoyment, and that of your fellow guests that you can maintain the pace. The itinerary may be subject to change at the discretion of the leader with regard to the weather and other external factors

HF Holidays Grading: LEVEL 3 – Medium to Challenging

Food & Drink

All holidays at HF Holiday’s Country Houses are full board, from evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. There’s a vegetarian option at all meals and we cater for gluten-free diets. There are plenty of opportunities to sample traditional ales and local specialities in the HF country house, as well as in the towns and villages.

Maps, Guidebooks, and Merchandise

The official guidebook and map for the Trail are available from the National Trails Shop along with a wide range of gifts and other merchandise.

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