One of the best ways to explore Devon is on foot and if you’re in the mood to discover new sights and hidden views, why not spend some time following the South West Coast Path while in Devon?

For those who don’t know, the South West Coast Path is the UK’s longest and best-loved National Trail and is managed by a charitable trust who aim to make the path as accessible as possible, so everyone can enjoy the beauty of the natural world. All together, the South West Coast Path covers 650 miles and joins Devon to Somerset and Dorset, with a host of different trails and routes available, so no matter whether you want to head out with the dogs, the kids or you want a challenge or something more leisurely, you can find the best route to suit you.

The South West Coast Path is a fascinating path, whether you want to take on the whole route or just parts of it. Sections of the path were originally part of a coastguard patrol route against smugglers and pirates, meaning that you will get the chance to see hidden coves and other seldom seen places.The pathway begins in Somerset and moves into Exmoor and North Devon, with 90 miles of the path covering the North Devon region. Most of this section of the path offers views of the Bristol Channel and allows you to explore places like Combe Martin, Ilfracombe, Lee Bay, Braunton Burrows and both Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The next 104 miles takes you into South Devon with the trail taking you all the way down to Plymouth. On this part of the path, you’ll get to see hidden coves, nature reserves and the vibrant city of Plymouth. The route here has a few challenging sections with steep valleys and cliffs but if you’re up for the challenge, there are some lovely views particularly when you reach areas like Salcombe and the English Riviera. 115 miles of the path takes you along the iconic Jurassic Coast, which features some of the most spectacular areas of Devon, including Exmouth, Sidmouth and Seaton before taking you into the neighbouring county of Dorset.

The cliffs in this part of the South West Coast Path are known for their beauty but are also prone to collapse, so if you venture onto this part of the path, be sure to take note of your surroundings and to follow any instructional signage you may see. Both the South West Coast Path’s trust and the Jurassic Coast Trust work together to ensure that the path is safe for everyone but the ever changing nature of the environment will mean that you will have to check the website for updates before travelling.

Find out more and plan your route here.