South West Coast Path
The South West Coast Path is England’s longest footpath running for around 630 miles and linking Minehead in Somerset through to Poole Harbour in Dorset. The path offers the ultimate challenge for the long distance walker or someone who just wants a quick coastal stroll with access points across the south west.
The path passes through a number of National Nature Reserves, Heritage Coasts, five Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, two World Heritage sites, a UNESCO designed biosphere, a Geopark and a National Park – so it’s no wonder that it is often described as one of the world’s greatest walks.
Where coast meets country, adventure begins
Being in Sidmouth puts you right on the doorstep of the South West Coast Path, whether you want to take a short stroll with gorgeous views or a chance to explore the clifftops, you’ll find a special way to enjoy the coastline.
Wherever you join the South West Coast Path, you’ll find a well signed posted path way that is easy to follow and easy to access. From Sidmouth, the South West Coast Path takes you through picturesque harbours, tranquil estuaries and secret coves all just waiting to be discovered. One of the most popular places to visit along the route is Beer Head, a dramatic piece of headland along the Jurassic Coast with several interesting landscapes nearby giving you views of isolated beaches and Hooken Cliffs.
Explore our coastal heritage
The South West Coast Path is a great way to discover the region’s history. Much of the route was originally used by coastguards and excise officers on the lookout for smugglers and you’ll find evidence of this as you make your way along the path.
All along the south west coast you’ll find the remains of forts and castles dating from the Iron Age all the way through until WWII, providing some of the most dramatic structures that stretch along the entire length of the coast path. You can also find several Bronze and Iron Age burial features as well as churches and chapels dotted along the path, walkers can explore everything from barrows to religious and spiritual sites.
If you’re a fan of history, make sure to take a look at the South West Coast Path’s Heritage Walks throughout East Devon, some of which are accessible from Sidmouth’s town centre.
By picking up the coast path in Sidmouth, you get to find the very best views of the red Jurassic rocks and hidden caves along beautiful beaches. You might even find a fossil or two!
Perfect for a family day out
With a range of access points and routes, the South West Coast Path is suitable for the whole family, whatever your age or ability. The path is also dog friendly, allowing you to explore with your furry friends too. So, whether you want to go on a mini hike or a day out roaming the cliffs and coastal routes, you’ll find plenty to keep you entertained during your visit to Sidmouth.
You can easily join and leave the South West Coast Path at various points around the Sid Valley and the Jurassic Coast, giving you the chance to explore the region on foot, by boat, by train or by road by hopping on and off the path. Plus, there are plenty of pubs, cafes, hotels and shops to be found along the way, so why not pull on your comfiest shoes and head out to discover some of the region’s tastiest food and drink.
The South West Coast Path is one of several walking routes that can be found in and around Sidmouth, find more walking trails here or if you prefer to travel by bike, you can click here to see a range of cycle tracks.