The UK’s longest and most extraordinary trail, the South West Coast Path (SWCP), is just as stunning in winter as it is in the warmer months.
If you’re up for a good old-fashioned walking challenge this winter, there’s no better trail to hit. Of course, you don’t have to traverse the whole 630-mile path in one go (or at all, for that matter).
There are plenty of great targeted walks to take in the colder months, which are especially breath-taking at that time of the year.
Here’s how to prepare for your SWCP winter hike. You can also read about some potential walks that may interest you.
Packing for a winter hike will probably require a bigger backpack and bulkier luggage in general as warmer clothes and gear take up a lot of space. However, if you’re planning to stay several days and book accommodation for overnight rest, you can even arrange for your luggage to be transferred ahead of you. That way, you can take only the essentials with you.
The most important things to bring are warm clothes made of breathable materials. You should top it all off with a waterproof, wind-resistant layer, i.e., a quality jacket. If you lack proper outerwear for your hike, you can make use of Ellis Bringham discount codes and purchase anything you need at a discounted price.
A solid pair of ankle-length walking boots is an absolute must, as well as some spare clothes.
Make sure to have plenty of water on you, as well as some energy-packed snacks. Bringing a paper map is a good idea too as there are mobile black spots along the way.
There are plenty of accommodation options along the Path, and you’d be wise to book in advance as these places tend to fill up quickly. Knowing where exactly you’ll rest at nights will give you peace of mind and allow you to enjoy your walk stress-free.
You can camp along the trail too, but it’s best to avoid that since winters can be quite harsh. If you do choose this option for a more rewarding experience, there are many campsites available.
Beware, though, that wild camping is illegal along the Path — you have to stick to the official sites.
If you’re wondering where to find good food along the way, you don’t have to worry since there’s a diverse choice of eateries, ranging from street vendors to Michelin-starred restaurants. You can also arrange with your accommodation provider to make you a packed lunch to bring with you.
Since there are many pubs and cosy spots along the Path, you can always stop by and warm yourself with a nice cup of tea before you continue your walk.
There’s a variety of options when it comes to winter walks along the trail, from easy and moderate ones, great for whole families, to the more challenging ones. Here are some examples that you may enjoy.
This is an exceptionally light and short walk to Baggy Point in North Devon and back. It is suitable for both children and adults and even people with impaired mobility.
You’ll enjoy a splendid view of the coastline of Bideford Bay and Hartland. It’s great for bird-watching and seal-spotting. You can even bring your dog.
If you’re into poetry, you’ll love the fact that Thomas Hardy was deeply inspired by the scenery of this route. It offers some of the most spectacular views in Cornwall.
You’ll love the romantic Boscastle port, with old white-washed cottages, and the beautiful waterfall pouring over the cliffs. Beware that the walk is quite challenging, with rocky surfaces.
This route is suitable for a brisk winter walk. It’s mostly level with a short steeper section. It’s filled with historically interesting establishments and gorgeous sights.
You’ll love Mount Edgcumbe, a beautiful historic park by the sea, as well as the Kingsand beach.
This walk is especially great for bringing your dog as there are many pubs en route where furry friends are welcome.
This mesmerizing valley in Devon is full of wildlife — in fact, it’s a nature reserve. You’ll mostly walk along the river, where there are numerous viewing spots.
If you’re going with small children, this walk is a great option as it is not challenging at all and there’s plenty of useful information along the way.
We have given you just a glimpse into the natural and historical wealth you can expect on this beautiful path. If you feel like warming your body and heart this winter, a brisk walk might just do the trick!
Michael has been working in marketing for almost a decade and has worked with a huge range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing and hopes to make it a daily habit. You can read more of Michael’s work at Qeedle.