Picking a walk to take on, in the beautiful countryside of the South West of England, can be daunting. It needs to be the right length to suit those taking part, it needs to have spectacular scenery, and it needs to have interesting features. At Shepherds Friendly, we’ve dug deep and have singled out the 5 best walks in the South West of England.
South West Coast Path, Cornwall
The South West Coast Path is known the world over for its extensive walking tracks. Totalling 630 miles, smaller sections can be used for an easy Sunday amble, or larger routes can be found for those seeking a challenge. The terrain is extremely varied: cross the River Tamar and venture into Devon, or traverse the spectacular coastlines of Exmoor, North Devon and Cornwall. There are lots of routes that you can take, all of which are outlined on the Walk Finder section of South West Coast Path National Trail website.
Forest of Dead Sculpture Trail in Gloucestershire
This short, but interesting, 4.5-mile walk would be ideal for those looking for something less taxing. The route was opened in 1986. Dotted around the forest are sculptures which aim to replicate the scenic nature that you will be immersed within. Particular favourites include the enormous stained glass window which is held 15ft above ground in the trees, and a chair sculpted from wood. Short, sweet and interesting.
Bath Skyline walk
Situated just outside of central Bath is the Bath Skyline Walk. A short 6-mile route, it circles the outskirts of Bath, allowing those that undertake it to exit the busy and vibrant city centre for an altogether more calming experience. The heightened view the route takes, offers spectacular views of Bath, whilst taking the walker through rural outskirts. Expect the scent of apples from the orchards and the soft chattering babble sounds of small streams. It’s a beautiful walk, and when it’s so easily accessible from Bath, it would be rude not to!
Cheddar Gorge walk
A combination of a short hike and a phenomenal natural landscape, the Cheddar Gorge walk is a 3-mile adventure around England’s largest gorge and one of the country’s most iconic sights. Nature enthusiasts will find great pleasure in spotting some of the extremely rare vegetation and wildlife. However, the sheer size and scale of the Cheddar Gorge’s fantastic rocky peaks and weathered cliff faces are sure to inspire enthusiasm in anyone.
Morte Point Trail, Mortehoe, Woolacombe
This short 4.6 mile walk offers a combination of outstanding views, an opportunity to view seals in the wild, and also a deserved pit stop at a seaside pub. The route begins on the beach and is followed by a steeper section that leads to the spectacular views of the central lookout. It is here that seals can regularly be seen lazily sunbathing or swimming around the coast. Only a short walk away, from the central lookout, is the Watersmeet Hotel. With its fantastic views of the coast, it is the perfect end point to this amazing route.
It’s Time to Get Out and About
The South West of England is home to many of the country’s most amazing walks. There’s the enormous and sprawling South West Coastal Path, the magical Forest of Dead Sculpture Trail, the relaxing Bath Skyline Walk, the phenomenal Cheddar Gorge Walk and the short but sweet Morte Point trail.
In this selection, all abilities and interests have been considered so you can’t go too far wrong. However, although this list covers a few routes, perhaps they are the best, only you can use it to discover this region’s amazing views, rare wildlife and satisfying walking experiences.