The South West Coast Path

Guided Walking Holiday

Walk the South West Coast Path on the double bank holiday weekend (Full Board/ Transport Included)

Departure:

Key info:

Highlights:

    • Stay in homely comfortable accommodation, in the centre of the charming Medieval village of Dunster with its ancient market, castle, pubs, shops and church.
    • Fabulous coastal views, wonderful woodlands and scenic fishing villages as we walk the first three days of the South West Coast Path.
    • Discovering the secrets of the area with a knowledgeable guide.
    • Everything is taken care of on this all-inclusive holiday. all meals and transport to from the walks.

Exmoor and the South West Coast Path

What better way to celebrate the Jubilee bank holiday weekend in June than joining me to walk the south west coast path in one of the most scenic National Parks in England. Exmoor was designated a National Park in 1954 and is relatively small compared to other UK Parks, but it packs a huge punch in terms of diversity, interesting scenery, and natural beauty.

The 630 mile South West Coast Path is one of England’s best loved National Trails stretching from Minehead on the edge of Exmoor to the shores of Poole harbour in Dorset. We will begin at the official start and cover 30 miles, walking the first three days of the trail from Minehead to Hunters Inn. Who knows, you might be inspired to walk the remaining 600 miles too!

The coastline of Exmoor and Somerset is known for its outstanding scenery and its wildlife. It’s home to the highest sea cliffs on mainland Britain and the longest stretch of coastal woodlands in England and Wales, not to mention the Bristol Channel which has the second highest tidal range in the world. We will pass little harbours and coastal inlets, explore the wildlife and history together on this linear walking route through the coastal landscape.

Daily Itinerary:

Here is the day-by-day itinerary, click on the day to learn more.

Independent travel to ‘The Yarn Market’ hotel (YMH) in Dunster.

Check-in is from 15:00pm.

At 17:00 we will meet for an orientation walk around the village, followed by a cheeky drink in one of the local pubs.

At 18:30 we will gather for a short briefing before dinner. 

Distance: 16km/10 miles. Ascent/ descent: 650m/ 2132ft

Following breakfast we will be taken by private transport to the start of the South West Coast Path, which is a short distance away. We will walk through stunning woodland to North Hill, before the trail takes us above the highest sea cliffs in England and Wales. The coast views are sublime and we will break to enjoy our picnic lunch at Bossington Hill before heading down to Porlock Bay. The final section takes us around the Bay to Porlock Weir, where there will be a chance to enjoy a well earned drink at a local pub before Being driven back to the hotel.

A more Challenging day.

Distance: 17km/ 10.6 miles  Ascent/ descent: 950m/ 3116ft

Picking up the trail where we left off at Porlock Weir we walk up through trees, which ascend the woodlands to Culbone, which has the smallest parish church in England and is only accessible on foot. We follow the high route which has superb views of Wales and Exmoor, before dipping down again and across the border into Devon. We pass cascading streams and open clifftop meadows before emerging at Foreland Point, the most northerly part of Devon. Today’s walk finishes at Countisbury, where we walk through the churchyard and can have a drink Blue Ball Inn, before being taken back to Dunster.   

Distance: 15.2km/ 9.4 miles. Ascent/ descent: 700m/ 2296ft

Starting our walk from where we left off the previous day, we gradually lose height and make our way down to Lynmouth which is the end of the Two Moors Way. We take a coffee break here before starting again, up to the top of the cliffs or if you prefer, you could take the 'Cliff Railway' up. Perched on the side of the cliffs, the Valley of the Rocks or 'Little Switzerland' awaits us for our lunchtime, with its wild goats and stunning views. We continue onto the Heddon Valley and Hunters Inn, where we finish our South West Coast walk. 

Today is departure day and check-out is by 11.00. 

Distance: 10km/ 6 miles. Ascent/ descent: 230m/ 755ft

After breakfast we can check-out, store our bags and do a short circular walk from the hotel. Leaving the hotel, we head towards the sea passing by Conygar Tower en route. From Dunster beach, we take a leisurely walk to Blue Anchor Bay before heading inland and back to Dunster via the Deer Park.
(about 3 hours).  

After this there would be time for lunch in Dunster, and to visit the fabulous castle before saying goodbye. 

If you would like to extend your stay in Dunster, please speak to the hotel.

Departing frog with suitcase

Please note that if weather conditions are bad, or conditions change locally then it may be necessary to diverge from a part of the programme at short notice.  Every effort however will be made to keep to the advertised programme.

Our Accommodation:

Yarn Market Hotel: High Street, Dunster, Exmoor National Park, Somerset. TA24 6SF

Located in the heart of medieval Dunster village and immediately adjacent to the Yarn Market building, our hotel is full of character and quirkiness. It is the perfect place to relax and unwind at the end of a long days walk. 

Our hotel is particularly suited for group walking, its comfortable, quiet and serves good honest locally sourced food. Each evening we will meet for a briefing on the follow days walk, before sitting down to a three-course dinner.  

Meals / Transport included:

4 dinners – Wednesday to Saturday, all at our hotel.
4 breakfasts – Thursday to Sunday.
3 picnic lunches –Thursday to Saturday (not Sunday).
Transport included to and from the trail on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Our rooms:

The holiday is priced on a per person basis, with no supplemental charges for single occupancy rooms.   

All rooms are Sole Occupancy of a ‘Standard Double’ or ‘Twin’ room at the advertised price of £575 per person. There is no single supplement.

(A room upgrade may be available, please ask if you would like to know more).

 

Dunster:

Dunster was recorded in the Doomsday book of 1086 as having 15 households and is perhaps the best-preserved medieval settlement in England. Today’s Dunster is a bustling small town but retains one the UK’s best examples of medieval town layout.

The castle, originally a Norman fort built out of wood but later built from stone dominates the main street that still retains the main shape of the original borough town today.

The wool trade became a key contributor to local income and in Dunster you can still see the wonderfully preserved Yarn Market built in 1609, just outside our hotel.

Additional Information:

This is not an exhaustive list but highlights the main requirements. Please note, some of the tracks can be muddy after prolonged rain.

Essential Items
  • Waterproof walking-boots. Properly worn in and which provide good grip
  • Waterproof jacket and over trousers
  • Rucksack
  • Gloves and a warm hat
  • Water bottle – 1 ltr
  • Sunscreen and sun hat
  • Several layers of clothing – which can be added or removed as required


Recommended items
  • Personal first aid kit
  • Sit Mat
  • Specialist walking socks


Optional items
  • Gaiters – these can be useful after rain
  • Blister kit
  • Flask for hot drinks
  • Walking poles (can be useful)

You can get to Dunster:

By car: Dunster is in Somerset and lies just 2-minutes south off the A39 before the seaside town of Minehead.  

By train: Using the Great Western Railway from London Paddington it is possible to get to the town of Taunton in Somerset. From here, the number 28 bus runs regularly between Taunton Railway station South Side to Minehead. The closest stop to our hotel is DUNSTER STEEP on the A39, and our hotel will collect you.

PLEASE NOTE: Many mobile networks do not have a phone signal on much of the bus route including Dunster Steep. Please call 01643 821425 on departure from Taunton if you want a lift from Dunster Steep.

There is on street parking in the village, which apart from two spaces outside the shop 'Five Quarters' is free and unlimited.
 
In addition, there is a Pay and Display car park on the entrance to the village near to the Exmoor Visitors Centre.  This is run by the local council, and you can pay at the machine in the car park or you can access the website and pay online for single or multiple days or weeks. Parking costs are not included in holiday cost.
 
The Website is www.paybyphone.co.uk and you will need the numerical code 801874 which is the code for Dunster car park. 

One map covers our Jubilee Walking Weekend. I have a copy of this map to show you each evening in our briefings.

1:25:000. OS Explorer Map OL9 for Exmoor: covering Barnstable, Lynton, Minehead and Dulverton.