Northumberland Coast Path and Northumberland Coast National Landscape

Open miles of beach are backed in places by extensive sand dunes, and the National Landscape includes Lindisfarne with its causeway and mudflats flats, as well as the hhe Farne Islands further out from the coast.  Ancient black basalt meets the sea in low headlands and rocky coves – a dramatic setting for Bamburgh and Dunstanburgh Castles and shelter for working harbours such as Craster.

 

Dorset National Landscape : Accommodation

Dorset National Landscape has some of the most diverse wildlife in England. Sand lizards, overwintering birds, dolphins and red squirrels can all be spotted.  The warm climate is reflected in the existence of some species that are new to the UK.

Take a coastal trip through three geological periods on the Jurassic Coast and explore 8000 years of human history in the many historic monuments.  Enjoy the landscape immortalised by Thomas Hardy, Turner and Constable.

Explore the work of the Dorset National Landscape team, who promote outdoor health and well being for humans and enable nature to recover, with a tricky balance of priorities.

Dorset National Landscape is a precious resource that everyone can enjoy. Today, tomorrow and for years to come.  Why not plan your enjoyment today?

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South Downs Way and the South Downs National Park:

Whether you are walking, cycling or riding, the South Downs Way provides great vistas, a well-marked route and plenty of small villages and county towns along the way offering fireside pubs.  On the path, you will follow chalk streams, rivers, coastal paths, ancient woods and the famous chalk escapment itself.

Drop down from the downs to explore the wider South Downs National Park.  In addition to the stunning chalk downs the park also includes the woodlands, hedgerows and lowland pastures of the western Weald and several beautiful rivers.   There are many colourful wildflowers and 30 different species of butterflies. You will also come across vineyards (a testament to the South Downs sunny climate) and lowland heaths that are a sea of pinks and purples every year.

With great transport links from London and the greater rail network, this special part of the country is one of the most popular places to walk.

Ravenber Way: Accommodation on the route

The Ravenber Way guide book

The guide book provides a full description, from West to East, with hand drawn maps of the route. It also outlines alternative routes.   The route traced on the map is 210 miles, but with alternative routes, visiting interesting places and leaving the route to reach overnight accommodation you could walk considerably more.

The Ravenber Way route is long and takes most people around fourteen days to complete. It is wild and remote in places, and not way-marked.  Good map reading skills are required and there are many stretches where you may not see another walker for hours. Accommodation is available on route, but limited in places – so always book well in advance.

As well as wild mountains and moorlands the route passes through lovely towns and villages, with many historical places of interest not too far from the route. You may want to stay a couple of nights in one place, or just take a couple of hours off the march, to enjoy where you are.

Each end of the Ravenber Way is connected to the rail network, and Hexham at the centre also has a train station.  There is also a mainline train station in Penrith, 5 miles off the route.

askham village on the ravenber way

 

Route suggestions for walking the Ravenber Way

Day 1

Coast to Coast on the Ravenber Way begins in Ravenglass on the West coast of Cumbria. Leave Ravenglass beside Walls Castle and head along Eskdale to Eskdale Green. Head into Miterdale Forest, climb Irton Fell and proceed along the ridge to Whin Rigg and Illgill Head. Head downhill to Wasdale Head for the night. The guidebook provides an alternative route from Rabbit How which ends in Great Langdale and misses the Whin Rigg section – head up Eskdale to Boot and to Great Langdale where you can stay at the Great Langdale Bunkhouse – next to the New Dungoen Gyhll pub.

Day 2

Unless you took an alternative route to Great Langdale then you’ll begin day two at Wasdale Head. Leave towards Burnthwaite, follow alongside Lingmell Beck and ascend to Sty Head. Pass Sprinkling Tarn and then Angle Tarn and follow Rossett Gill then the Cumbria Way into Great Langdale where you’ll pass the Great Langdale Bunkhouse. Further along in Elterwater, and a few minutes from the route, is the Elterwater Hostel. Continue on to Skelwith Bridge and Tarn Foot, near Loughrigg Tarn to Ambleside via Ivy Crag and Deer Hows. Walkers wishing to stay at either The Old Café Bunkhouse could bear left at Loughrigg Tarn and follow Loughrigg Terrace, past Rydall Water, to Rydall.

Day 3

Leave Ambleside along Lake Road and head over Wansfell Pike to arrive in Troutbeck.  Leave via Ing Lane and along Hagg Gill to ascend High Street – the highest point of the Ravenber Way. Staying high the route passes High Raise, Red Crag and Loadpot Hill before gently descending along the Roman Road into Askham. There are no hostels ont his website for this section, but Wayfarers Independent Hostel is located 5 miles away in Penrith.

Day 4

Leave the pretty village of Askham along the Windermere and Ullswater road, passing Askham Hall and Lowther Castle on the way to Hackthorpe, Melkinthorpe and Great Strickland. About halfway through the day the route passes through Morland. Reagill Village Hall is located four miles south of the route and would also provide a break for the night. The route continues through King’s Meaburn, Bolton and Long Marton before arriving in Dufton.

Day 5

There is very little between Dufton and Garrigill apart from hills. Leave Dufton along a track leading to the Pennie Way, then follow the Pennine Way over Green Fell and Knock Fell. Follow Trout Beck to cross the River Tees. Pass Tyne Head and then downhill along River South Tyne to Garrigill and Garrigill Village Hall. The guidebook provides an alternative route, prudent in bad weather, to avoid the summit of Knock Fell.

Day 6

Follow the path to Dodbury and above Garrigill Burn then cross a vast area of disused mines to Nenthead.  Haggs Bank Bunkhouse and Camping is a short distance away in Nentsberry and might make a suitable stopover by extending day 5.  From Nenthead head towards Dykeheads, cross moorlands to Coalcleugh – Carrshield Camping Barn is less than a mile from the route in Carrshield. Cross Carrshield Moor to Philipson’s Fold and descend to Swinhope Mill. Pass through White Ridge and Burnfoot to The Dodd, then a short stroll in to Allenheads. The guidebook provides an alternative route from Philipson’s Fold to Allendale Town along Isaac’s Tea Trail for Allendale Bunkhouse and a significantly reduced moorland stretch for day 7.

Day 7

Today passes the halfway point! Leave Allenheads via The Dodd, follow alongside River East Allen and cross it before Low Huntwell. Cross the moor to Green Hill and follow Broad Way past Pikeley Rigg, Hangman Hill and Watson’s Pike to Kings Law. Head around the plantation then pass Rye Hill, Low Rawgreen, High Staples and Juniper to Diptonmill. Then pick up A Pennie Journey downhill to Hexham. There are no hostels ont his website for this section, but if you stayed in Allendale Town after day 6 then you may have the legs to reach Newborough Bunkhouse which is on the route 9.5km (6 miles) into section 8.

If you are walking the Ravenber Way in two visits then, as Hexham is just past the halfway point and connected by rail to Newcastle and Carlisle, then this is a good break point.

Day 8

Leave Hexham to the North, cross the train line and head alongside the River Tyne. Cross the river at Bridge End and head in to Newborough – and past Newborough Bunkhouse. Pass Newborough Lodge and cross open country to Hardian’s wall – Greencarts Bunkhouses and Camping is just over a mile away. Head west along the wall before, crossing more open country past Slaterfield Fell, Pit Wood and Low Moralee, then descend through Warksburn Wood to Wark.

Day 9

Leave Wark by crossing the former toll bridge over the North Tyne to the village of Birtley, then pass Pittland Hills and Tone Hall to Tone Inn. Cross the Roman road, head through a conifer plantation and turn left to pass Hawick Woods to Ferneyrigg. Head to Nether Pike then cross moorland and pass Wishaw Plantation, Green Wisp, Blaxter Cottages and Ravenscleugh to Elsdon.

Day 10

Today is remote with lots of woodland. Leave Elsdon by Crown Farm and enter Harwood Forest by East Todholes – buried deep in the forest is the remote Chartners Farm Off the Grid. Follow the path through Whitlees, Harry’s Wood, Gunner’s Box and Redpath before picking up St Oswald’s Way to finally leave the forest at Croquet Cairn. Stay on St Oswald’s Way and cross the moors past Spylaw, Whittondean and Whitton to Rothbury.

Day 11

Leave Rothbury via Brewery Lane towards Addycombe, then pass Ship Crag and High Wood to Thropton. Head along the River Coquet to Warton, pass Low Trewhitt Cottages and continue to Sheperton. Cross River Coquet, and then back again by paddling (flood alternatives are suggested in the guidebook). Pass The Peels and Harbottle to Alwinton.

Day 12

Leave Alwinton along Clennell Street, pass many ancient settlements, then Wholehope Knowe, Saughy Hill to Nettlehope Hill. Head through the forest to pass Well Cleugh and Hazely Law to the border ridge where the route meets the Pennine Way. Follow the Pennine Way to Kings Seat, Green Gair, Hanging Stone, Auchope Cairn and Red Cribs before descending to Mounthooly – and the Mounthooly Bunkhouse. Continue past Fleehope, Whitehall and Hethpool then follow College Burn to Westnewton Bridge. The guidebook provides an alternative route to Wooler – for this leave the main route before Auchop Cairn to Cairn Hill, The Cheviot, Scald Hill to Broadstruther. Follow Broadstruthers Burn to Carey Burn then cross moorland to Wooler Common and through the Kenterdale Hill picnic spot to Wooler – and Wooler Youth Hostel.  From Wooler head to Westnewton Bridge to pick up the next section of the route.

Day 13

Leave on a track between Westnewton and Westnewton Bridge and cross the disused railway to Lanton Mill. Continue to Crookhouse, around Coldside Hill, through Flodden, around Flodden Hill and on to Crookham Bridge. Continue to Heatherslaw, then cross the River Till to Etal. Follow the river until it meets the River Tweed and then follow the Tweed downstream. Leave the river at Bow Well Farm to Norham.

Day 14

Follow the footpath along the river Tweed and then up to visit Horncliffe. Head back to the riverside footpath and continue to the Berwick Bridge. Head right after the bridge to Quay Walls and then Wellington Terrace and past Coxon’s Tower to Pier Road. Behind Pier Road is a car park and a good spot to dip your toe in the water to complete the Ravenber Way.  Eat Sleep Lindisfarrne is 14km (8.7 miles) away, and provides a great base to explore Holy Island.

You can buy the Ravenber Way guide book  HERE

Eco hostels : Green accommodation in sustainable bunkhouses and hostels

Why are hostels and bunkhouses the eco-friendly choice?

By their nature, holidays in hostels and bunkhouses have a low C02 footprint. This is because:

– The shared aspects of the accommodation mean more people are making use of the same resources, which makes the accommodation more sustainable. There are shared lounges, kitchens and gardens, and some guests choose to stay in shared dormitory-style sleeping rooms, although private rooms are also available. This reduces the energy that is put into furnishing and heating the whole hostel.

-The self-catering facilities allow you to source your food locally, a great way to celebrate the region you are visiting.

-The outdoorsy nature of independent hostels means the types of activities you will be enjoying while staying at a hostel tend to be low carbon. Rather than days out that produce a lot of waste such as shopping or eating out. At independent hostels, you are encouraged to enjoy environmentally friendly activities such as walking, swimming, or cycling.

Which eco-friendly hostels and bunkhouses go above and beyond?

-A quarter of the hostels and bunkhouses in the Independent Hostels UK network have a green ethos and a quarter of these have signed up for the Green Tourism Business Scheme. Such as Palace Farm Hostel in Kent which has been awarded the Gold Green Tourism award ten times!

-Some hostels provide a Green Discount for people who arrive on foot or by public transport. This is a great way to encourage walkers, cyclists, and the use of public transport.  You can find a list of these with their details on our Sustainable Travel page.

-Many of the hostels in our network create their own renewable energy on-site or use 100% renewable energy providers. For example, Houghton North Farm in Northumberland is now heated by a wood pellet biomass boiler and the electricity is supplied by their wind turbine.

-Many hostels have renovated their properties to become more efficient. For example, Elterwater Hostel in the Lake District has installed double glazing and thermal lined curtains to retain heat in their hostel.

-Eco-hostels know the importance of reusing, this is why the hostels in our network often communicate to share a surplus of items such as chairs or beds. Nothing in good condition gets thrown away in an eco-hostel!

-Some hostels provide bike rentals as an eco-friendly transportation method for the duration of your holiday. Like Old Brooder Bunkhouse in Suffolk.

-Hostels provide metal cutlery and ceramic plates in their self-catering kitchens. No need for single-use plastics here!

Hostels with private rooms

Accommodation with private rooms

For many, private rooms are a necessity when it comes to traveling in hostels. While some of the more hardcore backpacker crowd might disagree, it’s becoming more and more accepted that a lot of hostels now offer these rooms. The reasons for having a private room vary however the perks remain the same throughout.Cell B bunks from social media

Why are private rooms so popular?

As the word implies private rooms offer a deal more privacy than the standard dorm room, invaluable for the light sleepers who can’t sleep without total silence. Families also benefit from having a little bit more room and their own space as children sometimes need their own space (parents need their own space to relax and unwind as well) and having your own room offers that where a dorm can’t. Couples traveling the country together who want their own space will love the privacy of having their own room offers in a way that a dorm can’t.

Novice travelers who may be hosteling for the first time can find the idea of staying in a dorm full of strangers daunting or off-putting. Having their own room allows those unsure about the hosteling experience to dip their toe in the community atmosphere while being able to retreat to their own space should they want to. The welcoming atmosphere and being surrounded by like-minded, friendly people is what keeps people coming back to hostels year after year, private rooms are a great way to introduce people to that.

 

Balholm room overlooking woods and fields

All the benefits of a hotel with hostel prices

Having your own room in a hostel offers affordable accommodation similar to a hotel but with all the benefits of a hostel. Many will have adjoining en suites allowing you to be completely separate when you want to be.

The use of the self-catering kitchens and social areas makes the whole experience much more personal. Just because you’re in your own room doesn’t mean you have to stay in it!

The friendly atmosphere of hostels is what keeps people coming back year after year. Meeting new people and hearing their experiences is still as easy to do as in a dorm. Socialize over breakfast or by the fire in the evening. All the while knowing you can retire to your cozy room when you’re ready for bed.

Ballater hostel private room with double bed and bunk bed

Treat yourself to a bit of luxury

While bunk beds are tried and tested it’s always nice to treat yourself every now and then. With many of the rooms offering double beds, they’re perfect for getting a good night’s sleep. Just what you’ll need after a day out exploring some of the UK’s best locations.

King Alfred’s Way: hostels along the route

King Alfred’s Way is a 350km circular off-road cycle route running along chalk downlands and ridges and connecting some of England’s most iconic sites.

wild flowers on chalf downland on king alfreds way

Despite being easily accessible from cities in the south of England, you quickly escape from everyday life to immerse yourself in the wide-open views across waves of rolling countryside.

wild flowers on king alfreds way near winchester

The name of the trail is inspired by Alfred the Great, who ruled the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex.  Using parts of the Ridgeway and South Downs Way, it is ideal for gravel bikes and can be ridden over a few days as a bikepacking trip with some great hostels along the way.

display board showing route of the ridgeway and king alfreds way

It also connects with the Thames Path and the North Downs Way riders’ route, so you can combine multiple routes into a longer ride.

Created by Cycling UK the King Alfred’s Way is the beginning of a network of long-distance off-road routes being planned across the length and breadth of Great Britain.  Find out more about Cycling UK HERE.  And you can download their guide to King Alfred’s Way HERE.

3 cyclists on king alfreds way in the north downs

Hadrians Wall Walk: accommodation in bunkhouses and hostels

Hadrian’s Wall walk accommodation

You are spoilt for choice with some amazing places to stay during your hike, from idyllic, secluded, and rural bunkrooms to bustling, self-catering hostels. There is a place to rest your head at every step of the journey. Not to mention the communal rooms to relax in and meet other travellers in and the self-catering kitchens.

The interior of greenhead hostel with high ceilings and a sofa on hadrian's wall
The stunning communal room at Greenhead Hostel

We know the importance of conserving your energy for when it matters most. This is why all the hostels and bunkhouses on this map are very close to the wall itself. This means no extra walking when all you want to do is have a hearty meal and a lie-down!

Planning the route at Slack House Farm using a map, the independent hostel guide and the hadrian's wall guide book.
Relax in Slack House Farm‘s kitchen and plan the next step of your route.

Our hostels are no strangers to Hadrian’s Wall walkers, this is why many of them provide evening meals and/or breakfasts, are dog friendly and provide bedding.

An ariel shot of LoughView Bunkhouse looking gorgeous and welcoming on hadrian's wall
Loughview Bunkhouse provides bedding, breakfast and dogs by arrangement!

Hadrians Cycleway : Accommodation in Hostels and Bunkhouses

Hadrian’s Cycleway accommodation

You are spoilt for choice with some amazing places to stay along your ride, from a traditional farmhouse welcome to a city centre hostel. There is a great selection of places to rest your head. Not to mention the communal rooms; great places to relax and meet other travellers.

A traditional georgian brick farm building partly converted in to a bunkbarn
Hillside Farm Bunkbarn the obvious place to stay at the start/end or your ride.

We know the importance of conserving your energy for when it matters most. Six of the hostels and bunkhouses on this map are right on the route with a few others a short ride away.  This means no extra pedalling when all you want to do is have a hearty meal and a lie-down!

Lounge at Newbrough Bunkhouse near Hadrian's Wall
The spacious lounge at Newbrough Bunkhouse

Our hostels are no strangers to Hadrian’s Wall walkers, this is why many of them provide evening meals and/or breakfasts, and generally provide bedding (always best to check this).

An ariel shot of LoughView Bunkhouse looking gorgeous and welcoming on hadrian's wall
Loughview Bunkhouse provides bedding and breakfast.

West Highland Way: Accommodation in Bunkhouses and Hostels

Accommodation along the West Highland Way.

The West Highland Way is generally walked from South to North, starting just north of Glasgow at  Milngavie and finishing in Fort William in the Highlands.   The details of bunkhouses and hostels providing self-catering accommodation along the route are shown in this order.

You can see the location of other hostels in this area on our Scottish Map.

Mike Emmett has told us the story of his walk along the West Highland Way and this is included below.  Mike bought a package that organised his week’s walking trip, booking accommodation in hotels and transporting luggage. However, it is possible to walk using a light backpack and stay in a mixture of hostels and other accommodation.

Here is Mike’s story.

Eight of us, aged 66 to 72 decided this year’s Scottish adventure would be the West Highland Way.

Day 1 West Highland Way: Milngavie to Drymen, 12 miles

We started at the official West Highland Way obelisk in Milngavie. The first part of the walk was on the old railway line, cleverly converted. We went off track a short distance to visit the ruined Mugdock Castle.

West Highland Way Milngavie to Mugdock Castle
West Highland Way Milngavie to Mugdock Castle

In spite of the rain, heavy at times, we trudged on the 12 miles to Drymen along woodland paths, more railway and finally a few miles on road, which can be hard walking.

Day  2 West Highland Way: Drymen to Rowardennan, 15 miles

A better day, only showers. Woodland and moorland for the first half with many a short up and down. We climbed Conic Hill, a local beauty spot and magnet for short-distance walkers, to get a great view of Loch Lomond below us. Tea and cakes in Balmaha then onward along the path beside the loch to Rowardennen where we spent the night. (A party of Danes could not understand our accents, most of us being from Tyneside!).

west highland way Loch Lomand from Conic Hill

Day 3 West Highland Way:  Rowardennen to Beinglas Farm, 13 miles.

For me, this was the hardest day. The path was initially good to Inversnaid Hotel. After that a narrow path close to the shore of Loch Lomond. It was very rocky in places, care is needed and some short scrambles too. Final section across fields to Beinglas where we stayed the night. We visited the ancient pub “The Drovers  Inn”, dating back to Rob Roy. It had not been decorated since he was there.

Day 4 West Highland Way: Beinglas to Tyndrum, 14 miles

The first half, to Crianlarich, was a mixture of moorland, woodland, and muddy tracks. It rained a bit too. We went off the West Highland Way for tea at Crianlarich railway station. The second half of the day took us through several miles of coniferous plantation, which can be boring but this one was not too bad.  Out of the forest, we passed St Fillans abbey (ruined). The Lochan of the Sword where Robert the Bruce, according to myth, threw his sword after defeat in battle. Finally, a footpath brought us to Tyndrum where we spent the night.

West Highland Way The Way goes ever on

Day 5  West Highland Way: Tyndrum to Inveroran Hotel, 10 miles

Getting deeper into the Highlands the walk was getting more interesting. After 7 miles we stopped at the Bridge of Orchy hotel for tea and scones (honest).  Moving on over moorland we came in sight of the isolated Inveroran hotel, quite isolated (No WiFi!!) but in a beautiful setting below the Black  Mount and close to Loch Tulla. It suited us, sitting in the sunshine enjoying a quiet pint and watching other walkers come down the hill to the hotel. (Dorothy Wordsworth, travelling with William, was not as impressed apparently).

West Highland Way Lunchtime Buchaile

Day  6 West Highland Way: Inveroran to Kings House, 10 miles

Sadly the day started with a slight thunderstorm and rain, which ensured the mountains were all but invisible. As the morning progressed the cloud lifted and we walked on a good track built by Thomas Telford in 1803. We walked across part of Rannoch Moor, desolate uninhabited land of bog and lochan. But the views were unbeatable, as we left the Black Mount the mountains of Glencoe appeared in all their glory. A really magnificent area. A herd of deer, females with their young, came very close.

Day 7 West Highland Way: Kingshouse to Kinlochleven, 8 miles

A short walk parallel to the road that goes down Glencoe before heading up “The Devil’s Staircase” a steep zig-zag path that is also an old military road. It reaches 1789 feet, the highest point on the WHW, and is another popular short walk, up to the shoulder and down again!   The view from the top was well worth the effort (which wasn’t too bad). A grand panorama of the Mamores to the north and looking back at the mountains that line Glencoe. It seemed a long walk down to Kinlochleven. In spite of the old aluminium smelter and hydropower station, Kinlochleven is quite a pretty place. One of the old buildings has been converted into Britain’s ice climbing centre, there’s also a microbrewery.

West Highland Way Mamores from Devils Staircase
West Highland Way Mamores from Devils Staircase

Day 8  West Highland Way: Kinlochleven to Fort William, 16 miles

After a short steep climb through woodland, we reached another old /military road that contoured nearly all the way to Glen Nevis.  Ben Nevis appeared, initially covered in cloud but that slowly burned off. It was possible to see the steady stream of walkers plodding up the tourist route to the summit of  Ben Nevis. We walked down through woodland to Glen Nevis. Sadly, the last couple of miles of the WHW is on a road. We had to walk the length of the high street to get to the official finish and then, surprisingly, we went to the nearest pub to celebrate.

west highland way Day 6 and the end of the walk

Officially the walk is 96 miles, we clocked up a few extra. One of the pleasures of the walk is the camaraderie. Not just between the eight of us. We often walked in pairs, sometimes alone. But every day we met groups of people also doing the West Highland Way. Most of them were Europeans, some Americans, and some Canadians. We always exchanged greetings and enquiries as to how was it going etc. Some people, mostly young, were doing the walk carrying full packs, tents sleeping bags, etc. Ouch.  It was a great experience, looking back I enjoyed every step in its own way and much to my surprise, I didn’t even get one blister.

Another inspiring account of walking the West Highland Way can be found on the Walking Englishman’s website. He walked the WHW route from North to South as part of a 3-month walk of the full length of Great Britain.  Full details of the route and other resources can be found on the LDWA website.

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Wales Coast Path: Hostels & bunkhouse accommodation

If you are looking for accommodation on the Wales Coast Path, Hostels and bunkhouses are the perfect choice.  There are Independent Hostels along the whole of the Wales Coast Path route from Chepstow all the way round to Llandudno, meaning that the majority of the route can be walked using hostels and bunkhouses as accommodation.

 

Modern hostels and bunkhouses often provide bed linen so you don’t need to bring a sleeping bag (check each accommodation’s details). With self-catering and catered options (and many hostels and bunkhouses being close to a pub) there are catering options for all budgets.  For those cycling parts of the Wales coast path route many hostels provide cycle storage to keep your bike safe whilst you have a great night’s sleep.

After a day’s walking you will find a warm welcome in all of our accommodation on the Wales Coast Path.  Details of the route are available on the LDWA website.

The Wales Coast path joins up with Offa’s Dyke to create a circular route right round the edge of Wales, by using Independent hostels along with YHA hostels and B&Bs one can walk the whole length.

Wales Coast Path, Close to Piggery Poke Hostel
Wales Coast Path,

 

wales coast path near Morfa
Wales coast path near Morfa

South West Coast Path: Accommodation in hostels & bunkhouses

South West Coast Path Map

The S W Coast Path is one of the most popular walking routes in the world. At 630 miles long, it is the UK’s longest National Trail. The route is maintained by the South West Coast Path Association. With help from trustees and members, they are able to restore parts of the path that are affected by storms. The Association also improves the path for walkers and wildlife alike.

Ariel view of Ladram Bay on the SW Coast Path
Ladram Bay in Devon with the SW Coast Path skirting along the top.
Looking in at the coast from the sea. Looking at porthcurno and the minack theatre
Why not visit Porthcurno and the Minack Theatre on your journey along the South West Coast Path?

The Southwest Coastal Path begins in Minehead, Exmoor, and follows the undulating North Devon coastline. It then plunges into Cornwall, before dipping back into South Devon, and ending up in Poole Harbour in Dorset. It passes through many beautiful tourist sites such as Ilfracombe, Tintagel, St Ives, Penzance and Falmouth.

The route is clearly signposted by an acorn symbol, just like all National Trails. The path has large sculptures marking the beginning, middle and end of the route. Why not take a picture in front of all three to document your journey?

This stunning route has become more popular since the publication of the bestselling book, The Salt Path by Raynor Winn.  The Salt Path is a memoir about a married couple who walk the South West Coastal Path after having lost their home and discovering that the husband has a degenerative illness.  This inspiring true story of hope and the healing powers of walking and the natural world has been made in to a feature film.  Also called The Salt Path, the film is due to be released in 2024.   

 

A misty day in St Ives bay. Filled with colourful boats and on the South West Coast Path
A misty day at St Ives harbour

Pembrokeshire Coast Path: Accommodation in Hostels and Bunkhouses

What is the Pembrokeshire Coast path?

Opened in 1970, the Pembrokeshire Coast Path was the first national trail in Wales. It is an exhilarating and inspirational walk as it passes an incredible 58 beaches and 14 harbours! Handily, the entire length of the route is covered by the Pembrokeshire coastal bus service. This is because, a fair proportion of the route crosses areas that are scarcely populated. This regular bus service is very popular with walkers ferrying them to and from their overnight lodgings and means you are never too far from civilisation.

Fishguard on the pembrokeshire coast path. Looking down on the port there are colourful houses and pretty boats
Pretty views in Fishguard

Why walk the Pembrokeshire Coast path?

The Pembrokeshire Coast Path runs for 186 miles along the most breath-taking coastline in Britain. Stretching between St Dognaels in the north to Amroth in the South, the route crosses a wonderful variety of coastal landscapes. You will walk along rugged cliff tops, descend to sheltered coves, cross wide open beaches, and meandering estuaries. As well as offering a wonderful variety of breath-taking scenery, the area is rich in bird life and coastal flowers. If you are lucky, you may also spot seals and wild ponies. On average the Pembrokeshire Coast Path takes 10 to 15 days to complete.

Two curious ponies on the pembrokeshire coast path near the Azure sea
Two curious ponies on the Pembokeshire Coastal Path

How long does the Pembrokeshire Coast Path take to complete?

The Pembrokeshire Coast Path (also known as the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path) is quite a challenging route.  It takes on average 10-15 days to walk from end to end.  The ascents and descents amount to 35,000ft, which is roughly equivalent to climbing Everest.  So, a certain amount of pre-walk training is recommended.  The route is very well waymarked, but as always it is a good idea to take a guidebook and map.

A picture from the harbour out at sea. looking into shore
Solva Harbour on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path