The Land’s End Trail and the Mary Michael Pilgim’s way are a great alternative to long distance walking in the West Country to the South West Coast Path.
Both routes start at Land’s End and finish at Avebury (although there are plans to extend the Mary Michael Pilgrim’s Way to Norfolk) taking slightly different routes up the spine of the west country.
The routes have been well documented and parts are waymarked.
Independent Hostels are a great source of accommodation can can be combined with YHA hostels, Camping or B&Bs to create a route itinerary.
Land's End Trail and Mary Micheal Pilgrim's Way
The Land’s End Trail and Mary Michael Pilgrim’s way are two great long distance walking routes which take walkers up the spine of the west country. Both begin at Land’s End and finish at Avebury but take in different parts of the area with the Mary Micheal Pilgrim’s way specialising in connecting significant Christian and Pre- Christian sites.
The Land’s End Trail is a great alternative for walking in the west country to the South West Coast Path. Heading from Land’s End right up the spine of the west country it finishes in Avebury on Salisbury Plain. The 303 mile route was conceived by local cornishman Hugh Miners in and developed and published by Robert Wicks, Robert Preston and Robin Menneer in the 1990s. It is hard to find a published route now but there is a lot of information on the route on the land’s End Trail section of the Oliver’s Cornwall Website and on the Long Distance Walkers website. The route takes the walker from Land’s End, via the Tinners Track over countride and the Camel Trail to Bodmin Moor. It climbs “Brown Willy” Cornwall’s highest point with the Cornish section ending in Tavistock. The Land’s End to Tavistock section is over 13 stages of between 7 and 15 miles. From Tavistock the Lands End trail crosses Dartmoor via a choice of high or low routes, it then takes the Tarka Trail to southern Exmoor before crossing the Quantocks and Somerset Levels to Glastonbury. From then on the route crosses Pewsey Vale and Salisbury Plain until it finishes at Avebury.
The Mary Michael Pilgrim’s Way is a vision created by the Mary Micheal Pilgrim Way non profit organisation. The idea is to create a pilgrimage which connects significant Christian and Pre-Christian sites across the south of England from Land’s End in Cornwall to Norfolk. So far the section from Land’s End to Avebury has been documented in two guidebooks available from the organisation’s website. The section from Brenton (west Dartmoor) to Glastonbury has also been waymarked. The Mary Michael Pilgrim’s Way takes a slightly more southern route than the Land’s End Trail at least until it gets to Dartmoor, it then skirts the northern edge of the moor before taking a more southern route again. At Glastonbury the two routes cross and the Mary Michael Pilgrims way heads to Avebury via Shepton Mallet and Trowbridge. Details of the full route are available on the LDWA website.
You can choose accommodation in independent hostels on some of the sections of both routes. Walkers can combine nights in independent hostels with camping or staying at YHA or B&Bs and can find more accommodation options in the Long Distance Walkers website.