hotel coastal path plymouth
Home Page Your Room Breakfasts Prices Finding Us Plymouth Exploring Booking Links Contact Us
hotel coastal path plymouth, accommodation plymouth, plymouth hoe, coastal path holiday, bed & breakfast, guest house vacation, guesthouse, business accomodation, short break acomodation, b&b acommodation, devon hotel
The South West Coast Path is Britain's longest waymarked long-distance footpath and a National Trail. It stretches for 630 miles (1,014 km), running from Minehead in Somerset, along the coasts of Devon and Cornwall, to Poole Harbour in Dorset. Since it rises and falls with every river mouth, it is also one of the more challenging trails. The total height climbed has been calculated to be 114,931 ft (35,031 m), almost four times the height of Mount Everest.
The final section of the path was designated as a National Trail in 1978. Many of the landscapes which the South West Coast Path crosses have special status, either as a National Park or one of the Heritage Coasts. The path passes through two World Heritage Sites: the Dorset and East Devon Coast, known as the Jurassic Coast, was designated in 2001, and the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape in 2007.
In the 1990s it was thought that the path brought £15 million into the area each year, but new research in 2003 indicated that it generated around £300 million a year in total, which could support more than 7,500 jobs. This research also recorded that 27.6% of visitors to the region came because of the Path, and they spent £136 million in a year. Local people took 23 million walks on the Path and spent a further £116 million, and other visitors contributed the remainder. A further study in 2005 estimated this figure to have risen to around £300 million.
The path originated as a route for the Coastguard to walk from lighthouse to lighthouse patrolling for smugglers. They needed to be able to look down into every bay and cove: as a result, the path closely hugs the coast providing excellent views but rarely the most direct path between two points. The South West Coast Path is no longer used by the Coastguard but it has been transformed from a practical defence system into a resource for recreational walkers. The path is covered by England's right-of-way laws, as amended by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, that keep historic foot paths open to the public even when they pass through private property. Sections of the path are maintained by the National Trust, which owns parts of the coast.
The path is a designated National Trail, largely funded by Natural England. It was created in stages, with its final section, Somerset and North Devon, opening in 1978. It is maintained by a dedicated South West Coast Path Team.
The South West Coast Path Association, a registered charity, exists to support the interests of users of the path. The Association was formed in 1973 and since then it has campaigned for improvements to the path. Its services include accommodation guides and completion certificates.
The route is described here anticlockwise, from Minehead to Poole. The distance and total ascent between any two points, in either direction, can be obtained from The South West Coast Path Association Distance Reckoner. A survey carried out in 1999 and 2000 found that at that time the path had 2,473 signposts or waymarks, and included 302 bridges, 921 stiles, and 26,719 steps. In practice, any such calculation is soon out of date because of path diversions due to landslips or access changes. Many walkers take about eight weeks to complete the path, often dividing this into sections walked over several years. In contrast, a team of six Royal Marines, taking turns in pairs to run two-hour sections, completed the path in six days in 2004.