South West Coastal Path

We are planning a trip next year to housesit in the UK (Sept/Oct timeframe) to explore the SWCP area. It just looks stunning and we are big walkers so excited to begin planning it. Part of the trip will be housesits; hopefully with a dog(s) that likes to walk & we hope to do a section or two of the path on our own, doing an inn to inn walk.

I’m looking for suggestions on companies that could transfer our luggage during our inn to inn walk. Anyone done this before? What section of the path did you walk or do you recommend for a first time visitor to that area?

Many thanks

Hi@peg, we are currently cat sitting in a village on the SWCP near Dartmouth. It is stunning and makes for very challenging walking in parts.
I can recommend a book called The Salt Path by Raynor Wynn which is very inspiring - but they wild camped!
I will do some research re travel companies which will transfer your luggage and get back to you.

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luggage transfers.co.uk look a good bet.

See if you can get a copy of ‘500 Mile Walkies’ by Mark Wallington. It is a very funny book about his walk along the SWCP with his dog Boogie.
I am biased but I think the route in Cornwall is the best but maybe do some in Devon or Dorset also as the geology and thus geography changes.

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@Twitcher - just looked up Dartmouth…wow looks incredible & just the type of town we would love to visit. I’ve added a saved search for it for next fall!

The book looks really interesting & inspiring, will definitely read it. Maybe in my younger days, decades ago, I could have wild camped but not now!!! Comfy beds are needed at the end of a long walk day and a glass of wine!

Thanks for info and luggage transfer link!

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@Goodboyjakey thanks - I will get the book. I think you are right, do some of the path in different areas. That should give us a good feel for the area!

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The Salt Path is a fantastic book! I’m reading her follow up, The Wild Silence, now.

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Hi @Peg and wonderful to hear you will be exploring the SWCP. It is indeed stunning and you’ve picked a good time to do it as it can be incredibly busy on some sections through the summer months.

We very very lucky to end up for 3 months in Cornwall, by the sea for the first UK lockdown, not far from Lands End, in a tiny village called Gunwallow, south of Helston. As the UK opened up again allowing more time outside, we hiked different sections of the South West Coast Path until we finished our personal challenge to walk all the South West Coastal Track between Lands End and Helford Passage.

We started when all we could do was walk from the property. As lock-down eased we progressed to cycling to new starting points, then when driving was allowed we began doing further away sections.

In all we did 16 different walks (some repeatedly!), which we made into circular walks. For the longer hikes we dropped our bikes in fields at the end of a section and drove to the start. Then we could walk to the bikes and cycle back to the car. This enabled us to do longer walks.

The walk in all is only about 65 miles, but of course we did this twice over. We loved the cliff walks and the history of this mining area on the Lizard.

Our last walk started at Penberth Cove, where many Poldark scenes were filmed, and ended in pretty Mousehole

We were blessed to be in Cornwall during glorious weather with hardly anyone else about and when we arrived at Lands End there were just a handful of people. It’s truly spectacular to hike any section of the South West Coastal Path and I’d totally recommend pretty much any part of it. However, there are some quite steep sections on the north coast so it depends on your fitness levels and how far you want to venture each day.

As many have said, do read The Salt Path, the true story of a couple who lost everything and hiked and camped the 630 mile route. There’s also a sequel, I haven’t actually started yet, but this has reminded me to do just that!!

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@Vanessa-ForumCMgr - Great information! Thank you so much. I am putting this section as high on my list! I’ve seen the north section descriptions as Difficult and wondered how hard they really are. Again, thanks for the info & sharing your map.

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Hi Peg
I hope that you get to enjoy the SW Coastpath as planned.
Many years ago I walked part of the coastpath from from Penzance to Plymouth. At that time there was only luggage transfers available for parts of the route.
Although I am not able to recommend a service, you might like to enquire via the website below -

I now live approximately a mile from the Coast Path at beautiful Whitsand Bay (might be biased).
I would be more than happy to meet up with you next year & transport some luggage for you for free within say 15 miles of my home.
Happy Hiking!

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Oh my goodness you walked right past our door!! Before moving to Lancashire we had a national trust farm tenancy and the SWCP ran along the cliffs…just between Zennor and Pendeen🥰

@dma Thank you, would love to meet you if we are in your area & wow, thanks for the baggage transfer offer. I’ll be in touch!

I just got it!