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South West Coast Path

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Cornwall boasts over a 300 mile section of the South West Coast Path and its sheer variety means that there are plenty of gentle stretches as well as dramatic headlands, steep coastal valleys, sheltered estuaries, busy harbours, intimate coves, moorlands and sandy beaches. It offers something for everyone, not only does it give access to some of Cornwall's most spectacular scenery, it opens up opportunities to experience and learn about wildlife, history, geology, culture and industry as well as offering a continuous coastal challenge for those seeking adventure and a perfect backdrop for walkers.

For current information on temporary closures on public rights of way and on the South West Coast Path, please visit:

Temporary closures of public rights of way

For further information please visit the South West Coast Path National Trail and the South West Coast Path Association websites.

The South West Coast Path Code

As well as following the Countryside Code when you are walking the South West Coast Path or accessing beaches and coastal beauty spots please remember:

Staying safe is your own responsibility, please look after yourself and other members of your group

  • Let someone know where you are going and what time you are likely to be back, mobile phone reception is patchy on the coast
  • Take something to eat and drink
  • Protect yourself from the sun – sea breezes can hide its strength
  • Informal paths leading to beaches can be dangerous
  • If you are crossing a beach make sure you know the tide times so you won’t be cut off

Keep to the Coast Path and stay away from cliff edges, for your safety please follow advisory signs and waymarks

  • Keep back from cliff edges - a slip or trip could be fatal
  • Remember that some cliffs overhang or are unstable

Take special care of children and dogs, please look after them at all times

  • Keep your dog under close control
  • Children and dogs may not see potential dangers, such as cliff edges, especially if they are excited
  • Do not disturb farm animals or wildlife, walk around cattle not between them, especially if they have calves
  • Cattle may react aggressively to dogs, if this happens, let your dog off the lead

Dress sensibly for the terrain and weather, wear suitable clothing and footwear and be ready for possible changes in the weather

  • Check the weather forecast before you set out
  • On the coast. mist, fog and high winds are more likely and can be especially dangerous
  • Wear appropriate footwear such as boots or shoes for walking on the coast path (not flip-flops)
  • Take waterproofs and extra clothing, especially in cold weather

Stay within your fitness level, some sections of the Coast Path can be strenuous and/or remote

  • Plan a walk that suits your fitness level
  • Find out about the section you plan to walk
  • Turn back if the walk is too strenuous for anyone in your group
  • Be aware that the surface of the Coast Path varies and will generally be more natural and uneven away from car parks, towns and villages
  • Remember that in remote areas or at quiet times you may not see another person for some time if you are in difficulties

In an emergency either dial 999 or 112 for the coastguard.

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