list of footpaths in southwest england | links to general sites about walking in southwest england

 

South Hessary Tor on Dartmoor.
( large image - 86 kb jpg).

 

 

 

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Avon Valley Walk - 55 km (34 m) 

The Avon Valley Path was the idea of a group of walkers from the Ringwood and Fordingbridge Footpath Society and is a walk which totals 34 miles from Salisbury Cathedral in Wiltshire to Christchurch Priory in Dorset. 

More information can be found on:

 

Cotswold Way - 161 km (100 m)

This path follows the escarpment of the Cotswold hills from the historic small town of Chipping Campden in Gloucestershire to the Georgian city of Bath. The route offers a variety of scenery, from hill top viewpoints to valley woodlands, through villages and farmland. More information on the Cotswold Way can be found at:

Above Beautiful Bath (large image - 75 kb jpg)

 

Heart of England Way - 161 km (100 m)

Linking the Staffordshire Way at Cannock with the Cotswold Way at Chipping Campden, this route passes through lowland farming countryside before climbing the Cotswold escarpment. More information on the Heart of England Way can be found at:

 

Isle of Wight Coastal Path - 97 km (60 m)

This circuit of the coastline of the Island of Wight is the longest continual trail on this island with its popular holiday resorts. There are a number of other, shorter trails linking the coast with inland valleys and villages. More information on the Isle of Wight Coastal Path can be found at:

Information about all sorts of walks on the Isle of Wight can be found on the Netguide of the Isle of Wight server.

 

Monarch's Way - 981 km (609 m)

The escape of Charles II after the Battle of Worcester in 1651. For six exciting weeks, and hotly pursued by the Parliamentary forces under Oliver Cromwell, he travelled first north, then south through the Cotswolds and the Mendips to the South Coast, and finally along the South Downs to Shoreham where he made his escape to France. The Monarch's Way follows the same route taking the walker to many historical buildings, features of interest and antiquity.
More information can be found on the the Monarch's Way website together with a detailed map of the route.

 

Oxfordshire Way - 105 km (65 m)

Starting at the picturesque village of Bourton-on-the-Water, this route links the Cotswolds with the Chiltern Hills, ending at Henley-on-Thames. The path meets the Ridgeway on the Chiltern escarpment.

 

Ridgeway - 137 km (85 m) 

Following much of the ancient Wessex Ridgeway and Icknield Way, the Ridgeway has an abundance of archaeological remains,i.e the stone circle near Avebury, as well as chalk flora and fauna for the interested walkers. From Goring the path follows the escarpment of the Chiltern Hills ending at Ivinghoe Beacon near Dunstable. The Ridgeway is one of the National Trails and is described in the guide with the same name written by N. Curtis, and published by the Countryside Commission and Aurum Press. More information on the Ridgeway can be found on:

 

River Parrett Trail - 80 km (50 m)

This is comfortable walking through the gentle hills of the Dorset and Somerset borders and across the wetlands of the Somerset Levels and Moors. It is also a fascinating journey through orchards, woods, withy beds and the watery haunts of birds and fishermen; passing limestone cottages, Georgian terraces, elegant mediaeval churches and the elaborate pattern of rhynes and water courses of the low land.

 

Saints Way - 42 km (26 m)

A Cornish walk between Padstow on the Camel Estuary and Fowey on the south coast, the Saints Way follows a Bronze Age trading route. Later used by Celtic saints to reach scattered farm and moorland communities, seceral relicts of such times can still be seen.

 

Severn Way - 105 km (66 m)

A walk along the eastern banks of the River Severn, starting at Tewkesbury. This route passes near
the historical Gloucester Docks, Frampton Village and Wick Court. Then alongside the Cloucester-Sharpness Canal to Sharpness Port and Berkley Power Station.

 

Solent Way - 97 km (60 m)

Starting at Milford on Sea this walk crosses coastal marshes then passes the New Forest, Bucklers Hard and Beaulieu to arrive at Hythe. The ferry takes the walker to Southampton. The route then follows the Solent shoreline over the river Hamble and, via the Gosport Ferry, to Portsmouth and Southsea. Historical waterfront gives way to coastal marshes and quays at Langstone Harbour before the Path ends at Emsworth. More information can be found on the Hampshire County Council webpage for the Solent Way.

 

South West Coast Path - 1014 km (630 m) 

This National Trail encircles the south west peninsula of Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall. The South West Way Association has details of accommodation, transport and ferry times, and essential information on many stretches of the route. Their address:

The South West Way Association
c/o Mrs M Macleod,
1 Orchard Drive,
Kingskerswell, Newton Abbot,
Devon.

The route is devided in four major stretches.

  • Minehead to Padstow - 262 km (163 m)
    This section first follows the rugged coastline of Exmoor National Park, then goes along the North Devon Coast into Cornwall, with its dramatic cliffs and scenery. This part of the Path is described in South West Coast Path: Minehead to Padstow written by R. Tarr and published by the Countryside Commission and Aurum Press.

  • Padstow to Falmouth - 264 km (164 m)
    From Pastow the Path continues past popular holiday villages around the western and southernmost tips of Britain, Land's End and Lizard Point, on to Falmouth. The guide South West Coast Path: Padstow to Falmouth is written by J. Macadam.

  • Falmouth to Exmouth - 277 km (172 m)
    Past more Cornish fishing and holiday villages, the path enters the more gentler, balmy air and scenery of south Devon, with the bustling popularity of Tor Bay and Babbacombe Bay. This part is described in South West Coast Path: Falmouth to Exmouth by B. le Messurier.

  • Exmouth to Poole - 159 km (99 m)
    After the tranquil east Devon coast, the path offers several hours of rugged walking before crossing the Dorset border into Lyme Regis. Then it follows the coastline all the way to Poole Harbour, although there is an alternative inland route around Wyemouth. The Dorset coastline is famous for its fossils, but care should be taken because the constant erosion of the coast. Interested in fossils? A small booklet by R. Coram, Where to find fossils in Southern England published by British Fossils, 1989, contains easy to read information on where to find fossils, and what kind of fossils. This part of the Path is described in South West Coast Path: Exmouth to Poole written by R. Tarr.

More information on the South West Coast Path can be found at:

See also the other site section for luggage and accommodation services.

 

Tarka Trail - 290 km (180 m)

Tarka the Otter, the classic novel by Henry Williamson is taken as the starting point of the walk. The walker is introduced to Tarka Country, with Barnstable on the rivers Taw and Torridge as a central point. The route takes the walker through moorland, wooded valleys and along rugged cliffs on coastal stretches.

 

Thames Path - 343 km (213 m)

The Countryside Commision is currently working on the completion of the Thames Path. Starting in Gloucestershire the Thames Path takes a scenic route through famous cities as Oxfors, Abingdon, Henley-on-Thames and Windsor, through the center of London to end at the Thames Barrier at Greenwich.The Thames Way is a National Trail and the guide should be published by now. More information can be found on:

 

Two Moors Way - 166 km (102 m) 

This route from Ivybridge, just south of Dartmoor, passes the moor through small villages as Widecombe in the Moor and Chagford, before crossing Exmoor to Lynton on the north Devon coast.
Compass skills, all weather gear, and a tent will be helpful when crossing these two beautiful moors.

 

West Mendip Way - 48 km (30 m)

A route following the western edge of the Mendips, between Wells and Uphill. The walk from Wells Cathedral passes hill-side villages, Wookey Hole Cave, Cheddar Gorge and Shipham then crosses Crook Peak and Bladon Hill to reach the Brisol Channel.

 

Wychavon Way - 66 km (41 m)

From the Cotswold Way at Winchcombe, an ancient Saxon town, this route leads to Bredon Hill and on through the Worcestershire countryside.

 

 

 

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© Thomas Keijzer 1996-2007