Join the SWCPA now!

The South West Coast Path Association

- loving the South West Coast Path!

Welcome to the South West Coast Path Association. We are a charitable body that represents those who enjoy the path. Through our membership of over 5000 people, we campaign for the best possible standards for the route and its immediate corridor, providing help and information for walkers and through fundraising, assisting financially where appropriate, to ensure the best experience for all those using the Coast Path.

Join us and get our latest Annual Guide worth £9.95. The 2013 guide contains everything a walker needs to know to walk the whole 630 miles. It includes comprehensive accommodation details (B&Bs and campsites) actually on the path or very close to it; suggested itineraries; tide tables; river crossings and ferry operating schedules; local transport details; a trail description of the 630 miles. Become one of the thousands who help us, together with the organisations who run and maintain the Path, make the SWCP Britain’s best National Trail.

Look through some of the things we’ve done to help keep this superb amenity in good shape and see some of the benefits of membership; we’re sure you’ll want to join us and help us keep up the good work.

About The South West Coast Path

The South West Coast Path was originally a means for the coastguard to track and pursue smugglers and continues to provide access to 630 miles of stunning coastal scenery from Minehead to Poole. As a designated National Trail, which represent the finest walking routes in Britain, it is the longest and most popular walk in the country and is considered among the World’s Great Hikes. With two World Heritage Sites, Five Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and one National Park, it’s a journey along one of the most diverse coastal landscapesin the world where no two days walking it are ever the same.

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Benefits of Membership

  • Your subscription will help the Association promote, protect and enhance the Coast Path.
  • You will receive a FREE copy of the Annual Guide each year, including information on the whole length of the Path, accommodation, ferries, transport links and much more.
  • You will receive two Newsletters each year, with all the latest news of any Path alterations and a host of other items of up-to-date interest.
  • This website helps you keep right up to date with what is happening along the coast path
  • We have a range of publications, souvenirs and other coast path related items to help you enjoy and remember your experiences walking the Path.
  • You will be part of the “family” of those who love the Coast Path, and know that your input is important to the Path’s well-being.
  • We provide friendly advice at the end of a phone as we have intimate knowledge of the whole Path.
  • We work closely with the Path Managers and Team to ensure the Path is always walkable.
  • Your membership helps raise funds towards path improvements, enabling us to lever in double or treble each donation.
  • Plus, if you are a UK taxpayer, the Gift Aid proportion of your membership will also go towards the Path improvement fund.

Remember, the Association represents ALL Coast Path walkers, not just the hardy long-distance specialists. Whether you plan to walk all 630 miles, or have already done so, or are happy to stroll along a short stretch of coast on a Sunday afternoon or a couple of days a year when on holiday - if you love the Coast Path then the Association is for you!

South West Coast Path Association… THE organisation to join for anyone who cares about the Coast Path and wants to see it protected and enhanced.

Our Achievements

The Association is dedicated to helping everyone to enjoy the Path.

The South West Coast Path Association was formed in 1973 by a group of enthusiasts to encourage the development and improvement of the Path. This is still one of the main aims of the Association, and it works closely with Natural England, the Government’s rural recreation body, with local authorities and other user groups.

Over the years the Association has continued to campaign for maintenance, signing and alignment improvements, with particular attention to removing the route from roads. The Association has been closely involved in many such improvements.

Today one of the Association’s functions is to assist and advise all those who wish to walk this wonderful coastline – whether in short relaxing strolls around a headland or by undertaking more demanding long distance walks lasting several days, or even heroic attempts at covering the whole length of 630 miles in one go!

These days the Association is more involved in actually helping to fund improvements and currently has a programme for such work. We urge all those who walk the Path and enjoy it to join us as members and help support this very important work. Some of the improvements undertaken with the help of Association funding over the last few years include:-

  • Reinstatement after a major landslip between Duporth and Charlestown, South Cornwall.
  • Reinstatement after a landslip at Foxhole Cove, North Cornwall.
  • Realignment of the Path and funding of new waymarking at Cape Cornwall.
  • Establishment of a permissive path at the gunnery ranges at Tregantle Fort, South Cornwall.
  • Erection of end markers at Minehead and Poole Harbour and a half-way marker at Porthallow.
  • Erection of Coastguard-promoted location markers.

In addition, funding has been made available for a further series of improvements which it is hoped will take place in the foreseeable future, and which would not proceed without Association funds. We hope to be seeing these improvements, with the benefit of our help:-

  • Watermouth Cove, North Devon.
  • Strete Gate, South Devon.
  • Barret’s Zawn, North Cornwall.
  • Royal William Yard, Plymouth.

We have also agreed to part-fund a series of small-scale improvements around the Coast Path in conjunction with a variety of local businesses. The first group of these will see improvements at:-

  • Dancing Ledge, Dorset.
  • Durlston, Dorset.
  • St Mary’s Bay, Torbay.
  • Ringmore, South Devon.
  • Dartmouth, South Devon.
  • Reskajeague Downs, North Cornwall.
  • Porth, North Cornwall.
  • Hartland, North Devon.

Further, it was our promise of financial help towards route improvements that was one of the key factors in the Path’s management team successfully securing £2.1 million from the Rural Development Programme for England to deliver the “Unlocking our Coastal Heritage” project.

As you can see, funding by our members’ subscriptions has enabled the Association to play a vital part in a range of necessary Coast Path projects. All this impressive list of improvements is thanks to our members.......well done everyone!

So if you haven’t already done so, why not join 5,000+ other Coast Path enthusiasts and become a member of the Association?

Now for the official bit.

As a registered charity, the Association has formal objectives. These are:-

  1. To secure the protection, improvement and preservation of an acceptable South West Coast Path and public access thereto in order to improve the conditions of life of the users of the South West Coast Path.
  2. To educate users of the South West Coast Path to a greater knowledge of, respect and care for the coast and countryside.

In furtherance of these objectives the Association aims to work for and assist in:-

  1. Providing information about the South West Coast Path and its corridor to the public.
  2. The organisation directed at the improvement and maintenance of the South west Coast Path.
  3. Providing a forum in which different interests connected with the South West Coast Path (including its corridor) and its use can discuss problems of mutual concern.