Five of the best Boxing day walks

Winter at Holywel Bay by Winter at Holywell Bay. Photographer John Ray, Cornwall.Walk off the mince pies and blow away the cobwebs with a bracing stroll along the world-famous South West Coast Path. Stretching 630 miles from Minehead to Poole, the Coast Path is the perfect antidote to Christmas lethargy – whether you’re after a hearty hike crossing Cornish sand dunes or a rosy-faced ramble with stunning views across the Exmoor coastline, there’s a walk to suit all ages and abilities. Here’s the South West Coast Path team’s pick of the best…

  1. Berry Head (5.7 miles) Berry Head is a prominent feature on the South Devon coast, with views that encompass the whole of Tor Bay and beyond to the red cliffs of the East Devon coast. St Mary's Bay to the East of Sharkham Point is dog-friendly all year.

  2. Tyneham Village and Flowers Barrow (4 miles) A spectacular walk taking in the deserted Dorset village of Tyneham, chalk grasslands, and the Iron Age hill fort at Flowers Barrow with its stunning views along the coast and inland across the Dorset countryside. This walk is particularly good for dogs as it passes a beach and there is a nearby pub where dogs are welcome.

  3. Sir John Betjeman (3.7 miles) A gentle walk through the dunes beside the golden beaches on the eastern bank of the River Camel, taking in Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman's grave in the churchyard of the tiny St Enodoc Church. The route passes Brea Hill, site of Bronze Age burial mounds and later a Roman encampment, and there is an optional detour to the holy well used by the Welsh hermit Enodoc to baptise his converts. The walk is mostly flat and travels through sandy grassland. DaymarBay is dog-friendly.

  4. Bossington to Selworthy (4.6 miles) A pleasant half-day walk that takes in three picturesque villages with chocolate-box thatched cottages and has stunning views of the Exmoor coastline, over the heights of Selworthy Beacon and the shaded paths of Selworthy and Allerford Woods. Generally easy walking on good level wide tracks with just one long very steep climb.

  5. 5. Holywell (3.7 miles) A varied walk crossing sand dunes, cliff tops and maritime heathland. There’s an Iron Age cliff castle and the walk is good for wildflowers and bird watching. Polly Joke and Holywell are dog-friendly beaches. Have a look at our Top Dog Walks on the South West Coast Path for more dog-friendly beaches and pubs. 

Published on: Dec. 20, 2013