It is easy to get to the South West Coast Path by road and rail and there are also a number of air and ferry services.
Travelling down to the Coast Path by train means that you don’t have worry about long-term parking or have the hassle of returning to your starting point to pick up your car, at the end of your walk. Frequent and fast train services from London and the North, go through to Penzance via Plymouth, whilst many other coastal towns can be reached via branch lines or by transferring to a bus for the final leg.
To make it easy to plan a trip, we’ve created a series of itineraries ranging from 2 – 10 days walking that can be adapted or combined to fit your schedule. If you book your ticket through the links from this site, we’ll receive a small commission that we can use to improve the path and the website, whilst the price you’ll pay is the same.
The South West is well served by major trunk roads (M5, A303, A30) and most of the gateway start and finish points along the Coast Path are served by a network of A and B roads. However, they can all become very busy during the main summer season.
Car parks are readily available at all coastal towns. At more remote locations along the Coast Path, you will find informal car parks, normally managed by landowners or Parish Councils. Some car parks are free, but there are normally charges (Pay & Display, staffed ticket kiosk, honesty box). Driving directions can be obtained from the Google Map links on each walks page, and where possible we’ve included Postcodes of car parks for use by sat navs.
If you are planning to walk for two days or more, you will need to arrange longer-term car parking. The accommodation listing maintained by the South West Coast Path Association and Luggage Transfers has details of those places that can offer long-term parking, but you are advised to confirm this with the proprietor when booking.
Local buses run a fairly regular service along most of the coast, meaning that there are many sections of the path that you can do a day’s walk, without having to retrace your steps to the path. To help you find out times, on our walk maps you can find the nearest bus stops, and clicking on these will bring up timetable information.
If you are using the bus, it is better to catch it out a the beginning of the day, rather than the end, as that way, you’ve no worries about missing it if you end up taking longer than you anticipated, or if you are quicker not having to wait for it.
The following towns along the route of the Path are served by long-distance coach/bus:
Minehead, Ilfracombe, Braunton, Barnstaple, Fremington, Instow, Bideford, Northam, Westward Ho!, Bude, Newquay, Perranporth, St Agnes, Hayle, Carbis Bay, St Ives, Penzance, St Erth, Porthleven, Mullion, Lizard, Falmouth, (St Austell), Plymouth, Brixham, Paignton, Torquay, Teignmouth, Dawlish, Starcross, Sidmouth, Lyme Regis, Charmouth, (Bridport), Weymouth, Swanage.
Bristol (60 miles/97 km from Minehead end of the Path)
Bournemouth (6 miles/10km from Poole Harbour end of the Path)
Exeter (approx 11 miles/18km from the Path in East and South Devon)
Newquay airport is only a couple of miles from the Coast Path.
Plymouth (on the Path) - from France and Spain
Poole (5 miles/8km from Poole Harbour end of the Path) - from France