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Take a Walk 55 TAKE A WALK


Dartmouth is a fantastic base from which to explore the coast and countryside by foot, not just in summer but all year round. Being in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), it is blessed with breath-taking views and an abundant array of flora and fauna. It is also situated close to some of the most rewarding sections of the South West Coast Path which winds 630 miles starting from Minehead in Somerset, running along the coastline of Exmoor, continuing along the coast of North Devon into Cornwall. It follows the entire coastline of Cornwall, goes across the mouth of the River Tamar and continues into Devon. After running along the south coast of Devon it then follows the Dorset coastline before finally ending at Poole Harbour. It is the longest National Trail in the country.


It was originally created by coastguards, patrolling the south west peninsula looking out for smugglers. They literally had to check in every inlet so their cliff top walk was well used and gives us the amazing Path we use today. The Path has also been used by fishermen looking for shoals of fish and checking the sea conditions. As well as the views, you can also see the coast- guards’ old stone stiles and walls in many places. Also, a series of coastguard cottages was built with many of them still standing today although their use has, of course, changed. Dartmouth has a cluster of such cottages sitting high on the hill above Dartmouth Castle.


The Path is managed by the South West Coast Path Association, a registered charity working to protect and conserve the Coast Path to give us all the opportunity to improve our health in the great outdoors. All 630 miles costs at least £1,000 for every mile to keep it open, in good shape and clearly signed. You might also want to join as a member or make a donation.


You can walk sections of the Path, eastwards from Dartmouth/Kingswear to Brixham or to the west from Dartmouth to Start or Prawle Point. Some of these sections are challenging but the SWCP also has a number of shorter and easier sections you can try. Check out the SWCP website for full details. The following shorter walks are just some of the selection you can enjoy from the town or a short drive away.


Click on the QR codes for more information.


Be sure to check out the walks to Greenway, to Man Sands or Berry Head or out to and around Slapton Ley – the list is endless.


For more information, go to the website for the South West Coast Path - www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk


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