Our top Family Walks
For inspirational walks along the South West Coast Path suitable for all the family, look no further than our round-up of the top 5 – perfect for the Easter and Spring bank holidays or to celebrate this special Jubilee and Olympic year.
Discover the land of myths and legends, explore secret coves linked to infamous smugglers or search for natural wonders with a wealth of wildlife and geology on display in this selection of walks…
Tintagel is a firm family favourite with a choice of short circular walks to bring the legendary birthplace of King Arthur to life in the imaginations of children and adults. Here, you can explore the ruins of the 13th century castle and at low tide, venture into Merlin’s Cave where if you look closely you may be able to find a hidden seam where smugglers used to hide. The Battle of Camlann, Arthur's last battle, is re-enacted every year in August and a great tourist attraction.
Take a fairly easy walk from the tiny fishing cove of Porthgwarra to Porthcurno, one of the most spectacular beaches in Cornwall. Along the way, you pass the Holy Well of St Levan and the open air Minack Theatre and visitor centre where you could catch a production of Shakespeare or a more modern play in this atmospheric amphitheatre. The valley at Porthgwarra is renowned for birdwatching, and in early summer the clifftops are covered in wildflowers. A new Treasure Trail has just been launched here – visit www.treasuretrails.co.uk for more info.
The ups and downs of this spectacular walk follows parts of the route of the Tarka Trail, another long-distance footpath, with stretches of cycle path included along the way. It is so-called as it takes in the coastal landscapes that inspired children’s author Henry Williamson to create Tarka the Otter and runs 180 miles in a figure of eight around north Devon and Exmoor. Williamson himself lived a little way down the coast, at Georgeham, and his eponymous otter is celebrated in numerous ways throughout the region.
The rhythmic roar of the sea on the shingle of Chesil Beach lends the perfect atmosphere to this stroll through the pages of the classic tale of 'Moonfleet', a ripping yarn of smugglers, ghosts and diamonds, shipwrecks, brigands and a happy-ever-after. Visit the church where the brandy casks were stored among the coffins in the vault, see the remains of the village which really was decimated in the great storm of 1824, glance into the gardens where John Trenchard's sweetheart watched every day for his return.
Escape civilization and watch the sea batter the west coast of the Lizard as you walk from the little harbour of Mullion along the cliffs to the serpentine rocks of Lizard Point - the most southerly point in Britain, and home to choughs, a charismatic red-beaked member of the crow family who are now breeding here after an absence of 50 years. Spring is the best time to see the birds fledging and to look out for basking sharks as they make their way around the peninsula and up the coast.