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Safety Advice

Safety Advice

The organisations responsible for managing the Coast Path have developed these guidelines to help you have a safe walk. Please read and always follow them.

As well as following the Countryside Code, when you are walking the South West Coast Path remember:

Staying safe is your own responsibility - please look after yourself and other members of your group

  • Let someone know where you are going and what time you are likely to be back - mobile phone reception is patchy on the coast
  • Take something to eat and drink
  • Informal paths leading to beaches can be dangerous and are best avoided
  • If you are crossing a beach, make sure you know the tide times so you won’t be cut off

Keep to the path and stay away from cliff edges - please follow advisory signs and waymarks.

Whilst it is tempting to go close to cliff edges to peer over you should stay back from them:

  • as a slip or trip could be fatal
  • some cliffs overhang or are unstable and this is not always obvious
  • take particular care when the grass is short, as when wet it can be very slippery

Take special care of children and dogs – please look after them at all times.

  • Keep your dog under close control - see our dogs on the Coast Path page for more advice
  • Children and dogs may not see potential dangers – such as cliff edges - especially if they are excited
  • Do not disturb farm animals or wildlife – walk around cattle not between them, especially if they have calves
  • Cattle may react aggressively to dogs - if this happens, let your dog off the lead

Dress sensibly for the terrain and weather - wear suitable clothing and footwear and be ready for possible changes in the weather.

For your comfort:

  • Check the weather forecast before you set out
  • Protect yourself from the sun – sea breezes can hide its strength
  • On the coast. mist, fog and high winds are more likely and can be more hazardous
  • Wear comfortable footwear with a good grip
  • If the you are going far, take waterproofs and extra clothing, especially in cold weather

To enjoy your walk, stay within your fitness level – some sections of the Coast Path can be strenuous and/or remote.

  • Plan a walk that suits your fitness level
  • Find out about the section you plan to walk
  • Turn back if the walk is too strenuous for anyone in your group
  • Be aware that the surface of the Coast Path varies and will generally be more natural and more uneven away from car parks, towns and villages.
  • Remember that in remote areas or at quiet times you may not see another person for some time if you are in difficulties

In an emergency dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.

To help the emergency services locate you quickly they need to know where you are, so;

  • Learn to read a map to be able to accurately report your position – visit www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk
  • Look out for the small signs with the location and grid reference that are on many fingerposts and signs along the path.

     

     

     

    Estuaries & FerriesEstuaries & FerriesNo need to get your boots wet

    Military Training AreasMilitary Training AreasCheck when it's safe to walk

    Route ChangesRoute ChangesCheck your guidebook is up to date

    Path Problems?Path Problems?Found something wrong - report it here!

    Dogs on the Coast PathDogs on the Coast PathOne man and his ...

    Distance CalculatorDistance CalculatorAre we there yet?

    Latest News

    • Join in and Celebrate an Award Winning Link on the South West Coast Path

      On Friday 24 October, you can join RIBA for a celebratory talk that will give you an insight into the design and build of the Gillespie Yunnie Architects’ staircase at Royal William Yard, Plymouth. This filled a gap in the South West Coast Path, bringing walkers around the Stonehouse peninsula for the first time. Online booking: http://royal-william-yard.eventbrite.co.uk

    • Voting Opens For Top Dog Walk Competition

      Voting has just opened for the third annual Top Dog Walk competition with the continued backing of Your Dog Magazine and the Kennel Club’s access advisor Stephen Jenkinson, an expert on where dog owners can go and what they can do in the countryside. Dog owners are invited to nominate their favourite walk, for their four-legged friends, from walks all around the South West Coast Path. One lucky voter will receive a complimentary stay at one of Toad Hall Cottages 300 dog friendly cottages to the value of £500.

    • The Early Photographer Catches the Prize!

      Back in August saw the announcement of the winning photographs in Round 5 of the Amateur Photographer of the Year Competition – entitled Dawn and Dusk. Among the 30 most spectacular images the majority included the sea and coastline in some form.

      If you are thinking of entering this year’s South West Coast Path photographic competition it is well worth feasting your eyes on these to give you renewed inspiration.

      Amateur Photographer of the Year – Dawn and Dusk Gallery

    • Penny Mordaunt MP Visits the Coast Path to Discuss Storm Damage

      The new Coastal Communities Minister Penny Mordaunt MP, visited the South West Coast Path at Thurlestone, South Devon, earlier this week.

      Penny Mordaunt

    • South West Coast Path Secures £1 million Investment

      The South West Coast Path Association is delighted to announce today that they have been successful in their bid to the Coastal Communities Fund to secure £1 million investment in the South West Coast Path. 

    • Photo journalists - Create a story for the path

      We want you to help us to tell the story of a day in the life of the South West Coast Path. Our friends at Western Morning News have offered us a two page photo essay spread to include up to eight photographs with a 500 word editorial. We can do it ourselves of course but we know that you can do it even better! We're asking for help from Coast Path enthusiasts with photo journalism skills to produce this. 

    • Coast Path reopened near Thurlestone

      Devon County Council yesterday completed work to re-open a section of Coast Path south of Thurlestone which had been closed since early 2013 when it was severed by a cliff fall. The new route follows the edge of the field, and whilst slightly longer than the original route retains stunning views along the coast.  

    • New National Trail Geocoins to be released

      In July, August and September ten new Geocoins, one a week for ten weeks will be released. The first will coincide with the start of the National Trail Geocaching Week from 12th to 19th July. The last as part the Great South West Walks event 20th to 28th September.

    • South West Coast Path Photographic Competition attracts Top Professional as Judge

      The team behind this year’s Coast Path Photographic Competition is excited to announce that David Noton has agreed to come on board as their Professional Judge. 

    • The Great South West Walks 2014 Opens For Bookings - 100 New Walks Announced

      With 100 stunning coastal walks to choose from, the Great South West Walks 2014 is now open for bookings.

      These specially selected circular walks by the South West Coast Path Association, will take place across Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset from 20th – 28th September.

    Latest Events

    • Moor Music

      The last of the Moor Music sessions is to be held at

      Exmoor Forest Inn, Simonsbath

      on Sunday 30th November fom 8pm

      Singers, Musicians and Audience welcome

      01643 831431 for more details

    Facebook

    • The South West Coast Path shared National Trust South West's photo. Our friends at the National Trust South West tell us the latest from the Lizard and Penrose area - Swallows in November? Swallows in November? They are on the Lizard. Read more >> http://www.lizardandpenrose.blogspot.co.uk/ (Thanks for the photo by our ranger on the Lizard in Cornwall https://twitter.com/LizardRangers) more
    • The South West Coast Path shared The English Riviera's photo. Suddenly feeling a little like Christmas is coming! Take a trip to the Riviera to experience the countdown in style Countdown to christmas - Magical, mesmerising and magnificent Christmas events on the English Riviera. With Christmas fast approaching, a trip to the English Riviera on South Devon’s Beautiful Bay gives you a chance to tap into the festive spirit. Experience some fantastic magical events which will make your Christmas sparkle. http://www.englishriviera.co.uk/whats-on/christmas-and-new-year more
    • The South West Coast Path commented on a photo.
    • If you have time today we recommend you watch this seven minutes of aerial bliss by Matthew Burtwell of glorious coastal Cornwall http://bit.ly/1uIjgkF more
    • Congratulations to everyone at the Countryside Mobility Hire Service for their Gold Visit Devon Award. more
    • It's always great to see the Coast Path highlighted with other long distance trails around the world - especially when it says ...'a fair argument could be made that the South West Coast Path, bumping along the cliff-lined shores of Cornwall and Devon, is the world's most spectacular coastal trail.' We heartily agree! http://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/themes/adventure/63307835/no-camping-the-worlds-best-walks.html www.stuff.co.nz more
    • If you'd like to get out walking and help others to do the same this might be a volunteering opportunity up your street, path, lane etc! www.walkingforhealth.org.uk more
    • From a quick look it seems the Coast Path has it! What do you think? more
    • The South West Coast Path likes a status.
    • The South West Coast Path commented on their own photo.

    Tweets

    • Get your running shoes on! #SWCoastPath one of winter's best running routes @AthleticsWeekly http://t.co/AvYKOBJRGz
    • RT @EPLucas: wonderful walk today from @KingstonPurbeck to Kimmeridge and @swcoastpath see the surfers :) #fitness :)
    • Be in with a chance to win a spa break @CarbisBay_Hotel Enter our #photography competition http://t.co/daDVeuzYoj http://t.co/xfkKTRLoDb
    • @VinceVellum Have a fantastic walk!
    • RT @Devontriathlete: This mornings run route. You can't beat running on @swcoastpath http://t.co/Djwzc4R4Zf
    • RT @twilite2twilite: @JurassicMags @swcoastpath @VisitWeymouth ever seen #weymouth bay from the coast path like this before? http://t.co/ZD…
    • RT @GaryHolpin: Fab #Christmas #Gift for anyone who #loves ❤ #Devon. Signed copies at http://t.co/QQTr1lBije http://t.co/fGeIgK8jZX
    • RT @GaryHolpin: Today's #photo from http://t.co/QQTr1lBije on Teignmouth #beach yesterday #devon @DevonLife @VisitDevon @SouthWestUK http:/…
    • My best RTs this week came from: @snstreet @dorsetmag @THCottages @GaryHolpin @shinybluedress #thankSAll via http://t.co/U0Dbn4I83d
    • Where would you head to on the Coast Path in #Cornwall to take the perfect shot this weekend? http://t.co/c1nxHyHKMf