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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.

     

     

     

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    Latest News

    • Top Walking Holidays with your Four Legged Friend

      To celebrate the best of the west’s dog walks, the South West Coast Path, with the backing of Your Dog Magazine, are asking dog owners for the third year running to vote for one of 18 special walks all around the path. Enter the competition HERE. Find out more about walking with your dog on the Coast Path and where some of the best places are to walk and stay at while you're here.

    • West Cornwall provides a beautiful backdrop for Coastal Photography

      There is a month to go until entries close for the South West Coast Path photographic competition. David Noton, an award winning landscape and travel photographer and this year’s competition judge, tells us why he is especially fond of taking photographs in West Cornwall in the winter. Enter the competition HERE 

    • 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.

    Latest Events

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    • We wish you goodwill and peace over the festive season. More adventures to come in the New Year. Happy Walking! more
    • The South West Coast Path shared Cornwall, GB's photo. Newquay is a great place to walk your dog on the beach. Remember to vote for your favourite dog walk in our competition. You could win a fabulous stay worth £500 at a Toad Hall Cottages with your four legged friend. http://bit.ly/12byLrM Its a dogs life.... Fistral Beach in Newquay by Em Gallagher — with Em Gallagher. more
    • Stunning photos taken in a stunning location by these Wild Runners on a lovely sunny day. You can also walk here too! www.southwestcoastpath.com/walksdb/508 more
    • The South West Coast Path shared AdamBurtonPhotography.com's photo. A beautiful Hartland image by Adam Burton. A lovely part of the Coast Path to walk at this time of year www.southwestcoastpath.com/walksdb/53/ Sunset at Hartland Quay in Devon. more
    • The South West Coast Path likes a photo.
    • The South West Coast Path commented on their own photo.
    • Thousands of people each year take their foot legged friends with them on a walking holiday to the Coast Path. Where would you go with yours? Enter our competition and be in with a chance to win a £500 voucher to stay at a dog friendly holiday cottage with Toad Hall Cottages Read about dog walking on the UK's longest and most walked National Trail and where to walk and stay http://www.southwestcoastpath.com/newsapp/article/160/ more
    • A fantastic looking run! Some great photos from the Coast Path too. Don't forget to enter your photos into our competition - Winning 1st prize will see your image on the front cover of the 2016 South West Coast Path Calendar as well as a luxury spa break at The Carbis Bay Hotel www.carbisbayhotel.co.uk Enter the competition at www.southwestcoastpath.com/photo-competition more
    • These beautiful paintings sound just the ticket for a special Christmas gift - with all profits going to the South West Coast Path Association www.artbyanna.co.uk more
    • The South West Coast Path shared South West Coast Path Route Changes's photo. There is a new diversion on the South Dorset Ridgeway section of the Coast Path at Corton Down between Hardy Monument and A354 (Weymouth link road). It has been undermined by a Badger Set. Read more on our Route Changes page. http://www.southwestcoastpath.com/diversiondb/81/ more

    Tweets

    • My best RTs this week came from: @SouthWestUK @THCottages @RucksackRose @RichardHussey1 #thankSAll via http://t.co/U0Dbn4I83d
    • We wish you goodwill and peace over the festive season. More adventures to come in the New Year. Happy Walking! http://t.co/Fv0fBzy7SX
    • @IndyTravel We love being featured in your winter walks feature with @THCottages http://t.co/oILA8Sge9n
    • @elementummag @TheHiddenHut Lovely to see your open in December too! Soup is just the ticket this time of year for hearty walkers!
    • RT @elementummag: @TheHiddenHut @swcoastpath sunny winter #soupsunday #Cornwall More images to follow. See you again soon! http://t.co/YsNy…
    • RT @trail_planner: South West Coast Path Part 2 - Padstow to Looe @swcoastpath @NationalTrails @LDWA1 I really miss Ann's Pasties http://t.…
    • Vote today for your favourite #dog walk on #SWCoastPath You could win £500 to stay @THCottages http://t.co/xuCqh1qEYj http://t.co/9rBOu6UUsl
    • RT @wildrunningbook: We went #wildrunning on the stunning @NTCornwallCoast from YHA Treyarnon @YHAOfficial @CornwallLifeMag @swcoastpath ht…
    • @HeartyLivesCIOS Thanks for spreading the news about our competition
    • RT @HeartyLivesCIOS: Perfect start to the HL Pedometer Challenge, walk the South West Coast Path and enter a fab competition http://t.co/yj…