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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
  • 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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    • Zennor lies about 7 miles south west of St Ives, just off the coast road towards St Just. It is also situated on the South West Coast Path and well placed as the start and end point for a number of shorter circular walks to Towednack, Carn Galva and Zennor Head. The village has a pub ‘The Tinners Arms’, Wayside Folk Museum, Backpacker’s Hostel and Café/Tearoom. At the centre of the village is The Church of Saint Senara parts of which date back to Norman times. One of two carved pew ends in the church depicts a mermaid and has been linked to the legend of the Mermaid of Zennor who is said to have visited the church after hearing Mathey Trewella singing there, and lured him away to live with her in the sea. During the First World War, author DH Lawrence and his German wife, Freida von Richthofen - a distant cousin of the flying ace, the Red Baron, came to live in Zennor. Before eventually renting a nearby cottage they originally they stayed on the Tinners Arms, which was reinvented as The Tinners Rest in Lawrence's story Samson & Delilah. Lawrence’s outspoken anti-war views and the fact his wife was German did not endear them to the locals, indeed many suspected them of being spies. They left Cornwall in 1917 and never returned. Please feel free to share/comment/tag or like, this photo and any other photos/videos from my facebook page. All I ask is that you credit and, if you feel inclined, like my page in return. more
    • It's South East Cornwall Walking Festival 12-19 September Walking boots at the ready! more
    • The South West Coast Path shared The Blue Mile's photo. more
    • The South West Coast Path shared National Trust - South Cornwall Coast's photo. more
    • Club together for a charity golf day on the South Devon Coast to help protect the coastline. Book now for Sept 11th more
    • Please share, this dog has been lost on the coastal path between Zennor and Gunnards head more
    • Levant Mine, Trewellard, West Cornwall. The restored steam engine (Harvey's of Hayle), at Levant is the oldest working steam engine in Cornwall that is still on its original site and can be seen 'in steam' throughout the summer (not open Sundays). There is network of footpaths including the South West Coast Path accessible from Levant, one of the most popular being the along the cliff top to nearby Botallack. Levant featured in the recent TV series 'Poldark' as Tressiders Mill and the Engine houses around Botallack became Wheal Leisure and Grambler. Please feel free to share/comment/tag or like, this photo and any other photos/videos from my facebook page. All I ask is that you credit and, if you feel inclined, like my page in return. more
    • Anita Reynolds opening night tonight. Who's coming? more
    • We had a fab walk around the Isle of Portland last week! Just over 15 miles in 5 hours! #SWCP
    • It may be raining right now but the weather looks set to brighten up by the weekend so here's our top 5 family walks taking in beautiful beaches linked to South West Water's app for water quality. Where will you be dipping your toes this weekend? more


    • It's South East Cornwall Walking Festival 12-19 September Walking boots at the ready!
    • Join @MontyHalls on the #SWCoastPath as part of #Challenge630 to set a record and protect the coast #Coasthour
    • RT @samkemp2121: Another beautiful day on the @swcoastpath, courtesy of @PFGuides.
    • Nice to see! #walkersarewelcome!
    • RT @SouthHams_Hour: Sounds like a good day of golf @ThurlestoneGolf #SouthHamsHour Who's going?
    • RT @sagardenwriter: Stunning bike & trail run training with @TimothyBumby on SWcoastpath #challenge630 @RobjoulesNT @OnlyJosey #runtagit ht…
    • A great way to work up an appetite and enjoy great food thanks to @rivercottage - book your hike and dine today!
    • Club together at Thurlestone for charity golf day to protect the coastline on Sept11 - Book now! #SouthHamsHour
    • @kathrynaalto we should indeed! Here's how - From following in giant's footsteps to walk the dinosaur @jurassic_coast
    • RT @GaryHolpin: Today's sunny #photo is #Porthcothan #beach on the beautiful #Cornwall #coast #photography #travel