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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

    • 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.

    • South West Water teams up with SWCP

      South West Water and the South West Coast Path Association announce today that they are working together to ensure that the South West Coast Path is one of the best walks in the world for all to enjoy.

    Latest Events

    • Exmoor's Woodlands

      Thursday, 30th October : 7pm at Lynmouth Pavilion

      A Delve into Exmoor's Woodlands

      A talk by Robin Offer, Exmoor National Park Conservation Advisor (Trees and Woodlands).

      What makes Exmoor's woodlands so special?

      Free but please book on 01598 752509

       

    • Tales of the Exmoor Coast

      22nd November 2014 4:00pm-7:00pm

      Hear folk lore, fable and fact about Exmoor's coast from Exmoor National Park Ranger Tim Parish, then we invite you to add your own! Interactive and entertaining - come and share your stories...

      This event is brought to you by: Lynmouth Pavilion Project
      Location: Lynmouth Pavilion EX35 6EQ
      Booking: Booking not essential but would be helpful
      Charge: Free event
      Contact: 01598 752509

    Facebook

    • There's a couple of route changes to tell you about in Cornwall... Both of these are new repair works being carried out due to storm damage Get the latest here Penzance to Marazion The path will be closed between Penzance and Marazion, for up to 3 weeks whilst repairs are undertaken. Whilst closed, the alternative route (the road inland of the railway) will be signposted. http://www.southwestcoastpath.com/diversiondb/48/ Talland Bay A section of the path at Talland Bay will have to be closed for coastal defence works for almost 4 weeks from the end of October 2014. http://www.southwestcoastpath.com/diversiondb/79/
    • The South West Coast Path commented on their own status.
    • Hi All I walked the entire SW Path from Minehead to Poole in 23 days - 3 years ago. I wild camped, carried all my kit and bought food along the way. Most amazing journey - spent 40p on water!! Thinking of completing the path again this summer but this time sharing my experiences and try to get it down to 20 days. Nice round number!!. 'There is a book in everyone'
    • The South West Coast Path shared Your Dog Magazine's photo. Please join in with our competition with Your Dog magazine to vote for your favourite dog walk around the South West Coast Path. You can win a great stay in one of Toad Hall Cottages dog friendly places near the sea Nominate your best dog walk in the south west. http://www.yourdog.co.uk/The-Your-Dog-Blog/vote-for-your-favourite-dog-walk-in-south-west-england.html more
    • The South West Coast Path likes a photo.
    • The South West Coast Path shared Sue Read ART - Seascapes and landscapes of North Cornwall's status update. more
    • The South West Coast Path shared Countryside Mobility Hire Scheme's photo. What great news! A really lovely place to get out and about in. More exciting news! National Trust Trelissick near Truro in Cornwall is set to join the Countryside Mobility scheme in 2015. On its own peninsula with ever-changing views of the estuary of the River Fal, Trelissick has one of the most amazing natural settings in the country. There are more than 12 hectares (30 acres) of elevated garden to explore, with twisting paths that lead you through significant collections of hydrangeas, rhododendrons, camellias, ginger lilies and year-round exciting woodland plants. As well as the garden, the 121-hectare (300-acre) estate, with its countryside, woodlands and coast, makes for breath taking walks. more
    • The South West Coast Path shared South West Coast Path Association's album: Autumn Mail-out. Our friends at the South West Coast Path Association tackle another mammoth mail out of their newsletter at the weekend. We're looking forward to receiving our copy in the mail soon. more
    • The South West Coast Path commented on a post.
    • Can anyone tell me if the Cliff top path from Chapmans pool to Kimmerage is open or do I need to take the inland diversion as i am walking the path from Sandbanks to Weymouth next week?

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    • @OakhavenHospice @yourdog Yes that is a firm favourite!
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