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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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    • Coverack is a largely unspoilt fishing village near the tip of the Lizard Peninsula and the South West Coast Path passes through it. Near the South West Coast Path is Poldowrian Garden which includes a prehistoric settlement. The area between Coverack Cove and Dolor Point is a designated SSSI and one of the most famous geological localities in Cornwall, providing a rare exposure of a section across a mantle-crust boundary. Please feel free to share/comment/tag or like, this photo and any other photos from my facebook page. All I ask is that you credit www.facebook.com/KernowPhotos and, if you feel inclined, like my page in return. more
    • St Ives from the coast path at Carrick Du. Tate St Ives and the cemetery can be seen above Porthmeor Beach. Please feel free to share/comment/tag or like, this photo and any other photos from my facebook page. All I ask is that you credit www.facebook.com/KernowPhotos and, if you feel inclined, like my page in return. more
    • End of the day at Portreath more
    • On the way to the beach more
    • South West Coast Path Association added a new photo. Lovely to meet Peter and Jane Sillet who travelled down from Essex for the AGM and to walk the The South West Coast Path with guide dog pup in training Candy more
    • Godrevy Lighthouse, St Ives Bay, Cornwall. Built in 1858/9 Godrevy Lighthouse guards the eastern edge of St Ives Bay. Its octagonal tower is 26m high. Virginia Woolf first visited St Ives on 12 September 1892, staying at Talland House. It is said that she was so captivated by the view of the lighthouse across the bay that it inspired her to write the novel 'To the lighthouse', though in her book she relocated the lighthouse to the Isle of Skye! Please feel free to share/comment/tag or like, this photo and any other photos from my facebook page. All I ask is that you credit www.facebook.com/KernowPhotos and, if you feel inclined, like my page in return. more
    • Andrew Poyner wrote on The South West Coast Path's timeline. My Big Walk starts on Monday 13th April. Doing the whole path in one go. Updates will follow.
    • Carnewas & Bedruthan Steps. This impressive piece of coastline is found on the North Coast of Cornwall on the South West Coast Path between Newquay and Padstow. (The National Trust owns and maintains the car park, shop, cafe and steps to the beach, though not the beach itself). The shop and cafe are former mine buildings of Carnewas Mine. The rocks here include mid-Devonian slates and are one of the few places in Cornwall that fossils can be found. Although not very common, fossils of fish, corals, trilobites have been recorded. The name Bedruthan Steps is said to be taken from a mythological giant called 'Bedruthan' who used the rocks (stacks) on the beach as stepping stones. There are no ancient records of this being traditional folklore however, and the consensus seems to the that the tale is a late nineteenth century invention for Victorian tourists. Please feel free to share/comment/tag or like, this photo and any other photos from my facebook page. All I ask is that you credit www.facebook.com/KernowPhotos and, if you feel inclined, like my page in return. more
    • Thrift (Sea Thrift, Sea Pink) or Armeria maritima can be found growing on most cliffs throughout Cornwall where its low growing habit and tolerance to salt give it an advantage. Unlike many plants Thrift is very also tolerant to metals, particularly copper, in the soil and is one of the first plants to colonise former mining areas. While, as the name implies it is usually pink in colour it can range from almost pure white to a vivid red and even purple. Please feel free to share/comment/tag or like, this photo and any other photos from my facebook page. All I ask is that you credit www.facebook.com/KernowPhotos and, if you feel inclined, like my page in return. more
    • The Brisons from the South West Coast Footpath at Roscommon Head. The Brisons is a small twin-peaked island about a mile offshore from Cape Cornwall. They and are said to resemble General Charles de Gaulle lying on his back In 1851, the ship 'New Commercial' ran aground on the Brisons. Despite rescue attempts all but two of the crew were lost. As a result, the National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck (later the RNLI) established a lifeboat in Sennen Cove and one is based their to this day. Look out for the Brisons in the background on Poldark! Please feel free to share/comment/tag or like, this photo and any other photos from my facebook page. All I ask is that you credit www.facebook.com/KernowPhotos and, if you feel inclined, like my page in return more

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