Subscribe to our newsletter None saved

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

    Latest Events

    Facebook

    • Hello, I am a Marketing student from Plymouth University and I am current carrying out some market research based on local attractions with the South West. If anyone has time, could you please fill out the short survey below? - You would be helping us greatly and it will only take a few minutes! Thank you in advance. https://plymouthbusiness.eu.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_0PnOhdH9NY4bxaJ plymouthbusiness.eu.qualtrics.com more
    • All 12 stunning pictures to be featured in our 2016 calendar can be seen in our Flickr gallery. Thanks to all who entered the 2014 Coast Path #photography competition and look out for details when we launch it again this year https://www.flickr.com/photos/southwestcoastpath/sets/72157650378227552/ www.flickr.com more
    • The South West Coast Path commented on their own link.
    • After a slight delay, we are pleased to be able to announce our photo competition winners! Well done to all that will see their photos in our 2016 calendar and especially our winner which will grace the front cover! http://www.southwestcoastpath.com/newsapp/article/162/ The photographer also gets to take up his prize courtesy of Carbis Bay Hotel See our Flickr gallery of winners here https://www.flickr.com/photos/southwestcoastpath/sets/72157650378227552/ www.southwestcoastpath.com more
    • The South West Coast Path posted a link to Toad Hall Cottages's timeline.
    • There's just under a week to go before the closing date of our #topdogwalk competition and a chance to #win a stay with Toad Hall Cottages https://www.facebook.com/holidaycottages. Have you voted for your favourite yet? Share your nominations using #topdogwalks http://www.southwestcoastpath.com/newsapp/article/157/ www.southwestcoastpath.com more
    • The South West Coast Path shared a photo. Anyone seen this chow on the South West Coast Path? Please share - especially any of our Bude & North Cornwall or North Devon friends While out walking the South West Coast path trail...please keep an eye out for Lexi, a 5 year old red Chow, whom went missing whilst on holiday with her owners in Crackington Haven on 12th May 2014...Lexi is neutered,micro-chipped and had has a black tongue. Lexi is still out there somewhere and her owners want nothing more than for her to be back where she belongs...know someone who has acquired a chow...please contact the number on the poster...all calls are appreciated. Thank you. more
    • While out walking the South West Coast path trail...please keep an eye out for Lexi, a 5 year old red Chow, whom went missing whilst on holiday with her owners in Crackington Haven on 12th May 2014...Lexi is neutered,micro-chipped and had has a black tongue. Lexi is still out there somewhere and her owners want nothing more than for her to be back where she belongs...know someone who has acquired a chow...please contact the number on the poster...all calls are appreciated. Thank you. more
    • We agree that The South West Coast Path is among the best in the world. From a short stretch to the full 1014 km (630 miles), you can experience hugely diverse landscapes, terrain and wildlife. edition.cnn.com more
    • Thursday morning walk in Dartmouth anyone? Find out more here https://www.facebook.com/dartmoutheverytime/posts/1522148458067478:0 more

    Tweets

    • RT @SeasonalFood: Cracking day to walk the @swcoastpath. #bracing http://t.co/GLVBEHaU3V
    • “@NoCoPrints: Lone walker overlooking the #cliff structure above Butter Hole near #StepperPoint #Cornwall http://t.co/Oii2u2i6MI” wow!
    • Thanks to our photo comp sponsor @CarbisBay_Hotel the winner receives a luxury stay! See all 12 calendar pics here http://t.co/B1w2Vzftn8
    • Beginner's luck for photo comp winner whose picture of Chapman's Pool will feature on the front of our 2016 calendar http://t.co/B1w2Vzftn8
    • “@GaryHolpin: summer on the #swcoastpath #southhamshour- one of the best #walking trails in the world http://t.co/4FcqPAgrXC” spot on!
    • Just under a week left to vote for the #topdogwalk in the west and #win a stay with @THCottages http://t.co/yIVr6Lbrbk
    • These are the first #snowdrops along the #SWCP that we've seen. Anyone else spotted any? @kathrynaalto
    • RT @kathrynaalto: Sun-kissed winter day. #walking @swcoastpath http://t.co/YPm2RyKl4D
    • RT @rachaelolivia: Approaching #Devon on the @swcoastpath - what a beautiful leg it was! http://t.co/pv6mQ37elN
    • @EllieMichell @coastmag Keep us posted on your next walk. Bude to Crackington Haven by any chance? One of the best sections on the #SWCP