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
  • 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


    • Have you seen Mr Toad? Visit us at Devon County Show for your chance to WIN! a holiday on the Coast Path #dcshow15 more
    • Here's a question from Louise Williams - can anyone help answer it? She says; " I plan to do The Lizard to Lands End in two days. Do you know of anyone who has done that? Louise."
    • Just spotted this between Praa Sands and Porthleven! more
    • The South West Coast Path created an event. South West Coast Path Challenge - every step counts! more
    • News from trail runner Mark on his attempt to break the record running the Coast Path! more
    • Help us find walking Mr Toad! Visit our stand at Devon County Show for your chance to WIN! a holiday voucher to stay in any one of Toad Hall Cottages' 300 properties in the South West! Just tell us where you think the walking Mr Toad is hiding on our map #dcshow15 more
    • Land's End The rock with the arch is Enys Dodnan and the one beyond is 'The Armed Knight'. On the Horizon is the Longships Lighthouse. A nice view from the South West Coast Path. 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 and, if you feel inclined, like my page in return. more
    • A little advice if anyone could help - obviously taking into account that everyone walks at different speeds and some may well stay at stops longer than others - considering walking from Minehead to Lands End Spring 2016 for the British Heart Foundation. Reasonably fit 49 year old now and will walk 9 miles around a local lake in 3hrs reasonably easily, and know that generally i walk at at least 3-4 miles an hour over average ground most of the time. So on that basis, limiting my amount of stopovers/rest time, all very hypothetical i know, without doing a simple maths equation of miles to do against speed i long would you think to do the 255 miles, or more to the point, how long should i plan for ?
    • The South West Coast Path with Hayley Partridge It's a beautiful sunny day here at Devon County Show,come and say hello to Kate and Hayley and find out about our new South West Coast Path Challenge! #Challenge630 more
    • We're at the Devon County Show today! Visit our stand shared with our sponsors South West Water and find out all about our new South West Coast Path Challenge! Who's coming? more


    • Have you seen Mr Toad? Visit us at Devon County Show for your chance to WIN! a holiday on the Coast Path #dcshow15
    • Inspired by this #coasttag? Let us know your 7 Coast facts and nominate 7 others to join you
    • Here goes...7 Coast Facts We #coasttag @HayleySpurway @therealmrsfloyd @GaryHolpin
    • Lovely #coasttag 7 answers to 7 questions - your childhood memory of running around on the beach made us smile :)
    • Beautiful!
    • RT @ladybonny: @swcoastpath My best tea room is at Otterton just of SWCP checkout walk on Walkingworld. Amber dog likes that one too http:/…
    • RT @Notts2Devon: My @NTSouthWest #coasttag goes out to @BaldHiker @MontyHalls @GaryHolpin @ILoveCornwallUK #ILoveSWC…
    • Any great tea room walks on the Coast Path? Plse let us know your top tips for the best cream tea on the coast
    • Nice bloggage about birds and wildlife on the #SWCoastPath
    • Here's Kate and Hayley on our stand showcasing our fundraising event in October. You coming? #Challenge630 #dcshow15