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Guidebooks and Maps

To get the most out of your walk along the Coast Path it’s worth getting a guidebook and map. In addition to the summary below, you’ll find details of the local ones on each walk description page.

Guidebooks

Official Guidebooks

Official GuidebookThe following four official Guidebooks cover different sections of the South West Coast Path. They are published by Aurum Press and include Ordnance Survey mapping of the coastal strip at 1:25,000 scale (2½" to a mile). Each volume costs £12.99.

South West Coast Path Association Annual Guide

Annual guideThe South West Coast Path Association publishes an annually updated guide to the path which includes a full route description (but no maps), suggested itineraries, and other helpful information such as tide times. It also has the most comprehensive accommodation listing available with details of hundreds of hotels, B & Bs and campsites close to the Path, the majority of which have been recommended by Coast Path walkers. The book is available from their webshop for £9.95 (+ P&P), but is given free with membership (from £12.50).

Some of the other benefits of membership are that you can look at the details of these accommodation providers direct from their website, you'll receive 2 great newsletters, and for UK tax-payers the Gift Aid part of your membership goes towards path improvement projects.

Cicerone Press

Cicerone Guide to SWCPA guide written by Paddy Dillon covering the entire South West Coast Path in one volume is published by Cicerone Press. This incorporates Ordnance Survey mapping at 1:50,000 scale (1¼" to a mile) and costs £12.95. It is also available as a Kindle e-book.

To assist forward planning of both day walks and continuous long-distance hikes, the guide divides the coast path into sections, beginning and ending where there are amenities for refreshment or accommodation (or access inland to them). Each section begins with a summary of its length, the kind of terrain and gradients to be expected and with details of amenities and access points. An attempt has been made to grade the walking for difficulty, although such an exercise will always be subjective.

Trailblazer Guides

Cicerone Guide to SWCP

These guides, written by Henry Stedman and Joel Newton split the South West Coast Path into 3 volumes, Exmoor and North Devon, Cornwall and Dorset & South Devon. Each contains numerous detailed hand drawn walking maps at a scale of 1:20,000, town plans, route directions, gps waypoints along with practical information for all budgets about what to see, where to eat (cafes, pubs and restaurants) and where to stay (B&B's, hotels, bunkhouse, hostels and campsites).

Reverse Guide

All the guide books are based on the assumption that you are walking the Coast Path in an anti-clockwise direction (i.e. from Minehead to Poole). However, the walk is just as good going the other way, and many of the people who have completed it over several years, have enjoyed it so much they decide to do just that.

The reverse guide is designed to be used with the Annual Guide and provides a route description from Poole to Minehead and costs £3.50 (SWCP members) or £4.50 (non-members).

The South West Coast Path Association's online shop also sells souvenirs, a range of inexpensive booklets that cover each section of the path in great detail along with numerous booklets on local walks, wildlife, geology and history.

Circular walk books

Dartmouth to Plymouth walk book In conjunction with Coastal Publishing, we are producing a series of walk books, each containing 16 of the best Coast Path walks. Each walk is illustrated with a stunning aerial photo showing the route, and has full directions and lots of information about what you'll see along the way. The books retail at £4.95 and are available from Tourist Information Centres, museums, visitor attractions, and all good local and national bookshops or from the SW Coast Path Association's online shop. The 8 volumes produced so far are:

Three more volumes covering the rest of the Coast Path from Padstow to Minehead are due to be available from Summer 2014.

    Souvenir Map

    Souvenir MapFrom the South West Coast Path Association shop you can buy a souvenir poster map which incorporates stunning images from our photographic competition, distances walked from key points, and as the path is marked as a white line, you can use it to mark off the sections you've done. They also sell a log book, and a wide range of other Coast Path branded souvenirs.

    Other publications

    Several people have written books based on their walk along the South West Coast Path and these along with som of our other favourite books about the south west’s coastline can be found on our Amazon store below.

    Maps

    There are various maps to choose from that can help guide your walk along the South West Coast Path. The best maps of these are the 1:25,000 scale (2½ inch to the mile) Ordnance Survey Explorer maps, and the 1:40,000 scale (approx 1½ inch to the mile) Harvey maps. To cover the entire path you’d require 17 Explorer maps, or because they only cover a narrow coastal strip, 6 Harvey maps.

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    Latest News

    • Join in and Celebrate an Award Winning Link on the South West Coast Path

      On Friday 24 October, you can join RIBA for a celebratory talk that will give you an insight into the design and build of the Gillespie Yunnie Architects’ staircase at Royal William Yard, Plymouth. This filled a gap in the South West Coast Path, bringing walkers around the Stonehouse peninsula for the first time. Online booking: http://royal-william-yard.eventbrite.co.uk

    • 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.