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Five of the best Boxing day walks

Winter at Holywel Bay by Winter at Holywell Bay. Photographer John Ray, Cornwall.Walk off the mince pies and blow away the cobwebs with a bracing stroll along the world-famous South West Coast Path. Stretching 630 miles from Minehead to Poole, the Coast Path is the perfect antidote to Christmas lethargy – whether you’re after a hearty hike crossing Cornish sand dunes or a rosy-faced ramble with stunning views across the Exmoor coastline, there’s a walk to suit all ages and abilities. Here’s the South West Coast Path team’s pick of the best…

  1. Berry Head (5.7 miles) Berry Head is a prominent feature on the South Devon coast, with views that encompass the whole of Tor Bay and beyond to the red cliffs of the East Devon coast. St Mary's Bay to the East of Sharkham Point is dog-friendly all year.

  2. Tyneham Village and Flowers Barrow (4 miles) A spectacular walk taking in the deserted Dorset village of Tyneham, chalk grasslands, and the Iron Age hill fort at Flowers Barrow with its stunning views along the coast and inland across the Dorset countryside. This walk is particularly good for dogs as it passes a beach and there is a nearby pub where dogs are welcome.

  3. Sir John Betjeman (3.7 miles) A gentle walk through the dunes beside the golden beaches on the eastern bank of the River Camel, taking in Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman's grave in the churchyard of the tiny St Enodoc Church. The route passes Brea Hill, site of Bronze Age burial mounds and later a Roman encampment, and there is an optional detour to the holy well used by the Welsh hermit Enodoc to baptise his converts. The walk is mostly flat and travels through sandy grassland. DaymarBay is dog-friendly.

  4. Bossington to Selworthy (4.6 miles) A pleasant half-day walk that takes in three picturesque villages with chocolate-box thatched cottages and has stunning views of the Exmoor coastline, over the heights of Selworthy Beacon and the shaded paths of Selworthy and Allerford Woods. Generally easy walking on good level wide tracks with just one long very steep climb.

  5. 5. Holywell (3.7 miles) A varied walk crossing sand dunes, cliff tops and maritime heathland. There’s an Iron Age cliff castle and the walk is good for wildflowers and bird watching. Polly Joke and Holywell are dog-friendly beaches. Have a look at our Top Dog Walks on the South West Coast Path for more dog-friendly beaches and pubs. 

Published on: Dec. 20, 2013

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  • Come and help to improve the Coast Path by walking on it! Join a guided walk in September and raise money for path improvements that are needed like this one on Portland. www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk more
  • The Dorset stretch of the Coast Path is full of beautiful views and incredible culture - not to mention the Jurassic Coast UNESCO section - come and join a guided walk here this September www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk more
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  • Hi, I thought your followers might like our recent book: Exmouth to Plymouth: Britain's Heritage Coast by Gary Holpin is a beautifully illustrated and informative book allowing the reader to submerge themselves, whether on foot, bicycle, in a car or simply from the comfort of their own armchair, in the wealth of fascinating history and folklore as well as the outstanding beauty that lies along the banks of this stunning coastline. http://goo.gl/61YSJe more
  • Calling all budding photo journalists. We need your help to promote the South West Coast Path. Do you want to see your work in print? Produce the most fabulous photo essay about the path and see it in the Western Morning News www.southwestcoastpath.com/newsapp/article/152/ www.southwestcoastpath.com more
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  • Do you fancy foraging for your lunch? Join forager Trudy Turrell on a clamber over seaweed and from sand dune to share on this unique walk in Bantham, South Devon this September. www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk/great-sw-walks/bookings/south-devon/find-your-lunch-on-bantham-beach/ There's lots of other South Devon guided walks to choose from as part of the Great South Walks event http://ow.ly/z3mN7 www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk more
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  • The section of Coast Path south of Thurlestone has now been realigned back to the coast. The new route follows the edge of the field, and whilst slightly longer than the original route retains stunning views along the coast. See http://www.southwestcoastpath.com/newsapp/article/151/ www.southwestcoastpath.com more

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