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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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  • Polperro from the South West Coast Path. Polperro is situated in the valley of the River Pol and its narrow twisting streets are packed with traditional colour-washed cottages. I found the talking car-park meters with their (fake), Cornish accents a bit tacky, but the rest of the village remains largely unspoilt. If you are feeling energetic there is a very scenic walk from Polperro to Looe and back via Talland Bay. If you are feeling less energetic there is a shuttle service from the car-park into the village. 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
  • The Parish Church of St Manaccus and St Dunstan, Manaccan, Lizard, Cornwall. The 12th century church is a grade I listed building and is noted for the 250 year old fig tree growing out of the wall. In 1791 Rev. William Gregor, minister at the church and amateur geologist discovered an unknown mineral in the black sand in the village stream which he named Manaccanite. It later became known as Titanium. Richard Polwhele noted poet and historian was vicar of Manaccan 1794-1822, he was a friend of Sir Walter Scott and he is said to have befriended Captain Bligh (of 'Mutiny on the Bounty' fame), when during the Napoleonic wars Bligh was arrested as a suspected spy while surveying the Helford River. Bligh was locked in Polwhele's cellar but eventually released when his identity was confirmed. Manaccan lies just off the South West Coast Path. There is a very pleasant circular walk of about 4 miles from Manaccan to the coastal village of St Anthony and returning via the SW Coast Path and Gillan Creek. 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
  • We are coming to stay at Sandford caravan park next week. Is there a walk we can do from the park to the coast thanks.
  • We're publishing a series of guest blogs on over the coming months. We've got lots of exciting people lined up to tell us all about their favourite run. Here's our first, written by Rob Joules, National Trust General Manager of the North Devon Coast and Countryside team, about a stunning run on the Exmoor coast. The National Trust National Trust South West The South West Coast Path Visit Exmoor more
  • A Dartmoor Pony grazes on the South West Coast Path at Rame Head, Cornwall. The chapel on the distinctive conical headland is said to have its origins in medieval times and as with many such places is dedicated to St Michael, patron saint of high places. At one time Rame Chapel and the parish of Rame were gifted to Tavistock Abbey, meaning that until the modern era Rame was technically part of Devon! 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
  • From Hartland Quay to Land's End, a small team walks the entirety of the North Cornwall Coast in consecutive days to raise money for Cancer Research. This length of the North Cornwall Coastal Path is 150 miles from start to finish and this huge trek will begin on the 14th August 2015, planning to finish at Land's End on the 22nd August, with a bottle of bubbly. Follow our journey by liking our page: Donate to cancer research here: more
  • We are going to start bugging you soon to sponsor us for our The South West Coast Path sponsored walk... So why not get in there early and then you can sit back knowing you've put your money towards a good cause! I've got an idea. Comme.t below how much you would pay us each per mile of hard trekking up and down hilly trails. Then, times your number by 142 (miles we are walking) then by three (Greg, Abby, Lloyd) and head to the link and DONATE! DONATE HERE TO CANCER RESEARCH: more
  • please sign and share more
  • Poldark Country. Levant Mine. Levant mine is situated on the coast of west Cornwall mid-way between Botallack and Geevor. 'The mine under the sea' is now maintained by the National Trust and features in Poldark as 'Tressider's Mill'. This photo was taken from the South West Coast Footpath which goes through the Levant site towards Pendeen Watch which can be seen in the distance. 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
  • Great to see GT's Facebook page documenting the #SWCoastPath walk of a lifetime. Wishing you the best of luck! more


  • RT @Barefoot_pdq: @Barefoot_pdq still on course for #swcp record
  • Keep going!
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  • @moylesfarm thanks for letting us know . Will look into it. Keep posting about your journey on all #630miles
  • RT @matt3918: @Barefoot_pdq @DevonAirAmb @swcoastpath I've just donated. Really enjoying following your progress #respect
  • RT @KHK_Media: A beautiful sunset from the @swcoastpath last night. @ILoveCornwallUK
  • RT @phillipsnicola: @WalksAndWalking @swcoastpath @NorthCornwallNT Beautiful,challenging at times Port Quin to Port Isaac…