South West Coast Path

South West Coast Path

An epic walk along the coastline of Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset.

3 to 12 nights
630 miles
Easy to Demanding / Strenuous

From £355 per person

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About the trail

At 630 miles (1,008 km) in length, the South West Coast Path is Britain’s longest waymarked footpath and the ultimate challenge for any long distance walker. The route curls around the entire peninsula of Devon and Cornwall, rounds the south-western tip of England at Land’s End, and follows the southern shore through the dramatic scenery of Dorset, constituting a major portion of the England Coast Path.

Although we provide some gentler itineraries, on most holidays, expect stiff climbs on jaw-dropping coastal trails; mile after mile of sea views; and plenty of cream teas and Cornish pasties enjoyed in seaside towns. Walking the South West Coast Path is a challenge, but an immensely (and often tastily) rewarding one.

We’ve broken the full SWCP into ten stages so you can pick and choose your favourite stretches of coast. We also offer a choice of short breaks along the path, which you can find on the South West Coast Path Short Breaks page. If you’re looking for a circular tour, take a look at our walking holiday around the far point of Land’s End Peninsula and inland along St Michael’s Way.

Choose your route

  • This route includes dog friendly tour options North Devon
  • Cornwall's Atlantic Coast - North
  • Cornwall's Atlantic Coast - South
  • Far West of Cornwall
  • This route includes dog friendly tour options South West Cornwall
  • This route includes dog friendly tour options South Cornwall
  • South Devon
  • This route includes dog friendly tour options Tor Bay and Babbacombe Bay
  • East Devon
  • Dorset

Dog friendly tours available

Dogs are welcome on select routes along this trail. Look for the pawprint icon when choosing your holiday.

Trail running tours available

We also organise trail running holidays along this route. Find out more.

About this route

6 to 11 nights
79 miles
Easy / Moderate to Demanding / Strenuous
2nd January to 24th December
Includes Dog-Friendly Tours

From £775 per person

South Cornwall

This section of the South West Coast Path is perhaps the most gentle. It tours tranquil estuaries, wooded inlets and sandy coves. Jutting headlands provide stunning vantage points over some of the prettiest villages in Cornwall, where whitewashed cottages jostle for the best view of their harbours.

Yet South Cornwall is not all softness: the Royal Citadel of Plymouth towers over its broad harbour, an imposing part of King VIII’s coastal defences.

We also offer a South Cornwall Short Break option that explores the path from Polperro to Plymouth. Click here for more information.

Available tours

Code Tour Duration Difficulty Price per person
SCOR0 From Falmouth to Plymouth 6 nights, 5 days walking Demanding / Strenuous £775
SCOR1 From Falmouth to Plymouth 7 nights, 6 days walking Moderate / Demanding £900
SCOR2 From Falmouth to Plymouth 8 nights, 7 days walking Moderate / Demanding £1020
SCOR3 From Falmouth to Plymouth 9 nights, 8 days walking Moderate £1140
SCOR4 From Falmouth to Plymouth 11 nights, 10 days walking Easy / Moderate £1385

South Cornwall 6 nights, 5 days walking

£NNN per person
  • Itinerary
  • What's included?
  • Extra nights?
  • Tour facts
  • Route profile
  • Travel info
  • Weather
  • Holiday Highlights

Important information

The Falmouth to St Mawes Ferry operates all year round. However, the St Mawes to Place/St Anthony’s Head Ferry only operates from 30th March to 1st November.   If the ferry is not running the alternative is a water taxi.  As the water taxi service during the winter months is limited, advance booking is essential; please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Start

Travel to Falmouth where your first night's accommodation will be booked

Day 1

Falmouth to Portloe/Veryan(L). 14 miles (22km) / 1886 ft (575 m) ascent

Day 2

Portloe/Veryan(L) to Charlestown(L). 19.5 miles (31.5km) / 3553 ft (1083 m) ascent

Day 3

Charlestown(L) to Polperro. 18 miles (28.5km) / 2575 ft (785 m) ascent

Day 4

Polperro to Portwrinkle(L). 13 miles (20.5km) / 2051 ft (625 m) ascent

Day 5

Portwrinkle(L) to Plymouth. 14.5 miles (23.5km) / 1939 ft (591 m) ascent

Finish

Depart from Plymouth after breakfast

Your Itinerary

This itinerary lists our preferred overnight stops for this tour. Sometimes there may be a shortage of available accommodation in a preferred location, in which case we will transfer you from the trail to your accommodation and back again at no extra charge. Overnight stops marked with a (T) will always require transfers as standard.

Overnight stops marked with an (L) have very limited accommodation, and therefore more often than not will also require a transfer, particularly on bank holidays and weekends. We will use non-transfer accommodation wherever possible.

The daily mileages quoted are average trail miles only and do not include the distance from the trail to your accommodation. We do not expect you to have to travel more than a mile from the trail to your accommodation in most cases; should your accommodation be further than this, transfers will be provided as standard if practical. A very limited number of stops will require you to travel on foot up to two miles off the trail, however these instances will be clearly communicated to you if applicable.

Further transfers may also be required due to some accommodations having a two-night minimum booking policy, especially at weekends.

Below are the additional costs that may apply depending on your requirements. Dog-friendly tours are subject to a Daily Dog Charge, which will be listed below if applicable. Our standard prices per person are based upon two people sharing a room; if you are on your own, or are part of a group but require a room of your own, then the Solo Traveller or Single Supplements apply respectively:

A note about transfers
Solo Traveller Supplement
£60.00 per person / per night
Single Supplement
£50.00 per person / per night


You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£65.00 per person / per night
Standard
Interactive
© Contours Walking Holidays South Cornwall map
Falmouth to Plymouth
79 miles (126 km)
2nd January to 24th December

Holiday highlights

Absorbing the tranquillity of this quieter section of the South West Coast Path.

Visiting St Anthony’s Lighthouse, St Mawes Castle, and fortified Plymouth, with its rich naval history.

Touring the Georgian harbour of Charlestown, complete with square riggers.

What's included?

  • 6 nights' accommodation in en-suite rooms (where available) in selected B&B’s, hotels, inns and guesthouses along the trail, or a short distance away via taxi provided at our expense.
  • Breakfast each day.
  • Door to door luggage transfer.
  • Maps with the route marked on and a guidebook or route notes describing the trail.
  • An information pack containing an itinerary, instructions on how to find your accommodation each night and a kit list.
  • Detailed travel instructions on how to get to the start of your holiday and back from the end of it.

Extra Nights & Rest Days

An extra night gives you the chance to explore some of the villages on the path or to simply relax on one of the sandy beaches for which Cornwall is famous.

Portloe is one of the most attractive and unspoilt fishing villages in Cornwall while Charlestown, with its square-riggers, lively harbour and fascinating museum, is a good choice for a rest day.

Plymouth, with its vast number of historic buildings, is another good choice.

You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£65.00 per person / per night

Tour Facts

Total distance: 79 miles (126 km)
Duration: 6 nights, 5 days walking
Minimum daily distance: 13 miles (20.5 km)
Maximum daily distance: 19.5 miles (31.5 km)
Code: SCOR0 Grade: Demanding / Strenuous
Season: 2nd January - 24th December
Start of holiday: Falmouth
End of holiday: Plymouth

Route Profile

South Cornwall Route Profile

Travel Information

Useful information and travel links that will assist you in your plans to travel to the start of the holiday and back from the end of it are sent to you with your full tour pack. A summary is given below:

By Air - The most convenient major city and international airports are Exeter and Newquay.

By Rail - There is a choice of stations at Falmouth. Falmouth Town or Falmouth Docks. Which is best will depend upon the location of your accommodation. There is a rail station at the end of the trail (Plymouth).

By Bus - Various bus services run to Falmouth and from Plymouth.

From London - Trains run from London Paddington to Falmouth Docks rail station.

Return To The Start - The easiest way to return to the start of the trail is to catch a train from Plymouth to Falmouth.

Weather Information

To find out more about the weather forecast for your chosen holiday's general location, please see the following websites:

  • MetCheck - This website allows you to look up detailed weather information for specific locations as far as six months in advance.
  • Met Office - This website shows regional area forecasts a few days in advance, with a general UK forecast description of up to 30 days in advance.
  • Mountain Forecast - This website shows what the forecast is like up on specific hills and fells, and offers forecasts a few days in advance.
"Followed by Sheep" by Marc Campion (2023) "Followed by Sheep" by Marc Campion (2023)
"Looking Back on the way to Gorran Haven" by Marc Campion (2023) "Looking Back on the way to Gorran Haven" by Marc Campion (2023)
"On the way to Portscatho" by Marc Campion (2023) "On the way to Portscatho" by Marc Campion (2023)
"Looe Bridge at Night" by Marc Campion (2023) "Looe Bridge at Night" by Marc Campion (2023)
"Path to Nowhere" by Marc Campion (2023) "Path to Nowhere" by Marc Campion (2023)
"Looe" by Paul Day (2023) "Looe" by Paul Day (2023)
"Place House, St Anthony" by Paul Day (2023) "Place House, St Anthony" by Paul Day (2023)
"Polperro" by Paul Day (2023) "Polperro" by Paul Day (2023)
"Black Head" by Paul Day (2023) "Black Head" by Paul Day (2023)
"Millendreath Beach near Looe" by Paul Day (2023) "Millendreath Beach near Looe" by Paul Day (2023)
"Charlestown" by Paul Day (2023) "Charlestown" by Paul Day (2023)
"Follow Me" by Stefanie Kieweg (2022) "Follow Me" by Stefanie Kieweg (2022)
"Readymoney Cove, Looe" by Wm. Samuel Bunge (2022) "Readymoney Cove, Looe" by Wm. Samuel Bunge (2022)
"Beech Forest, Polkerris" by Wm. Samuel Bunge (2022) "Beech Forest, Polkerris" by Wm. Samuel Bunge (2022)
"Gorse near Looe" by Wm. Samuel Bunge (2022) "Gorse near Looe" by Wm. Samuel Bunge (2022)
"Along the Trail" by David Hackett (2021) "Along the Trail" by David Hackett (2021)
"Looe" by David Hackett (2021) "Looe" by David Hackett (2021)
"Rame Head Chapel" by David Hackett (2021) "Rame Head Chapel" by David Hackett (2021)
"Talland Bay" by David Hackett (2021) "Talland Bay" by David Hackett (2021)
"Near Gorran Haven" by Gesche Henningsen (2019) "Near Gorran Haven" by Gesche Henningsen (2019)

Customer reviews from the South Cornwall

“Overall experience from Contours point of view was excellent but we experienced some ferry issues which were outside Contours control!”
Mr Hemingway, UK
“This was a great holiday with superb walking along this rugged part of the Cornish coast. It visited tiny little fishing villages and the big city of Plymouth each was great to explore. Loved it all, the variety of places visited, the accommodation and the bag transfers were all excellent.”
Mr Madge, UK
“Part of the country I had never walked in before. Lovely weather, astounding views, some very hard ups and downs, great accommodation. Already thinking about what to do next year. My age means something not too hilly!”
Ms Currie, USA
“Fantastic scenery, lovely accommodation.”
Mr Bond, UK
“Another enjoyable trip and well organised by Contours again. Would absolutely recommend the holiday to others, and also spread the good word whilst on the walking holiday.”
Mrs Campion, UK
“Lovely walking and weather.”
Dr Pearlman, UK
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