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

3 to 5 nights
28 miles
Easy to Demanding
2nd January to 24th December
Includes Dog-Friendly Tours

From £355 per person

Tor Bay and Babbacombe Bay

This short stretch of the South West Coast Path begins with a stroll between the bustling resorts of Brixham, Paignton, and Torquay. It is quickly surrounded by natural beauty as it rounds the spectacular headland of Hope’s Nose, complete with its offshore cluster of rock islands and seabird colonies.

On it rambles around Babbacombe Bay to the Ness, a tree-lined cliff of sandstone. Two short ferry journeys, split by the walk from Teignmouth to Starcross, bring the trail to its end in Exmouth.

 

Available tours

Code Tour Duration Difficulty Price per person
TOR1 From Brixham to Exmouth 3 nights, 2 days walking Demanding £355
TOR2 From Brixham to Exmouth 4 nights, 3 days walking Moderate £470
TOR3 From Brixham to Exmouth 5 nights, 4 days walking Easy £585

Tor Bay and Babbacombe Bay 3 nights, 2 days walking

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

Important information

The Starcross to Exmouth Ferry usually operates from early April to the end of October.  If the ferry is not running the alternative is to catch a train/bus to Exmouth via Exeter or take a taxi. Please check their Facebook page for updates.

If you wish to walk this route outside of these months, please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Start

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

Day 1

Brixham to Babbacombe. 13.5 miles (21.5km) / 1781 ft (543 m) ascent

Day 2

Babbacombe to Exmouth. 14.5 miles (23.5km) / 2014 ft (614 m) ascent

Finish

Depart from Exmouth 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 Tor Bay and Babbacombe Bay map
Brixham to Exmouth
28 miles (45 km)
2nd January to 24th December

Holiday highlights

Wandering along the English Riviera, with its most dramatic geology at the English Riviera Geopark.

Spotting dolphins and basking sharks from the high red cliffs.

Watching boats and windsurfers brave the foam-capped waves on the approach to Exmouth.

What's included?

  • 3 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

If you would like to extend your holiday and have more time to explore the sights and sounds of the South West Coast Path, consider taking an extra night.

Babbacombe is a peaceful location for a rest day, with shops, restaurants, a theatre, model village, two beaches and the Babbacombe cliff railway, there is plenty to see. It is also close to Torquay, if you wish to spend your day somewhere a little livelier.

Exmouth is also a popular location. Its location on the Exe Estuary makes it a wonderful place to spot birds and other wildlife.

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

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

Tour Facts

Total distance: 28 miles (45 km)
Duration: 3 nights, 2 days walking
Minimum daily distance: 13.5 miles (21.5 km)
Maximum daily distance: 14.5 miles (23.5 km)
Code: TOR1 Grade: Demanding
Season: 2nd January - 24th December
Start of holiday: Brixham
End of holiday: Exmouth

Route Profile

Tor Bay and Babbacombe Bay 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 Bristol.

By Rail - The nearest rail station to the start of the trail (Brixham) is at Paignton (about 5.5 miles away). There is a rail station at the end of the trail (Exmouth).

By Bus - Buses run from Paignton to Brixham. Various buses run from Exmouth.

From London - Trains run from London Paddington station to Paignton. From there a bus/taxi will be required to Brixham.

Return To The Start - The easiest way to return to the start of the trail is to take a taxi. You can also take a train from Exmouth to Paignton, from where a bus/taxi will be required to Brixham, but this will take longer.

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.
"None shall pass!" by Raymond Riggs (2023) "None shall pass!" by Raymond Riggs (2023)
"Brixham Outer Harbour" by David Hackett (2023) "Brixham Outer Harbour" by David Hackett (2023)
"Holly Blue at Mackerel Cove" by David Hackett (2023) "Holly Blue at Mackerel Cove" by David Hackett (2023)

Customer reviews from the Tor Bay and Babbacombe Bay

“Really enjoyed the mix of built up areas and more rural bits. Particularly liked visiting Torquay and Paignton which I’ve always wanted to go to. Everything was great I was very happy with the way everything was organised and how the walk went. It’s a great mix of seaside resorts and more open stretches. It has something for everyone. It’s strenuous walking at times but well worth the effort. I’ve always found contours very good at organising these holidays and have never had any real issues so I would always book another holiday with contours (and indeed have).”
Mr Madge, UK
“The area we walked was beautiful and the accomodations were excellent. The hosts were friendly, the rooms clean and pleasant, and the breakfasts were delicious. The trail was more demanding that we expected (particularly since it was rainy weather), in terms of rough terrain and multiple stairways. I was impressed with the information from Contours as well as the accomodations provided. Pricing for our tour was reasonable.”
Ms Christenson, USA
“Incredibly good weather for September, amazing varied scenery and no heavy backpack!”
Ms Bonetti, UK
“We enjoyed many days of sun despite very bad weather elsewhere in Devon and the UK.”
Mr Hoyle, USA
“Very much enjoyed the holiday although we found it harder than expected.”
Mrs Reeves, UK
“Worth booking the 2 extra rest/ free days to further explore the area visiting. No issues with accomodation or coastal path.”
Mrs Singh, UK
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