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Anstey's Cove, Babbacombe in Devon on Encounter Walking Holidays South West Coast Path walking holiday route

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

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Walking Routes

What is a self guided walking holiday, how hard are the walks, rest days and more

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Prices & Quotes

What do our holidays cost, no obligation quotes, credit card payments and more

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Planning My
Holiday

When is the best time of year to walk, what's included, other activities and more

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Travel To
My Holiday

Planes, trains, automobiles, car parking, transfers and more

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Walkers From 
Overseas

What support we can offer to overseas walkers, currency conversion, and more

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Accommodation
and meals

accommodation types, upgrading rooms, evening meals, packed lunches and more

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Luggage Transfers

How luggage transfers work, weight limits for bags and more

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Walking The 
Trail

How easy are the trails to follow, what if I get tired and more

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Maps, Guidebooks,
& What To Bring

What we provide, what you do or don't need to bring and more

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Distances, Grades,
Safety, Weather
& Problems

What we provide, what you do or don't need to bring and more

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Groups,
Solo Walkers, 
Dogs & Children

What size groups we work with, walking on your own and more

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Booking My
Holiday

How to book, when to book, how to pay, terms and conditions and more

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Cancellations &
Insurance

Why do I need insurance, where can I get it, what if I have to cancel and more

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Encounter
Walking
Holidays

Who are we, how long have we been around, why book with us and more

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How To
Contact
Us

Our address, our opening hours, and how to get in touch with us.

  • Quite simply, it's the best way to walk in the UK for anyone keen on walking.

    CLICK HERE and we explain what it means, how it works and why it's the way to get the most out of your walking experience.

  • We can help!

    Start with using our interactive map - this shows all our routes and if you click on the icons you can read short summaries of each walk - highlights, difficulty, distance etc. You can scan a number of walks this way and then click through to read about the ones that interest you.

    On the same page, if you want some ideas then take a look at the Find a Walk section - this gives short summaries of our main walks by theme, eg. coastal, moorland, easy, short breaks etc.

    If you prefer, just contact us by phone or email and we can help make suggestions to suit your ability, available time and your preferences for which area you want to visit.

    If you are emailing us then tell us about your level of experience... or lack of it. We know the trails well and a walking advisor will be able to work out options with you to consider based on which routes may be of most interest for the area, scenery, accommodation or attractions that are of most importance to you.

    Once you know which route you are interested in then the long route description sections on our website cover this day by day in detail. The descriptions here are more thorough than anything you will find anywhere else on the web.  There are loads of images and video clips as well, giving you a good taste of what you will see and information about the overnight stops on route. After all this, if you still have questions, just let us know and we will do our best to help you narrow the choice down !

  • Of course that depends on how experienced a walker you are. The coastal routes often surprise people as there is a lot of climbing and descending on most sections as you climb from coves to cliff tops and back again. Some routes or sections are easier than others - the interactive map give a summary of the grade for each walk.

    Or Click Here to read more detail about the grades and what these mean. You can also see pictures of examples of different grades of walking sections to help gain an idea of what the route is like.

    We operate "walking holidays" - rather than "holidays with walks" so you should be reasonably fit and ideally also used to walking regularly. You should be keen to be walking most or all days you are with us, but how much you do each day is up to you. There is nothing technical on any of our routes and in the right conditions a 8-year-old or an 88-year-old can happily walk the most strenuous sections though they might not do the same distances as a 38-year-old.

    When looking at the options, our standard itineraries tend to work out at around 6 hours of walking per day (not including breaks) - relaxed itineraries are around 4-5 hours but we can split things up further or arrange for you to walk longer days if you prefer.

    One or two routes such as the Two Moors Way and the Smugglers Way involve exposed open moorland with very little route marking. These are best left to confident walkers with good map reading skills but we will always check that with you before taking a booking. On the more remote sections of coast path such as in North and West Wales there is often a lack of facilities which may mean long days an being self sufficient.  However with the right preparation and organisation all of them are possible for anyone keen to walk!

  • Yes of course.

    We create your itinerary working with you - a mix of our advice and your wishes leading to the right balance of distance and grade of walking. As long as good quality accommodation and facilities exist at the right point in the trail then we can tailor your walk to suit your preferences. Even if it does not we can build in transfers in or out of difficult locations to get your through a section of trail if you feel its too long for you.

    If you look at the options for any of our walks you will find most routes have Standard, Fast and Relaxed itineraries either increasing or reducing the number of days on the trail to allow for your fitness, experience and the amount of walking you want.

    For those who want more time, daily mileages can be reduced or tougher sections can be missed out completely. Very fit and experienced distance walkers who want to increase the daily mileage can be catered for but if we feel you are taking on too much then we will tell you and check that what you are requesting is going to work for you on the ground. One of our walking advisors will give you an honest appraisal of your plans, based on our own experiences of pushing the distances.

    Don’t forget to allow time for exploring, taking pictures, the odd swim if you are on the coast and some restful breaks as you won’t want to rush through this scenery.  In general its better to be cautious if you are not sure as you will always find distractions on the paths or at the overnight stops if you arrive early.

  • Yes - you can break the journey wherever you want with a rest day and we can include this in your quote. We can help you decide the best place for your rests - where you in better accommodation, where there is more to see and other activities and options to do in the local area. 

    Some locations have obvious iconic attractions to visit like St Michaels Mount in Marazion/Penzance or The Eden Project in Cornwall. In Pembrokeshire, Wales on a day off you can take a boat to explore some of the nearby islands and spot puffins and seals. We can advise on what is possible (or not possible) in all locations so just ask and make sure your rest days are not lost days!

    There are often other outdoor activities you can do during a day off your walking - cycling in Cornwall and Devon on trails such as the Camel Trail at Padstow, surfing, coasteering, kayaking and other watersports, even caving in the Mendips or deep sea fishing trips from St Ives! We can advise on activities and pass on details of local operators so you can arrange this directly with them and fit it in with your walking holiday to suit you.

  • If you just want a long weekend of walking or a mid-week short break then we can arrange that for you. And you can go wherever you want !

    We provide short breaks on ALL our routes as long as you have a minimum of 3 nights and 2 days walking. With limited time, some sections make more sense than others, where public transport is quicker, for example. BUT by including transfers we can start and end you at any point if there is a particular part of a walk you always wanted to do. See our Short Breaks Page for more details

    There are also routes which you can complete in full with just 3 or 4 days walking on a short break such as The Saints Way, The Coleridge Way and Lands End Coast Path

    Finally, for those wanting both a taste of Cornwall and the South West Coast Path look at our "Classic Cornwall Break" walk along the South Cornwall Coast - 2 or 3 days walking through one of the best parts of Cornwall.

    If you need more ideas or want to discuss a short break plan, as always, contact us and let one of our walking advisors help.

  • It depends what you want to walk and how you want to walk it. We try to cover all budgets.   You can view guideline prices on the individual walk pages and then request a guaranteed quote for your ideal holiday by clicking here

  • Absolutely not - a quote costs nothing and there is no obligation - so you don't have to take it up.

    The quote will give you a very clear summary of the walking route, the accommodation and what else is included so that you can compare us to any other options you are considering. We want you to get the best options for you at the best prices we can provide and so won't take any bookings until you have seen a detailed quote.

    There is nothing to lose by asking for a quote and no commitment to book.

    Request a Quote now by clicking here

  • Talk to a walking advisor about what you want to do and ask them how to keep the price as low as possible.

    The type of accommodation, time of year, choice of trail and where you overnight will all make a difference to the costs. Get a quote for what you want - but tell us about your budget if that is a key issue for you. Your walking advisor will tell you where you may be able to make budget savings.

    If you have had already had a quote and want to try to reduce the cost, again, we can advise where it may be possible to do this and we will be clear about how this will change your plan.

    We are all walkers here and we like nothing better than to see others walking the trails we love. For that reason we don't want to see anyone unable to walk because they can't afford the costs so we will always try to help - whether-or-not you end up booking with us.

    We won't offer our walking holidays at prices where we can't maintain our standards of delivery but if our costs are beyond what you can afford we will try to help with other suggestions on how you may be able to get to walk what you want.  Talk to us - we WILL try to help !

  • Absolutely not - the price we issue is guaranteed as your holiday price.

    Unlike other walking holiday companies there are no charges for using credit cards to pay for overseas postage of books and maps. There are no additional taxes, VAT or insurances. These are all included in your quoted price.

    Also, if you choose not to take up options by bringing your own maps, or carrying your own luggage for instance, then we will also deduct those costs from your invoice for you.

    If YOU decide to add anything extra to your holiday after having a quote such as private transfers, extra nights, more copies of guidebooks then we will advise you of the costs of any changes you request before making them.

    The only time we will make an additional charge is where YOU changed your holiday plans AFTER booking - for instance if you change the route or dates and we need to rebook things for you. Even at that point we will advise what the cost will be before we do anything. Furthermore instead of applying a set "administration fee"  - we will ONLY charge for the actual time it takes us to make the changes you request. If it's only a minor change it won't cost anything at all.

  • No we never charge for taking payments whether by credit card, debit card, bank transfer or cheque.

    Visit the question  "How do I make a Payment" for full details on how you can pay for your walking holiday but rest assured, we won't add any charges whichever payment method you use.

  • Generally, you can walk at any time of year on most routes with the main walking season running from mid-March to the end of October. 

    The most popular months for walkers in the UK tend to be May, June the first half of July and September - you get the better weather but miss the summer school holidays.  However April and October are also fine for walking on most routes - one or two coastal routes require ferries that do not run early or late in the season but we will advise you such issues when you request a quote.

    A few pointers that might help you decide when to walk -

    Spring Walking - March, April, May - Fantastic for flowers on the trails with weather steadily improving so that by May you should be enjoying good sunshine and ideal walking weather. Be prepared in March and April for more spells of inclement weather but one bonus is that the trails are quiet and outside of Easter the accommodation options are excellent.

    Summer Walking – June, July, August - Prime months weather wise as this is our summer – June is possibly the best option for walkers during this period, no school holidays or bank holidays but statistically some of the best weather of the year. 

    From the last half of July through to the end of August you are sharing coastal regions with those on their school holidays. Don’t be put off however if you can only walk in the school holidays; the majority of visitors never venture more than a mile away from the harbours and coastal towns so once you are on the trail you will still get your peace and solitude broken by only occasional fellow walkers on the paths.

    However overnight locations will be busier and accommodation is much harder to find if you leave the booking until late but all the facilities are open and you have long daylight hours to make the most of those evenings. It can be very hot during some periods and for those on the coast paths it’s generally from this time onwards that swimming, canoeing, surfing and other water sports are at their best. Just try and book well in advance for this period.

    Autumn Walking – September and October - If we had to pick a best month for walking we would usually go for September. The school holidays are over so the options for accommodation are generally good and the numbers of visitors decline rapidly. Generally however the weather is still very good, the last few years have seen late “Indian summers” stretching into late September. Trails are quiet, as are the overnight stops and the welcome in the holiday areas tends to be particularly good as the locals have by now got through the busy months of the summer. The expression here is "demob happy"! Just book early if you are looking for the first week of September as a lot of local walkers are also well aware its the best time to be walking.

    Into October and availability of accommodation is excellent.

     

    The weather, whilst less reliable, is still not that cold and crisp, clear walking days are often the norm, although you need to be prepared for more wet spells.

     

    Distances at this time of year need some thought with shorter daylight hours but all- in-all with the right preparation, October can be an excellent choice for walking particularly on shorter breaks. We won't run holidays on one or two of the very exposed options and some of the coastal path sections such as South Devon that rely on seasonal ferries become difficult but other routes are all open.

     

    We often run a late season special offer and in all locations the prices from mid-September onwards are cheaper but with the best choices of accommodation.

    Winter Walking Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb - Anyone walking outside the season will often have the trails to themselves and get superb value-for-money with many offers on accommodation. You need to balance against this the fact that the weather is much less reliable and you need to be an experienced walker to deal with it. 

    The daylight hours mean walking days will need to be shorter but as ever we can advise. The key in the winter months is to be realistic and flexible - have other plans in case there is a spell of poor weather, consider one or two centre walks  - staying in places where there are other options and perhaps a warming wood burner to relax round at night. If a storm blows in remember the walking might be curtailed but need not stop, witnessing mighty waves and the power of the sea with the beach to yourself can be as exhilarating as walking the coast path on a hot summer's day. Careful choice of routes is key and we suggest getting quotes in principal and then booking them late so you can at least see if any longer spell of bad weather is likely before committing.

    We don't operate walks during Christmas and New Year - our staff work throughout the rest of the year so we take a couple of well-earned weeks' rest then.  In addition, B&B's are often closed and hotels frequently have "themed" events and parties that are best avoided!

    Anyone planning Winter walking should talk to us for advice and suggestions but don’t rule it out if you are an experienced walker and happy to deal with whatever the weather brings - fortune favours the brave as they say! We have been sunburnt on Dartmoor in February so you can get lucky!

    Click below for Annual Weather Summaries and Charts for the main walking regions

     

    Met Office Weather Charts - South West England  Covers Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset

    Met Office Weather Charts - Wales  Covers Pembrokeshire, Snowdonia, Ceredigion & wider Wales

  • We have walkers out at all periods so you can book anytime you like BUT if you can avoid Bank Holiday Weekends then do so - or at least book well ahead if you can't avoid them.  The walking trails are not particularly affected as most "Holiday" visitors are not here to walk and are heading to the nearby beaches BUT you will find overnight accommodation is in much shorter supply and overnight locations particularly those on the coast are much busier.

    In the UK the Bank Holidays that affect walkers most are the following. 

    Bank Holiday Weekends

    Easter  -  Good Friday and Easter Monday are bank holidays so it is a four day holiday in the UK. Dates change every year (see below)  but try to avoid this long weekend.

    The first weekend in May (May Day Bank Holiday)

    The last weekend in May (Whitsun Bank Holiday) - and the following week which is school half term

    The last weekend in August (Summer Bank Holiday)

    For actual dates this year check the following website www.gov.uk/bank-holidays

    Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights are the ones to avoid at Bank Holiday weekends with many British families heading to the coastal regions for a long weekend, returning on the Bank Holiday Monday.

    School Holidays

    These vary a bit but as a general rule those that may affect you and to try to avoid if you can are

    Easter Weeks - 2 weeks around the Easter Bank Holidays.

    Half Term (May) the last week of May/start of June starting with the Whitsun Bank Holiday Weekend.

    Summer Holidays from around mid July and run through to the end of August / first days of September.

    Half Term (October) - usually the last week in October - not that busy so less effect on walkers.

    For actual dates in any given years CLICK HERE

    Advice if you will be walking during a Bank Holiday Or School Holidays - The busy Bank Holiday weekends book up very quickly with the accommodation providers so if you are planning a walk on a peak weekend just get in touch as early as you can. The earlier you contact us the better the chances and choices of accommodation will be.  On the busiest Bank Holiday weekends some accommodation may require a 2 night stay so trying to build a rest day in around a Bank Holiday is often a good idea if you are on a longer walk and are in a popular location.  We an advise on this for you and make suggestions.

    The most difficult dates of the year are usually the Whitsun Bank Holiday and half-term break during the last week of May. The most difficult places are the most popular coastal resorts and beaches so Cornwall between Padstow and St Ives for instance where there are lots of family beaches, North Devon's surfing beaches around Woolacombe and Croyde and Pembrokeshire beaches in Wales.  Inland areas such as Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks are much less affected by Bank Holidays and school holidays and whilst its still their busy time you are much more likely to find options here.

    If it’s a late booking for a busy weekend don’t despair but be prepared that you will need to be flexible and will have a more limited choice of accommodation. In some situations we will have to say that a particular route or overnight stop is just not going to be possible if all the accommodation has gone but we will check for you in case it is still possible.  We can usually come up with an alternative plan or suggestion however, which may be the same route but just staying in another location or at a different type of accommodation. 

    When to Book  In general the booking rush starts just after Christmas with a lot of UK families booking summer breaks and holiday accommodation - if you get in early and book your walk before Christmas for the following summer you are much more likely to get the options you need to keep walking through the Bank Holidays and school holidays.

  • Yes you can but if you are planning a walking holiday at this time you need to remember that not all routes are open. You should only consider a winter walking holiday if you are experienced walkers, you are well-equipped and essentially happy to deal with whatever the weather brings!  It's not a time to book your first ever walking holiday or for people who don't walk regularly or can't bear the thought of walking in the rain.

     

    Winter Walking November through to mid-March. The good news is that if you walk "out of season" you will often have the trails to yourself and you will get superb value for money, with many offers available on accommodation. Hotels and B&B's appreciate the business at these times and you are likely to be particularly welcomed and looked after if you are staying during the off-season.  You need to balance against this that it is our winter (!) so the weather is much less reliable - indeed if you are unlucky it can be very poor indeed and you need to be an experienced walker to deal with it or be prepared to have days with no walking at all. Of course we live here and walk all year round and there are some superb walking days in the winter - crisp and clear and sunny - the issue is that predicting them more than a few days in advance is pretty much impossible!

    The daylight hours mean your walking days will be shorter so be conservative with times and distances - in the middle of winter it can be dark at 4pm -  but as ever we can advise. Many facilities such as pubs, cafes and restaurants are on reduced hours or may be closed so you need to be more self-sufficient while you are out walking. But there will still be options in the overnight locations for eating and drinking (and we do a lot of that in the winter months!)

    The key is to be realistic and flexible - have other plans in case there is a spell of poor weather, consider one or two-centre walks, staying in places where there are other activity options or attractions you can visit if the weather is awful and perhaps a warming wood burner to relax round at night. If a storm blows in remember the walking might be curtailed but need not stop, witnessing mighty waves and the power of the sea with the beach to yourself can be as exhilarating as walking the coast path on a hot summer's day. Careful choice of routes is key and we suggest getting quotes in principal and then booking them late. That way you can see if any longer spell of bad weather is likely before committing to the walk.

     

    So, if you are considering winter walking talk to us for advice and suggestions as some routes won't be possible. Exposed moorland routes and higher ground like Exmoor and Dartmoor can be prone to snowfall and any exposed moorland sections like Bodmin Moor are not worth the risk if booking in advance. Other areas on the coast path such as the South Hams Devon section rely on seasonal ferries which don't run after late September so are not really viable without having to build in lots of transfers.

    On the other hand there are routes such as The Coleridge Way which are not on the exposed coast and are as well protected as you can get from any winter storms and this one can make superb out- -of-season adventures for those happy to take a risk on the weather. The Classic Cornwall Short Break route passes very close to the Eden Project and Lost Gardens of Heligan and if you get really bad weather on this route you have these non-walking options that can save the holiday.

    Christmas and New Year - We don't operate walking holidays at this time of year; our staff work throughout the rest of the year so we take a couple of well-earned weeks rest during the festive period.  In addition, it's not generally a good time to try a multi-centre walking holiday - B&B's are often closed and hotels have "themed" events and parties on that are best avoided.

    For an honest appraisal of whether your winter walking plans are viable contact us and we will be happy to talk them over with you.

    Click below for Yearly Weather Summaries and Charts for the main walking regions.

     

    Met Office Weather Charts - South West England,  Covers Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset

    Met Office Weather Charts - Wales   Covers Pembrokeshire, Snowdonia, Ceredigion & wider Wales

  • Yes, you can start anytime to suit you – we fit around your schedule so just let us know the dates you want to walk and we will create the best options to fit in with your plans. 

    Try to avoid starting on Bank Holiday weekends, particularly in popular coastal areas. Sunday arrival by public transport is often slower and with less options than during the week so is not the best day to arrive or depart. We can advise on both these issues if you can't be flexible.

    For links to check the actual Bank Holiday Dates for this year see the question in this FAQ section which is  titled "What about Bank Holidays and school holidays?"

  • Most definitely! We are the specialists in this and will try to suggest options for any locations where you want to take a rest day.

    Other Outdoor Activities 

    You can take time off your walking in a rest day activity, which could be  anything from a gentle canoeing trip in Cornwall through the wildlife creeks of the Fowey Estuary on the South Cornwall Coast Path, through to an adrenaline water sports day, coasteering, kite surfing and more in Newquay. 

    Many routes have options for some cycling on trails like the Camel Trail at Padstow; you could even try caving in the Mendips or deep-sea fishing trips from St Ives! We can advise on what is available and pass on details of local operators so you can arrange this directly with them and fit it in with your walking holiday schedule.

     

    Attractions, Gardens and Heritage

    Some locations have obvious iconic attractions to visit like St Michaels Mount in Marazion near Penzance in Cornwall, the Tate Gallery at St Ives or Corfe Castle in Dorset. 

    There are superb gardens in many places which are either on the trail or just a short walk from it, but South Cornwall has the largest concentration due to its climate, with The Lost Gardens of Heligan, TrebahGlendurgan and the Eden Project which can all be combined within a single week of walking on the Coast Path in South Cornwall

    Island Visits

    The Pembrokeshire Coast Path in Wales is great for these - on "rest days" you can take a boat to explore some of the nearby islands visiting the monks on Caldey or to search out puffins and seals at Skomer and Ramsey Islands. Also the North Devon Coast path allows access to magical Lundy Island by ferry. If you want a longer break then take a look at the Scilly Isles in the far south-west of the UK which are accessible from Penzance on the SW Coast Path. You do need to take at least a couple of days off from walking to fully experience the Scilly Isles.

    Wherever you want to walk, if you want to do more on rest days than just relax (though that's fine too!) then ask your walking advisor for suggestions for what you can get up to on days off the walking trail.

  • You can walk whatever you want. You can mix sections from connecting trails, for example, walking part of the South West Coast Path and then crossing Cornwall inland on the Saints Way for some variety.

    Or you can just extend your holiday by walking multiple sections of the longer trails - the whole of the Cornwall section of the South West Coast Path for instance, which is around 4 weeks of walking.

    Those with more time can complete the full South West Coast Path and we have a number of walkers do this every year - you need around 8 weeks to walk the full route  -  for those that do it in one go it's the walk of a lifetime! Contact us for more info and prices.

  • We cover this in detail at the bottom of every quote so it's crystal clear. It will depend on your specific plans but we always include:

    - A choice of accommodation, breakfasts every day and luggage transfers (if you want them),

    - The best and highest scale walker's maps, guidebooks and a detailed itinerary / route notes document written by us for your specific walk.

    - A named personal walking advisor to work with to help you with planning and to support you from your first enquiry through to the end of your walk.

    - An out of hours contact line during your walk and ongoing updates on trail news, walking conditions and any diversions.

    - Support and Advice for arranging travel to and from the trail, long stay parking information, help with booking public transport and transfers back to your car or train stations if required.

     

    Request a Quote now by clicking here

    - Administration of all your bookings, transfers and payments.

    - A clear guaranteed price with no surcharges, no extras and no price rises!

Walking routes

Prices & Quotes

Planning My Holiday

  • You can arrive by public transport (train and bus), by car if driving or by private transfer from the main train stations or airports. Whichever way we will help advise you -  Read more on our Travel to your Walking Holiday Page

  • Yes – for those using public transport, and this is something we are keen to encourage - we will provide the help and advice you need about how to get to and from the trail.

    We recognise that public transport in the UK is often confusing and can seem complicated to arrange.  Services change and with lots of different operators and different route options, we spend a lot of time checking and advising walkers on the latest situation.

    International Travel We don't arrange international travel but can advise on how to get to your walk from all the main airports in the South West and London as well as ferry ports and Eurostar Train services from Europe. See our Map of how to get from points of arrival in the UK to the walking routes and follow the maps links to find out more about travel across the UK.

    Travel Summaries for every walk For any walk you are looking at click on the "TRAVEL" button at the top of the walk information on this website and you will see detailed info on bus, train and car travel options for your specific route. We will also include this in your quote as a summary AND give full details in your final itinerary to help. 

    Getting to the walking regions from the rest of the UK  If you are UK based but unsure how to get to the South West or Wales or you want to see the main rail and airport options then use the Travel Map to see a summary and links to the main train operators and airport websites.

    A great resource for trying to work out your options in advance is www.travelinesw.com (for the South West from London) and www.traveline.cymru (for Wales), these are government-run websites that include detailed options for bus, train, ferry and coach travel.  If you are still stuck however, just contact us and ask for help!

     

    Cheaper Options for Train Travel - We work closely with Great Western Railways who are the main providers of services across the walking region and have a very detailed factsheet we can send you covering how to check services, book and arrange cheap travel. 

    This includes vital information on how to book train tickets and reserve your seats in advance from the UK and Overseas so that you can take advantage of much cheaper advance purchase tickets which can save a considerable amount of money.

    Private Transfers - Where public transport does not exist or is impractical for your departure from the trail then we can arrange private transfers to the nearest or most practical station or airport. We can also give you contact details for you to arrange this yourself if you prefer. Our responsibility does not stop at the end of the footpath and helping you to work out how to get to and from the walk is part of our service to you.  If we think a transfer will be a cheaper and more sensible option for you than public transport then we will let you know!

  • Rail to Trail walking holidays are designed for those who want the best walking routes which can be easily reached from the rail network and have been developed with and are supported by Great Western Railways who are the main train operators in the South West.

    Direct and fast train routes to the trails including sleeper options to Cornwall so you travel straight to your first overnight location... 

     

    then Walk the Trail...

     

    And travel by train straight back out from the other end after your last night with no need for transfers or uncomfortable bus travel.

    Go Rail to Trail and you can forget the traffic jams, parking charges and wasted time having to travel back to where you started to recollect your car.

    You will find  Rail to Trail holidays for all the main walking routes so click here to view the easy and environmentally friendly way to take your walking holiday. We provide lots of information to help with timetables, reserving seats and booking cheap advance purchase tickets in advance so these holidays are not only the most stress free and convenient way of arriving for your walk but are often the most economical.

  • Consider our Rail to Trail walking options first off as you then won't need to arrange any of this. We can help with public transport advice and if needed short transfers to allow you to leave your car at home and still walk any of the routes we operate on, getting to and from the region by train or plane.

    However we recognise that for some people arriving by car is the preferred option, perhaps if you are bringing a dog or you want to stop at locations on the way to and from your walk.

    Parking - If you tell us you are arriving by car we will provide all the information on long-stay parking options. In the older fishing harbours of the South West this is often in specific long-stay car parks set back from the waterfront accommodation - these towns were built for horses and carts not cars! So often the accommodation is situation on very narrow streets with no on-site parking. Locals and visitors alike all use the long-stay car parks instead. We cover the options and costs for you in detail so you know the parking situation for any given location. 

    At accommodation in more open areas such as Dartmoor, Wales and away from the smaller harbours we may have arrangements where you can park and leave you car at the first nights accommodation or use free on street parking outside it.  In any event your quote will cover these options for you.

    Returning to your Car - We will always provide the public transport options explaining how you can to return to your car at the end of your walk. We give you a summary with your quote and also cover this in detail in your final itinerary.  In some cases, such as between Penzance and Falmouth on the SW Coast Path, or St Ives and Penzance, returning to your car is relatively straightforward and easy using the rail network.  In other, more remote areas, you may either need to take a bus OR we can arrange a private transfer for you over some or all the journey if travel times are slow or you want the convenience of a quick get away at a time to suit you. If we think a transfer will be a cheaper and more sensible option than public transport then we will let you know!

    So let us give you the options, consider them against using public transport to and from the route and if you do decide to come by car you will have all the information and options you need for parking and returning to your car at the end of your walk.

  • Absolutely.

    If you prefer to have a private transfer instead of taking public transport options then we can advise on prices and either book these for you as part of your holiday or give you the information so you can arrange it yourself.

    We can have you collected from regional airports, train and bus stations and taken on to your first nights’ accommodation as well as returned at the end of the walk to the same or a different location to suit you.

    Where we are arranging to collect you from public transport we will work with you to establish the time for your pick up once you have managed to arrange your travel to the area.  We will then book your transfers so you are met straight from the train or plane, ensuring you get straight to your holiday, losing as little time as possible en-route.

    Just let us know when you book if you are going to take the public transport options to the trail OR prefer to have a quote for a private transfer.

Travel To My Holiday

  • Yes we do - we have many walkers from all over the world visiting our trails every season and have become specialists in helping overseas walkers, not only with arranging walking and accommodation but also in assisting with information on how to travel to the trails from overseas and get the most out of a visit to the UK.

    Having a named walking advisor looking after your booking means you have someone you can ask  other questions that you need help with for your visit, whether it be car hire options, useful tips or just information on what to bring with you for your walking holiday.

    You can find out about the main travel routes to the walking trails by using our interactive travel map and we help with advising on timetables and travel options. We understand that this is one of the most difficult aspects of getting around the UK. We also have a range of useful factsheets you can access which are aimed at overseas visitors, including how to book and reserve cheap train travel and on what to expect on the trails.

    We have been at the forefront of welcoming walkers from overseas to the major walking trails for many years now and are pleased to be currently working with Visit Britain and the South West Coast Path Association on the "Discover England" project promoting the South West Coast Path to specific overseas markets by making the walking trail inf