*VIDEO* Paradise found
PUBLISHED: 15:47 20 January 2014 | UPDATED: 09:45 17 February 2014
One of the joys of walking the South West Coast Path is stumbling upon a secluded beach on a remote stretch of coast and discovering that you’ve got it all to yourself – and taking a bracing dip if you’re brave enough. Here’s a selection of the best – and wonderful walks along the Coast Path.
Did you know?
The South West Coast Path is the UK’s longest National Trail at 630-miles from Minehead on the edge of Exmoor, all the way to Poole harbour, taking in the entire coastlines of Devon and Cornwall in between.
The South West Coast Path takes in two UNESCO World Heritage Sites and five designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), including the South Devon AONB and North Devon Coast AONB.
Braunton Burrows in North Devon boasts the largest sand dune system in Europe and is home to thousands of rare species of butterflies and wildflowers. It is the heart of a UNESCO designated Biosphere Reserve.
Devon is the only county in the UK with two separate coastlines, all of which can be explored on foot by following the acorn signs on the waymarked route of the South West Coast Path.
For more information about the South West Coast Path visit southwestcoastpath.com
One of the joys of walking the South West Coast Path is stumbling upon a secluded beach on a remote stretch of coast and discovering that youve got it all to yourself and taking a bracing dip if youre brave enough.
Devon has a wealth of beautiful sandy bays and secret coves that can only be reached on foot. Heres our selection of the best and the wonderful walks along the Coast Path that lead down to them.
Secret beach: Famous Fives cove at Rickham Sands, Devon
Best for Rockpooling
The walk East Portlemouth to Gara Rock
Distance: 3.3 miles
Step out along the Coast Path, from the Salcombe Estuary, past Mill Bay and follow the old carriageway thats home to a wealth of wildlife as it leads out to meet the wide open sea. As you pass Gara Rock and begin the return towards the estuary, theres a chance to visit the golden sands and rockpools of Rickham Sands, which features in the Famous Five series. This walks offers exhilarating scenery, and a wonderful way to get the wind in your sails.
Refreshments Venus Caf or Gara Rock
Secret beach: Mouthmill, Devon
Best for a picnic
The walk: Brownsham and Clovelly
Distance: 4.6 miles
Be dazzled with colour as you walk through some of North Devons finest landscapes, including National Trust land and the Clovelly Estate. The beach at Mouthmill is shelterd by high wooded cliffs either side and makes for a picturesque picnic spot with a stream running into the sea and views of Blackchurch Rock. The trail takes you through Culm grassland, woodland and heathland, all rich in plants and wildlife. A great walk in Autumn when the leaves turn and the wildlife goes in search of winter stores.
Refreshments Clovelly Village
Secret beach: Rockham Beach
Best for dog walks
The walk Mortehoe and North Devons Deadly Coast
Distance: 6.5 miles
Mortehoe is a small hilltop village on Devons northernmost coast. Despite its proximity to the holiday settlement of Woolacombe it retains an old-world charm and a feeling of remoteness, accentuated by its location high behind the rocky headland of Morte Point.
A good walk for older children with plenty of energy, who will love the rugged romance of the area and the fascinating devils teeth rocks. Visit in autumn, when the small flocks of migrant seabirds passing by offshore can sometimes include rare breeds among terns and kittiwakes. Rockham Beach is dog friendly all year round.
Refreshments Morthoe or Lee Bay
Secret beach: Soar Mill Cove, Devon
Best for wild swimming
The walk: Soar from Salcombe
Distance: 7.5 miles
This walk explores the mouth of Salcombes estuary and the area around and inland of Bolt Head, one of South Devons most prominent headlands. At its furthest extent the walk reaches the well-named high point of Soar, before descending to the nearby charming inlet of Soar Mill Cove, an idyllic spot on a sunny day and great for a wild swim when the waters calm. Its a good place for birdwatching in the autumn, and is the only place in Devon where sometimes an American migrant bird can be spotted, such as a blackpoll warbler
Refreshments South Sands or Soar Mill Valley, hotel.
Secret beach: Ayrmer Cove, Devon
Best for fishing
The walk: Ringmore and Bigbury
Distance: 3.6 miles
A walk thats relaxing and bracing. beaches with a lovely lazy feel, refreshing open clifftops, the timelessly delightful village of Ringmore tucked away, and enough up-and-down to get the circulation going. A wonderful walk for children, who will love the beaches, Burgh Island and the sea tractor. The area is also known for its reptiles that can often be seen basking in the sun.
Refreshments Venus Cafe, overlooking Bigbury Beach or Journeys End Inn, Ringmore