Campsites near caves in South West Coast Path

England's longest national trail puts campers in some scenic camping spots.

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Campsites near caves in South West Coast Path guide

Overview

Winding its way along the coast of Somerset, Devon, Cornwall, and Dorset, the South West Coast Path is England’s most epic hike. Measuring in at 630 miles, it’s the longest National Trail in the country, and takes a whopping 52 days to complete. Instead, most hikers opt for day- or multi-day hikes, perhaps along the sea cliffs of West Cornwall, through the windswept moorlands of the Exmoor National Park, or on Dorset’s World Heritage Jurassic Coast. Spectacular views are a given, but you can also swim and surf at the many beaches, enjoy bird-watching around the estuaries, and camp at ocean view campsites.

When to go

The most popular time to hike the South West Coast Path is from April through September, but the trail is accessible year-round. Come in spring to spot lambs and colourful wildflowers or in summer to swim at the beaches and admire the headlands blanketed in purple heather. Warm clothes and wet weather gear are essential for autumn and winter hikes, but this is also one of the best times for bird-watching. Book at least three months in advance if visiting in July-Aug.

Know before you go

  • The South West Coast Path runs for 630 miles from Minehead in Somerset to Poole Harbour in Dorset. Most towns along the trail are easily reached by public transport, and baggage transfer services are available for hikers on multi-day walks. 
  • Although the trail has some remote sections, longer hikes typically pass through towns where you will be able to buy groceries and stock up on water supplies.
  • Most campsites require advance booking, and many ask for the full payment in advance. Be sure to check opening dates, as many campsites close in the winter months.
  • Wild camping is illegal throughout Cornwall.

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