South West Coast Path
The South West Coast Path is Britain's longest national trail, which at 630 miles would take a fit walker a whole six weeks to complete! but thousands every year walk some part of the clifftop path, which boasts some of the finest coastal scenery in Europe.
The path starts at Minehead in Somerset, following the North Devon coast, all the way around Cornwall, then along the South Devon and Dorset coasts. It is a very hilly route, climbing and descending 91,000 feet . The final 95-mile stretch between Orcombe Rocks in Exmouth and Studland Bay in Dorset is known as the "Jurassic Coast" for its precious fossil deposits, which date back 185 million years. It was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001.
Always in view of the sea, the path was developed for coastguards to patrol every cove and beach on the crenellated English coast and so to keep smugglers from their profits.
Other attractions of the path are the varied geological formations, from the dramatic chalk of Lulworth Cove in Dorset to the coastal waterfalls of the "Iron Coast" between Hartland Point (Devon) and Bude (Cornwall). Around Land's End is the Granite Coast, which is formed by castellated granite blocks unique on the English coastline. Near Bolt Head, Prawle and Start Points in South Devon, the sharp-topped ridges look like extinct dinosaurs crawling into the sea. Along the way, look out for a rich variety of sea birds and even the occasional peregrine falcon.