The South West Coast Path is 630 miles long and is the longest National Trail in the country. Starting at Minehead in Somerset it runs along the coastline of Exmoor, continuing along the coast of North Devon into Cornwall. It follows the entire coastline of Cornwall, goes across the mouth of the River Tamar and continues into Devon. After running along the south coast of Devon it then follows the Dorset coastline before finally ending at Poole Harbour.
The path was originally created by coastguards, patrolling the south west peninsula looking out for smugglers. They literally had to check in every inlet so their cliff top walk was well used and gives us the amazing Path we use today.
The path is covered by England's right-of-way laws, as amended by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, which keep historic footpaths open to the public even when they pass through private property. Sections of the path are maintained by the National Trust, which owns parts of the coast.
As it enters West Dorset the Coast Path runs through Lyme Regis. It continues to the village of Charmouth and then over Golden Cap, the highest point on the south coast. This section of the path currently has a number of diversions due to landslips. The path then continues through West Bay, to Burton Bradstock at the start of Chesil Beach, an 18-mile (29 km) long tombolo. At Abbotsbury, the path leaves Chesil beach and goes inland, before turning back to the shores of the Fleet lagoon in the area that the novel 'Moonfleet' was set. It then follows in inland shore of the Fleet lagoon to Portland.
From Lyme Regis to Weymouth the X53 bus follows the route of the path, enabling walkers to undertake part of the path during a day, and then return to their accommodation.
For more information about the South West Coast Path see:
Southwest Coast Path Association
The popular Undercliffs' path between Lyme Regis and Seaton has reopened, having been closed and diverted for a couple of years due to a number of mud and rock falls.
We continue to eagerly await the much delayed reopening of the path either side of Charmouth.
St Gabriel's Steps which give access from the path to the beach between Charmouth and Seatown are currently closed due to a mud slide.
Hensleigh House Hotel. A small Charmouth and Lyme Regis Hotel, 300 metres from the Jurassic Beach in the unspoilt village of Charmouth, and 3 minute walk to shops, pubs and restaurants. Hensleigh House has it's own car park and is 2 miles from the centre of Lyme Regis. The 8 comfortable rooms include twins, doubles and two family suites, each with two adjoining bedrooms.