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The South West Coast Path 1 to 5 - Minehead to Barnstaple

This is the first of about eight trips away to complete the entire South West Coast path. We start walking at Minehead in Somerset and follow the first part of the North Devon coast around as far as Barnstaple. The entire expedition runs from Saturday to Thursday the following week.

The deposit covers the following expenses:

  • Return rail journey from London Paddington = £50.
  • Deposit for bed and breakfast at five B&B / hotels = £86
  • Luggage transportation for the whole route = £25

These have all been booked and paid by the organizer. There is no additional organizer fee to pay for this event.

After this, the expenses that you will have on the trip away itself are:

  • The balance of the B&B / hotel accommodation = £94 in total
  • Lunches, evening meals, drinks and incidental expenses

The start date and time is the arrival time at Paddington station to get the train to Taunton. The connecting bus service on to Minehead is included in the ticket.

The end date and time is the time of arrival back at Paddington on a morning train from Barnstaple.

General information about doing the South West Coast Path with the group.

If you are signed up for this event please read this Planning Update.


Saturday May 17th

I have booked group travel out on the 9:06 am train from Paddington to Minehead via Tauton, arriving at 12:31 pm. This includes a bus connection from Taunton to Minehead.

I have arranged the luggage transfer company to pick up your luggage from the bus station for transfer to the accommodation in Porlock.

Section 1 - Minehead to Porlock

9 miles. Ascent 2070 feet, Descent 1990 feet.


Maps: Part 1, Part 2

Notes for today:

1) Some of the Coast Path signs on this section had been broken off the post when I was there in July last year. You need to follow the broken off sign if it hasn't yet been replaced.

2) The route splits shortly after the car park at Burgundy Chapel Combe into an easy inland and a longer rugged coastal path and rejoins at Hurlstone Combe shortly before Bossington.

3)There is one very steep descent. Take it slowly.

4) There is a nice café at Bossington, a mile or two before Porlock.

5) The Ship Inn Hotel in Porlock serves fantastic local cider and is also a good place to have dinner.

6) It is advisable to buy some lunch for the next day at some point, or order a packed lunch from the guest house.

Sunday May 18th

Section 2 - Porlock to Lynmouth

13.5 miles. Ascent 4120 feet. Descent 4160 feet.


Maps: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

This is a good second day because at least half is in woodland through which you see the sea down below the steep drop, and it doesn't have the really tough long ascents of the next two days. Quite a lot of it is level.

Note: The most important thing is that there is no convenient lunch stop on this day. Either get a packed lunch from your B&B the previous night or buy something in advance.

Monday May 19th

Section 3 - Lynmouth to Combe Martin

14.5 miles. Ascent 4150 feet, Descent 4140 feet.


Maps: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Two important notes for today:

1) Take the inland route which continues on the lane after Lee Abbey, rather than the pointless strictly coastal path out to Crock Point, which simply provides a strenuous descent and ascent through waist-high nettles with very little added value in terms of scenery.

2) After descending into Heddon Valley carry on upstream to Hunter's Inn for lunch, then it's best to cross the stream on the road and turn off sharp onto the path the other side rather going back downstream to the footbridge.

Tuesday May 20th

Section 4 - Combe Martin to Croyde

18 miles. Ascent 4470 feet, Descent 4490 feet.


Maps: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

This is the most gruelling day as there are very long steep climbs up from sea level out of Hele, Ilfracombe, Lee Bay and one or two other places. Towards the end the coast flattens out nicely. And it's the longest distance, so get an early start.

Some notes for today:

1) At Watermouth the path takes you into the harbour and then along the left side on the slippery rocks. At high tide this may not be possible and you have to go around on the road until you see the gate down to the path on the right.

2) Don't stop in Ilfracombe, or only briefly. A fantastic place for lunch and a drink at about half way is the Grampus Inn a little bit inland at Lee village. Take a left-hand path before you drop down to the village, otherwise you have to turn back past the car park and another 400 yards.

Wednesday May 21st

Section 5 - Croyde to Barnstaple

15 Miles. Ascent 680 feet, Descent 740 feet


Maps: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3


1) It is a good idea to obtain a packed lunch. Alternatively you could stop for a late lunch in Braunton.

2) Croyde Beach is quite difficult to negotiate in boots. You may want to do this part in bare feet.

3) The path splits for a while at Saunton into a low route with amenities and a high one with the one very stiff climb of the day and no amenities but good views. They're about the same distance. Take your preference.

4) Just after crossing under Taw Bridge as you're entering Barnstaple take the left fork off the main path alongside a rugby club. This winds round a tributary of the main river to Pilton Park and the hotel.

Thursday May 22nd

Return Journey

It's a one mile walk or taxi ride from the hotel to the railway station through the centre of town, across Long Bridge and onwards.

The complete Joined Up Hiking schedule

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  • Barbara

    Many thanks Christopher for a very well organised and enjoyable trip. Big thank you to Iain and Suzanna for looking after us so well it was much appreciated.

    June 5, 2014

  • Christopher

    Hey, what a brilliant idea perfectly executed! I'm referring to your gifts to the organizer, which Suzanna and Marie-Laure presented in a surprise ceremony in the pub on yesterday's outing. They could not have been more apt or welcome. Very generous of you all, I'm extremely chuffed!

    Really I was already fully rewarded by seeing all the fantastic comments and photos, but you guys have definitely gone the extra mile. Thanks and congrats all round!

    5 · May 25, 2014

  • Helena

    What a brilliant trip! The scenery was breathtaking and the pub stops were plentiful! Great, laid-back company made all the difference and it was so fantastic to benefit from Christopher's amazing organisational skills which made everything run so smoothly. Thanks also to Suzanna and Iain for keeping us on track (although not always literally ;-)) and to everyone for being such great walking companions.

    3 · May 23, 2014

  • iain

    A lovely time away in the company of lovely people in a beautiful landscape.My thanks to everyone for making the trip a pleasure to co-host.
    Especial thanks to Chris for all the detailed, advance planning-it was superb.

    Now, do you have enough water and sun block ? :D

    See you all soon

    4 · May 22, 2014

  • Debbie

    Fantastic trip! Thanks to Chris for brilliant organisation and to Suzanna and Iain for excellent hosting. A combination of challenging hikes, stunning scenery, lovely weather, great pubs, good beer and superb company. a big thumbs up for my first Joined Up Hiking experience :-)

    3 · May 22, 2014

  • Marie-Laure

    Thank you to all for such an incredible trip/ company although shorter for me, it was hard to leave on Monday evening! I want to change job just to have more flexibility in choosing my holiday dates :-) Thank you to Chris who yet again proved that he was the best meetup organiser (and not even with us!!) and to our trip hosts Suzanna and Iain who were fabulous!!

    3 · May 22, 2014

  • Xaviere

    I loved each minute of this trip!!! Thank you Christopher for your brillant idea and thank you to Suzanna and Iain for your kindness. SO PLEASE try to organise hiking also on Sundays as i would like to hike again with you guys :)

    4 · May 22, 2014

  • Suzanna

    Great trip. Thanks everyone for making it so enjoyable and easy to host. Christopher - your organisational skills are legendary.... So grateful to you for all your effort given that you weren't even going with us! Hope to see you all again soon.

    4 · May 22, 2014

  • Em

    What a totally fab few days! Thanks to everyone in the group for making it such fun and to Chris for his most amazing organisation skills!!! Also thanks to our 2 wonderful 'hosts' for keeping us all in check along the way. Cheers Iain and Suz!!

    3 · May 22, 2014

  • Alison

    Wow, what a great trip that was - amazing scenery, unbelievable weather, and great company:) Thanks Chris for the superb organisation, Suzanna and Iain for hosting so well, and to all the happy hikers who made it so enjoyable! Looking forward to the next one.

    4 · May 21, 2014

  • iain

    Hey dudes, see you all tomorrow morning.I 'll be at Paddington for 8.30 too. Mobile number is[masked] if needed.

    2 · May 16, 2014

  • Suzanna

    Hi all. I hope you're all looking forward to some great hiking over the next few days. I'm aiming to be at Paddington for 8:30am - I'll either see you on the platform or on the train. My number should you need it is 07776235274. See you tomorrow! Suzanna

    2 · May 16, 2014

  • Christopher

    Hi everyone,

    You are now able to pay a deposit to confirm your place. First come first served. Please read the details:


    November 24, 2013

12 went

Your organizer's refund policy for The South West Coast Path 1 to 5 - Minehead to Barnstaple

Refunds offered if:

  • the Meetup is cancelled
  • the Meetup is rescheduled
  • you can cancel at least 31 day(s) before the Meetup

Payments you make go to the organizer, not to Meetup. You must make refund requests to the organizer.

Regardless of the refund policy set by the organizer, Meetup may issue refunds on an organizer's behalf if we determine that Meetup's Payment Policies have been violated.

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