South Devon Coastal Hiking Weekend

  • May 3, 2013 · 10:00 AM
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It's the early May Bank Holiday - yippee!

To make the most of the long weekend, we're off to South Devon for world class coastal hiking with sightseeing and possibly fossil hunting en route, chilling and socialising by the seaside and a Devon Cream Tea or two.

The group size is limited to only 13 and I am hoping for close to 13 nationalities to come along!


Our base will be the 4* youth hostel in Beer, which is on the "Jurassic Coast" section of the South West Coast path and famed for it's lovely beaches and impressive cliffs.  We have three of our own private LEC rooms reserved.   Note that you will be sharing with up to 3 other group members and sleeping in bunks.


We'll travel by train (~2 hr 40 min) from Waterloo to Axminster and then hike / bus / taxi the 7 miles to Beer.  There is a choice of two departure times depending on your work commitments on Friday, at 10:20 (which I will take) or 16:20 - please choose by answering the relevant question when you RSVP.


The emphasis of the weekend is moderately strenuous hiking, but we will also take time to visit attractions on our route and there will be plenty of opportunities for socialising, relaxing and eating.

For those traveling early on Fri, we will have the afternoon to enjoy a short hike and relax by the coast. We will join those arriving later for a pub dinner.

On Sat, we'll hike the 10 miles east via the seaside resort of Seaton and the heavily wooded Dowlands Landslip to Lyme Regis, famed for the fossils that are often washed out of the cliffs in the area.  Before getting the bus back to Beer, there are many charming shops and refreshment opportunities and the Fossil Museum to explore.


On Sun, it's a 10 mile hike west to Sidmouth along high clifftop and bucolic rolling countryside paths, taking in the historic National Trust owned village of Branscombe and what will undoubtedly be the highlight of the weekend, the Donkey Sanctuary at Weston! Once again, we will return to Beer by bus at the end of the day.


On Mon, we'll leave the coast behind and take the vintage tram inland up the Axe Estuary to Colyton and then hike through rolling rural countryside the 7 miles back to the train station in Axminster, taking in a further two historic National Trust properties on the way. We will aim to get back to London at around 19:00 on Monday.


Breakfast will be provided by the hostel, which has a good reputation for their cooking and a  range of snacks and fruit for trail food will also be provided.  For dinner (and at other opportune times), I plan to take full advantage of the many excellent local pubs and cafes.  The hostel does have self catering facilities if anyone would prefer to make their own dinners.


£150, which includes led hikes on each day, the return train fares, 3 nights B&B at the hostel, basic lunch provisions and bus / tram / fossil museum entrance & fares.  Evening meals are not included.  The other attractions on the agenda are free.

Payment instructions will be provided when you RSVP.


It is advised to travel light, as we will be hiking with our luggage on Monday.  The hostel has a drying room, so wet clothing can be dried.  Bedding is provided, but bring your own towel (or rent one from the hostel).  The hikes are not very long (max 10 miles per day), but this is a very hilly area, the clifftop coastline that we will be hiking along for considerable lengths is fully exposed to the weather and some scrambling over rocks & through dense woodlands is involved, so appropriate hiking equipment / clothing and adequate levels of fitness are required.  If you have walking poles, it is advised to bring them with you.

The hostel has the usual selection of board games, but please do bring along any games you can easily carry that are suitable for the train journeys and / or beach - I will bring Scrabble and a Frisbee.









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  • Ana

    Fantastic weekend on a fantastic place with fantastic food and fantastic people. thank you everybody for making it so enjoyable, and big thanks to Andy and Paul for organizing it!! ... let's do more :-D ...

    1 · May 10, 2013

  • vanessa

    Amazing weekend - thanks Andy for organising!

    1 · May 10, 2013

  • Tom D.

    A great weekend, thanks, Andy, well done
    - and of course, Paul (for the sun) ;-)

    1 · May 8, 2013

  • Tamara

    It has been a great weekend getaway: weather, hiking, people. Thank you for organising this trip Andy.

    1 · May 8, 2013

  • Kinga

    everything was perfect: location, people, food, weather. Andy you are a real *, thanks for organizing this trip

    1 · May 7, 2013

  • Paul R

    WOW, what a totally amazing trip...... beautiful location, beautiful weather and beautiful people made this a hike to remember.... thank you Andy for all your hard work organising this event and synchronicity for putting the cherry on top of this hiking cake.
    Paul :-)

    May 7, 2013

  • Claire

    Great Week end, hike, fish, ice creams and people. More like this please!

    1 · May 7, 2013

  • Andy

    Awesome! Thanks to everyone who came along, the donkeys, synchronicity and Tram #12 for making it such a stonking weekend!

    1 · May 6, 2013

  • Ben

    Brilliant. Great location, weather, hikes and company. Well done Andy!

    1 · May 6, 2013

  • Maja

    Who knew that Devon is so lovely and sunny. The hills were amazing. I'd go again any time but this trip will always be special for me. Thank you Andy and Paul for looking after all of us so well!

    1 · May 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi All!

    I'm ever so sorry but the offer to join the group this weekend came late. I was on the waiting list. I heard the great news that I could also go to Devon on Thu afternoon. Unfortunately, I need a bit longer notice to organize myself.

    Hope you all will have a wonderful time in Devon

    May 3, 2013

  • Andrea

    Hi all, I had to pull out last minute.
    If you would like to take my place, please let Andy and me know - female only for the room share I suppose.


    April 30, 2013

    • Andy

      I have offered Andrea's spot to the next person on the waiting list for now.

      April 30, 2013

  • Annie

    Hi Andy, I have just emailed you re: needing to pull out of this trip for medical reasons. When you have a moment could you get back to me please? Many thanks, Annie

    April 19, 2013

    • Andy

      Sorry to hear this unfortunate news - I will refund you and offer your space to the next person on the waiting list! Get better soon, Andy

      April 20, 2013

  • Tiziana

    Good news for those on the waiting list: I can't make this trip any more!!
    If you are interested in my space, please get in touch (I guess they will need a woman, for room sharing..).
    : )

    April 12, 2013

  • Cristina

    Sorry won't make this. Decided to go home for my (orthodox) Easter. Have a fantastic trip!

    March 18, 2013

  • Claire

    Hi Andy, All paid up, will take the 16.20 train

    March 10, 2013

    • Andy

      Hi Claire, thanks for the transfer, which has been safely received. It's less than 2 months to go - yippee! Andy

      March 13, 2013

  • Annie

    All paid up today. Thanks Andy.

    March 4, 2013

  • Ann

    Hi all, I'll have to take the 16:20 train due to work commitments. How else be on this train? How do we get the tickets? It says costs include train fares...or should I get my own ticket? Let me know so that I can arrange accordingly.

    February 27, 2013

    • Andy

      Hi Anja, we will travel to Devon in 2 groups by train. At the moment, it looks like about 1/2 of the group will take the 10:20 and the rest the 16:20. The train fares are included and I will ensure everyone gets them in advance!

      March 1, 2013

  • Annie

    Thanks Paul, that does help :)

    February 27, 2013

  • Andy

    Wow, what a great initial response! I have added a waiting list for this event (an oversight on my part), but will be keeping the group small (no more than a lucky 13) for logistical and quality reasons.

    February 13, 2013

  • Maja

    Fullfilling the quota for Macedonians as there are quite a few Brits already in this group.

    February 13, 2013

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