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Walking the Jurassic Coast part of the South West Coast Path with Fossil Coast Gin

Among the United Kingdom’s most famous National Trails is the South West Coast Path. This is a long trail covering 1,014km or 630 miles running along the southwest coast of England, hugging the beautiful coastal scenery of Somerset, Devon, Cornwall and Dorset.

The South West Coast Path is today looked after by the South West Coast Path Association. Originally founded in the Devon town of Newton Abbot in May 1973 as the South West Way Association. Initially it was mainly engaged in campaigning for a complete Coast Path and over the years has grown standing with the Government, local authorities, Countryside Commission and the National Trust and built its membership and fundraising to become the charity it is today.


A great deal of this trail resides within national parks or Areas Of Natural Beauty (AONB). The path is clearly way marked by the symbol of an "acorn", used by all the UK’s National Trails, as well as coloured arrows or the words 'footpath' (Yellow Arrows), 'bridleway' (Blue Arrows) or 'byway' (Red or Black Arrows) which can be used by walkers, horse riders, cyclists and carriage driver and motorised vehicles.


The arrow at the top nearest the acorn indicates the direction of the Coast Path. Below that, separated by a black line you may find other arrows which indicate the direction of the side routes and their status.


When walking the South West Coastal Path it is important to keep safe, prepared and be knowledgeable for dealing with different situations that you may encounter. The key guidelines to help you and other members joining you to have a safe walk are outlined in the Countryside Code as well as organisations such as the Ramblers.


This sound advice gives guidance on walking on or near cliffs, walking with dogs, walking near live stock, horses and busy roads, dealing with insect bites and what to do during adverse weather of thunder, lightning and potential flooding.


When walking the South West Coast Path it is highly advisable you have a fully charged mobile phone, learn first aid, read a map, understand tide times and be able to accurately report your location along the path in the event of a emergency to the emergency services.


The suggested itinerary outlined below for walking the South West Coast Path section covering the 95 miles of the UNESCO designated natural World Heritage Site of the Jurassic Coast from Exmouth in East Devon to Studland in Dorset or vice verse should take between 7 - 9 days and make a wonderful staycation.


This way you can take in the sights, enjoy the food, drink and scenery without making it into a slog to the finish. However, be aware some days will be challenging whilst others will be easy as you navigate this stunning coastline that charts over 250 million years of geological history starting with the oldest red Triassic rocks of Devon to the younger white chalk stacks at Old Harry Rocks in Dorset.


Along the way the paths will pass by the Undercliffs around Axmouth; the world famous fossil sites at Lyme Regis and Charmouth; onwards to the iconic seaside town of West Bay and on to the highest point on the South coast at Golden Cap. From there you will pass to rock arch of Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove and along Chesil beach, round the isle of Portland. The last day of the route takes you past Durlston Head before reaching Old Harry Rocks, near Studland.


This itinerary is only a suggestion and aims to only to give a flavour of the main highlights each day and includes some relevant information to help you enjoy your time along the Jurassic Coast. It is advisable that you purchase the necessary Ordnance Survey Land Ranger, Explorer Maps and accompanying guide books form the South West Coast Association (Shop).


Day 1

Exmouth to Sidmouth (12.5 miles)

The first part of this walk is 5.4 miles (8.7Km) between Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton. Its grading is regarded moderate and should take about 3 hours. The total ascent is approximately 220m. The second part of this walk is 7.1 miles (11.4Km) from Budleigh Salterton into Sidmouth. Its grading is regarded as moderate becoming strenuous and should take about 3.5 hours. The total ascent is approximately 316m.

Resources: OS Landranger 192, OS Explorer 115


Day 2

Sidmouth to Seaton (10.3 miles)

This walk is 10.3 miles (16.6Km) between Sidmouth and Seaton. Its grading is regarded severe and becoming strenuous and should take about 5.5 hours. The total ascent is approximately 734m.

Resources: OS Landranger 192, OS Explorer 115 & 116


Day 3

Seaton to Seatown (14.2 miles)

The first part of this walk is 7.1 miles (11.4Km) between Seaton and Lyme Regis. Its grading is regarded moderate and should take about 3.5 hours. The total ascent is approximately 427m. The second part of this walk is 10.0 miles (16.1Km) from Lyme Regis into Seatown. Its grading is regarded as moderate becoming strenuous and should take about 3.0 hours. The total ascent is approximately 344m.

Resources: OS Landranger 193, OS Explorer 116

Day 4

Seatown to Abbotsbury (12.4 miles)

This walk is 12.4 miles (19.9Km) between Seaton and Abbotsbury. Its grading is regarded moderate.

Resources: OS Landranger 193 & 194, OS Explorer 116 & OL15


Day 5

Abbotsbury to Ferrybridge (10.9 miles)

This walk is 11.3 miles (17.5Km) between Abbotsbury and Ferrybridge (Weymouth). Its grading is regarded easy but the Chesil Beach route is strenuous and should take about 4.0 hours. The total ascent is approximately 291m.

Resources: OS Landranger 194, OS Explorer OL15



Day 6

Isle of Portland Circuit (13 miles)

This walk is 13.0 miles (20.9Km) between Ferrybridge (Weymouth) around the Isle of Portland. Its grading is regarded moderate and should take about 6.0 hours. The total ascent is approximately 339m.

Resources: OS Landranger 194, OS Explorer OL15


Day 7

Ferrybridge to Lulworth Cove (14.5 miles)

This walk is 13.0 miles (23.2Km) between Ferrybridge (Weymouth) to Lulworth Cove. Its grading is regarded moderate to moderate to strenuous and should take about 6.5 hours. The total ascent is approximately 727m.

Resources: OS Landranger 194, OS Explorer OL15


Day 8

Lulworth Cove to Worth Matravers (14.2 miles)

The first part of this walk is 7.1 miles (11.4Km) between Lulworth Cove and Kimmeridge Bay. Its grading is regarded severe and should take about 4.0 hours. The total ascent is approximately 610m. The second part of this walk is 7.1 miles (11.4Km) from Kimmeridge Bay to Worth Matravers. Its grading is regarded as strenuous and should take about 3.5 hours. The total ascent is approximately 487m.

Resources: OS Landranger 195, OS Explorer OL15


Day 9

Worth Matravers to Studland (14.0 miles)

The first part of this walk is 6.5 miles (10.5Km) between Worth Matravers and Swanage. Its grading is regarded as severe becoming moderate and should take about 4.0 hours. The total ascent is approximately 200m. The second part of this walk is 7.5 miles (12.1Km) from Swanage to South Haven Point. Its grading is regarded as moderate and should take about 3.5 hours. The total ascent is approximately 150m.

Resources: OS Landranger 195, OS Explorer OL15


Enjoy!

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