Whether it’s a gentle stroll or a day-long hike, summer is the perfect time to grab your hiking boots and explore the very best of the great outdoors. We’ve paired a few of our favourites with a nearby pub to complete your day out in the sun; after working up an appetite, enjoy a delicious, freshly-prepared meal and quench your thirst with a refreshing pint – or two! Here’s our run down of the South West walks you need to try this Summer, with the perfect pub pitstop to match.
Pentire Headland, Polzeath
Take in spectacular views, with blue skies allowing for glimpses of Stepper Point to the south and Tintagel Castle to the north. This moderate walk comes alive in the sunshine, with vibrant flowers lining the trail and crystal-clear waves, crashing against the cliffs below. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for grey seals and peregrine falcons, frequently spotted along this stretch of the coast.
This trail is relatively easy to follow, just follow the coastal path rather than heading inland. As a circular route, you’ll be taking in new views throughout – just be sure to bring your camera. After exploring, finish your adventure just a stone’s throw away at the Oystercatcher. Enjoy hearty, pub favourites and refuel on the stunning terrace, looking back over the headland you’ve just conquered. Fancy staying a little longer? Why not explore Polzeath and Rock, with the idyllically situated pub serving as the ideal launchpad for your treks.
Distance? 3.5 miles
How long? 2.5 hours
Crantock to Fistral, Newquay
A walk between Crantock and Fistral is one of two halves, from sleepy, coastal village to surfer central, this trail has it all. Be sure to check tide times before you begin – if the tide is too high to cross the Gannel, alternatively you can take the Fern Pit ferry. Detour along the Towan headland for stunning sea views of the gorgeous sand dunes before heading towards the bustling, vibrant town of Newquay.
Of course, a trip to the UK’s surf capital wouldn’t be complete without a wander along the famous Fis-tral, and you could easily spend a few hours watching the endless waves roll in. Grab a refreshing pint of korev, a true taste of the coast, at one of the many popular pubs across Newquay – from the Great Western with its glorious terrace overlooking the cliffs, to the newly renovated Fort Inn, or perhaps even both to make the very most of the sunshine!
Distance? 2 miles
How long? 1 hour
Zennor Head, St Ives
Beginning in the quaint village of Zennor before reaching the coastline, this popular route takes you along some of Cornwall’s most beautiful scenery. Before you begin, take a short detour to the St. Sen-era’s Church and learn the tale of the Mermaid of Zennor, a folktale of the region. Walk over 400-million-year-old rocks and granite weathered over 275 million years before approaching St Ives, commonly regarded as the ‘crown jewel’ of the region. Be sure to have your camera fully charged as you’ll enjoy stunning panoramic views across the Bay and all the way over to Godrevy Lighthouse – a true postcard picture of the region.
As you approach St Ives, wander through the maze of cobbled streets and independent boutiques, be-fore enjoying a bite to eat by the bay at the Lifeboat Inn, nestled beside the town’s lifeboat house. Welcoming well-behaved pups, bring your pooch on your adventures too.
Distance? 4.5 miles
How long? 3.5 hours
Beer to Branscombe
The walk from Beer to Branscombe offers spectacular views in both directions, but if you prefer to avoid a steep uphill route, we prefer ending in Branscombe. Whilst impressive whatever the weather, blue skies contrasting with the jagged white cliffs, crystal-clear sea, and lush greenery make for an unforgettable hike. But, it’s not just the scenery that makes this route – as you walk this historic trail, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about Beer’s illustrious past as one of the region’s most notorious smuggling areas.
Of course, a walk from the aptly named Beer wouldn’t be complete without one of our award-winning beers to commemorate your accomplishment, and you’ll find a warm welcome waiting for you in the newly renovated Mason Arms.
Distance? 3 miles
How long? 1.5 - 2 hours
East Portlemouth to Gara Rock, Salcombe
Breathe in the salty sea air on the exhilarating walk around Devon’s dramatic coastline. Start your ad-venture by hopping on the passenger ferry from Salcombe to the opposite side of the estuary. From here, you’ll see gorgeous views of sea caves, as well as the romantic ruins of Fort Charles (also known as Salcombe Castle), thought to have been originally constructed during the reign of Henry VIII.
Once you’ve explored this circular walk around to Gara Rock, the furthest point of this trail, begin re-tracing your steps before jumping back onto the ferry. Watch out for shipwrecks on your crossing, as the estuary was formerly a lively trade area, you may even spot one from the Bronze Age! Finally, head back to enjoy a taste of our new summer menu, including pub classics and contemporary twists, per-fect for tucking into al fresco on the suntrap terrace of the Victoria Inn.
Distance? 3.8 miles
How long? 4 hours
Paignton to Brixham
A popular coastal walk, this route is roughly five miles and is a beautiful stretch of Devon’s coast with several glorious beaches, sea coves, and a sheltered woodland section providing the perfect break from the sunshine beating down on you. You’ll also have a fantastic viewpoint to catch a glimpse of the Dartmouth Steam Railway, crossing near the beach.
You could easily spend a whole day wandering between the two areas, and fortunately, with a pub on each side, you can sandwich your walk with a refreshing pint on both ends. Try the Harbour Light to start your day, before ending at the Old Market House, offering extensive outdoor seating and views over the harbour, perfect for enjoying the sunset.
Distance? 5 miles
How long? 4 hours
Readymoney Cove to Polridmouth, Fowey
A shortish circular route, you’ll hike between two stunning coves as well as St Catherine’s Castle. This trail is particularly apt for literature fans, with links to Daphne Du Maurier, with Polridmouth Beach be-ing the inspiration behind Rebecca’s beach in her most famous novel. Whilst the walk is around two hours, you could easily while away the day enjoying the glorious views and crystal waters. On route, you’ll pass St Catherine’s Castle, a well-preserved 16th-century gun fort, guarding the entrance to Fowey.
At low tide, the sandy beach of Polridmouth gives way to a shimmering lagoon, perfect for children to swim and rockpool amongst. If you continue round, you may also discover the wrecked remains of the ship Romanie too, but keep a keen eye on the tide times. Circle back round to Fowey and enjoy the prime location of Havener’s; extend your stay and comfortably drift away to the ebb and flow of the gentle river.
Distance? 3 miles
How long? 2.5 hours