Devon and Cornwall Walking Tour
At a Glance
Walk across Devon and Cornwall on this 6 day guided adventure
Immerse yourself in the stunning countryside and fascinating history of Devon & Cornwall, with our fully guided walking tour of the best of the South West. Ideal for those wanting to experience the best of England’s breath-taking coast, this 6-day, 5-night tour takes us through the stunning Dartmoor National Park, deep into Poldark country and past a veritable array of historic ports and coastal villages. Along the way, we’ll walk you right up to some of Devon and Cornwall’s most incredible locations. Lose yourself in the gorgeous seaside town of St Ives, feast in Rick Stein’s famous Padstow seafood restaurant and marvel at the beautiful Port Isaac, home of the hit show, Doc Martin.
With breath-taking views around every corner, excellent accommodation, favourite local pubs and delicious cuisine, Active England promises a guided experience you’ll never forget.
With our hand-picked local guides collecting you from Exeter St David’s station at 11am, we travel straight to Chagford for lunch, before walking into the northern section of Dartmoor’s stunning National Park. Our itinerary takes us to the ancient Scorhill Stone Circle, then onto the vast expanse of Dartmoor, where we hike on the moor and through vibrant woodland. In the evening, we make our way to the village of Chagford and settle into our hotel, The Three Crowns Inn.
Trekking high into the Dartmoor National Park, up to the spectacular granite Haytor and Hound Tor, we begin our second day with incredible views all the way to the South Devon coast. After making our descent, we stop for lunch in the pretty town of Bovey Tracey, before embarking on a woodland walk tracing the North Teign River. We finish the day by returning to Chagford.
We transfer to Cornwall, making for the idyllic coastal town of Padstow. Catching the foot ferry across the Camel Estuary to the small seaside village of Rock, we walk through the sand dunes to the partially buried St Enodoc Church. Still in use to this day, Sir John Betjeman once famously wrote that its peculiar spire was “bent like a crooked witch’s hat.” Our itinerary then sees us spend the afternoon walking the idyllic beaches of Polzeath and Daymer Bay, before returning to Padstow toward the end of the afternoon. For fans of Doc Martin, there’ll also be ample opportunity to visit the beautiful Port Isaac, where the hit show was filmed.
Transferring to the south coast, we walk from the fishing village of Gorran Haven to Mevagissey. This route takes us on the South West Coast Path, a 630-mile trail stretching all the way around Devon and Cornwall’s coastline. Hiking over rugged cliffs, through lush fields and attractive seaside villages and harbours, we stop to explore the magical Lost Gardens of Heligan. With the afternoon drawing to a close, we head back to Padstow to feast on Rick Stein’s famous fish and chips.
From Padstow, we set out again along the coastal path. Climbing the cliffs up to Stepper Point, we pass the observatory, enjoying panoramic views of ocean, town and estuary. Watch out for peregrine falcons, the fastest birds in the world, which have been known to nest in the area. We then traverse the coast and local beaches, before having lunch in Trevone, Harlyn Bay or even Constantine Bay. Catching the bus across the headland back to Padstow, we’ll have plenty of time to explore the town, with further walking options available for those keen to keep moving. At the end of the day, we return to the hotel for our last evening together.
After a relaxed breakfast, we say our farewells. Our guides can transport you to Bodmin Parkway railway station for any onward travel you may have planned or to collect any vehicles left at Exeter St David’s. Wherever your journey takes you next, we’ll be on hand to provide all the help you need.
The Three Crowns, Chagford
Behind its imposing granite facade, the Three Crowns is a magical mix of 13th century features and contemporary comfort and style. From beamed ceiling and huge inglenook fireplaces, to a glass atrium and stunning courtyard garden, the Three Crowns is a delightful place to enjoy great food and a comfortable stay.
Gidleigh Park, Dartmoor
This Tudor-style country manor is set majestically on the bubbling upper reaches of the River Teign, within 107 acres of mature grounds on the very edge of Dartmoor National Park. Famed for its culinary credentials and award-winning restaurant, the 5* hotel bedrooms are of exceptional luxury.
Old Custom House, Padstow
Holding prime on Padstow's South Quay, the hotel overlooks the medieval harbour full of fishing boats. Just the place if you love fresh, quality food and drink while soaking up one of Cornwall’s finest seascapes.
The Pig at Harlyn Bay
One of Cornwall’s most historic houses dating back to the 15th century, The Pig has far-reaching sea views, oodles of quirks and character and stacks of original features. The unique bedrooms enjoy views out across the headland and Harlyn Bay the gardens or the courtyard. The restaurant has an obsessive commitment to home grown produce and a serious love of all-things local.
What our guides say...
The South West is the best: rugged moorland on Dartmoor, windswept cliffs and sandy beaches in Cornwall!
- All accommodation as indicated on the itinerary
- All breakfasts and x2 dinners (excluding dinner drinks)
- GPS routes, provided via RideWithGPS (app available for Apple or Android)
- All special events, iconic points of interests, expert guests and entrance fees
- All transportation from rendezvous to farewell locations
- All baggage transportation
- All gratuities for baggage, porters and hotel service
- Services of a professional local guide
We have handpicked the best family run, independent and country hotels, pubs and guest houses. Cosy and with informal dining, these country hotels are friendly and relaxed, with great menus with locally sourced food and ales. Our handpicked accommodation is 3* with the option to upgrade to 4* for an additional cost.
This tour is rated moderate, meaning it’s appropriate for guests who enjoy a good walk and can handle an incline or two. We cover varied terrain, enjoying some rolling hills and a few steeper walks which are slightly more demanding. Your holiday, however, will be tailored by your guide to suit your individual preferences. Daily distances range from 4-10 miles. Rewarding views are guaranteed!
Walking poles can be provided if required
Pick-up location: Exeter St Davids railway station. Our walking holidays are designed to be completely relaxing, with the start of our tours sitting within easy reach of London, Bristol or the Midlands. This tour begins from Exeter St Davids, a direct 2-hour train journey out of London, so that you can begin your holiday stress-free.
End-of-tour location: Bodmin Parkway or Exeter St Davids railway station.
Where is Devon and Cornwall?
Cornwall is in the far South West of England, bordered by the famous English Channel and Celtic Sea. Known for its natural beauty, rugged coastline, idyllic coastal villages, beaches and walking and cycling trails, Cornwall is an outdoor enthusiast’s ideal playground!
Devon is Cornwall’s wild neighbour, with craggy coasts to the North and South and ancient hills on Dartmoor! It has inspired authors and painters from afar and is a beautiful area in all weathers.
What is the best way to get to Devon and Cornwall?
The best way out of London and into Devon and Cornwall is by train. From Paddington direct to Exeter St David’s or Tiverton Parkway in around 2 hours, or continue to Bodmin Parkway in 4 hours. The South West is also easily accessible from Bristol and the Midlands by train. If you prefer to drive, there is station parking available at all train stations.
To get a bit deeper into both counties it is easy to get a taxi from the train station.
Can I join a walking tour as a solo traveller?
All our trips are open for single travellers to join, these trips are a great way to meet social, like-minded people, active and looking for a great holiday. Over 30% of our guests travel alone. Solo guests have the option to have a room on their own or share with another guest.
How hilly is Devon & Cornwall?
There are hills, but with hills come great views and it means you feel like you’ve earned your fish & chips, cream tea or Cornish pasty!
Why choose a guided holiday?
Our guides are the beating heart of our tours and can make all the difference to the enjoyment of your holiday – so we make sure to choose them VERY carefully! They are driven, knowledgeable, know how to have A LOT of fun and importantly will do their best to make your trip magical and memorable.
How fit and active do I need to be to come on a walking tour?
Our trips have different length route options varying from 4-10 miles on average.
What’s the weather like in Devon & Cornwall?
Changeable! Devon & Cornwall has a much more tropical climate than the rest of England so it is often warmer and wetter – it’s not uncommon to have sunshine and showers in the same day, or even the same hour! It’s generally very pleasant and settled during the summer.
Want to extend your trip?
Fancy a few days before or after your trip exploring London? Chat to the team to find out more.
What’s the Number?
Nearly everything has a carbon footprint. Together with ecollective, we’ve measured the carbon impact of not only every tour we operate but our entire business. We’ve taken into account greenhouse gas emissions across the business including office, travel, website, vehicles, accommodation, activities, food, suppliers…
What does the number mean?
We’re going to improve this by measuring and reducing our footprint each year. That means working with our suppliers to make changes that have a more positive impact on us and the planet. What does this look like in reality?
- Redesign trips to reduce our carbon impact
- Working closely with all our suppliers across England to join us on our decarbonisation journey
- Switching up our vehicle fleet to electric
- Investing in projects that permanently remove carbon from the atmosphere for any emissions that remain.
We’ve got a long way to go but we’re on our way to net-zero
We’re committed to reducing our impact on the planet and working towards a sustainable future. We’ve taken ownership of our carbon footprint and are on a mission to reduce our emissions year on year.