Somerset Coast Challenge – 80 Miles in Eight Days


Walking the Quantock Hills
Grade
Challenging
Distance
80 miles
Duration
Eight days
Event type
Walk type
Features
Date & time
22nd to 29th September
Meet at 9am each day
Cost
£68
Venue & Location
Brean - Highbridge - Bridgwater - Steart - Burton - Watchet - Minehead - Porlock

This is a fantastic opportunity to take in the spectacular Somerset and Exmoor coast on a journey through time and history on two of England’s coastal National Trails.

From Brean Down at end of the Mendip Hills, you’ll be walking on the King Charles III England Coast Path past the sandy beaches of Berrow and Burnham-on-Sea, crossing the Rivers Brue and Parrett and exploring their coastal estuaries before reaching the Victorian docks of Bridgwater and the marshes of Stert Point, part of the new Somerset Wetlands National Nature Reserve.

From here the trail continues to Hinkley Point where it skirts inland around the site before returning to Lilstock and the start of the Lilstock to Blue Anchor Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) with beaches and cliff formations that offer an outstanding series of sections through our geological past. Inland are rolling hills with manor houses and castles, medieval woodlands, villages with chocolate box cottages, and old fashioned seafaring towns with tales of shipwrecks and smuggling.

From the town of Watchet, the route shadows the steam trains of the West Somerset Railway through Blue Anchor and Dunster to end in Minehead, the gateway to Exmoor. These coastal towns each have their own unique character, from old buildings and harbours to holiday beaches and hill-walking.

In Minehead you join the start of the South West Coast Path at the Iron Giant sculpture on Quay Street, and follow it through shady woodland on winding pathways to the top Exmoor were rugged cliffs overlook rocky coves while Exmoor ponies graze alongside gorse and bracken, and the sound of the the red deer rut echoes across the moors in the autumn.

This section is one of the most remote and wildest parts of your journey before you drop down to Bossington and cross the Porlock Marshes to stop at Porlock. On the last day we reverse direction and head to the top of Exmoor at County Gate before following the path down hill through tranquil woodlands with bubbling waterfalls to reach Culbone Church, the smallest operating Parish Church in England, and then on to Porlock Weir on paths said to have inspired Coleridge to write Kubla Khan. Leaving Porlock Weir we return to Porlock and the chance to celebrate the achievement.

Along the entire route we have arranged stamping stations and you will receive a Somerset & Exmoor Coast Trail Passport with details of the route and spaces to collect the stamps as we walk.

Look out for events, offers and promotions at the location of the walk each day, some of our supporters are timing their activities and plans to make your trip as enjoyable as possible with special treats such as packed lunches or cream teas available at the start or end of your day’s walking.

Due to the challenge nature of this walk and the possibility of livestock in the fields we are passing through, we have made the decision not to accept dogs on the walk.

Key facts:

  • Difficulty level – Challenging
  • Distance – 80 miles / 129km
  • Duration – 8 Days

Full details of the itinerary and walk leaders will be distributed prior to the start of the challenge.

Itinerary:

Each morning we’ll meet at the end point of your day’s walking where there will be parking available. Here you will be joined by Walk Leaders and back-markers and driven to the start of that day’s trail to walk back to your car / transport.

At the start location we may be joined by walkers opting not to use our transport and, following a briefing for the day, the walk will begin.

Where public transport is available at start and / or end locations it is shown below as PTS (public transport available at the start) or PTE (public transport available at the end), this is based on services running as normal for the time of year.

Further information will be included in the walk information pack sent out before the walks.

Day 1 – Brean to Highbridge (Moderate) (PTE)

Day 2 – Highbridge to Bridgwater (Moderate) (PTS + PTE)

Day 3 – Bridgwater to Steart (Moderate) (PTS)

Day 4 – Steart to Burton (Moderate)

Day 5 – Burton to Watchet (Moderate) (PTE)

Day 6 – Watchet to Minehead (Moderate) (PTS + PTE)

Day 7 – Minehead to Porlock (Challenging) (PTS + PTE)

Day 8 – County Gate to Porlock (Challenging) (PTS + PTE)

Terrain:

Days 1 – 6 on the King Charles III England Coast Path are on terrain that would be considered easy (flat, no stiles and only a few shortish hills), however we have classed it as moderate given the distances to be walked each day. Days 7 and 8 on the South West Coast Path are more challenging with multiple hills and more remote sections of path, they have been kept shorter to accommodate this.


Get in touch with the organiser for more information

Telephone

01823 359795

Website


Somerset Coast outline

This event takes place at various locations

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