A locals guide to the top 5 walks throughout the West Country... We know it's hard planning a trip away and we hope to make your decision a little easier. To start off, we have gone through and selected our five favourite beaches, walks, hotels and destinations for days out as well as staycation trips with the kids! Let's just say, this was not as easy as we thought it would be!
This is our favourite walk and also our local one, just round the corner from our home. With views like this (photographed), we think everyone will agree with our selection. Best place to park is in Sulis Meadows estate, the start of the walk is just off Burnt House Road. From here, you should head towards Southstoke Village but take the right turn following signs to Combe Hay village. Pop into The Wheatsheaf pub for a pit-stop and then follow the circular walk along Combe Hay Lane all the way back to Sulis Meadows. You are surrounded by Cotswold countryside throughout the entire walk - taking just over 1 hr 30 mins.
Head to Iford Village and you should be able to find a parking spot there, just opposite the famous Gardens (definitely check out the Iford Manor Gardens if you haven't already). The start of the walk is a short walk down Iford Lane, look out a entrance on your left heading into field next to River Frome. Follow the path within that field all the way to Freshford Village and you should end up at the The Inn at Freshford in the heart of the Village (16th Century pub with the best beer garden)! Pop in for a drink and a bite to eat (we suggest the roast if you are there on a Sunday) and head back to Iford for a pot of well-deserved tea at the Iford Manor Gardens cafe. Full walk is around 1 hr 30 mins!
There are so many beautiful towpath walks along the Kennet & Avon Canal walk but this is our favourite. Head to the Brassknocker Basin car park (next to the Angelfish restaurant) which has direct access to the canal towpath. From there, follow signs to Bath and walk along this stunning stretch of canal for around 30-40 mins until you reach Warleigh Weir! Bring a picnic and set-up next to the Weir and enjoy a swim at this popular spot for locals. If you fancy it, carry on a little longer to George Inn or Bathampton Mill (our favourite) based in Bathampton village for some refreshments next to the canal. Full walk to Bathampton Mill and back is around 2 hrs 30 mins.
This three-hour walk along the South West Coast Path is absolutely breath-taking. Park at the National Trust car park at the top of Ringstead Bay and follow the SWCP signs to 'White Nothe'. Photographed is a view from the top of the path overlooking a huge stretch of the Jurassic Coast, the perfect photo opportunity. Once you've reached the chalk headland of 'White Nothe', carry on and after around 1 hr 30 minutes you will reach the world-famous Durdle Door. Head to the Lulworth Cove Inn for lunch and then build up enough energy to head all the way back to Ringstead - the perfect day out!
Another South West Coastal Path gem, lasting around 1 hr 30 mins! Park at the Ladram Bay Holiday Park (this does cost) and head towards the beach where you will see signs directing you towards Sidmouth. The views over the Jurassic Coast are well worth bringing your camera, especially from the top of Peak Hill overlooking Sidmouth. Head to The White Horse in the town centre and grab some Fish & Chips to eat along the seafront. Before leaving, also grab an Ice Cream from the popular Taste of Sidmouth for some much needed energy to head back to Ladram Bay!