The Jurassic Coast is a World Heritage Site in southern England. The coastline, which stretches from Exmouth to Studland Bay, is approximately 154 km long and resembles 185 million years of history. With several coast towns and historic landmarks, this part of England is definitely worth a visit. The best way to explore the Coast is by going hiking along the South West Coast Path.
The different stretches of the pathway vary in their difficulty and length. Most sea towns are reachable by bus. We, for example, bought a day ticket in Exeter and took the bus to Seaton. From there we hiked to Sidmouth and then took the bus back to Exeter. The bus ride itself is already quite a journey due to the narrow streets in some of the smaller towns.
We started off our hike in Seaton. I checked out the map beforehand and saw that this part of the path was marked as being challenging but suggested it anyways as I had been to Sidmouth before, and really liked the red cliffs around it.
Nevertheless, throughout our hike I did at times question whether that had been such a wise choice. The spectacular views and the tranquility, however, were definitely worth the effort!
Seaton itself is a little sea town with a small promenade and a pebble beach (yay no sand in my shoes!)
From there you can usually take the Old Beer Road towards Beer. However, during our hike we had to take a detour as the pathway was closed due to some construction. For a short while the path is quite steep, but then continues on a flat level until you reach the sea town Beer.
Here you can take a rest, sit down in a café or just take a few pictures and continue your way.
Jurassic Coast – Branscombe
The pathway continues to go uphill and downhill, through forests and along meadows.
Occasionally you walk past some other hikers, but mainly it is just you and the nature. After about 2 km you reach the small town Branscombe.
Although this doesn’t appear to be a very spectacular town, it offers yet another spot to take a rest, get some drinks and eat some snacks.
After leaving Branscombe behind you don’t reach any other towns unless you leave the coastal path to walk inland. After a rather long distance on flat ground, the up and down begins again, as you have to cross two mouths on the way.
The last bit of the walk is particularly strenuous after hiking for several hours. You first walk through some meadows with cows and then you basically climb up what feels like a hundred steps.
From the top you can almost catch a glimpse of Sidmouth.
As we started our hike in the early afternoon at 2 pm, it was already starting to become dark when we were approaching Sidmouth. The lit up sea town looked quite peaceful and beautiful from above.
The hike was definitely more exhausting than I thought it would be and it took us approximately five hours to walk the 16 km. If you’re not used to hiking, I would definitely recommend trying easier hikes first before attempting this one. Nevertheless, I am extremely glad to have spend the day exploring the beautiful English coastline and am looking forward to visit some other coast towns along this route.