National trail signpost: 'Coast Path Poole 168 miles'

FAQs

FAQs: The Answers

You’ll find the answers to some common FAQs here, but if you can’t find what you’re looking for here or in the articles, check out the links below or feel free to leave a comment and I’ll help as best I can.

FAQs About Stephie

01 You're a member of the MTA, what is it?

MTA stands for Mountain Training Association. It’s a professional organisation for outdoor leaders. I’m a member because I’m a qualified Lowland Leader, which means I can safely take groups out walking and hiking in lowland areas in the UK.

Mountain Training logo

02 Can I Join You For A Hike?

I sometimes organise local walks, hikes and workshops to raise funds for The South West Coast Path Association. If you’re interested in joining me, sign up for The Extra Mile at the bottom of the page to find out when they’re running.

03 Can I work WIth You?

I’d love to discuss working with you! There are lots of ways we can collaborate so check out the Work With 10 Mile Hike page.

04 Do You Hike Anywhere Other Than Cornwall?

Absolutely! I’ve walked all 630 miles of the South West Coast Path national trail, which winds its way around 4 counties, and also completed The Norfolk Coast Path and Peddars Way. I’ve hiked in lots of our national parks as well as sections of other national trails, but it’s on my bucket list to complete them all over the next few years.

If you’re looking for some inspiring places to hike check out The Only Guide To Hiking In The UK You’ll Ever Need, which has loads of info about National Trails and Parks in England, Scotland and Wales. And don’t forget to explore the blog for articles too, like 3 Short Walks On Exmoor For Fantastic Photography or the story of Bird Watching In Norfolk with my dad (I got a bit excited when I saw my first ever marsh harrier. It’s the little things!).

FAQs About The Site

01 Which Hosting Company Do You Use?

I’ve used a few over the years but I’ve been with Siteground since 2017. I don’t have any plans to change because I’ve never had any downtime and their customer support is superb. I highly recommend them.

02 Do you use affiliate links?

I don’t use affiliate links at the moment (April 2021 – except Flodesk), but I definitely plan to because they’re a great way to support your favourite websites – including this one! There’s more info about Affiliate Programmes here.

03 Which Newsletter Service Do You Use?

Flodesk, because it’s simple and beautiful – and if you’ve signed up for my updates you’ll know exactly what I mean. (And let’s face it, who wants to receive ugly emails!) So if you’re looking for a newsletter service too definitely check out Flodesk – and follow this link to get a 50% off your subscription when you sign up! (This is an affiliate link and if you do sign up I’ll get a commission too. Lovely!).

FAQs About 10 Mile Hike Routes

01 How have you categorised difficulty?
  • Easy: mostly flat terrain, or rolling hills
  • Moderate: includes a fair amount of hills
  • Difficult: includes numerous flights of steps and hills
02 How have you categorised distance?
  • Short Walk: less than 3 hours
  • Half-Day Hike: 3 – 5 hours
  • Full-Day Hike: 6 – 10 hours
  • Multi-Day-Hike: several consecutive days made up of half and/or full-day hikes
03 Why don't all your routes include GPX files?

My own routes include links to my way-marked GPX files on OS Maps as well as detailed info for planning the walk including maps, transport and amenities along the way, like the details in this one.

However, I don’t usually include GPX files for trails that are clearly marked on an OS 1:25,000 map and are signposted along the route, like The South West Coast Path for example. But I still include all the details you need to plan your own hike – including the relevant maps!

FAQs About The South West Coast Path

01 How Long Does It Take to hike all 630 miles?

For a thru-hike you’ll need a minimum of about a month, but an average of 15 miles a day will take 6 weeks and give you time to explore some of the beautiful places along the trail. Add in extra time for the odd day off here and there, and 7 weeks would be a good rule of thumb.

There are some great section hikes you can do too, like the 95 mile Jurassic Coast which will take about a week. This particular section runs from Exmouth in Devon to Old Harry Rocks in Dorset. Discover 5 Reasons Old Harry Rocks Will Make Your Day! – the story of my last day on the trail.

02 What Sort Of Weather Can I Expect?

Pack your waterproofs because you’ll probably get rained on quite a bit. The South West averages about 9 or 10 wet days in late spring and summer and 15 – 16 days in winter, with plenty of showers in between.

Don’t forget your sun cream though – you never know you might get lucky! You can expect around 1600 hours of sunshine a year, along with pretty mild temperatures that rarely go below zero and average around 19 degrees in the warmest months of July and August.

Probably the biggest factor to consider is the wind (prevailing south-westerly), which can make hiking on cliff paths extremely dangerous, especially during the winter months when we have lots of gales (although winter rarely brings snow).

Always check the weather forecast before you leave (the Met Office weather app is really good). I recommend avoiding cliff tops in any onshore winds above 35 – 40 mph hour gusts – and considerably less in offshore winds.

03 Where can I get water?

There are lots of small towns and fishing villages along the route (one of the characteristics of the trail) where you can top up your water and food supplies. Many places will now fill up your water bottle for free and often have a sign in the window. In some towns in south Devon and Cornwall there are public water fountains all along the route.

I advise that you carry more water than you think you’ll need in summer, because there are some very strenuous sections and you may find you have to walk 10 miles or so before you can fill up. I don’t recommend you use a water filter and drink from local streams though. Although most filters will remove viruses and bacteria, many local streams are polluted with heavy metals, such as arsenic – a legacy of the mining industry.

04 Where can I get food?

Big supermarkets are often off-trail, but you should find convenience stores and small supermarkets (Co-Op and Tesco Metro types) without having to go too far. However, you’ll also pass through plenty of hamlets where there’s little if anything available, and you may find that small beach cafes are closed out of season.

Most villages have a pub though, so you can generally buy meals along the way if you prefer not to carry supplies. It’s definitely worth checking ahead, especially out of season and in more remote sections like north Cornwall.

05 How easy is it to charge my electronics?
Charging Up

Take advantage of any towns you pass through! There may be lots of villages that have cafes and pubs, but they may not have sockets available.

I always find the best way is to factor in some time to sit in a cafe chain-store to charge up. I use the Costa Coffee app on my phone and just head straight there because they all have sockets and free wifi, which saves a lot of time searching and asking around. I also carry a small solar panel in the summer for more remote sections.

Phone Signal

Phone signal is very patchy on the coast path and in some sections you’ll have none at all. So make sure you have everything you need from food and water to a first aid kit.

06 Cash or card?

Most places accept card payments, but there are small cafes and beach kiosks that only accept cash. There are 16 ferries en route and you’ll need cash for some of those. All towns have free atm machines and most convenience stores have cash machines (there will be a charge). Post offices and convenience stores also do ‘cash back’, which is free, but you may have to make a purchase in convenience stores. I don’t generally carry more than £30.00 cash (2020).

Can’t Find An Answer In The FAQs?

I hope the FAQs have been useful, but if you’re looking for more info…

 Leave a comment below and I’ll try and help out!

Thanks for reading and happy hiking!

Stephie x

About 10 Mile Hike: portrait of Stephanie Boon (hiker and blogger) on the South West Coast Path, Cornwall, UK
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