Walking the South West Coast Path is not like walking in a snowy wilderness or vast forest for days on end. You will never be more than half a days walk from a cafe, shop or somewhere to stay for the night.

You will probably start your day with a local shop nearby where you can pick up sandwiches, crisps, a pasty, fruit or something equally delicious to eat later on. You can buy water, but tap water is safe to drink all along the trail. Water from streams, water troughs or other sources should always be filtered and/or purified.

There will be cafes or pubs along the way to buy a coffee, or an ice cream. They also do good meals or snacks. Beware that in the quieter towns and villages, cafes can close early outside the main season, so arriving tired and hungry after 4.30pm in the early spring, winter, or late autumn may mean nowhere to have a cuppa.

Shops in the main towns will be open 7 days a week, however, smaller village stores may close from about 5.30pm and may not be open Saturday afternoon and Sunday. Look out for bakeries at some village shops, not forgetting that most will do ice creams from the freezer in the summer.

I bring along some high energy foods in case I get hungry in between stops, and I always make sure my water bottle is full. Don’t be afraid to knock on the door of a local house and ask if they can fill your water bottle from the tap. 

N.B. If some of this seems bleedin’ obvious, some of this detail is aimed at foreign visitors.