Wolsey Lodges guide to the National Parks of the UK and Ireland
- Travel Guide
A History of Britain’s National Parks
Great Britain came late to National Parks. It was perhaps easier for other countries to create National…Read More
There’s no greater UK challenge than the 630-mile South West Coast Path, the longest National Trail in Britain. Best of all, the coast it skirts is one of the country’s most dramatic and beautiful, as well as being set in the country’s warmest quarter. Make this your year to experience some, if not all, the South West Coast Path.
One of the closest lodges to the path is Atlantic House Lizard. They’re totally accustomed to the needs of walkers and frequently host hikers using leading walking tour operators Macs Adventure and Mickledore walking holidays.
Their most popular hike is the ‘Highlights’ from Macs Adventure which is a lovely walk from Falmouth to Atlantic House via Coverack and Cadgwith then a taxi ride to Marazion for the final leg. Serious walkers can also take advantage of a luggage transfer service operating here where your belongings can be transported, reliably and safely, wherever you are intending to walk to. This is a reasonably inexpensive option, especially for guests getting to the west by train. Atlantic House’s setting on the Lizard Peninsula is also fantastic for those who don’t want to make major expeditions. The most popular is the very manageable walk to Kynance Cove, but there are also plenty of other circular walks from the property.
Pendragon Country House is a Wolsey Lodge that goes the extra mile to make walkers welcome, a fact that was recognised by the Good Hotel Guide’s 2020 edition. Their situation in North Cornwall is between coast and moor but they offer a free pick up and drop off service to walkers – and not just for long distance walkers on the coast.
They have an in-depth knowledge of all the walks around Bodmin Moor which helps them plan the perfect walk for you, drop you off at the start and pick you up at the end. Just look at their suggestions here. Pendragon also offers all the facilities serious walkers need, including the drying rooms, meals and – perhaps most importantly – a fully licensed bar.
Coast path walkers don’t need a dropoff service for Trevigue Farm, as it’s right on the coast. It has its own stretch of beach, almost always deserted, a scant stroll away from the surfing favourite, Crackington Haven. Walk further along the coast and just across the border and North Walk House is in Devon, perched on a sheer cliff and overlooking the sea. The views over Lynmouth Bay are spectacular so this is an ideal lodge to stop for a touch of luxury on a long-distance hike.
Continuing on the north coast, Catwell House is within easy reach of the South West Coast Path, but opens up further options in the Quantock Hills. The Macmillan Way, devized to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support, passes Catwell House itself, so if you raise some sponsorship this would be a good place to set off to Abbotsbury in one direction or Boston in Lincolnshire in the other.
It’s also very close to the Coleridge Way, designed to showcase some of the places that bought inspiration for his poems. You will, however, need to provide your own Laudanum to complete the experience.
Head South and the South West Coast Path is still going strong as it passes the Jurassic coast and heads through Lyme Regis. This brings you tantalisingly close – within half a mile – to Greenhill House. This glorious Edwardian Villa brings all the elegance of the inter-war years to a wonderful setting overlooking Lyme Bay. Breakfasts are spectacular and the town centre is within easy walking distance. Even the most devoted hikers will want to linger here, with its 1930’s atmosphere, grand piano in the living room and obstacle croquet on the lawn.