Bristol Ramblers

Welcome to the official website for The Samaritans Way South West

A wonderful way marked 100 mile/160kms walk through Somerset linking the Cotswolds, the Mendips, the Polden Hills, the Quantocks, the Brendons, Exmoor National Park and the North Devon Coast. It starts at Clifton Suspension Bridge on the spectacular Avon Gorge, and continues across the Chew Valley with its peaceful lakes, over the Mendip Hills to Cheddar Gorge, along the Somerset Levels to historic Glastonbury and on to the Quantock Hills with a scenic ridge walk passing through the villages around the Brendon Hills. The route then crosses Exmoor to Doone Valley and Badgworthy Water, follows the East Lyn River and climbs Myrtleberry Cleaves to Lynton.



Compton Martin Woods on the Mendips


Preface To date the Samaritans Way South West has taken 23 years to develop owing to the huge amount of footpath blockages that needed clearing before the route was finalised. Please see the History page to read about the background of this long distance walk and why it is not currently on the Ordnance Survey Maps.

The purpose of the walk was not only pleasure but also to help the rural community especially the small dairy farmers, with the plight of the industry.

It was officially opened on 21 April 2004 by the Ramblers Vice Chairman, Samaritans Chief Executive and a farmer from Gloucestershire who headed the Farmers Helpline. In the same year it appeared on the Ordnance Survey maps supported and encouraged by all Local Authorities, National Parks and Area of Natural Beauty by giving their consent.

Clifton Suspension Bridge

For the walker who may purchase up to date maps maybe confused to find it has been omitted at the request of Somerset County Council and Exmoor National Park. But it should be quite easy to follow the website for up to date amendments. I hope you will enjoy the walk .

Graham Hoyle

For Samaritans free call 116 123








 View looking back at the Mendips

 Looking back at the Mendips

View across the Polden Hills

Across the Polden Hills


image of the waymark


Click here to read the history of the walk

Click here to read the introduction to the walk directions 

Click here for the downloadable walk directions for the Bristol to Cheddar Section

Click here for the downloadable walk directions for the Cheddar to Bridgwater Section

Click here for the downloadable walk directions for the Bridgwater to Luxborough Section

Click here for the downloadable walk directions for the Luxborough to Lynton Section

Click here for the downloadable walk directions for the Lynton to Croyde Bay Coast Path

You can see a map of the walk at the Long Distance Walkers Association.  This is an Association of people with the common interest of walking long distances in rural, mountainous or moorland areas. There are details of many long distance paths on their website.

 click here to see the map for the Samaritans Way South West



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  • be part of Britain’s biggest walking charity
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  • help us continue our charitable work to protect Britain’s footpaths and promote walking
Thursday, January 24, 2019