Services that touch 600miles of England’s scenic coastline


Andrew Bartlett has taken a creative approach to this presentation of photographs of buses in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset by placing them close to the 630mile South West Coast Path which stretches from Quay Street in Minehead to South Haven Point, close to where the Sandbanks Ferry lands from Poole.

Most were left over after he compiled a book about Western National and its component parts between 1983 and 2003 (Reviews, December). He has brought the story up to date, extended the coverage beyond Cornwall and Devon and Western National, dug deeper into the earlier decades of the last century and added photographs of more general interest to show what may be found when travelling by bus within reach of the longest coastal footpath in England.

It may inspire readers to use the footpath — it would require eight weeks of negotiating 302 bridges, 921 stiles, 16,719 steps and more than 20 ferry crossings — in bite-sized chunks by walking a stretch of it and catching a bus back to the starting point.

Bartlett confesses that in 40 years of visiting the area he has only walked around a mile of the path at a time, but he directs his readers to the South West Coast Path Association’s website and annual Complete Guide which carry the necessary information about public transport connections. Maps in the book show the path and its hinterland for each of nine sections — of between 40 and 100miles — described in separate chapters.

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