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A possible trip to walk the Southwest Coast Path in Cornwall, England

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Hi Fodorites -- Hikrguy and I are looking for some information on a possible walk next summer/fall on the Southwest Coast Path around the edge of Cornwall in England. An old friend of mine who is English did a portion of it last year and sent me some stunning photos of his walk. Has anyone ever done any of this trail?

We are not looking to accomplish the whole trail, or even a majority of it; we're looking to do a 9- or 10-day (on the ground not including travel from NYC) trip and visit some of the villages and towns in Cornwall, and also walk on the Coastal Path. Also, visiting Port Isaac since we are Doc Martin fans. I'm looking on Path website and see that there are companies which will take your bags from place to place so you walk with just a daypack. I'm wondering if this is the best way to do it, or can you stay at one place for a couple days, go to the trail, and then do various sections, instead of moving every night? We did that on the Tour du Mont Blanc two years ago and it was exhausting.

Would we be better with hiring a car to drive around -- taking the train out from London or Heathrow depending on when we arrive, and then getting a car at the train station -- or is it better to do a self-guided walk company that will take us to various parts of the trail?

and lastly, what might be the best time of the year to do this? What's the weather like in the very edges of Cornwall? We are able to go at any time of the year. We are late 40s/early 50s.

thanks for any and all guidance!

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