Inspired by Scotland’s NC500, the South West Coast 700 (SWC700) is a 700-mile route around the south-west coast of England, taking in Somerset, Cornwall, Devon and Dorset by road. It has a website to enable visitors to get the best out of this beautiful part of England’s south-west.
The idea and website behind the SWC700 were created by Cornwall-based Andrea Edlin, with web development help from husband Rob. Andrea runs an online marketing company specialising in tourism, creating online ads for holiday cottages and the like.
When lockdown brought the business to something of a halt, Andrea took the opportunity to come up with some new ideas, including the SWC700.
Andrea and Rob live on the Lizard and are both serial entrepreneurs with an eclectic mix of interests – they are qualified scuba divers and in addition to his web development business, Rob runs a fishing boat.
A new touring route
The concept behind the SWC700 developed when the lockdown eased in September 2020 and the couple went away in their motorhome with their two truffle-hunting cocker spaniels, Patch and Barney.
Andrea says: “While we were away, I said that I’d love to do the South West Coast Path, but in a motorhome rather than walking, as it would take too long. Rob said he was too busy with work and suggested I do it myself. So off I went, accompanied by Patch!”
“I decided to follow the South West Coast Path, working my way around from Minehead in Somerset and finishing at Poole in Dorset. I tried to get to as many tourist spots as I could with the motorhome. I wanted to find hidden gems and show off some of the places that are not so well known.”
“Every day, I was driving to areas of interest, gathering information and then writing it up at night. It was all a bit of a challenge, but the more I got into it, the more I enjoyed doing it!” The resulting website assists people in enjoying the 700-mile route by motorhome, camper or caravan.”
The site includes maps, suggested itineraries and routes, places of interest to visit, campsites, shopping spots, and a broad selection of food and drink outlets.
Andrea says: “You can spend two months doing it or be a lot quicker. I did it in 16 days, but you can take your time and do it at your own pace. You can do one section on one trip and then another on your next visit.”
Currently, all of the information provided has been selected by Andrea, based on trips she has made around the route. She now hopes to continue to improve and extend the information and at some point, potentially, charge for listings to monetise the site.
Where to go along the South West Coast 700
So what are her favourite parts of the route? “There are so many,” says Andrea. “One of the nicest routes was in North Devon. I stayed in the car park at Appledore and when I awoke, it was beautiful, with the sea in front of me. Sylvester’s Fish & Chips is just around the corner and you can drive down to Clovelly, which is a lovely little village. There’s a charge to visit, but it’s worth it.”
“The Hartland Peninsula is another stunning sight – it has rugged terrain and there’s a really beautiful walking trail to a waterfall called Speke’s Mill.”
“I would also recommend the area around Land’s End. Land’s End itself is a bit touristy, but nearby there’s Sennen Cove, Porthcurno, the Museum of Global Communications and the Minack Theatre.”
The longer-term ambition is to develop the website and gain the sort of recognition that the NC500 receives. “We’d like to connect with more tourism bodies,” says Andrea. “And we’d love to get brown signs indicating the route – that would be fantastic. We already work with Visit Cornwall, so it would be good to get them involved, too.”
If you’re thinking of trying the South West Coast 700, be sure to take a look at our guide to the best motorhome sites in Cornwall, where we reveal the top holiday destinations in the county.
- Looking for other great routes to try? Then check out our pick of the best UK road trips
If you’ve enjoyed reading this article, why not get the latest news, reviews and features delivered direct to your door or inbox every month. Take advantage of our brilliant Practical Motorhome magazine SUBSCRIBERS’ OFFER and SIGN UP TO OUR NEWSLETTER for regular weekly updates on all things motorhome related.