Where to stop along the South West 660 route, according to top chef Paul Ainsworth

The South West 660 — or SW660 — is a new route around the British coastline, starting in Dorset and ending in Somerset. British chef and Cornwall resident Paul Ainsworth is already a fan and keen to shine a light on the excellent restaurants and producers waiting to be discovered, along the way.

Of all the road trips in the world, the South West 660 is the one for me. 

I may be biassed — having lived in Cornwall for 17 years now — but this part of the country really is outstanding. The 660 route spans the coastal roads from Bournemouth, all the way along Dorset, Devon, Cornwall and up to North Somerset, and shows off some of the best landscapes that our country has to offer. 

What’s more, there are some absolutely brilliant restaurants, producers and foodie spots along the way — all making the most of the delicious local produce we Brits have on our doorstep, and all creating fantastic experiences year round for tourists and locals alike. 

Sandbanks to Weymouth

The Pig-on the beach

What a fantastic hotel Robin Hutson and his team have created here,  overlooking stunning Studland Bay. The restaurant has the most amazing sea views and the food is fresh and seasonal, with all ingredients sourced within a 25 mile radius of the hotel.



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Weymouth to Lyme Regis 

Mark Hix Oyster & Fish House

Mark Hix has built an offering wholly centred around his relationships with the local fishermen. The menu features everything from Jersey Rock oysters to prawn burgers. It’s honest, sophisticated and delicious — a great stop on your 660 journey. 

Lyme Regis to Exeter

Felicity’s Farm Shop

The South West is full of family run businesses and Felicity’s Farm Shop is an absolute favourite of mine — I visit every time I travel back to Cornwall from visiting family in Southampton (where I grew up). It’s a fantastically run. Pick something up to cook for dinner or make a pitstop for some hot tea and one of their delicious homemade cakes. 

Exeter to Dartmouth 

The Elephant by Simon Hulstone

Another family run business and one headed up by a great friend of mine, Simon Hulstone. It’s Torquay’s only Michelin-starred establishment and the food is uncomplicated, but brilliant — definitely one of the best value Michelin-starred meals in the country. I’m so impressed by what Simon and his wife Katy have done here, and a big fan of the produce they use, much of which comes straight from their own farm in Brixham. 


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Dartmouth to Plymouth

Salcombe Gin Distillery

Wind down with a beautifully crisp gin and tonic at the Salcombe Gin Distillery and learn from the best on all things gin. Owners Howard Davies and Angus Lugsdin are incredibly passionate about what they do and this really shows at the distillery, housed inside a beautiful old boathouse in the Salcombe harbour.

Sign up for one of their gin making courses — the perfect way to take your mind off the road for the afternoon. I absolutely loved working with these guys on our own limited edition gin, Daring. They managed to encapsulate the spirit of the Cornish coast. You can even pick up a bottle in the distillery shop!


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Plymouth to St Austell

Pengelly’s Fish Shop

The town of Looe is home to one of our country’s most thriving fishing ports so a stop here to check out the day’s catch is a must. The business has a history rich in fishing and selling fish, so the sustainability, freshness and variety you’ll find here is second to none.

The team is just great — always keen to talk to you about what they’re doing at Pengelly’s and how sustainability is key to the business, and their knowledge on fishing is outstanding. While you’re there, why not get your hands on some beautiful Looe scallops and cook them in a heap of butter that evening. Delicious.

St Austell to Penzance 

The Hidden Hut 

I know by this point you will have come across some pretty spectacular views, but I’m not sure any will beat the ones from The Hidden Hut at Porthcurnick Beach. Not so hidden now, this fairly new café has already had amazing reviews and people flock to it to enjoy chef Simon Stallard’s simple, but utterly delicious takeaway food. 

Penzance to St Ives

Hub Box

The flagship outpost of this incredible South West business has a low key menu that makes the absolute best of Cornish produce. I absolutely love the burgers here — outrageously fresh and made using the meat from my all time favourite butcher, Philip Warren (in Launceston). The restaurant looks out across the St Ives harbour front. 

St Ives to Padstow

Shiva Cafe Newquay

This lovely cafe (and yoga and pilates studio) is one of the Ainsworth family’s weekend favourites. It’s run by by Chloe and Jimmy and great for healthy, refreshing juices, coffee and brunch. Alternatively, pick up something for lunch to enjoy on one of Newquay’s surf-bashed beaches.

Padstow to Clovelly

Clementine Cakery

You can’t travel along this part of the route and not stop off at Clementine Cakery in Wadebridge. Pick something up for the next leg of your journey.

The cupcakes are honestly the best I’ve ever had — so many flavours and all cooked to absolute perfection. If you’re celebrating a special something on your journey then call ahead and pre-order one of their sensational, larger cakes.

Lynton to Watchet

Bossington Beach

This is your final beach stop before heading inland. Bossington is an expansive pebble beach towards the eastern end of Porlock Bay.  Brave a dip if you can!