The South West Coast Path Challenge returns in October for the third year running and is bigger and better than ever as TV’s walking greats, Julia Bradbury and Paul Rose, will be backing it all the way.
Julia Bradbury’s latest series for ITV, Britain’s Best Walks, included two of her favourites on the Coast Path.
‘There are some spectacular walks along the South West Coast Path. Old Harry Rocks is a classic and this walk offers spectacular views of the Jurassic coastline and the surrounding countryside. If you need the perfect excuse to visit a place named ‘Studland’ then this is it.’
Paul Rose meanwhile, is planning to make a welcome return to the Coast Path in October following the success of his BBC2 series Coastal Path, broadcast in November last year.
‘I had an amazing time filming the Coastal Path series, walking stunning sections of the Path and would encourage as many people as possible to join the Challenge event, to get out and have an adventure running or walking the Path.’
Every year, this month-long celebration of the region’s coastline, organised by the South West Coast Path Association in partnership with the National Trust, sets out to challenge walkers and runners to cover as many miles of the path, and raise as much money towards its promotion, improvement and protection, as possible.
It’s aimed at all ages and abilities with events taking place throughout the month, all along the 630-mile route. It kicks off with a 26-mile trail run in south Devon from Little Dartmouth to Dartmouth. This is followed by much easier short circular walks led by National Trust rangers, along with two 10-mile challenge walks at both ends of the Coast Path. The first 10-mile challenge walk is from Minehead to Poole on Saturday 7th October and the second is on Saturday 28th October from Swanage to South Haven Point near Poole in Dorset.
People from all walks of life will be challenging themselves and others to help protect the South West Coast Path following significant government cuts to its maintenance budget in the past few years.
Last year, the youngest participant, Alfie Holmwood, was just 8 years old when he took part in the Minehead 10-mile challenge walk and kept up the group morale when the going got tough. The oldest participant, Christine Hammond, walked the entire 630-mile length of this national trail for her 70th birthday before joining the Swanage walk at the other end of the Coast Path in Dorset to celebrate her achievement with family and friends.
This October, the Association urges fans of the Coast Path to step out on the Coast Path, to enjoy the fresh sea air and simply stunning views and walk as much or as little as you like.
You can even organise your own challenge on the Coast Path and register it online to make it count as part of the official fundraising challenge. See your miles being added to the mileometer and together, we’ll try to beat last year’s total.
Find out more and register at www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk/challenge
What will your challenge be?