School’s out for summer – A chance to walk the whole path
We often get asked when the best time to walk the Coast Path is. For all teachers, lecturers, professors and those who have a larger break in the summer holidays - it has to be over the months of July and August. Even in the ‘big six weeks’ as they’re called down here, there is room for everyone and you’ll be amazed at the number of hours you have the coast views to yourself on long stretches.
So could you cover the whole 630 miles in this time? Yes you can! One intrepid school Teacher, Miss Lambert from Cobham School in Kent, tells us about her experience this summer. Not only has she completed the SWCP this summer but over the 12 months she has also completed the Pennine Way, Offa's Dyke, South Downs Way and the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path. Wow!
Miss Lambert says:
“The South West Coast path has been a path I have wanted to walk for many years. When I was starting to plan my fundraising challenge, to support the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, I knew I wanted to walk this path as part of it. 630 miles is a long way and I did have moments of doubt as to whether I could achieve such a big undertaking but I wanted to try. On 5th July 2016 I set out on what was to be the biggest challenge I was to take on. I took each day as it came and it was not long before I started to complete the different sections of the path and it was those times when I knew I was going to be able to walk the entirety of the 630 miles. You adapt to the lifestyle of a long distance walker.
“I carried a big rucksack on my back with tent, sleeping bag and camped for 60% of the path and interspersed those nights with a little luxury with the comfort of a bed. I stayed at some wonderful Youth Hostels and B and B's. While walking the Coast Path I saw the most beautiful bays, some of my favourites being Port Quin, Perranporth, Porthcothan and Mupe Bay. My favourite stretches of the path were Plymouth to Stoke Fleming and Lulworth to Swanage. It is hard to say what my overall favourite place was as there were so many along the way.
“This path has introduced me to places along the coast that you would never know existed unless you walked the path. On 18th August my walking journey came to an end, reaching the finish was a momentous occasion and I was welcomed by two walkers who I met during my second week, they too were walking the path but only doing a 5 day section of it. After a BBQ and bubbly to celebrate I made my way home to Kent. Reflecting on my experience of this path it has shown the beauty of the English coast and walking it has made me appreciate even more.
"Walking this path has been the most challenging thing I have ever done, it pushed me to the limit physically and mentally but the views and people I met along the way kept me walking each day. This has been by far the most beautiful path I have walked and would recommend to everyone."
We want to thank Miss Lambert for sharing her story with us. Like so many teachers she’ll be back in the classroom soon and as a Geography teacher I’m sure the South West Coast Path’s geological history will feature in lessons.
This October we are hoping that those educators inspired by their summer visit to the Coast Path, will want to take part, with their schools, in the South West Coast Path Challenge. Half Term in most areas of the UK is in the latter half of the month – this could be a perfect way to embed walking into the curriculum and to further the health and well-being of students. An after school walk is possible for those lucky enough to be at a school close to the path.
There is a special offer for schools taking part. A discounted group registration for schools and youth groups at a group rate of £50, receive 10 Challenge 2016 t-shirts with registration packs and any additional Challenge t-shirts are available at a discounted rate of £2 per t-shirt.
To register your school, it couldn’t be simpler, choose a date in October, a location on the Coast Path to walk from and the distance you will cover and go to www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk/challenge or call 01752 896237.
Published on: Aug. 31, 2016