The Coast Path has a special place in my heart

I have been walking the South West Coast Path with my good friend, Hilary Townsend, whom I've known for 25 years. I started June 2006 and finished September 2016, a day after my 81st Birthday. The South West Coast Path is my 18th long distance path of the British Isles and by far the hardest!  However, it’s also been a real privilege to witness the scenic splendor, the fascinating history and heritage, and has been a tremendous achievement.

The weather and people we’ve met along the way has often played an eventful part of our Coast Path experience. From Ernest, the ferryman at Looe, who told us all about his wartime exploits, to the Canadian couple carrying a small baby on their back.

The section of the Path along Levant, famous for its tin mines (as shown on Poldark), became extremely hazardous one afternoon when the sky became darker and darker then a spectacular thunderstorm ensued. A torrent of red water from the clay soaked ground came raging along our route, making every step slow and difficult. Every bit of our bodies got soaked with downpour and each step became heavier and heavier as more red clay stuck to our boots! Thank goodness for the tiny chapel of St Aldhelm’s Head on the top of the headland – a chance to catch our breath and dry out. 

The South West Coast Path has a special place in my heart.  Hilary and I have been to some enchanting villages that I’ve never heard of, crossed many rivers by ferry (and some we’ve had to wade through and time the tides just right). 

Our next walk to complete will be the Test Way in Hampshire. 

Barbara collected her Completer's Certificate at the AGM in May, accompanied by her fiance, whom she married on 8th July. Congratulations to Barbara and Bernard!


Published on: July 23, 2017