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Sign Up and Step Out in support of the South West Coast Path

May is National Walking Month and to celebrate the South West Coast Path Association (SWCPA) is calling Path lovers to Sign Up and Step Out on their Magnificent 7 walks.

This is a chance for us all to be involved in preserving the wonder of every single mile of this incredible Path."
Raynor Winn, author, The Salt Path

The charity which has been caring for the South West Coast Path for over 50 years is urging people to step up and join them on one of their ‘Every Mile Matters’ coastal fundraising walks during May and June, as they seek to raise £50k to help protect the world’s leading National Trail which is under increasing threat from severe weather conditions.   

The ‘Magnificent 7’ walks are taking place across each of the seven sections of the 630 mile Coast Path and have been designed to make it easy for everyone to join in and get a taste of the powerful health and wellbeing benefits of taking to the Trail, whilst giving back and supporting the work the charity does to protect and champion this incredible Path.

It now costs at least £1,500 to look after every mile of the Path each year but increasingly severe weather conditions, coastal erosion, rising sea levels and increased footfall mean its structure and unique wildlife are under threat. With over 30,000 steps, 4500 signs, 1100 gates and 630 miles of path surface there is a lot to keep maintained every year.  The Path is used by 9 million people every year but sadly only 1% of those who use the Coast Path regularly give back.   

Backed by St Austell Brewery as the headline sponsor and GWR as the sustainable transport partner, together with local companies supporting each section, walks range from 3 – 6 miles and are all accessible by public transport.  Most routes include shorter options for families and those with limited mobility.    

Walkers will be joined by members of the SWCPA team, and there will be a chance to stop off at any Coast Path Passport stamping points along the way.    

Aletha Mays, SWCPA says, “This is a great way for families, friends, work colleagues and walkers of all abilities to join with us to show their love for the Coast Path or even discover it for the first time, whilst helping to protect and care for this amazing natural treasure. More serious walkers might like to use the walks to kick-start their own Every Mile Matters fundraising over the rest of the year, maybe taking on all seven or their own Coast Path Challenge!”  

“Many people use the Path on a regular basis but don’t realise the enormous amount of expense and work by the SWCPA, its partners and volunteers that it takes to keep the Path accessible all year round. Signing up for a walk means we can all come together to ensure the Path continues to offer a respite from the pressures of daily life, a unique haven for wildlife and important resource for visitors to the region.”      

The Magnificent 7 Series of Walks - JOIN US

West Cornwall 
Saturday 11 May  
Penzance – Marazion/Perranuthnoe     
3 miles - Easy/ 5.5 miles - Moderate
Supported by Warrens Bakery   

A wonderful walk that starts at the historic Penzance Train Station and curves its way along Mount’s Bay to the ancient market town of Marazion. The tidal island of St Michael’s Mount with its fairy tale castle provides a stunning backdrop as the path hugs green fields and small coves until it reaches the coastal village of Perranuthnoe with its sandy beach, cafes, pub, and art gallery.

Pasty on the Path - Warrens Bakery is providing a FREE medium pasty on the day to everyone who signs up!

NB Penzance to Marazion is fully accessible. 

North Cornwall 
Saturday 18 May
Newquay Circular 1 / Newquay Circular 2   
3 miles - Easy/ 5.8 miles - Easy
Supported by The Esplanade

A great walk that passes Huers Hut at Towan Head, walks the length of Fistral Beach, a mecca for surfers and anyone who loves to watch waves rolling in from the Atlantic. Completing a circuit of Pentire Point headland offers magnificent views up the river Gannel before heading back inland.

NB Newquay Circular 1 is fully accessible. 

North Devon 
Sunday 2 June  
6 miles - Easy
Barnstaple to Instow  
Supported by John Fowler Holidays

This walk follows the former railway track alongside the Taw estuary and crosses Barnstaple’s historic Long BridgeThis section makes for easy level walking following the Tarka Trail, a 180-mile walking and cycling route in the unspoiled Devonshire countryside. Situated within the North Devon Biosphere Reserve, this walk will be an excellent opportunity for spotting birdlife. 

NB This walk is fully accessible.

Exmoor and Somerset 
Sunday 9 June 
5 miles - Moderate
County Gate to Countisbury  

A beautiful, wooded stretch of coast path with glimpses of the Bristol Channel and views across to Wales. Countisbury offers a spectacular viewpoint with panoramas over the double-decker towns of Lynton and Lynmouth. 

South Cornwall
Saturday 22 June 
5.7 miles - Moderate
Looe to Polperro  
Supported by Seasalt Cornwall  

Quintessential Cornish coast path – this walk has it all! Starting in the pretty town of Looe (film location of BBC’s Beyond Paradise), offshore, Looe Island is a seaward focal point on this relatively sheltered length of path that passes lush bays and exposed rocky platforms before reaching the pretty fishing harbour of Polperro.

South Devon  
Sunday 23 June 
5.7 miles - Moderate
Paignton to Brixham   
Supported by Luxury Coastal

An exploration of a living, but tranquil area of countryside and coastline that divides the residential outskirts of Paignton and Brixham. We’ll be following the South West Coast Path from Paignton's hidden harbour, through the park built by miners, past the setting of one of Agatha Christie's most famous books to the active fishing port of Brixham, once Torbay's largest town.

Jurassic Coast 
Saturday 29 June
5 miles - Easy/ 6 miles - Moderate
Weymouth to Lodmoor/ Osmington   

A gentle walk that starts at Weymouth and passes through Lodmoor RSPB Reserve and Bowleaze Cove before reaching Osmington Mills, an important geological site where a small waterfall tumbles straight onto the beach. The boulders here are full of fossils and the limestone points fingers of rock into the sea, that would have once made it the perfect place for smugglers. 

NB Weymouth to Lodmoor is fully accessible.

NEED TO KNOW

  • £20 Adult/ £10 Child
  • 100% of ticket sales go back to looking after the Path.
  • Make a difference simply by signing up and enjoying a great walk with the South West Coast Path Team. 
  • What better way to celebrate National Walking Month and the Path you love!
  • BOOK YOUR PLACE HERE

Image Credit: James Loveridge, West Bay

Published on: April 29, 2024