Great South West Walk kicks off

Today sees the start of the South West Coast Path Association’s Great South West Walk, where hundreds of people are walking the entire length of the South West Coast Path in a series of relays over the coming weeks.

Starting on the south coast in Poole and the north coast in Minehead on the 16th April, both coastlines will be tackled in tandem with 630 miles being travelled before coming together at Land’s End for celebrations on the 7th May.

Following the theme of last summer’s Olympic torch relays, the South West Coast Path Association have arranged a travelling icon of its own.  A pair of red walking boots will separated at the start of the event – the right one to travel down the north coast and the left along the south, passed on each day from the walking guides who will be leading each of the 56 legs.

Andy Lawrence, store manager at Cotswold Outdoor in Truro said: “We’re really pleased to be involved with the SWCPA’s Great South West Walk – walking is a great way to stay active which doesn’t need a huge amount of commitment and doesn’t come with a large price tag. It will be great to see a pair of our boots traveling the distance of the coastal path and I’m really looking forward to going along to the finishing line and celebrating such a fantastic milestone for SWCPA. They do great work in helping to preserve the landscape of the south west and we hope that this event will raise a huge amount of money to help fund many improvement projects around the path which is enjoyed by so many people."

Secretary of the South West Coast Path Association, Steve Church is excited about the start of the event: “The Great South West Walk will be a true relay with our symbol of walking moving along both coastlines.  It is going to be a fantastic event which will take place across five weeks with dates and routes to suit everyone, so we hope that even more people will join us.  If you are unable to take part in any of the sponsored walks, then it would be great to see some faces as each leg finishes, supporting those who’ve taken on the challenge. It should be a really enjoyable occasion for all involved.”

With a different section of both coast lines covered each day in a relay, everyone is welcome to join in for a full or half day – or even for a number of days to build a walking holiday.

If you would like to find out more about the dates, locations and legs of each of the relay walks, or the projects that the money will fund, please visit

With the original £250,000 target within reach, thanks to corporate sponsors and funding partners, every penny that walkers raise in sponsorship will count, as it will enable even more improvement projects around the entire path.

Celebrating their 40th anniversary through the Great South West Walk, the South West Coast Path Association hope that many people will take part during the coming weeks to help mark this milestone.

If you would like to register to take part (you cannot turn up on the day) please call 01752 896237. You can also follow the progress of the event on Twitter @LoveSWCoastPath.

Published on: April 3, 2013