Simon Armitage to walk South West Coast Path as a modern troubadour

Award-winning writer Simon Armitage hopes to walk from Minehead to Land's End along the northern half of the South West Coast Path without a penny in his pocket, by giving poetry readings en route in village halls, churches, pubs, schools, galleries and living rooms in return for his board and lodgings.

In Simon's bestselling book 'Walking Home', published in paperback last month, he describes travelling the Pennine Way as a 'modern troubadour' in the wrong direction, from north to south, so that he could walk towards the Yorkshire village of Marsden in which he was born.

"This time, I want to see if I can pay my way with poetry alone away from my home ground, and getting further distant every day," said Simon, who is Professor of Poetry at the University of Sheffield and also writes for film, television and radio. He was awarded the CBE for services to poetry in 2010.

Simon plans to set off from Minehead on the South West Coast Path just after the August Bank Holiday and hopes to reach Land's End on September 17, having earned enough to pay his fare to the Isles of Scilly for a final reading.

"Once again I'll be bartering my way from start to finish, giving readings and passing the hat around, inviting the audience to put in whatever they think I'm worth," said Simon, who will be writing about his experiences for his follow-up book, 'Walking Away'.

"If you'd like me to give a local reading and can offer me food and shelter for the night, then please get in touch," he said.

You can find Simon's itinerary on his website,, or email [email protected]

The South West Coast Path team are giving away 3 copies of 'Walking Home' in paperback at the end of this month to 3 lucky subscribers of our newsletter. To sign-up click here

For a taste of his Pennine Way adventure recounted in his book 'Walking Home' see this short video on Youtube

Pictured above: Simon Armitage by Paul Wolfgang Webster

Published on: May 22, 2013