Couch to Coast Westward Ho!

Leading a more active lifestyle brings with it a wealth of benefits, including improvements to our physical and emotional wellbeing. In addition to this, spending time outdoors in nature can vastly improve our overall health. That’s why this autumn, we’re launching Couch to Coast in the beautiful seaside village of Westward Ho! near Bideford. Similar to the running plan ‘Couch to 5k’, we’ll be helping people gradually build fitness, stamina and confidence to go from sitting on the sofa, to doing a 5k walk on the South West Coast Path.

Who is it for?

Couch to Coast is designed to suit the ability of someone taking their first footsteps into increasing their activity and leading a healthier lifestyle. Each participant will be able to take the walk at a pace they feel comfortable with and we will have staff and volunteers available to help guide you along the route.

When will the walks be?

There will be an introductory session at 10.00 am at the Westward Ho! Baptist church hall, by the main carpark in Westward Ho! (Nelson Dr, Westward Ho!, EX39 1LQ) on Tuesday 8th October 2019 which will include a short seafront walk, refreshments and an introduction to the project. After this, walks will be held every fortnight on Tuesdays at 10am, as follows:

  • Tuesday 22 October
  • Tuesday 5 November
  • Tuesday 19 November
  • Tuesday 3 December
  • Tuesday 17 December

How far will I be expected to walk?

We’ll be starting with some short 1-2km walks, building up to a 5km walk over the course of 12 weeks. The walks will take place once every two weeks and you will be encouraged to walk in between each meet up (though this is not critical). We are hoping to start the walks in early October – more information will be send out to participants via email once confirmed. 

Where will the walks be?

All walks will take place on the beautiful South West Coast Path in Westward Ho! and its surrounding areas. Each walk will give you a chance to build your fitness but also spend important quality time in the great outdoors, connecting actively to nature. We are working in partnership with Torridge District Council to recruit participants and volunteers. After each walk, there will be the opportunity to get a tea or coffee and socialise with fellow Coast to Couch walkers.

How much does it cost?

Couch to Coast is free to take part in thanks for funding from Active Devon and the Connecting Actively to Nature (CAN) initiative. You may need to pay for public transport (or petrol if you drive) to get to an agreed meeting place, but there will be no other costs associated with taking part. Participants will be expected to complete a registration form that captures information about current activity levels so that we can monitor how effective the Couch to Coast has been at improving activity levels at the end of 12 weeks. 

About the Project

This project is being funded by a new, flagship initiative being led by the Devon Local Nature Partnership, working to help tackle inactivity amongst people over the age of 55 in Devon (more information on https://activedevon.org/campaigns/can/). The programme is funded by Sport England through lottery ticket sales. The aim is tackling the growing problem of activity drop-off in the crucial retirement transition period and beyond, and to reach out to people to provide activities, information and support that will help them make positive changes to their activity levels now and in the future. There are a number of different organisations such as the Forestry Commission and Devon Wildlife Trust, involved all over Devon, all with the aim to help people build the confidence they need to enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings on their doorstep.

How do I get involved?

Click the link below to register for free. We'l be in touch soon with more information about dates, meeting points and walking routes. We’ll also give you information about what you will need to bring with you. If you have any questions you can contact us by emailing our Project Co-Ordinator Alex Turner [email protected] or calling Alex on 01752 896237.

Photos by https://libertypearlphotography.com/