Blue skies and turquoise sea surrounds the rugged rocks of The South West Coast Path in north Cornwall
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The book that inspired our walk

'The Salt Path' by Raynor Winn

It’s safe to say I’m no bookworm, more of a magazine flicker, but when a friend recommended a particular novel it was more than an addictive read.

My initial intrigue was that it was based in the UK’s stunning South West. We live in Devon, run a dog-friendly holiday cottage in north Cornwall and love to explore this part of the country, so know the two counties pretty well – or at least I thought.

Cocker spaniels Molly and Indy take in the views of The South West Coast Path stretch from Widemouth Bay to Crackingon Haven
The section on Gwelmor's doorstep

The book I’m referring to is ‘The Salt Path’ by Raynor Winn. It is the story of a couple who, faced with the adversity, set out on a remarkable and inspiring journey.

With nothing more than the rucksacks on their backs, they embarked on a mission to walk The South West Coast Path. All 630-miles of it.

Running the coastline from Minehead in Somerset, north Devon, around Cornwall, south Devon and Poole in Dorset, it’s not for the faint-hearted.

Lush greenery

But page by page, Gaynor had me hooked. By the time they’d reached the Devon town of Lynton, just 21 miles in, I sat bolt upright in bed and boldly announced to my husband that ‘I want to walk The South West Coast Path’.

Amazingly I didn’t wake the next morning regretging my decision, and the planning began.

Large steel structure of a map marks the start of The South West Coast Path in Minehead
The statue that marks the start

On a rather damp morning in June 2019, we stood with Molly and Indy, our two cocker spaniels, at the monument that marks the start of this epic route stretching across moorland, woodland, rivers and beaches, and taking in rugged cliff tops and deep ravines.

Fast forward to 2021 and, whilst Covid-19 has severely hampered our progress for more than a year, we’ve made it to Watergate Bay in Cornwall, 186.3 miles in.

Saunton Sands

While everything is on hold for the time being, we can’t wait to get back out there to create even more fantastic memories of breath-taking scenery, ridiculous hill climbs, heart-stopping sheer drops and some of the best beaches the South West has to offer.

I’ve been writing blogs on each section of our journey to share with readers who might want to give it a go themselves, or simply want to enjoy this coastal route through the safety of their armchair!

Gwelmor holiday cottage's web page showing the section of walks the couple have walked so far at
Find your walk

So, sit back and relax and choose a section from our walks - but remember, they're not meant as guides so please don't rely on them for directions!

Picture Credit: 
Jayne Martin

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More musings

Cornwall Tourism Award 2020 / 2021Gwelmor - Cornwall Tourism Awards - Bronze 2019/20Gwelmor - Cornwall Tourism Awards - Commended 2019/20