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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!