‘What the Coast Path means to me’ by Alan Manie

How can you capture in 250 words what the South West Coast Path means to you?  For me it was one of the places I wanted to spend my time, one of the things I wanted to do after I took early retirement and it has more than exceeded my expectations.

It’s taken me 13 years. I started from Port Isaac in 2002 and finished in Lulworth in 2015.  I’m not one of those who start at the beginning and walk logically to the end.  It is a more emotional experience.

One decision I made at the beginning was to average 10 miles a day and that was just right.  For me it is not about trying to break records but about enjoying the journey. The photo shows me with my two daughters, Lucy and Laura and my brother Chris who were all with me on the final leg.

Alan Manie - Feb 16 completer blog

Rufus, a King Charles spaniel was also with us but didn’t make the photo! I’ve had some great times with family and friends along the way and walked much of it on my own.  Many happy memories to look back on.

There was added personal significance for me because of health issues. I had had a quadruple heart bypass operation before I started and I needed more major heart surgery in 2006, 8½ hours in the operating theatre. More problems in 2014 led to a defibrillator being implanted.  The doctors have done a great job. So the South West Coast Path has been both a great place to put their work to the test and also to enjoy being alive.

Alan Manie completed the Coast Path in October 2015. If you have a story to share about walking the Coast Path, please send it in to the South West Coast Path Association at hello@southwestcoastpath.org.uk We endeavour to share as many stories as we can across our social media channels.

All members of the Association that complete the entire 630 mile trail receive a certificate on completion. There are other souvenirs available to purchase from the online shop from ornamental fingerposts to map posters.

#630Miles #CoastPathCompleter

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Old Harry Rocks – February’s walk of the month

 

Old Harry Rocks, Dorset
Old Harry Rocks, photographed by Ian Alcock.                                                                         “A nice crisp winters morning made a pleasant change from the rain. Not much colour before sunrise but the early morning sun cast a nice light over the chalk rock faces as it started to appear from below the horizon to the right. With all the coastal erosion recently I wonder how much longer Old Harry will survive, but hopefully for many years to come.”  www.mydigitaleye.net

 

A walk along the Jurassic coast in Dorset from Studland Village to Old Harry Rocks is February’s walk of the month.

This is a moderate stroll, with some long but gentle climbs and descents, around the spectacular chalk stacks off Handfast Point at Studland. The same sea that carved the soft rock into caves and arches also polished the vertical cliffs to a dazzling white and there are far-ranging views over Swanage in one direction and Wareham and Bournemouth in the other.

Last October, Old Harry’s Rocks was one of the highlights along the 10-mile South West Coast Path Challenge walk led by the South West Coast Path Association. Among the participants was the artist Sasha Harding, who spoke to Alex Green about the coastal landscape around Swanage where she grew up and how it inspired her lifelong love of the South West Coast Path, which she completed and documented in her stunning book, A Brush with the Coast.Sasha Harding 2015-10-31 13.56.18

Listen to our podcast with Sasha on the Dorset coast around Old Harry’s Rocks and if you’d like to purchase a copy of the book, visit the Association’s online shop.
Sasha's book

Let us know about your own experiences on this stretch of coast in the comments below.

Happy walking!