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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.