One of us was more keen than the other!

A completer’s story by Gareth Lawless and Clare Bullimore
Stoke Climsland, Cornwall

golden cap collage - Gareth LawlessOur Coast Path adventure covered 54 walks over 2½ years (March 2013 to September 2015).  We walked the trail in sequence but in the slightly more unconventional direction (Poole Harbour to Minehead).  We mainly used public transport to get ourselves in position and would encourage anyone to do the same; it adds to the experience. Getting to places in plenty of time and buying a latte while we waited for the bus became a regular occurrence.  The traveline site is great for planning and, despite catching 56 buses and 3 trains, they didn’t let us down once (though there were a few close shaves).

Looking back, we would find it difficult to single out highlights.  A couple of patches stick in our minds owing to their sheer splendour.  Torcross to Bigbury (in particular Start Point, Bolt Tail and Bantham) is simply stunning as is Godrevy to Perranporth (and I’m thinking of all of the seals at Godrevy Point, the sublime Trevaunance Cove and the mines at St Agnes’ Head).  We also have fond memories of looking across to Lundy Island and South Wales when they came into view.  Oh, and Marazion… and, Dartmouth, Lulworth, Dodman Point, the trains at Dawlish…  I should stop now.  We really could go on.

We walked the tough-going stretch between Rock and Hartland Point in the 2015 winter months and, while our legs certainly knew we’d been on those walks, it was rewarding and invigorating all the same.  But I should also mention the patches Clare enjoyed less (I still appreciated them).  This usually involved long, meandering treks through view-blocking woodland at the end of long walks.  Undercliff, Maidencombe and Culbone: we’re thinking of you.

At the start of this journey one of us was more keen than the other but we’re both thrilled that we completed it.

Our proximity to the path means we will always return and can do so in a more relaxed manner, allowing more time to savour it without the pressures of getting the miles in.  Our appreciation of the path, and of the Association‘s work to protect and preserve it, won’t subside.



Crown Mines – May walk of the month

Wheal Owles, Botallack Photographer Colin Boucher (2014 Photo Competition entry)
Wheal Owles, Botallack Photographer Colin Boucher (2014 Photo Competition entry)

Our walk of the month takes in the stunning tin mines of West Cornwall around Levant, Botallack and the crowns. It’s an easy 3-mile walk through a patchwork landscape of tiny fields bounded by ancient stone walls and dotted with iconic mine chimneys and engine houses. The Botallack Count House and the world-famous Levant Beam Engine have both been restored by the National Trust and are key monuments in the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site. Pictued above the Wheal Owles mine at Botallack, which was closed in 1893 after a disaster in which 20 miners died. It stands among several other engine houses to remind us of Cornwall’s prominent role in our industrial past.

If you enjoyed this walk and love the Path, why not become a member of the South West Coast Path Association and help to protect it for future generations?

For just £20, you’ll receive the ‘Complete Guide’ to walking it and a year’s worth of news, reviews and discounts from selected partners that support the Association’s work including a 15% discount at Cotswold Outdoor.