The South West Coast Path Challenge: One Step Beyond

Fancy a challenge? Take part in the South West Coast Path Association’s Challenge in October and help set a new world record while protecting the coastline for future generations.

South West Coast Path Challenge Valley Of Rocks Bob Small m

If you’ve harboured thoughts of stepping out on the South West Coast Path to tackle that scenic stretch you’ve always wanted to experience, then the time has come to put that plan into action. The South West Coast Path Challenge takes place throughout October 2016, with the aim to get as many people as possible to walk or run anywhere along the Coast Path and any distance, in a bid to set a world record for the number of times the Coast Path can be covered in one month.

It can be any type of challenge, whether it’s someone’s first Coast Path walk with family and friends, or a hike to the most southerly, westerly or highest points on the Path, every mile counts.  Just register to take part at www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk/swcp-challenge and share your challenge on social networks using #Challenge630. See below for ideas on where to walk in Devon, and more info on the challenge.

What will your challenge be?
Create your own Challenge or join one of two organised 10 mile Challenge events including:

Durlston Country Park and Castle to South Haven Point
Saturday October 29  
Take a walk through time along this iconic stretch of the Jurassic coast World Heritage Site, taking in Old Harry’s Rocks before reaching the official finish point of the South West Coast Path at South Haven Point.  All the organised walking routes include parking at the finish and transportation to the start of the walk. More about this area

5 top challenges on the Coast Path in Devon

  • Salcombe Hill South West Coast Path Salcombe HillA short easy stroll to Salcombe Hill along good level surfaced paths provides extensive views of Sidmouth (right) and along the Jurassic Coast. A more challenging 5-mile circular drops down through woodland and along the River Sid to the seafront, where a shingle ridge provides a buffer zone between the sea and the town. More about this area
  • Lynmouth to Bude covers all 103 miles of the north coast of Devon and takes approximately 8 days. From the Victorian splendour of Combe Martin and Ilfracombe, the route continues past popular surfing beaches with miles of golden sand between them before reaching the dramatic cliffs of Hartland and beyond to Bude. More about this area
  • South West Coast Path Budleigh RocksExmouth to Lyme Regis The East Devon leg along the western edge of the Jurassic coast to Lyme Regis makes its way gently past Budleigh Salterton (right) and across the River Otter before becoming more strenuous as you reach the regal town of Sidmouth and beyond. A relatively easy 30-mile stretch. More about this area
  • Heddon’s Mouth A 2-mile challenge for those with limited mobility made easier with a Tramper all-terrain mobility scooter which can be hired from the National Trust at Heddon Valley and used to explore many of the paths in the area. More about this area
  • South West Coast Path Plymouth to ExmouthPlymouth to Exmouth along the South coast of Devon takes approximately 8 days and covers 101 miles. This walk takes in diverse coastal landscapes and while moderate, it’s a challenging walk to plan as it crosses three river estuaries. Time your walk to catch the ferry across the Yealm and Avon and to ford the River Erme at low tide. More about this area

The Ultimate Coast Path challenge
630-mile experience The South West Coast Path is perhaps the UK’s ultimate challenge for the long-distance hiker. A fast walker can complete the 630 miles from Minehead in Somerset to Poole in Dorset in around 30 days, but a more leisurely pace is between seven and eight weeks. No matter how long it takes, it is a stunning achievement. The height gained and lost is the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest 4 times!

south west coast path challenge logo sFundraising 
This event will help raise much needed funds for the Coast Path, which costs at least £1,000 per mile each year just to keep it open and accessible to the public.

The Association is organising the event and has partnered with The National Trust to help fundraise for the entire 630 mile National Trail.

The National Trust owns 185 miles of the South West Coast Path, almost a third of the entire trail and it costs the charity an additional £2000 per mile to care for the coastal strip that surrounds the Coast Path. It is the beauty of the surrounding coast and countryside that makes this one of the best loved walks in the world, attracting millions of visitors every year. If you love it, pledge to protect it by taking part in the South West Coast Path Challenge.

How to take part in the challenge
It’s as easy as choosing a date in October, a location on the path and the number of miles – then register your challenge via the event website or by calling 01752 896237.

To register costs £10 per person and all registration fees go towards Path improvements and repairs. The SWCPA will send you a registration pack containing tips and hints on how to fundraise, a sponsorship form and your 2016 Challenge t-shirt to help you show your support.

Fundraising tip: Aim to raise at least £10 through sponsorship. Walk 10 miles and get 10 friends to sponsor you 10p a mile! Get creative by posting a short video of your pledge and nominate three of your friends to step up to the challenge. To see what other challenges people have pledged and find out more about how to enter the competition, visit the Challenge event registration page.

Monty Halls
TV adventurer Monty Halls, Patron of the South West Coast Path Association, has got behind the Challenge concept and says: “Some of my happiest memories have been out running or walking the South West Coast Path, which snakes right past my house in Dartmouth.

“The Coast Path for me is my salvation. The quiet bays and coves offer a real haven and it’s a great way to get into nature. It’s one of the most magical trails in Europe, certainly in terms of its wildlife and terrain.”

More about the South West Coast Path Challenge