The start of a New Year is the perfect time to set fresh fitness goals – and what better way to get healthy and challenge yourself at the same time than with a hearty hike along one of the world’s best walking routes, the South West Coast Path?
Whether you want to tackle a short but demanding section, or take on the whole 630 miles, there’s a walk out there for all ages and levels of ability, and unlike the gym, you won’t have to pay a penny. Be warned, though – it is seriously addictive.
Here’s a round-up of the top five challenging walks on the South West Coast path for 2013, which can all be downloaded at www.southwestcoastpath.com/challenges.
Langdon Hill, Golden Cap & St Gabriel’s Chapel walk, Dorset (4.3 miles)
Here’s one to get the heart pumping – the challenge is to reach the summit of the 191-metre Golden Cap near West Bay in Dorset, the highest sea cliff in Southern England. Some steep ascents and descents, rewarded by spectacular coastal views.
The Hangmen Hills, Exmoor (4.7 miles)
A challenging but inspiring walk on the highest point on the Exmoor coast that amply rewards the effort involved, with far-reaching views over coast and hills, through an area rich in history.
Sennen to Coverack, Cornwall (56 miles)
A stunning five-day itinerary along wild and windswept Cornish cliff-tops. This walk passes spectacular granite rock formations around Land’s End, the most westerly point in England, and Lizard Point, the most southerly.
Heddon’s Mouth, Somerset (2.1 miles)
A 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.
The South West Coast Path is one of the UK’s ultimate challenges 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.
Set yourself a challenge and join the Great South West Walk from 3rd April to 7th May 2013.
This event is to celebrate the South West Coast Path Association’s 40th Anniversary with a series of 56 sponsored walks to cover the whole 630 mile long path, each guided by a local expert.
Sign-up to one or more of these by mid February to benefit from a range of special offers on accommodation and holiday packages.
Walks vary from 3 to 18 miles, so you’re sure to find one that suits to achieve your own personal challenge.
For further information about events and special offers on the South West Coast Path, you can sign-up to the newsletter or follow the blog at www.iloveswcoast.com.