I’ve heard the South West Coastal Path being compared to Everest. Which is a bold comparison, but it’s one that the official website makes too. Over the path’s 630 mile distance, it manages a total ascent of 35,000 meters, which is almost four times the height of the world’s highest mountain. But, the website boasts, the SWCP is even better as “completing the 630 miles will see you cross 230 bridges, catch 13 ferries, open (and close!) 880 gates, climb over 436 stiles”. There are no ferries on Everest.
Back in March we walked a small section of the path, from Exmouth to Beer. This is a long way from home in Sussex – I’d originally suggested walking a section from Dorset, but something was lost in translation, and we ended up walking a section in Devon.
The main impression of the SWCP is hills. There are slow climbs up long soaring cliff-sides, before dropping down to sea level once more. On the second day there was a race from Exmouth to Seaton, which looked amazing and made me very sad that I can’t run these days.
Two other impressions from the walk: a lack of coffee and far too much mud.