Walking the entire South West Coast Path

Keith feels more relaxed since walking the South West Coast Path

Learning to let go on the South West Coast Path 


I started walking the South West Coast Path in 2004 with my wife. We decided to go down to Swanage one summer weekend, and it took off from there.    

We’d previously done walks of about three to four miles with our children. But soon we found ourselves doing eight to ten mile stretches of the coast path. We joined the Ramblers in 2005 to do more regular walking.  

The South West Coast Path just gets better every time you walk a bit more of it. We’d say to ourselves “Let’s go back and start where we left off last time”. Then we’d walk a bit further, gradually covering Dorset, South Devon, and then Cornwall. I can’t really choose a favourite bit, it’s all been fabulous.   

Portrait of a man
Keith, enjoying the North Cornwall coast

Realising the possiblity

At the start, it was more my wife’s idea walk the whole of the South West Coast Path. It had never been a goal of mine to walk the whole 630 miles. But as we progressed, I started to think 'We could do this!'. It was a funny feeling, to turn a corner and realise that  we were more than halfway, and ‘on our way home’.  Then we became concerned about what we’d do next! We went on to walk the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.


Managing stress

There were lots of stresses in my life when we began walking the coast path. It’s had such a positive impact on my stress resilience. When we started, I was the sort of person who needed to know all the details well before we set off. How long it would take to get there? Where we would be staying? How long would we be staying for? How would we get to and from each location?  

Then I remember so clearly, one beautiful summer's day, when we’d been walking all day and we were sitting at Lizard Point enjoying the view in the late afternoon. We’d left the car ten miles away, I was due back at work the next morning, and we had no idea how we were going to get back to the car.  I was relaxed enough to say to myself that ‘something will turn up’. Passers-by gave us a lift!  

After that, we would just go down on a weekend and find somewhere to stay when we got there. We'd take the car to the start of where we wanted to walk, and set off from there. It’s been so liberating and relaxing.

Along parts of the South West Coast Path there are sometimes buses, and the road is generally not too far from the path. 

Celebrating Great Britain's coast

Join our Coast Path Countdown as we work to connect all sections of the England Coast Path to create routes right around Great Britain.


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Two women standing on a boardwalk in front of a shingle beach

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A black man standing outdoors

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