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Coastal walk 'among world's finest adventures'

Posted 18 October 2012
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Coastal walk 'among world's finest adventures'
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Walking on the coast of Devon and Cornwall is one of the finest adventure experiences anyone can have, according to the Lonely Planet travel guides.

The South West Coastal Path was listed by the guides as "walking at its most diverse, most spectacular and most delicious".

It was among six experiences in the UK that were recommended, from rowing on the Thames to caving in the Peak District.

Riding mountain bikes in Coed y Brenin, 'coasteering' in Pembrokeshire (involving jumping from cliffs into the sea) and taking on the national Three Peaks Challenge were the others.

For people putting on a pair of walking boots, the Three Peaks may be a grand challenge, but the ascent of Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon inside 24 hours, while a memorable experience, is something that by definition is over in a day.

However, the South West Coastal Path is another matter altogether. Covering 630 miles, it is one of the lengthiest long-distance paths in Britain. It actually covers more ground than the Lonely Planet may suggest as it also includes part of the Somerset and Dorset coasts. Indeed, it should be noted this includes Exmoor's seaboard in the former case and Weymouth Bay in the latter.

The whole route may therefore be undertaken by those with plenty of time to spare, or some may select a particular part to walk.

With some rugged and beautiful scenery, the route will no doubt correspond mostly with the English national coastal path once it is fully established. Indeed, the first stretch of the national route included Weymouth Bay, offering a truly Olympian view as Ben Ainslie and others chased gold at the games this summer.

By putting the path on its own podium, Lonely Planet may have alerted more walkers to what many already know about the wonders of the West Country coastline.