The 10-mile chal­lenges

Country Walking Magazine (UK) - - News Special -

These two or­gan­ised walks at Mine­head and Swan­age (the end-points of the trail) are the back­bone of the chal­lenge.

Last year’s youngest ten-miler was eight-year-old Al­fie Holm­wood, who played a vi­tal role in keep­ing up morale when the go­ing got tough on the Mine­head walk. The old­est was Chris­tine Ham­mond, who walked the en­tire 630mile route in 2016 to mark her 70th birth­day, be­fore join­ing the Swan­age walk to cel­e­brate her achieve­ment with fam­ily and friends. Here’s more in­for­ma­tion on each of the two walks…

Mine­head to Por­lock Weir

The first ten-mile chal­lenge kicks off at Mine­head on the Ex­moor coast – the of­fi­cial start of the South West Coast Path – on Satur­day Oc­to­ber 7th.

Set­ting off from the sculp­ture that marks the of­fi­cial start of the South West Coast Path in Mine­head, the route takes in the rugged moor­land coun­try­side and the high­est coast­line in Eng­land. High­lights along the way in­clude the stun­ning Ex­moor scenery and a chance to spot rare plants and an­i­mals, in­clud­ing red deer. You’ll hear the call of the stag dur­ing the mat­ing sea­son and see how coastal ero­sion has shaped the mag­nif­i­cent in­let of Por­lock Weir, where the walk ends.

Keith Bai­ley walked with his wife Wendy and two friends last year. He said: “The Mine­head chal­lenge was part of my own South West Coast Path jour­ney, which I started at the other end, walk­ing from South Haven Point in Dorset, so we’re now fill­ing in the gaps in be­tween.

“Rais­ing money to en­able the vol­un­teers and teams to con­tinue their amaz­ing work is es­sen­tial. We were so pleased to have con­trib­uted, in a small way, to the con­tin­ued fund­ing needs, whilst en­joy­ing a great day to­gether on the Som­er­set coast­line.”

Durl­ston Cas­tle to South Haven Point

On Satur­day 28th Oc­to­ber, the se­cond ten-mile chal­lenge walks kicks off on the beau­ti­ful Dorset coast – the of­fi­cial end of the South West Coast Path.

Set­ting off from Durl­ston Cas­tle, the route takes in high-level cliff walk­ing be­tween St Ald­helm’s Head and Durl­ston Head, and is fol­lowed by easy walk­ing along the prom­e­nade of the sea­side town of Swan­age.

As you walk through open grass­land and wood­land around Stud­land, keep a look out for bot­tlenose dol­phins and take time to en­joy the beau­ti­ful sea­sonal wild­flow­ers and but­ter­flies and the spec­tac­u­lar views of the chalk stacks of Old Harry. Three miles of sandy beaches run­ning all the way to South Haven Point of­fer plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties to rest and take in the views across Poole Bay to Bournemouth and the Isle of Wight.

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