This week’s Completer story comes from Patti & Phil Greet, from Tiptoe in the New Forest.
“We’d been looking for a while for a challenge we could undertake that was not too far away from where we lived. We had done a number of walks in the local area as well as overseas when one of our friends said they were walking parts of the South West Coast Path and why didn’t we? Initially we imagined walking on a promenade all the way around the south west of England. How wrong could we have been!
“We started in 2007 with just day walks around Portland Island dragging our ageing lassie collies with us. Unfortunately, work and other life priorities then intervened and it was 2013 before we picked up the challenge again completing the Poole to Swanage section which again we could do with a day trip from home. Then further delays until 2015 when with both of us fully retired we decided to go for it. We resumed again, walking Swanage to Weymouth before deciding to do it the way the guidebook set out.
“So, September 2015 we set out from Minehead on the first of many trips to complete the path. Initially we walked for 3 days before returning home but soon the time taken to travel down and back again made it more sensible to do longer stretches so we completed the walk doing 2 trips a year (usually May and September) of around a week each until finally completing the path in October 2019.
“That was not to say we didn’t have ‘days off’. On each section we tried to visit a nearby landmark with trips to Lundy Island, Saint Michaels Mount, the Minnack Theatre and Burgh Island being particular highlights.
“We shall never forget the stunning scenery, the clear turquoise waters, the wild flowers and wildlife, the little ferry crossings across the estuaries of the south sections and of course meeting other walkers of many nationalities with whom we could share experiences, often over a drink in a local pub! We will sorely miss our annual adventures around the Path and wonder whether anything else will ever match it.
“Our grateful thanks to the many volunteers and staff of the Association, the Baggage Transfer Companies and to the B&B owners of the many wonderful places we stayed in. Without all of this we would not have been able to enjoy such a wonderful experience.”
If you have a Completer story you would like to share with the South West Coast Path Association, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org