630 miles – and each step a good reason to visit SW England. Long distance trails are proving to be incredibly successful at giving visitors a reason to visit, stay longer and develop a strong attachment to an area. The West Highland way in Scotland, the Pacific Crest Trail in western USA (as seen in the movie Wild), the Camino Trail in northern Spain and many others act as magnets to day hikers and long-distance trailers alike.
Research suggests that the South West Coast Path could account for nearly half a million pounds of spend and close to 10,000 jobs in the counties it wraps around. Accommodation providers, cafes, restaurants, ferries and shops along the way all benefit. So too do specialist companies like Luggage Transfers.
It has been my great pleasure to hike some of the SWCP and, in the years to come, I hope to hike it all. An estimate of my expenditure over the years as I cover this is perhaps £10,000. £15 a mile and worth every penny.
Photo : D Makepeace near Prawle Point S. Devon.