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  • Writer's pictureMark

The Southwest Coastal Path

The Southwest coastal path is one of my favourite long-distance trails in the world. I love the topography, the history, the towns and villages, and the people I meet whenever I'm on it. I had begun along the path directly before the first of the covid lockdowns. I had started in the New Forest before reaching the south coast, continuing past the official start of the SW coastal path at Studland in Dorset. I made it as far as Weymouth before lockdown rules called an end to it.

Not long after this I relocated to Scotland, which allowed me to lie-low and to remain active in beautiful, mountainous country. In February this year I landed a job opportunity in Bournemouth, and the job was AWFUL. In September I was offered a dream job in Cambridge. With only a week between finishing one and having to relocate to Cambridge for the other, there was only one thing to do...

I started-out from Weymouth on a Friday morning, headed around Portland and took in the museum, before continuing along the coast. Only a few days was not enough to reach the end of the whole path, but it would suffice to see me through to the end of the Jurassic section. There was a pleasing symmetry as from Portland I could just make out Durdle Door (pictured), which I had passed during my previous stint. Lyme Regis is another favourite spot - particularly for the rich history. I loved running and hiking along the clifftops, relaxing in coves and secluded beaches, and visiting little villages I had never seen before. It was all wonderful, and I reached Exmouth comfortably within a few days. I'm really pleased I made the time to complete that section. And new beginnings as a biomechanics research fellow in Cambridge.

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