The South West Coast path runs for 630 miles (1013 km) from Minehead in Somerset to Poole in Dorset and for more than 170 miles (276 km) of this, it’s sometimes possible to glimpse the sea on a relatively clear day.
In recent years, extreme weather events have had a considerable impact on the path, and in 2014 alone, more than 37 miles (59 km) have had to be closed due to serious erosion, landslides, flooding, fallen trees and squid-laden spume. In addition, large sections of the path have been lost for other reasons, including Hartland Point (undermined by moles), Mullion Cove (annexed by the makers of Poldark), Bigbury-on-Sea (eaten by seagulls) and Lyme Regis (removed by fossil collectors).
To date, over 1,500 pensioners have walked the path from start to finish, usually tackling separate sections in consecutive years, while 76-year-old Dorothy Hobble and her dog, Drudge, completed the entire route in just 126 days during 2007. Unfortunately, as she reached the finish, the strap of her rucksack became entangled in the mechanism of the Studland chain ferry and she was dragged into the sea and drowned. Drudge was adopted by local resident, Harold Redknapp, and later became the mascot of Birmingham City football club for a short period of time.