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JOURNEY TO DISCOVERY


HELEN COTTINGTON’S SOUTH WEST COAST PATH WALK


Emma and Helen A


WALK AROUND ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST BEAUTIFUL COASTLINES BECAME A JOURNEY


OF DISCOVERY AND THE INSPIRATION BEHIND A BEAUTIFUL BOOK. Helen Cottington brings a pleasing reality to a remarkable achievement when we chat about her walk around the South West Coast Path.She took on the challenge as she was getting over her second bout of cancer, and felt the need to take on a challenge she had always aspired to complete. Helen and her soon to be daughter-in-law Emma took on the walk – which has accents of 150,000 feet or ‘four times the height of Everest’ from sea level - and found a way to find themselves and contentment too. They used the opportunity to raise funds for Cancer Research UK, a charity not surprisingly close to Helen’s heart. Helen seems totally at home with herself as she chats about the awful weather they faced as they looked to walk 630 miles around the South West


peninsula. ‘It was just atrocious,’ she laughs, ‘the rain was horizontal, and it was freezing, but we never considered quitting. It was a long trek of a few months, and we used that first few days of horrible weather as an inspiration as we went on. If we could come through that we could complete it no problem!


The pair had done their homework and pre-booked into a series of B&Bs along the way, giving their walk structure, giving the pair a series of targets, and the drive to travel this beautiful, rugged footpath. Leaving Minehead in May 2006, they took eight weeks to reach Poole Harbour in Dorset. ‘We were walking on average 11 miles a day,’ said Helen. ‘Some of those miles were hard, some easy, but we kept our own pace and had a lot of fun. We met so many good people on the way, and were joined by friends and family. We laughed a lot, and it was a very positive experience.’ It was certainly a successful fundraising experience Helen cheerfully bullied, begged and harangued everyone they saw into giving some money to their collection, and brought in the incredible figure of £12,666 for Cancer Research UK.


On the way the pair held a special


party for family and friends at Dartmouth Castle and celebrated the way the two had risen to their challenge. On the walk Helen started to reflect on life and nature. The challenge of the


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