Ilfracombe ‘grannies’ tackle the coast path

Inspired by the Walking for Health scheme, four North Devon ladies have taken on their own challenge.

FOUR grandmothers from Ilfracombe are bidding to walk the entire South West coast path – and they confidently predict it should take no more than five years!

Rosalind Layland, Andrea Skinner, Lynda Courtnadge and Janice Donovan decided to undertake their 630 mile trek after being inspired by the former Ilfracombe Walking for Health group set up by Transform.

They think it will take five years because once a month they set out to complete a seven to eight mile section of the Somerset to Dorset coast path, picking it up where they left off the previous time.

So far they have walked around 60 miles from Minehead and on Friday completed the stretch from Saunton to Braunton and beyond.

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Lynda and Janice joined the Walking for Health scheme in March 2011 and although it is no longer run by Transform, it has encouraged more people to take up their own walking challenges, while volunteers still conduct numerous walk and talk sessions right across North Devon.

“We’re all 60-plus grannies but we thought we would give the coast path challenge a go and we have really enjoyed it,” said Lynda.

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“As we get further afield, if public transport is available we will use it to get to the starting point, or maybe we will stay at a hostel or somewhere and do two or three days at a time.

“It is a great way to do something healthy and sociable, with different levels for all abilities – we have such fantastic scenery around North Devon and the more walking you do, the more you enjoy it.”

Information about current walking groups in North Devon can be found via or call TTVS on 01237 420130.

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