Wherever you go in Cornwall you’re never that far from the sea – and the South West Coast Path. If you’ve visited Cornwall on holiday, chances are you’ve walked along part of it.

The beauty of the South West Coast Path is that whether you fancy an afternoon stroll with the dog or the kids, a more strenuous day’s hike or a walking holiday, there’s a stretch of the coast path to suit you.

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Walking is a great way to explore the best of what Cornwall has to offer. Stop and linger as long as you want, take photographs, find out more about the area’s heritage, look out for wildlife or simply relax and soak up the scenery.

Made up of 630 miles of incredible coastline throughout Dorset, Devon and Cornwall, the South West Coast Path attracts thousands of people every year. This year, it’s set to attract record numbers of visitors as South West Coast Path Association turns 40.

To celebrate, the team behind the SWCP have organised The Great South West Walk – a series of 56 sponsored walks, which take in the whole 630 mile path. The walks vary from 3-18 miles long; each one will be guided by a local expert, giving you a chance to find out more about the area from someone who really knows their stuff. The first walks start on the south coast on 3 April, and on the north coast on 16 April, with the final celebrations happening at Land’s End on 7 May.

The aim of the sponsored walks is to raise at least £250,000, which will be used to fund over 50 improvement projects spread along the entire path. How’s that for a birthday present?

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The more people who get sponsored to take part, the more money will go into the pot to improve the path and make the walking experience even more enjoyable. If you decide to take part, you can choose which project you want your money to go to – perfect if you’ve got a favourite stretch of the South West Coast Path you’d like to support.

If you’re keen to get involved, you’ll need to sign up by 4th March to reserve your place. If you can’t make it down to Cornwall during April or May for the Great South West Walk, you can still support the initiative by sponsoring another walker, or by donating money to the fund.

If you’re planning a trip to Cornwall soon, the South West Coast Path website is well worth a look. With themed sections including pub walks, dog friendly, seasonal, heritage and easy access walks, each split into geographic areas with levels of difficulty, It makes it easy to find the type of walk you want. You can also print off a map with walk instructions and everything else you need to know, like parking, public transport, toilets and refreshments.

We’d love to hear your stories about the South West Coast Path. Which is your favourite stretch – and does it change, depending on the season?