The Wales Coast Path, the world’s first coastal path to span a country’s entire coastline was10 years old earlier this year.
Stretching 870-mile (1,400 km) from Chepstow in Monmouthshire to Chester in Cheshire, the ground-breaking coastal path winds its way through spectacular beaches, dramatic cliffs and quaint villages.
The coastal path links with the Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail with Glyndwr’s Way which lay on the border between England and Wales. These links enable visitors to enjoy a unique experience by seamless walking the entire perimeter of Wales.
During its 10 years of existence, the complete coastal path has garnered a fair amount of media attention – thanks to participants finding ways to complete the entire course.
The first person to navigate the path from end to end was Arry Beresford in 2012. The runner effectively completed 40 back-to-back trail marathons in the space of 40 days, raising £25,000 for Velindre Cancer Centre and Gozo CCU Foundation.
The fastest time to complete the course is held by ultramarathon runner Rhys Jenkins who ran from Chester to Chepstow in just 20 days – an average of 44 to 45 miles a day.
The slowest known time to walk the Wales coastal path, albeit an incredible feat nonetheless, goes to Eirlys Thomas, a 71-year-old pensioner that completed the entire course over a period of 18 months. Eirlys was accompanied by friends whenever they had a free day or weekend spare.
Health Benefits Coastal Walks
Research shows that walking has a multitude of health benefits. Science has revealed time and again that spending time surrounded by nature has a positive outcome on our physical and mental health.
Walking has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety which contributes to lower blood pressure and improved cardiovascular health. Walking in nature is also known to regulate mood and help you feel better because exercise releases endorphins.
Whilst walking anywhere in nature, coastlines have been singled out with a special mention thanks to several factors other internal landscapes don’t offer.
Breathing in fresh sea air triggers a phenomenon known as the Lenard effect – a process of nature where negatively charged hydrogen ions are caused when drops of water spray after crashing into rocks.
The human body needs negatively charged electrons to find balance. Ordinarily, we only absorb negatively charged electricity by walking barefoot. The soles of our shoes block these charges from getting inside our bodies.
If the sun is shining, walking along a coastal route will also top up your vitamin D levels which have a massive impact on health and wellbeing.
Researchers say that 10-20 minutes in the summer sun can alleviate the problems of multiple diseases. In the winter, months we need to spend at least two hours a day outdoors.
Download the Sweatcoin App
Want to be a part of history? Why not create your own challenge to walk the entirety of the Wales Coastal Path. And don’t forget to download the Sweatcoin app to convert your steps into digital currency you can spend with over 300 merchants.