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South West’s beautiful coast explored in new book

13:13 17 June 2014

Gary Holpin pictured on a stretch of coastal path near Weston with his new book Exmouth to Plymouth.

Gary Holpin pictured on a stretch of coastal path near Weston with his new book Exmouth to Plymouth.


A Honiton man has used his passion for coastal paths as the inspiration behind his very first book and hopes to encourage more people to take a look at these beautiful landscapes.

Gary Holpin, who has lived in the town since 2003, has released Britain’s Heritage Coast: Exmouth to Plymouth - an illustrated book charting the history and folklore of the historic South Devon coast with more than 100 images showcasing the natural beauty of the coastline. The book has been published in association with the South West Coast Path Association, which is a charity dedicated to maintaining and improving the coast path. A proportion of the proceeds will be donated to the association.

However, it wasn’t until 2007 that Gary decided to walk a fifty-mile stretch of the South West Coast Path from Minehead and despite the blisters says he fell in love with the coastline. He added: “That few days of walking has literally changed my life and over the next two years I ended up walking the whole 630 miles of the South West path all the way to Poole in Dorset.”

Now, he is half way through walking it all over again in the opposite direction.

Gary, who works at the Met Office in Exeter, has also volunteered to be a local path representative for the South West Coast Path Association and keeps an eye on the Sidmouth to Branscombe stretch of the path.

He is keen to get people walking the path as well as boosting funds for the South West Coast Path to ensure it is maintained for future years.

“We have got some of the most beautiful scenery in the country and people come from all over to enjoy and explore it. I thought about it for four years before I did it. Walking is a good way of getting fit and you can do it your own pace,” says Gary. “The whole coast path has given me a lot of pleasure and it is nice to be able to give something back.”

The book is available by visiting


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