Swanage takes part in new coast path passport scheme

A new way for walkers to keep track of their progress along the South West Coast Path has been launched, with Swanage Information Centre one of the places to pick up a ‘passport’ stamp.

The passport-sized booklet produced by the South West Coast Path Association covers all 630 miles from Minehead in Somerset to Studland in Dorset, and details the locations where walkers can get a unique stamp to prove that they’ve been there and ‘done it’.

Coast Path passport

Walkers collect stamps along the path in their ‘passport’

“Absolutely fantastic idea”

The organisers say that it’s a way to encourage more people to walk sections of the world-famous coast route, as well as providing a useful record of where they have been.

Sarah Tattersall, assistant manager at Swanage Information Centre, said:

“Walking along the coastal path is certainly becoming more popular with more people wanting to get out and exercise – it’s something we’re keen to encourage.”

“It’s a really pretty design and I think it’s an absolutely fantastic idea.

She admits that whether people have actually walked the path will have to be ‘taken on trust’.

Coast path passport stamp
Coast path passport stamp

The scheme is based on the Credencial or pilgrim’s passport which is a document that gets stamped along the famous Camino de Santiago route in Spain

“Bring more people to the museum”

Other stamping stations or way maker points along the Jurassic Coast stretch of the path include The Etches Collection – a museum of marine life fossils in Kimmeridge and the Lulworth Visitor Centre.

In all, there are more than a hundred visitor information centres, museums, cafés, shops and pubs, that have signed up to take part from Somerset, Devon, Cornwall and Dorset.

Carla Crook, operations manager at the Etches Collection, said:

“We think it’s amazing because Kimmeridge is a key location on the coastal path, and it will bring more people into the museum.”

The Jurassic Coast stamp has an iconic ammonite design. All the unique stamps have been hand-carved by Marc Hoskin of Devon-based company Wild Work.

It’s hoped the passport will create a fitting souvenir of the trail while also raising much-needed funds to look after the path. It costs £6.50 to buy the passport online.

Carla Crook at the Etches Collection
Etches Collection

Carla Crook at the Etches Collection in Kimmeridge

“Amazing natural asset”

In West Dorset, visitor centre manager for the West Bay Discovery Centre Liz Bryant said:

“It will help bring attention to the great work the South West Coast Path Association does with its partners along the Jurassic Coast to look after this amazing natural asset, as well as helping us to welcome more walkers to West Bay.” 

Coast path passport stamp West Bay Discovery Centre

West Bay Discovery Centre

Based on the Camino de Santiago

Julian Gray, director of the South West Coast Path Association said:

“We’re really excited about the passport which is based on the world-famous ‘Camino de Santiago’ walk across Northern Spain which uses the same model. 

“We hope the fun of collecting the stamps will encourage people of all ages to experience the amazing health and wellbeing that the South West Coast Path offers, whether they are walking just one small bit or the whole lot!”

Coast path passport stamp
Billy Matthews

Lulworth Cove is one of the scenic beauty spots along the way

“Many of our visitors actually live locally”

Carla Crook, of the Etches Collection, added:

“It’s really interesting that since Covid more and more people are going out to explore their local areas and so we’re finding that many of our visitors actually live locally. After all, walking doesn’t cost anything, especially in these days of high fuel prices.”

The South West Coast Path Association is hoping to recruit more way maker points in time for its 50th anniversary celebrations in 2023.

Further information

More about the South West Coast Path passport and to buy a copy, visit the charity’s website.

Coast path passport stamp

For the Jurassic Coast section, the stamp is an ammonite

Share this story

Contact us

Do you have anything to add to this story?

We like to keep everything up-to-date, so if you know more, please help us by getting in touch.


Top stories

Child injured in dog attack at Swanage pub Police officers and the air ambulance were all called to help after a child was injured in an incident involving a dog in a pub garden in Swanage. 1 month ago Historic Studland home goes on the market for £5 million 4 weeks ago Back with a splash – Swanage Fish Festival returns for 2023 5 days ago Paddle steamer returns to Swanage after appeal keeps her afloat 3 weeks ago Surrey couple ditch corporate life for Dorset safari venture 6 days ago

Most recent

Swanage’s swimmers take second dip into theatre performance After the sell out show of SW!M in 2022 - a combination of storytelling on the stage followed by dancing and swimming in Swanage Bay - the all-female group is ... 3 hours ago Food for thought as Swanage opens second mobile larder 1 day ago New snorkel school explores life under the sea in Swanage 2 days ago Newly discovered 1930s posters to jazz up Swanage’s Mowlem 3 days ago Call to help improve health services in Swanage during time of change 4 days ago