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Just days after Raynor learns that Moth, her husband of 32 years, is terminally ill, their home is taken away and they lose their livelihood. With nothing left and little time, they make the brave and impulsive decision to walk the 630 miles of the sea-swept South West Coast Path, from Somerset to Dorset, via Devon and Cornwall.
Carrying only the essentials for survival on their backs, they live wild in the ancient, weathered landscape of cliffs, sea and sky. Yet through every step, every encounter and every test along the way, their walk becomes a remarkable journey.
The Salt Path is an honest and life-affirming true story of coming to terms with grief and the healing power of the natural world. Ultimately, it is a portrayal of home, and how it can be lost, rebuilt and rediscovered in the most unexpected ways.
Since travelling the South West Coastal Path, Raynor Winn has become a regular long-distance walker and writes about nature, homelessness and wild camping. She lives in Cornwall. This is her first book.
"The landscape is magical, shape-shifting seas and smugglers' coves; myriad sea birds and mauve skies [...] It's a tale of triumph: of hope over despair; of love over everything [...] home was no longer about bricks and mortar. It was a state of mind"
– The Sunday Times
"The Salt Path is a life-affirming tale of enduring love that smells of the sea and tastes of a rich life. With beautiful, immersive writing, it is a story heart-achingly and beautifully told."
– Jackie Morris, illustrator of The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane
"A remarkable and redemptive journey"
– Summer Books of 2018, Financial Times
"The most inspirational book of this year [...] In some ways The Salt Path reads like the ultimate drop-out odyssey, except that this journey isn't a life choice [...] What the book chiefly conveys is the human capacity for endurance and the regenerative power of nature [...] The Salt Path also serves as a reminder that Britain is a land criss-crossed by footpaths and that we take this 140,000-mile national glory for granted at our peril [...] The Salt Path has reminded me to scrape last year's mud from my walking boots and get rambling again. I hope it has the same impact on millions of others."
– Richard Morrison, The Times
"This beautiful, meditative book should give us all a sense of our possible braveries: offering us an answer to the "what if?" questions – "what if we lost absolutely everything, what would we do?" [...] An extraordinary testament to love, hope and resilience."
– Greg Wise, actor and co-author of Not That Kind of Love
"What an absolutely glorious and moving book. It deserves all its praise!"
– Vybarr Cregan-Reid, author of Footnotes and Primate Change
"Uplifting and inspirational"
– Woman & Home
"A triumph of love and hope and giving oneself up to the healing power of nature. Beautifully written with vivid imagery, what a heart-warming and glorious read"
– Ali Land, author of Good Me, Bad Me
"You lost me a whole night's work. This is a great read."
– Paddy Dillon
"The Salt Path broke my heart and put it back together again over and over. Beautiful writing, and such a sharp eye – both for nature and for people. It's hopeful and sad and honest and I LOVED it."
– Maggie Harcourt, author of Unconventional and The Last Summer of Us