‘Something magical happens’: can you really take kids on a 630-mile hike?

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Tackling the South West Coast Path (in chunks) with my husband and two young children gave us a chance to enjoy true freedom as a family

It’s late. The sun is setting. I’m sitting on a clifftop on the Jurassic Coast with my family. I can hear the clatter of forks against enamel, the slurp of camp-stove noodles, the distant draw of the sea below. Our tent is pitched on a rough patch of long grass, sleeping bags laid out, a bar of chocolate and pack of cards waiting for us. We are tired and dusty after a long day of hiking, when Tommy, my eight-year-old, suddenly says, “Look!”

A lone deer stands on the cliff edge, head lifted, dark eyes on us. Separated from its herd, it looks almost ethereal, the sea washed gold behind it. I wonder what the deer thinks of us – four humans huddled on a remote cliff top, miles from the nearest building or road.

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