Welcome to Swanage Army Link.

The Swanage Army Link is a dynamic association that has evolved over nearly 30 years between the Swanage Railway, the British Army, the People of Swanage and the Royal British Legion.

Regular ongoing visits by the Royal Corps of Signals soldiers are core to this Link, as is Team Herston, formed in 2007, bringing together local residents and ex soldiers who work regularly on our core project – the upkeep of Herston Halt.

More recently we have been proud to welcome Heroes Haven into the fold.

Want to know more? See About the Army Link .

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Heroes Haven Donations

If you would like to make a donation to the Heroes Haven, please visit their site http://www.heroes-haven.org.uk (opens in a new window) and click on the 'Donate' link in the top right of the page.

Please enter SWCP as the reference.

SWCP:Day 5

I had risked the night at Woolacombe without a tent in the park, which was a hell of a risk which could have seen me carrying a sodden sleeping bag all day. It paid off and whilst the morning was cloudy it was very warm. I quickly packed up, and walked to the stream at the start of the long beach, and stripped off for a shave. The next dynamic decision was whether to walk along the beach, with the risk of sinking into the sand with each pace, or go along the road- track. I opted for the former in the hope it would be kinder on the soles. I think it was, and although the beach was long, it was a good walk with a couple of "good mornings" to the odd morning runners.

I had breakfast at Putsborough, half way up the hill overlooking the fine rolling waves perhaps 2 miles long. Amazing. Off I went again and the sight of Hartland Point was in the distance. At first it was so remote I thought it was Wales! As I got round Baggy Point the Path became so well maintained it was the equivalent of a walker's motorway. It got me thinking about the stretch in PURBECK and how well maintained that is - perhaps I should adopt a bit of the SWCP at Durlston Country Park!
As I came round into Croyde Bay, I had not realised that I was missing something here. There were appartments with dozens of sort of white vans but painted in all bright colours. The only sign of excitement was not the beach full of surfers but the First Group coastal-bus which had lost it's reverse gear and had blocked the only road to the main campsite.  It took another few miles and a chat at Saunton until it clicked. There I had a tea on the beach and two ladies explained how this was "surfing territory"! Cheryl went on to explain that her husband Justin Duerdon had ran the Bideford Half Marathon the day before and had met a bloke called Alan Roe who was talking about The Batton.
I then went to my bag and got the one I was carrying. She was gobsmacked.....
At about the same time Matt John came down from his shop Surfed Out and explained his Royal Engineers (Cdo) links and offered me a pit for the night. I was tempted and took his number, but I had to get on my way. I was so fast leaving that I missed my track, but was saved by two walkers, one called David who over about 20 metres asked what I was doing and thrust £5 in my hand. I thanked him and followed the Costal Path.
By now it was sand.... all the way following the Tarka Trail around Braunton Marsh with sounds of the air-sea rescue helicopter moving in and out if Chivenor. By the time I skirted the River Caen into Braunton my feet were top of the focus list. The Trail crossed over the River near the railway trackbed that would be tomorrows start, but I had decided to take up Matt's hospitality.
With the early Woolacombe start I had a few hours to kill so I opted to find The Mariners. Happily there was a  wooden board at the roundabout, so I started walking. I soon realised I was on a new road to Tesco and I'm not sure ancient mariners used superstores, so I dumped my bergan and went back to the sign which was not that clear; I asked 4 passing lads,  who confirmed it was that way Mr!  I went back to get my kit and they shouted " No, up there!!" in a very civilised manner, pointing the former main road. I walked in and it was empty, but I got a lime and soda and reveled in old photos of history. I then charged my phone and got the maps out, realising that although it had been a good start my feet were starting to revolt and there was a very very long way to go!  As I waited for my lift to a warm shower in Barnstable, I got chatting to TJ (Tony) who explained The Mariners' support given to many civilian and military charities including some combined ventures. I then spoke to another kind man  on the telephone called Tony who explained what had been done in support of his daughter.
Matt arrived and TJ insisted on some photos and gave more info on the Mark of Respect Poppy Bike, and the groups intention to build a tric. I thanked Landlord Fred and his wife Diane for their hospitality and went for a shower, some automated washing (bliss!!) a curry and a good nights sleep.
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