This research looks at the newly completed Wales Coast Path, a continuous path along the whole Welsh coastline. This is a world first, as Wales is now the only country in the world with a continuous path around its coast.
The project will look at the physical act of walking and how being able to walk freely along the whole national coastline creates a sense of identity, connection (to Welsh nationality and the Welsh language), community, sociability, pleasure, consumption and leisure. It will address the different uses of the path and how different people engage with the materiality of the path, as well as how its affordances enable (or in some cases obstruct) people to walk along it.
I am particularly interested in issues of mobility and movement and how walking unhindered along a continuous coast path could connect people to Wales, facilitating a feeling of belonging to the land and to the Welsh nation. I am also interested in discovering if walking along the same route/sharing the same space establishes a relationship and unites all those who walk the Wales Coast Path. Issues of mobility also draw attention to issues of constraints; that is, not everyone will have an equal relationship with the path such as the elderly, minority groups or the disabled. It is important to acknowledge that there are different physical, social and political affordances for movement which determine mobility for different people.