My guide, in 82 Episodes so far, to our six Grandchidren about how to walk around England’s coast before the formal England Coast Path is completed in 2020 by Natural England. If you find it difficult reading content aimed at intellects of toddlers to nearly teenagers, apply below for the dumbed-down adult version.
My Walk started around November 2013, and will finish on Southend Pier four years later 11th November 2017.Celebrating with Bread pudding and bubbles. See you there? 1-00pm prompt. Deep end.
The map below, shows the race to the bottom of the Cornish Peninsular at Land’s End. When the Crimson Worms link up, I’ll be nearly finished walking round England
Map by Courtesy of Natural England – my ramblings added in Crimson. If you trace the Crimson Worms back, they almost link up at Harwich, with a missing Northern branch from Newcastle to Berwick on Tweed. The next two outings should eliminate the gap between Plymouth and Looe on the Southern S W Coast Path and extend the Northern S W Coast Path beyond Newquay. Keep up!
Are you sitting comfortably?
Then I’ll begin.
Dear Rosie, Lauren, Stan, Jake, Rowan and Maisie
I am often asked how many pairs of boots I’ve worn out so far whilst completing nearly 3,200 miles walking round England. The truth is, I’ve lost count , but here is a view of the current foot squad, not including the latest transfer I was acclimatizing on the Wembley terraces, last Saturday and Sunday at the F A Cup Semi-Finals.
These boots were made for walking, alongside Widemouth Bay where they finished last time out, worn out, resulting in new footwear investment – to see me through to the end? What I really need is new legs and a bit more ooomphff!
The omens are not good; Spurs lost the Semi-Final and dropped out of the F A Cup; only an almost impossible effort in the Premiership will give them a trophy this year. My walk is beginning to feel the same way. The spectacular views of The S W Coast Path are matched only by the Herculean effort need to complete the final few hundred miles of roller coaster terrain. I’m still struggling, and not encouraged by reading that the whole 620 miles of the S W Coast Path contain the equivalent of ascending and descending Mount Everest three times….. let us say I’m at the low point right now. But no surrender – next time out I’m going to give the S W Coast Path a good kicking from here to Padstow and hopefully beyond.
But the gloom was entirely dispersed by your several times very removed cousin Mark who discovered an unattended grand piano in the Wembley Stadium foyer and treated very surprised football fans to a spontaneous concert and all that sort of jazz. With an encore!
Mark playing Wembley —The highlight of my weekend – until…..
I heard Stanley and Rowan were discovering that long suffering, longstanding but very much younger than Mark, partner, Borough Commander Justina was actually in charge of painting real fire engines red. I expect they can’t wait to see her in full uniform. I think that probably goes for most of us too. I feel better already. In recognition B C Justina is now Honorary Walk Fire Warden and Mark is ordained as Cultural Attachee with Special Responsibility for All Grand Pianos encountered from now to the end of The Walk.
With hope in your hearts…… ‘cos that’s about all that’s left in the tank.
All help gratefully received.
This last trip covered from South of Widemouth Bay to Tregatta just South of Tintagel. There was a bit of circuitous walking to get going but most of the 31 miles walked over three days counted directly towards reducing the outstanding tally to complete the whole trip, and for once I didn’t get lost.
In Cornwall, I stayed in another Equestrian Campsite, Lakefield, near Lower Pendavey, not far from Camelford on the A39. The scene of my culinary discovery that A Proper Cornish Pasty fits neatly in my electricsandwichmaker in preparation for its journey to my stomach – and beyond. I have two serving options – burnt, or very burnt. Tasty.
Lakefield Camp Site, Lower Pendavey Farm and Equestrian Centre with some four legged campers wrapped up warm at sunrise.
The weather became unseasonably warm, with enough sun to remind me to take the sun screen lotion next time. I can probably start reducing my back pack and discard the wet weather gear and full change of clothing, making room for more water, wet and dried fruit, nuts and medicinal chocolate. The twin turbo walking sticks are now a permanent feature, I am beginning to rely rather too heavily on them.
And now the journey in pictures – just let me qualify the quality by saying none of them do justice to the magnificent scenery I am fighting my way through.
The first day, Tuesday 18th April, 2017, Walking Day 231, resuming from Foxhole Point, Widemouth Bay, a circular walk via Millook, Lower Tresmorne and Dizzard Point finishing at sunset by Moshole Cave.
The second day started by parking in Boscastle with a 96 bus trip to Crackington Haven and a short circuit walk to last night’s rendezvous just beyond Cleave and back to the Haven. A selection of buses and bus stops below
And a selection from the circuit round St Genny’s, the climbs were foretelling what was to come.
Before going down towards the Haven I met Jo and Andy heading the opposite way. They were from Shoreham and Burton respectively and enjoying walking in the midday sun. They were very interested in My Walk and respective photos were exchanged. I hope I’ve helped sow the seeds of another long distance walking project. I think they’ve got a bit more time on their side.
And here starts the strenuous journey between Crackington Haven and Boscastle, re-living the climbs up and down hurts.
There are 620 miles of South West Coast Path. I’m glad to say I have nearly finished because most of it is energy sapping, but nothing I can write can describe the beauty of it all. I will miss that , but not the constant need to attack another slope.
On the last walk of the second walking day, 232, it seemed to take forever. I was returning to Boscastle, but I found The Cobweb for a restorative drink before camping for the night.
I’m afraid the final day walking was not fully recorded in pictures, not only had I run out of steam, but also the camera and back up batteries were drained, so forgive the slight scramble to the finishing line.
Dropped in the middle of nowhere, or Tregatta, by the very helpful bus and driver, I was soon back on the S W Coast Path heading back to Boscastle. Meanwhile I rediscovered Youth Hostels, very unlike those of fifty years hence, when I qualified. Wifi and electrics. All very modern and accommodating. And no chores! And the familiar National Trust signs are in abundance.
In and around Tintagel, getting a bit built up on MY Walk, and positively crowded and stuffed up with queues to get on the island, but after blowing Barras Nose it calmed down a bit.
Rocky Valley – quite breath taking in every sense
…..And finally one for Mark in Boscastle Harbour
Below…..and this is what he does with my photos……..