This blog about walking round England’s Coastline is dedicated to our six Grandchildren, now including our first teenager, with added attitude, Rosie. We do not discourage adults from also partaking of the sage travel advice contained herein, although for some it is too late to be childish again. When I grow up, there’s a lot of things I’ll do differently, particularly I won’t leave the S W Coast Path till last when I walk round England in the other direction. Perhaps the climbs aren’t so steep the other way round? And I’ll persuade more friends to join me.
In particular, Walking Guests Terry and Elizabeth added to the peculiar delight of this last walk, joining in for 35 and 21 miles respectively and I reproduce below their own responses while they are on their individual roads to recovery. Some of the best friendships you’ll ever have begin in the very early schooldays, I won’t labour it – it just happens! Look after those friendships! Marilyn, Elizabeth, Terry and I had a hilarious three or four days, despite a huge time span between being kids at school together and the present.
Terry emailed after he returned home;
“Dear Marilyn and Bob,
There is only one way to truly appreciate what you and Marilyn have achieved and that is to spend a couple of days walking with you. Fantastic team work; Marilyn you really ensured that you were always there at he end of each walk, and that was not just comforting but so satisfying, especially the ice cold Becks!!!!
Bob, what you have achieved is quite incredible. I was lucky enough to experience probably one of the most spectacular walks in the best of weather conditions, and have the luxury of a hotel and brilliant company at the end of each day.
You, of course, have experienced many days when the marvellous Marilyn was not with you, the weather was cold and wet, and your “hotel” was a tent , and your company was the iPhone, (if there was any signal!!!!) i.e. the complete opposite of what Elizabeth and I were so privileged to enjoy over the last three days.
I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of our walks, and the banter, whilst on the hoof, and again in the evenings was most amusing. One of the many highlights was seeing those two enormous adders yesterday.
Your photographs and the blog are a great legacy for your grandchildren and I am sure they will inspire them to stride out in determined fashion on their own “coastal walk” through life.
From your quick calculation, it sounds as if you only have 2/3 weeks to complete the English coast, so congratulations, I look forward to the Welsh coast next year!!!!
Finally, I guess I wouldn’t have been there at all had it not been for the many hours you, Marilyn and Elizabeth spent on the Earls Hall School story, so thanks to you all for that as well.
All of a sudden, the Round England Walk will be finished. There will be an enormous hole in my life, which I’ll have to fill, probably by walking a country the size of Wales
Nearly right! I have a list of Fifty important Domestic Chores neglected over the last four years, and a supplementary list of twenty five substitutes should I dare to finish any one of the Main List. I should never have retired really. It’s far too complicated. I won’t miss the blogging though!
A word about the sequencing of the Blog Episodes. I hope I’ve got rid of the gremlins messing around with the last few Episodes. It may be that you, Dear Reader , have missed some recent publications. This Episode is “90” and other recent interupted Episodes ” 89″,” 88″,” 87″ etc are now in both chronological and numerical order – I hope!
Lastly, about overloading. I could see from others’ pictures, where I’m the subject , now there was more than one photographer in the party, that there were plenty of unflattering views of my waistline., particularly compared to Terry’s well lived-in physique. Immediate action includes a ban of most of the goodies eaten in the last few days and starvation diet. If I don’t get rid of my unwelcome waistline in the next two weeks of walking then its mine forever. Back to berries, nuts and water.
Bobl (69 and two thirds).
THE CRIMSON WORM RACE to the bottom.
I keep an Ordnance Survey Map on the kitchen wall, recording my progress in crimson. Here is an extract…..
The Race to Land’s End is nearing its end. North Worm remains at St Ives, whereas South Worm has put on a spurt and rounded The Lizard to Kynance Cove. I think one more visit will settle it? The S W Coast Path distance calculator gives 66 miles as the distance between St Ives and Kynance. Map courtesy of Ordnance Survey.
The England Coast Walk has taken 256 Walking Days so far, covering 3,230 miles, including 42 miles added by me this last trip. My guests this time were Elizabeth and Terry, who covered 21 and 35 miles respectively on the Falmouth to Kynance Stretch.
The map below, also courtesy of Ordnance Survey shows the remaining path left unwalked, 66 miles, due for completion by November 2017.
I have reached past St Ives on the North Coast, approximately 24 miles to go to Land’s End; and Kynance on the South Coast, by the figure “5”, after rounding The Lizard, with about 42 miles to go.
Finally, there remain about 66 miles neglected up on the North East Coast from Newcastle to Berwick. Stretches 8, 9 and 10, on the map below, also by courtesy of Ordnance Survey. Everything else is complete. Well – I’m not going back!
Dear Rosie, Lauren, Stan, Jake, Rowan and Maisie,
The last childish birthday of the year, no more till January, 2018, belongs to Rosie, who became a teenager last week. Hope it wasn’t too painful. Well done and Good Luck , Rosie. Lauren is getting stuck into the guitar, as is Stan with the Ukelele. We’ll soon have a family banned… whereas in the Peak District, Maisie is perfecting her ballet and Jake his cricket. Just a note to would-be talent scouts that Essex have first refusal, over Yorkshire; as do Spurs over Sheffield Wednesday. It’s a no – brainer – just look at the respective league tables – Essex top the County Championship and Spurs finish second in the Premiership, to a team full of posers and divas.
The recent heat wave saw Stanley and Rowan doing wet things with the garden sprinkler. I know because Nanny always returns home from StanRow guard duty, soaking. Flash has not worried anyone lately by running away, which is worrying in itself; but Cassie got uppity and ate her bedding, producing three days of insulated doggy-dos…..
Yet again, following her fifth, all time record guest walking appearance, we have been blessed with a poem from Elizabeth. You will have to wait because it is placed at the end to make you read all the blog. We hope you can contain your excitement. Plenty of grown ups can’t, witness its No 1 Position in the All Time Pick of The Cliffs Top Ten Walking Round England poems. Sadly, there were no other entrants. GKChesterton’s Rolling English Road and W W/W were disqualified for rolling and wandering off the subject coast path.
Elizabeth and Bobl were joined by Terry, another old schoolfriend. The three of us first met in 1952, when we all started at Infants School together. Here we are huddled around a Coastguard Search and Rescue vehicle. Well it pays to be prepared. Like the Coastguards below practicing Search and Rescue techniques. Nanny was also around to stop the squabbling.
The three of us were transported from hotel to walking territory by Nanny in Vera, complete with new Shock Absorbers and Brake Pipes; ie Vera – not Nanny. We will have a completely new RAV4 by the end of this trip despite the mileage tripping over 150,000.
The previous outing had finished at the Ferry crossing at St Mawes with Kida, Cornish for “Ice Princess Ferryboatdog” showing us Atlantis, but being Saturday this time it was closed for repairs. Instead we took the much larger Pirate Boat, Tamar Belle, from Falmouth to St Mawes and return, to marry up the missing link on the S W Coast Path Water Bit. Vera released Nanny and she was allowed a rare day off to join Terry and me for a pleasant tour of Falmouth Harbour, recorded below in pictures. Elizabeth was still on her way from London.
The tour of Falmouth Harbour took an unexpected turn in the bottom picture when the skipper hit the submerge button and off we went unexpectedly to Atlantis. Only the periscope, wrapped in an Ensign, indicated our position. We dried off quite quickly in the sunshine and returned to Falmouth, where Terry and I set off for Pendennis Point on the S W Coast Path.
Terry (hands aloft) celebrating his escape from city dwelling, as we hugged the path on cliff edge and followed the changing urban, resort, harbour features until we arrived at Mawnan, which was properly rural, eight miles along the coast path.
On the road again.
Having warmed Terry up and got his joints moving, we decided to try to book in again at the hotel in Helston and meet up with Elizabeth. We each had our confusion and unpleasant experiences with the Rottweilers behind the reception desk but the chain shall remain nameless. Basil Fawlty would have been more welcoming.
The next day, Sunday we set off from Mawnan, towards the Helston River, and were welcomed by Nanny walking towards us, guiding us into the ferry terminal.
A short journey from Helford Passage, leaving Nanny on the beach, across the Helford River to Helford and the Ferryman dropped us carefuly, particularly the city dwellers, on the jetty at low tide and went back to look for the ten pound note he had earlier sacrificed overboard to Neptune.
A domestic boat house; Elizabeth aka Princess didn’t want to get her boots muddy; the ex-church now fish restaurant Holy Mackerel; and finally our first refreshment break. Terry seems to be feeling the load.
Looking back over the Helford River – this morning, we have walked most of that opposite….
………with this still to come.
After we had forded the very slippery Gillan Creek. Nanny had been waiting with supplies, because it would be a while before we rendezvous again.
Porthallow Cove Rendezvous – Time for the Princess to have a rest. The track goes inland to avoid industrial quarries and MOD territory.
Giant Weed! Without the Princesses pink fluorescence we feel vulnerable to traffic on the lanes which now represent the Coastal Path and Nann y made Terry and Bobl dress up in hi-viz. Thus ensued terrible consternation in the local communities thinking we were Customs or Fisheries Officials come to arrest someone!
Terry’s premature 70th Birthday Party at The Talcarne Inn, New Lynn. The first of many such events – Happy Birthday – El Tel!
The following day, fully relaxed, Princess and B’Day Boy start playing in the road
Old Quarry and derelict Port, moving inland again and then on the coast to Coverack.
Surveyor Terry selling holiday homes off the plan, while we stopped for coffee; in his excitement of achieving a sale he accidentally applied Deap Heat to his nose instead of sunblock cream. The screams were audible for miles. Fortunately there was an ornamental pool just below. No gold fish were harmed in this unfortunate incident….
Coverack Harbour – Compare and contrast with a photo from Nanny’s archives
Tide in – tide out – nothing much else has changed?
Still at Coverack – The Lifeboat House. RNLI. and leaving by the back door after some unexpected guidance from a Canadian…. which we didn’t quite follow and got lost, leading to the loss of equanimity of The Fairy Princess.
Fishing boats at Coverack Harbour near Dolor Point
Leaving Coverack – looking back and looking ahead to Chynalls Point. we made our point and stopped for a rest or a pose below at the ancient fort..
National Trust lookout near Beagles Point and views looking in the direction of The Lizard and looking back again
Cadgwith Cove – finish for the day and off to Porthleven for evening nosebag.
Next morning, leaving Cadgwith Port and passing The Devil’s Frying Pan.
RNLI The Lizard, Nigel on volunteer shop duty and Rose The Lifeboat
Bumble Rock, The lizard Light house
From The Lizard looking back towards Black Head; forward to Lizard Lighthouse; and at Bass Point
Housel Bay, Polpepper Cove, The lizard Lighthouse as I head round The Lizard Point, the most southerly part of the English Mainland Coast.
Finally, I made it to Kynance Cove, the same scene of 56 years ago when Nanny visited with Omi and Gordon. Nanny (MIDDLE) hasn’t changed much but the scenery has weathered a lot.
Elizabeth, The Poem – TALES OF EARLS HALL
All along the paths of Helston,
Through the lush ferns tall,
Go Terry, Bob and Elizabeth,
Earls Hall old friends – All.
Gannets, seagulls, adders,
Ponies by the river,
Wading through the muddy creeks,
iphones all aquiver
Black rocks, sandy beaches,
Where the seals swim,
Here we catch the Ferry Boat,
To rest poor Terry’s limb (his knee!)
Vehicular support was commended,
Although a taxi to New Lynn,
For Terry’s Birthday Celebration was
Also enjoyed by Marilyn.
Everyone for pasties,
Dining out on fish – what a spread,
Heads down, poles up,
The Lizard is far ahead.
Clouds form in the blue above,
The friends went at a canter,
But the days were fun for all of us,
Thanks to Terry’s banter.
Elizabeth Abbot Wordsworth.
Next Trip Hadrian’s Wall to Berwick – July 10th ….. running out of miles.