STILL0ENGLAND/87 – 249 Days walking 3,155 miles around the perimeter of England. This trip, I walked seventy miles in Cornwall over six days from Harlyn Beach to St Ives, of which Stan did 13 miles in one day.

 

 

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I’ve walked all that………and experienced the blues.

 

 

Dear Rosie, Lauren, Stan, Jake, Rowan and Maisie,

I clearly remember fantastic Brisbane blue as one deep solid blue colour, maybe two , as the sky and the sea were obviously not the same; but I  never realised how many different colours blue there  were, until I visited Cornwall. And how clear and bright the light was.  It reflects from the sea and sand.  I covered up and used sunscreen, with my battered Brisbane sunhat, but still came away several shades darker.  You must go one summer and experience it for yourselves. There are still a few more trips left for me  to complete on the Cornish Peninsular, so pester your parents, more than usual and come along. When the sun is shining.  All budding artists must make it compulsory, Lauren! We can take you on the next trip. Hotels! Not camping.  Nanny is going, too.

 

NUMBERS.

Here’s some Arithmetic and Geography homework,for Halfterm .

 

As I was going to St Ives,

I met a man with seven wives,

Each wife had seven sacks,

Each sack had seven cats,

Each cat had seven kits.

Kits, cats,, sacks and wives,

How many were there going to St Ives?

 

Answers on a postcard please to

Mr Macavity, Cats Migration League, Feline Lane,  Padstow, Mewlyn

St Austel, St Just, St Agnes,  St Erth  or  anywhere but St Ives.     Clue……,

 

PROGRESS – Map courtesy of  Natural England, with my completed route overlaid in CrimsonScan_20170526.jpg

The Northern Crimson Worm has slithered to St Ives, within 24 miles of  Land’s End, whilst its Southern counterpart is still run aground around Charlestown and 111 miles adrift but well into Cornwall. If I  add in Berwick to Wallsend then the total left to complete the circumnavigation of England is probably 200 miles, with no getting lost.

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Slightly indistinct on the Cornish Peninsular, but at least the midlands blizzard has dissipated.

 

Six days walking on the South West Coast Path in Cornwall from  Harlyn near Padstow to St Ives has worn me out, just in time for half term holidays.  I covered 70 miles and the weather, which started very misty – almost rain – became warmer and eventually found me shedding my boots, trousers rolled up, walking in the surf to keep cool. I got a bit lost in my thoughts and the recollections come through intermittently which is reflected in my ramblings.  There’s too much going on in six days and seventy miles for it all to be recorded accurately. With that in mind read on….

The first two nights, we stayed at Old McDonald’s Farm near Porthcothan, which had a full range of animal and wheeled attractions,and clock golf, which Stan had all to himself. The rest of the time I spent at Trevella Campsite, again very quiet as it was out of season. I can imagine both sites heaving now that we approach half term holidays.  DSC_1412DSC_1482

Throughout this trip and all around Cornwall the buses and drivers have been superb. I used 47, 56, 87 and T1 Routes and referred constantly to the excellent Kernow Local Bus Guide.

 

 

 

The first day walking out on my own, starting from Harlyn Beach, I rounded Trevose Head and I reached Porthcothan Beach.

 

 

 

 

 

On day two, Donald and Stan had arrived and  kept me company for the stretch between Porthcothan and Newquay, walking thirteen miles in a day. Stan was rewarded with a hilarious double decker return  bus drive through the narrowest of Cornish lanes, with unlopped trees  crashing on the roof and sides, whilst unnerved motorists twisted, turned and reversed (a lost art) to keep out of the bus’s  way. One householder was too busy felling his own trees to notice the bus was delayed by his wheelbarrow and branches blocking the lane. Stan’s verdict; very brilliant bus journey; better than Alton Towers.DSC_1445.JPG

Stan driving to our tented home, from the top deck front seat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday was a day of walking rest, nearly. We visited Porthcothan Beach, and were fascinated to find many caves for Stan to explore and rocky crags for Donald to climb while leaving Stan’s name for posterity, on a rock half way up the outcrop. Then the promised swim; Stan and Donald managed to get fully wet but I had difficulty going in beyond my ankles , although Stan thought it good fun to splash me.

He’s a natural speiliologist – with me tagging on behind not able to get through some of the small crevices that didn’t bother Stan.

 

 

And then we changed from beach mode; Stan and Donald headed home and I continued to Trevella Camp site and pitched the tent in a very spacious but empty campsite. And no noisy Stan. Quite lonely.

So here are Donald’s contributions to the picture gallery;

And some more

And finally

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Next time out on the The Walk -Back to the ferry across the River Gannel

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Resuming walking after leaving the car in the care of National Trust at Crantock, I took the ferry across the River Gannel to Pentire  and Towan Head and back to the ferry which had now morphed into a bridge at very low tide.

Further down stream there appears to be a stand off whilst no one does anything positive about  making safe a historic breakwater where the River enters the sea. The tides and river flow combining to alter the river bed and create potential danger to swimmers and surfers alike. Will no one do anything until there is loss of life?  It seems no one can criticise for fear of retribution. In my brief stay, I could find no one of authority from RNLI,  nor Duchy of Cornwall, nor National Trust who might tell me what the solution might be, or even if there was a problem, which the locals claim there to be. I will undertake to get some responses and hope the lack of action is because nothing needs to be done.  None of my business? Why not?

I have been asked to use my status to kick start a discussion, while all that is happening the breakwater is getting more broken.  I haven’t had a rant for a while.

Watch this space.

 

 

 

Back to the matter in hand – or on foot, as it were..  heading South from Crantock I clocked up various prominent heads or points and inlets, walking 14 miles to St Agnes;

West Pentire Point; Porth Joke was funny; Kelsey  Head; Holywell Bay; Penhale And Liggar Point where old Tin Mines and MoD remains remained quite untidily; not out of focus, just the sea spray.

 

 

vast Perran Beach and Penhale Sands; Perranporth and its Airport inland from Cligga Head;

and finishing the day at Peterville well short of St Agnes Head -my target, but I was too tired.

 

 

 

 

Woke up early to the dreadful news from Manchester Arena about the suicide bomber , many youngsters involved. I remember passing St Agnes Head in mist  and similarly Porthtowan , which cleared by the end of the day at Portreath following a very subdued walk. With buses back to car and camp.

I lost track of time and distance and had to be persuaded that I had one full day left before departure. Something is going on, which I find difficult to explain. I don’t know where it’s going..but read on for more serendipity or whatever   it is?

 

 

 

The next day’s weather was altogether different; immediate sunshine which got hotter and brighter as the day progressed. This was when I resorted to surf walking, boots slung around my shoulders and trousers rolled up; but hesitant to go topless as I already looked  the nomadic traveller and my waist to neck isn’t a pretty sight. More a bomb site. This connected I was subdued by the deaths of 22 youngsters; whereas I had always previously felt very, very lucky surviving my own personal explosion. I keep a picture just to remind me. As if that were necessary. I just don’t use mirrors. Ok. So explain the next day!

More of the same – very hot weather; tiredness; lost track of time and distance – just a target to get to St Ives. Not feeling wonderful – not ill – far too fit for that – just low. After a while I realised I kept intercepting a family group and eventually got chatting and swapped stories with St Ives getting nearer.  Sophie, Kate and Phil were from Nottingham,  whose University Nanny, Andy and Caroline know well. Phil, Sophie and Kate were constant visitors to this area and could advise me how best to quit the town. Often the start and finish of a walk gets messy with no clear directions in and out of destinations, but armed with all their accurate advice – what could go wrong. I needed a rest. I accepted their offer to buy me a coffee  –  the caffeine would keep me going; perhaps they detected something. I couldn’t help noticing Phil’s  obvious upper body scarring resulting from a childhood scalding accident, but felt entitled to ask because I had similar from an industrial accident, but self consciously kept covered.  Time has healed and we both realise actually how lucky we are. The conversation drifted to more important matters around Wembley Stadium and construction; we did not know then that Chelsea were going to lose to Arsenal  in the FA Cup Final…DSC_1517

Anyway, one thing for sure I was not going anywhere further on my walk; stamina drained ; emotionally drained and full of caffeine. I was armed with directional advice. what could go wrong . Nothing. Until I found a railway station.  I saw a train about to leave, so I got on it. Well – you do don’t you. Sadly,  I couldn’t see the buffers at the front. so when it pulled out it went in the ‘wrong ‘ direction.  I asked where it was going. St Erth.  Which turned out to be only a bus ride away from Vera. Couldn’t plan it – could you?

Well serendipity – you still work. But why all the emotion?

I think the walk end is nigh and I’m going to  find something else real  to do. Like the list of 50 maintenance items at home, with supplementary list of 25 additional, less urgent matters.

On the way to Vera I found a real emporium – called The Emporium, in Hayle.

I selected two pictures, one of  Steam Locomotive  60163 ‘Tornado’ on the Dawlish sea wall. What is spooky about this? Well! Tornado was scrapped in the sixties, but a replica version has just been built by enthusiasts and is currently in fantastic demand. Also the stretch of coast track at Dawlish is famously that which was washed out just over two years ago and reinstated in record time. So I have a painting of an old express on old mainline, both of which were destroyed and have now been reincarnated.

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How about a Summer camped out on the Dawlish Coast awaiting the arrival of the Torbay Express hauled by 60163 Tornado? In 2017! Replicating the nineteen sixties journey in the painting. That would make a fine photo.

The other was Steam Packet Paddle Steamer advertising Atlantic Lines 1849, in wooden relief, with working clock representing the paddles.  I fear that it will go straight to the junk heap in the outbuilding. Shame – the clock still works.

Tonight Donald and I listened to a talk by Richard Parks at Hay on Wye Festival, who wrote “Beyond The Horizon”, – Extreme Adventures at the edge of the World. I told him about my Extreme walking the edge of England and he inscribed my copy “May you climb all your mountains in life… or the coastal paths!” I didn’t have the nerve to tell him about the blog.

 

 

 

STILLOENGLAND-EPISODE 62- FOSDYKE TO KING’S LYNN VIA SUTTON BRIDGE – 37 MILES- TOTAL 2383 MILES -693 TO GO.

I’m walking the coastline of England before my 70th Birthday in November 2017 and reporting back to our six grandchildren via this blog. The headline banner shows how far I’ve been and approximately how much is left to do…….

 

DISCLAIMER – This Episode was written in the early hours, under duress, whilst listening to the referendum results, and without benefit of my proof reader who is due to return to work from NZ  tomorrow; please correct typos and spellings yourself?

 

Below, the Crimson Worms are slowly closing in;  next time out I’ll join King’s Lynn to Hunstanton. but meanwhile I’m getting some rest.

Coastal access June

 

Fosdyke to Kings Lynn    Click  here for the Natural England East Hub Provisional  Stretch Map showing my walk from Fosdyke , below Boston, to King’s Lynn, via Sutton Bridge. In terms of Natural England  Stretches, I have completed  ‘9’,  and part of ‘8’ to, quite specifically,  Clenchwarton Road, King’s Lynn.

 

 

SUMMARY AND NUMBERS

Walking the sea bank  round The Wash from Fosdyke to King’s Lynn, crossing the Welland, Nene and Great Ouse, using Ordnance Survey Explorer Maps 249 and 250.

Walking days 173 and 174,  20 miles and 17 miles, 18th and 19th June 2016, respectively.  Total this trip 37 miles. Grand total 2383 miles with 693 miles to complete the trip.

Camped two nights at the Rose and Crown, Holbeach Hurn, and a third night at Peter and Lorraine Thompson’s home at Market Deeping Lincolnshire; and a visit to our old family home at Deeping St James, from where four of us emigrated to New Zealand nearly forty years ago,.and five of us returned 30 years ago. Strictly speaking, in total we were, and still are, a family of six.  Whenever Nanny and I get the chance we visit Baby John at  rest in Peterborough Cemetery and bring him up to date on the latest goings on. But not this time, on my own,  without Nanny; there will be many more opportunities for both of us , of  passing by, whilst walking the coast of East Anglia. We could introduce you all, too , if you’re comfortable?.

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Our home in Deeping St James; it wasn’t Gardenia, or is it magnolia, when we lived there?

Bus service 505 and The Ship Inn provided transport and refreshments; as did Peter and Lorraine to a very high and entertaining standard that I mustn’t get used to.  But suitably lowered by revellers Martin, Peter (again), Harvey, John and Matt at The Five Horseshoes at Barholm, below, mine is the empty seat, and half full glass. They ensured that my glass was never empty. I’ll be back….DSC_1082

And the conversation lingered on subjects familiar to me; Shoeburyness; Southend United ;Local Authorities; walking round England and Spain, Serendipity and Spiritualism, in that order and with intensity proportionate to liquid consumption. Thank you gentlemen. I wish I could be greeted by such a welcoming committee at the end of every stretch, although I think progress on the route march would  eventually suffer, but totally in the spirit of G K Chesterton’s Rolling English Road. My Anthem. That night I went to Barholm by way of Chestnut Close. Harvey, you’re inspirational, but I don’t think I’ll have a Comino Pilgrimage left in me after circumnavigating  England, then Wales. Laurie Lee never did say what the Spanish was for ‘Can I please have a drink of water’.

Back to the small kids….

 

Dear Rosie, Lauren, Stan, Jake, Rowan and Maisie,

 

That’s all for the adults above – now for the important stuff. Rosie’s Birthday on Thursday – something else happening that day but the Euro-in-out vote is not as important as Rosie ‘s big day. Everyone now should have their water pistol, I know Rowan has because my knees are very wet. And Donald’s drone birthday Present is armed with a camera, and not a water gun. And guess who is returning home after three weeks in Auckland  with her Mum? Notice even Maisie refers to Mum, not Mummy!

The route I took from Fosdyke to King’s Lynn was fairly level , keeping to the top of the Sea Bank most of the time. The scenery only changed as I approached the rivers cutting into  The Wash, The Welland, The Nene and The Great Ouse. The weather was good to me and serendipity played no small part in the Bus Service eventually  carrying me back to the car on a Sunday; Peter Thompson kindly provided the taxi service on the Saturday, where no amount of Serendipity would have substituted for a non-existent transport service. Having used the Ship’s car park all day, it was only fair to partake of their food and drink , also. Reccomended.

 

And now for the pictures

Camp site at The Rose and Crown in Holbeach Hurn at dusk; The Ship Inn at Fosdyke where this walk started; and the start of the sea bank walk alongside the River Welland; all looks delightful but the hardly used track was knee high in damp wild flowers and sodden grasses and my lower legs were soaked in minutes!

Keeping on the sea bank, views out to sea and and inland were notable for lack of water, except the sodden undergrowth. These pictures were taken at mile intervals.

 

A brief flurry of things other than wild flowers and grasses as I approach the  Military danger area. The usual warnings not to pick up any metal objects and not to wander into the bombing range. And the occasional pump house provides alternative buildings to the Military Observation Towers .

 

The S E corner of the Wash is a National Nature Reserve, and supports huge numbers of wintering and passage waterfowl.. The saltmarshes are important  for breeding waders and seabirds.

 

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The twin lighthouses either side of the river, guard the entry to Port Sutton two miles further upstream.

 

 

And I happen upon the River Nene, with a rush hour of river Traffic as the walk nears  Port Sutton.

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Port Sutton cranes and Sutton Bridge crossing the Nene; and the signpost for overnight halt and restart next morning, Sunday, on the Peter Scott Walk.

 

 

Suburban Sutton Bridge; breaking camp at the Rose and Crown; and heading for the Peter Scott Walk.

 

Alongside the River Nene heading for the Wash on the  Peter Scott Walk

 

On the East bank of the Nene, The Sir Peter Scott lighthouse, his home from 1933, was built with its twin on the West Bank, in 1830. Paul Gallico Wrote The Snow goose here in 1941, although for artistic licence the lighthouse was situated 80 miles south! Sir Peter Scott, in 1947, illustrated the book.

 

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The normal seascape where the saltmarsh dominates the foreground with mudflats beyond is soon to be disturbed…….

……..Civil Engineering activity off shore with dredgers  providing for a cable for the Race Bank Wind farm and on shore the sea bank is being breached  to bring the cable ashore and temporarily interrupt the the walk with a half mile detour. And not everyone is happy about it

 

 

After the Civil Engineering interruption the walk  reverts to open grassed saltmarsh

 

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The River Great Ouse introduces itself into the Wash National Nature Reserve.

 

The path alongside the river heading for King’s Lynn hit an unexpected Sewage Works.

Temporary loss of concentration caused a deviation from the path and I was divorced from the River and around the Works. It became an immediate problem because I was on time for the pick up bus 505 to take me back to the car. Any delay and I miss my connection. I made a decision to not retrace my steps , time loss would be too great. The alternative  was to charge directly across a field, round the sewage settling pond, across a deep ditch and through a bramble hedge, under a barbed wire fence. And back on the path. Easy to write, but I felt like Brer Rabbit stuck in the Briar Patch when halfway through the bramble.

 

I suffered serrated limbs from the close up of the brambles and barbed wire, and also the long view now back on track. The leather hat was invaluable in bulldozing through the prickles.

 

Approaching Kings Lynn, now well behind time to catch the last 505  Sunday Bus back to my car at Sutton Bridge. I changed plan to intercept the bus route at Clenchwarton Road, rather than in the centre of King’s Lynn. Even so I wouldn’t have made it unless the serendipity cut in and altered the timing by some 40 minutes. Harvey reckons there’s more to this than pure happenstance…….. I say spooky!

 

On the bus, back to Sutton Bridge and pick up the car.  Drive to Peter and Lorraine’s house for  a really welcome shower, a  slap up meal with wine, and entertainment with the lads , Martin, Peter, Matt, Harvey and John  at the Five Horsehoes, Barholm.  And so to bed in a proper bed. Farewell to Peter and Lorraine, drive to Maisie and Jake’s, in the morning to give them their water pistols…

This Episode is dedicated to Peter and Lorraine; your famous hospitality didn’t desert you when you gave up the hostelry. Thank you very much.

 

Next Episode – Uncharted territory, who knows where Brexit will take me……….