…after 12 years of sneaking time off and pounding the paths, I have finally finished all 19 National Trails. Some 3,000 miles, over 150 days, perhaps 6 million steps over the most beautiful and awe-inspiring countryside in the world.
Now, what to do? Shall I wait for the completion of the England Coast Path and completed the Wales Coast Path first? What about a Scottish challenge?
Actually, the plan is to cycle the North Sea Cycle Route next year, if time allows. Some 6,000km from Bergen to Shetland via Dover. See the Cycling section as it evolves.
I even got an LDWA Diamond certificate. How sad is that? There are only 25 odd members who have done them all.
(Photographs pre-digital era, scanned film prints)
A great alternative to the SWCP, if time is limited. An excellent introduction to the pleasures of coastal walking. Outside the holiday season the path is quiet and there are numerous remote cliffs, headlands and beaches to rival any in the British Isles. Rugged and rewarding. Pay attention to the tide tables at Dale and the military range closures at Castlemartin, as alternative routes involve road walking.
Completed in September 2004, my first National Trail, inspired by a journey I took when I was 15 and responsible for committing me to this life long adventure.
Time of year
Ideal times are late Spring or early Autumn, when the YHA hostels are quiet and the bird life is more pronounced. Seal Pups can be seen seen from September and wild flowers proliferate in the Spring. Continue reading
This friendly collie colleague was good company
Make a run for it…Cats like National Trails too.