(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 →
Three trains and a bus get me back to Looe after a few days break. Everyone seems dour on an overcast day in town and out towards to Seaton. Rain develops and after a few miles I settle into a B&B and start to plan the last section, trying to time my arrival into Lulworth Cove for the opening of the Army Ranges. That’s 10 days away, but I have a more immediate problem – a sequence of estuaries crossings where one missed ferry will result in major delay. First of all, I walk through Plymouth, a historic cityscape, with grand views across The Sound and The Breakwater and marks the entry back into Devon, to a cosy B&B in Wembury.
The following day I have to cross 3 successive river estuaries, The Yealm, Erme and Avon. The first is quickly dispatched, Continue reading →
The expensive return ticket is worth every penny as I set out again from Padstow mid afternoon. The light is wonderful as I pass Mother Ivy Bay to Trevose Head lighthouse. My parents almost moved to this area when I was 15 and I suspect my life would have been very different as a result, this could have been home. Treyarnon Bay YHA is full of surfers, and I blag my way into a spare bunk having forgotten to book.
The surfers are living frugally as they take their life saver qualifications. They have come from as far as Scotland to take the course. They are a happy bunch Continue reading →
Taking the train to Taunton and then a bus to Bishops Lydeard, I caught a steam train, operated by the West Somerset Railway, to Minehead. What a way to arrive at your starting point. A buzzard flew alongside the train for ½ mile or so, as joyful as I was to be travelling through the countryside. The sense of arriving at a pre-war restored station was so real, I half expected a porter to take my rucksack for me.
West Somerset Railway
It is the beginning of April, so I am prepared for a bit of bad weather, but luckily for me, I was to enjoy 6 weeks of glorious sunshine, Continue reading →