BECAUSE of a small inconvenience on Day 5 of my April 2019 trip — i.e. my hotel having ceased to exist — Day 6 actually began in a more leisurely manner than it might otherwise have done. I awoke in a pleasant B&B that was right at the start of the day’s walk (and not three miles away, as the hotel would have been) and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and a lengthy chat with some other guests who were happy to enthuse about walking.Continue reading “CCX – Laide to Dundonnell”
IT’S been a bit of an unsettled summer and I kept a careful weather eye on forecasts for Scotland with a view to picking the timing of my latest trip carefully. This turned out to be entirely pointless, though not because of the omnipresent threat of showers. Rather it was because, as a non-parent, I totally failed to account for the school holidays and their effect on accommodation.Continue reading “CLXXVI – Kilmelford to Ellenabeich”
AFTER an awesome breakfast, I emerged from the Kilberry Inn full of bounce and enthusiasm to embark upon my fourth day of walking in July 2017, which would be a 21-miler taking me from Kilberry — which had to be my start point on account of it being where I was — to Cairnbaan near Lochgilphead.Continue reading “CLXXIV – Kilberry to Cairnbaan”
I BEGAN the fifth day of my May 2017 trip in Campbeltown on the Kintyre Peninsula. According to the itinerary that I had prepared for myself, I would be walking to Southend, which seemed like quite a challenge. I mean, that’s a walk of roughly 550 miles. Also, even by my notoriously lax standards, it cuts off an awful lot of coast.Continue reading “CLXIX – Campbeltown to Southend”
THE morning of 6th May 2017 found me blinking at the sun’s harsh glare as its rays danced and sparkled across a vivid blue sea. The sky was azure, dotted here and there with fluffy clouds and palm trees stood proudly in front of the B&B in which I breakfasted. Mountains rose from the island’s interior. Had I somehow travelled to St Lucia by mistake? A glance at my breakfast plate disabused me of the notion. No, this was definitely Scotland.Continue reading “CLXV – Brodick to Lagg”
MORNING in Kilwinning was heralded by the light pitter-patter of drizzle upon the window, which did little to compel me to leave my nice warm bed. Summoning every ounce of available willpower, I forced myself up and into the bathroom where the cold, tiled floor leached out my body heat in seconds. This was clearly a situation in need of a remedy and that remedy came in the form of as much cooked breakfast as I could physically shove into my face. Right, now I was set for a full day’s walking; drizzle be damned!Continue reading “CLIII – Kilwinning to Largs”
HAVING enjoyed several weeks of decidedly un-Londony sunshine, I returned to Galloway at the beginning of June to find it just as bakingly hot but underneath muggy, grey skies. The humidity didn’t make for perfect walking weather but I didn’t care; I walked anyway.Continue reading “CXLVIII – Port Logan to Portpatrick”
LURED by a weather forecast that promised sunshine in Scotland and rain in London, I headed back to Galloway in the middle of April in order to get in a couple more days of walking. The weather was sunshine and small fluffy clouds for most of the journey to Scotland. It was also sunshine and small fluffy clouds for most of the journey home. Can you guess how it was in between?
It rained. A lot. Well, obviously.Continue reading “CXLVI – Glenluce to Drummore”
I RETURNED to walking after a five month gap, the delay having come about on account of being a bit under the weather. Not me, you understand, but south west Scotland, which had spent much of the winter assailed by flooding and storms. Since I planned to go walking, not wading, I patiently waited this out until the first signs of impending spring brought calmer, warmer and — most importantly — drier weather. And then I got sunburnt. In Scotland. In March. It’s like my special super-power.Continue reading “CXLI – Kirkcudbright to Gatehouse of Fleet”
NEAR the start of September, five years and one day after I set off from Gravesend, I found myself heading out of Carlisle on a route that would lead me to the Scottish border. Not only was this the start of the sixth year of this walking endeavour but the day would end with my stepping foot in Scotland for the first time in thirty-eight years. It was not unexciting.
The day began with the first possible train out of London, which deposited me mid-morning in Carlisle.Continue reading “CXXXVI – Carlisle to Annan”