OVER Breakfast on the twelfth day of September 2023, I wrestled with a choice of routes by which I might head south from Aberdeen. There was a coastal path for at least part of the way to Stonehaven, and it had been my original intention to take it. I had, however, since learnt of the existence of a mediaeval drovers’ road named the Causey Mounth, which had served as the main highway between Aberdeen and Stonehaven until the current A92 was constructed in the 1960s and 70s. This faced me with something of a dilemma; after all, I could hardly do both, now could I?Continue reading “CCXLIV – Aberdeen to Stonehaven”
I AWOKE in Ardersier after an undisturbed night’s sleep. If Georgina, the alleged resident ghost of the Gun Lodge Hotel had sat on the edge of my bed in the night, she had done it considerately enough so as not to wake me. Thus, fully refreshed, I was ready for the day’s challenge, which was not very challenging at all…Continue reading “CCXXXIV – Ardersier to Nairn”
AFTER a two-year hiatus in consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was with relief, joy and not a little trepidation – after all, just how out of practice would I be? ― that I resumed my perambulatory pastime in early March 2022, returning to Thurso to continue clockwise along the coast…Continue reading “CCXXIII – Thurso to Dunnet”
I DECIDED back in September, against all sense and reason, that I would return at that month’s end and continue my walking adventure. And adventure of sorts was certainly a possibility, given the wind and rain warnings for the couple of days that followed. But the first day was relatively clement and went something like this…Continue reading “CLXXXI – Fort William to Glenfinnan”
THIS time last month (as I write this), I left my hotel rested (and breakfasted) but I found myself in no immediate hurry to leave the town of Ayr (Inbhir Àir). Instead I bought myself a coffee and ambled idly through its streets, randomly taking in the sights.Continue reading “CLII – Ayr to Kilwinning”
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 HAVE had many alarm clocks over the years and, given time, I can learn to sleep through any of them. But a faceful of blinding solar emanations is always difficult to sleep through, which how I came to be up and about and haring for a bus on the third and final day of my mid-August trip. I made it to the bus stop with just minutes to spare and mentally thanked the great, glowing orb in the sky.Continue reading “CXXXV – Bowness-on-Solway to Carlisle”
ON THE second morning of my mid-August trip, I awoke to the grey diffuse light and gentle pitter-patter of the rain that had been promised by the Met Office. Fortunately, I had prepared for this eventuality by packing waterproof walking gear. Well, mostly waterproof. I walked in it anyway
I quickly decided that were I to stay and have breakfast, I’d never go out in the rain. Instead I’d spend the day in the warm and then catch a bus to Carlisle. That was hardly the point of my trip, so I forced myself outside. It was cold. It was wet. But now that I was out in it, I was in fairly high spirits. The road beckoned, promising a damp and drizzly adventure.Continue reading “CXXXIV – Silloth to Bowness-on-Solway”
IN THE middle of August, despite rain being forecast, I made my way back up to Cumbria for the purpose of further perambulatory diversions.
Having left London at a time known only to insomniacs and chorusing birds, I alighted in Maryport sometime mid-morning to find the small town in bustling holiday mood. I immediately went looking for an ice cream; the sunshine was mocking the Met Office with a vengeance—it was more like Umbria than Cumbria.Continue reading “CXXXIII – Maryport to Silloth”
ALTHOUGH there is a certain purist joy in staying overnight at the start and end point of each walk, so that all the travelling that you are doing between places is on foot, there is a whole different kind of joy in starting the day already ensconced in a hotel at your end point. This kind of joy entails the ability to dump all your heavier things in your hotel room, safe in the knowledge that you’ll walk back to them later. It is a ‘travelling light’ kind of joy.
This was, of course, what I was doing when I caught a train from St Bees to Ravenglass in order to spend the day walking back to St Bees (the railway version of the journey was around sixteen times faster).Continue reading “CXXXI – Ravenglass to St Bees”