I HAD a problem on the second day of May, which was that I awoke in Helmsdale, exactly where I had planned to be. How is this a problem, you might reasonably ask? Because it was not where I needed to be – my plan had failed to come to fruition and I had curtailed my previous walk some eight and a half miles short of Helmsdale. I thus needed to get back to Berriedale, if I were to pick up where I left off. Somehow.Continue reading “CCXXIX – Berriedale to Golspie”
THE FIFTH day of my first walking trip of 2018 was also its last, a slightly-frustrating state of affairs that would see me reach Lochailort but not Mallaig. This had not been my original plan, which had included a sixth day, but ominous meteorological forecasts had promised that a Mini-Beast from the East would bring bad weather and likely heavy snow. I didn’t want to get to Mallaig only to find myself trapped there and so my plans had been curtailed.Continue reading “CLXXXVIII – Mingarry to Lochailort”
ON THE last walking day of my May trip I caught a bus from Campbeltown to Southend. Upon arrival, I would turn and walk back to Campbeltown albeit by a roundabout route. This would be the final and most arduous section of the Kintyre Way, passing near to — but not over — the Mull of Kintyre from which Northern Ireland can be seen. The Kintyre Way actually ends at Machrihanish but I had it in my head to also walk the five miles from there to Campbeltown (unless I’d had enough by then, when I might just use public transport).Continue reading “CLXX – Southend to Machrihanish”
I HAD planned to return to Largs in September but the weekend I picked turned out to be the wettest, windiest, most miserable weekend for months. That threatened to fail the all important ‘is this fun?’ test and so I deferred to the start of October. For that weekend, the forecast was more promising but I didn’t dare raise my hopes too high; autumnal Scotland was hardly likely to offer up blue skies and sunshine. Or so I thought.Continue reading “CLIV – Largs to Greenock”
TOWARDS the end of April I returned to Carnforth with the express intention of leaving both it and Lancashire behind and striking out into Cumbria and the south of the Lake District. The sky was grey when I got there and I fully expected that any views of distant hills would be totally hidden by mist. Also, at some point it would rain.Continue reading “CXXV – Carnforth to Grange-over-Sands”
I HAD a plan that, while not exactly cunning, had at least had some cunning described to it once. The plan was this: stay overnight in Llandudno, catch the train back to Llanfairfechan and then walk back to my hotel, where all the heavier things from my bag would be waiting for me. It was a good plan. I liked my plan. But it had one tiny little flaw.
It relied on trainsContinue reading “CXII – Llanfairfechan to Llandudno”
HAVING previously forecast a lot of rain that turned out to be made of golden sunshine, the Met Office recently managed an unspectacular return to form by accurately predicting cloud cover over North Wales. Which is a bit like predicting sunshine in the Sahara. But at least I was forewarned and therefore prepared…
Prepared to take no notice whatsoever, that is.Continue reading “CI – Nefyn to Caernarfon”
A WEEK ago (as I write this), I awoke bright and early from a rather odd dream which left me wondering, for a moment: where had all the lobsters gone? Reality gradually asserted itself and I realised three things in quick succession…
Firstly, that I had awoken before my alarm and that it would go off any moment.Continue reading “LXXXII – Westdale Bay to Newgale”
ON MONDAY morning, as most of my friends were commuting to work, I was arriving in Ilfracombe by bus, having already ridden the overnight coach from London to Exeter and then the first train of the morning to Barnstaple.Continue reading “LVI – Ilfracombe to Lynmouth”
SUNDAY’S walk began and ended at Ferry Bridge, being a circular walk around the Isle of Portland.
I awoke not so much with the lark as with a surfeit of alarms, my phone being joined by the alarm clock in my room, which the B&B owners had thoughtfully set for me. I was too early for a cooked breakfast but they laid on cereal, which I declined, and toast, which I munched upon merrily. They then scored highly on the Helpful Mammal Scale of B&B Excellence by asking if, since I wasn’t eating the cereal, I wanted some extra toast instead.Continue reading “XXVII – The Isle of Portland”