I CHOSE the penultimate weekend of March 2015 on which to return to Preston and continue what was in theory my coastal perambulation, not that much of the first day’s walking could really be described as ‘coastal’.
In theory, my route for the day was pretty simple. I just needed to head west along the northern bank of the Ribble until it widened out into an estuary and I could head north along the coast. That seemed pretty straightforward, what could possibly go wrong?
ON WHAT would turn out to be a bright but breezy day, I sacrificed any hope of breakfast by rising around dawn in the hope of maximising all available daylight. I planned to walk to Preston by a slightly meandering route that totalled 25½ miles. The question was, would I make it there before dark?
IT TOOK five different trains — two of which involved an underground station on a Northern Line in completely different cities — but I fled the spring sunshine in which London was bathing, in favour of what the weather forecast led to me believe would be the greyly clouded north.
THE morning after my arrival in Liverpool saw me return to the waterfront from where I would be heading north through what was once part of Lancashire but is now the county of Merseyside. To most people anyway, especially those born after 1974.
HAVING slept like a log in my hotel in Heswall, I awoke about as speedily as a tree grows in breadth. I was warm and comfy and had no great desire to get out of bed but I also knew that the Seacombeto Liverpool ferry stopped running shortly after four pm and thus, if I wanted to catch it, I needed to be ready to go immediately after breakfast at eight. And I knew breakfast started at eight because I’d checked.
I AWOKE on the Tuesday morning to the sound of pattering rain. The skies over Cardiff were heavy and grey. Undaunted, I prepared for a third day of walking in wet weather and soon bounded out of the door of my hotel, having eschewed their meagre breakfast offering.
BY MEANS of the time-honoured method of not actually going to bed, I was up bright and early on the last day of June and so caught the first available train back to Bristol. There I met up with ‘Alice’ and together we caught another train to Weston-Super-Mare.