MY FINAL walking day of 2019 began with breakfast in the Melvich Hotel (established 1851). They had helpfully painted a mural map along one wall of the dining area and I dawdled for a bit, gauging my progress against it. That progress would cease if I didn’t get outside and do the next bit, however, so I settled my bill, picked up my stuff and headed out to do that walking thing…Continue reading “CCXXII – Melvich to Thurso”
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”
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”
THE morning after my arrival in Lancaster, I emerged from my hotel full of enthusiasm, energy and significant quantities of breakfast. A blue sky was bedecked with fluffy white clouds and the clouds were also full of enthusiasm and energy — but probably not breakfast — judging by the speed at which they were bombing across the heavens.Continue reading “CXXIV – Lancaster to Carnforth”
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?Continue reading “CXXI – Preston to Lytham St Anne’s”
I AWOKE bright and early in my hotel in Cemaes to find that the promised ‘glorious sunshine’ was indeed glorious. Later, when I was on the cliff tops, I would find that it was accompanied by a howling gale of a wind, but one that was suitably sun-warmed so that it felt as though walking under the blast of an enormous hairdryer. This is not the weather usually associated with North Wales (I’d had some of that the day before).
This was to be a short walk, just far enough to get me to Amlwch, from which I could catch a bus that would begin my journey home.Continue reading “CVIII – Cemaes to Amlwch”
WHILE I may have avoided walking in August, on account of hot weather and everywhere being booked solid, September is an entirely different prospect. And this is good because if August is optional then the start of September is almost compulsory for walking: I started my coastal perambulations on the third of September 2010, which means that as September rolled around again I was into my fifth year of walking.Continue reading “CVII – Holyhead to Cemaes”
ON GOOD Friday, I returned to Harlech at an hour well before any shops would have opened even if it hadn’t been a bank holiday. To achieve this I had cunningly left London the night before and stayed overnight in Aberdovey.
Sadly, my cunning hadn’t extended as far as remembering either a bottle of water or my phone charger and my phone decided to register its discontent by rapidly dropping down to one bar of power. This was annoying, not least because I would be ending the day’s walk in Portmeirion, a place I wanted to take photos of.Continue reading “XCVI – Harlech to Portmeirion”
I MAY, as the twilight began to lighten the horizon on Saturday morning, have wondered to myself why I thought it was a good time to be sitting in Cardiff Central Station (or Caerdydd Canolog in Welsh). The answer, of course, was that it enabled me to catch the first train to Barry and so to resume my walk around the coast. It didn’t, on the other hand, do much for sating my body’s desire for sleep. But hey, it had had a two hour snooze on the overnight coach from London. That would just have to be enough…Continue reading “LXVII – Barry to Merthyr Mawr”
UPON waking in an enormous room in an early Tudor farmhouse (very early Tudor – it was built in 1486, the year after the Battle of Bosworth Field) my thoughts were, in order, ‘wow’ and ‘I’m hungry’.Continue reading “LIX – Combwich to Highbridge”