CLXI – Strachur to Dunoon

Hasteful MammalWHAT defines a coastal walk?  Does it have to be along the coast or in sight of the coast or just near the coast? And then how much so? Does starting and ending at the coast count? And what about the shore of a freshwater lake? Isn’t that a sort of inland coast? Does it matter? With these questions very much in mind, I consulted my personal rules of walking

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CLVIII – Helensburgh to Kilcreggan

Hasteful MammalDAY three of our recent four-day adventure promised to mostly involve walking both sides of the Gare Loch, at the mouth of which sits Helensburgh.  Blazing sunshine was unlikely but it was expected to be dry, though rain clouds would sweep in overnight to make the next day a write-off.  While this meant that the Lemming and I had to adjust some of our plans for the week, it left those for day three untouched.

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CLV – Greenock to Glasgow

Hasteful MammalAT AN early hour on October’s first Monday, I bounded keenly out of my hotel to discover that the skies had clouded overnight and a bracing breeze had sprung up, throwing my choice of attire — a thin t-shirt — into question.  I dealt with this by ignoring the question entirely. I gave the chill wind the cold shoulder and remained lukewarm about the concept of wearing warm layers. T-shirts are cool.

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CLIV – Largs to Greenock

Hasteful MammalI 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.

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CLIII – Kilwinning to Largs

Hasteful MammalMORNING 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!

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CLII – Ayr to Kilwinning

Hasteful MammalTHIS 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. 

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CXXXIII – Maryport to Silloth

Hasteful MammalIN 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.

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CXXVI – Grange-over-Sands to Ulverston

Hasteful MammalTO MY great relief, it was no longer bucketing down when I awoke in my hotel on the outskirts of Grange-over-Sands, back at the end of April (which feels like a lifetime ago). True, the skies were grey and foreboding with low-hanging clouds but I could forgive that so long as the water stayed where it was — overhead.

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CXXIV – Lancaster to Carnforth

Hasteful MammalTHE 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.

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CXXIII – Fleetwood to Lancaster

Hasteful MammalMY RETURN to Lancashire came interestingly close to not happening, as I slept through my alarm and missed my intended train into central London

The next one, which I caught, gave me very little time to transfer between National Rail and Underground stations, which culminated in my racing through London Euston and leaping aboard my train to Preston with literally seconds to spare.  Compared to that, the ten minute transfer window I had at Preston provided great opportunity for dawdling. 

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