XXXVII – City of Plymouth

Hasteful MammalOCTOBER having brought unseasonal warm weather to southern England, I made doubly sure to have packed sunscreen before catching a train back down to Plymouth. My original plan for the day involved the Cawsand ferry but, so far as I could tell, it had finished for the season and so I settled for a leisurely jaunt within the confines of Plymouth’s city limits.

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XXV – Kimmeridge Bay to Durdle Door

Hasteful MammalYESTERDAY was a much shorter walk of only eight miles, into which I managed pack a heady mixture of pain, fear, nausea, exhaustion and sheep.

I knew from the outset that I had limited time for the walk. Kimmeridge Bay has no public transport whatsoever, which meant catching a train to Wareham and then a taxi to Kimmeridge. I asked the taxi driver for an estimate of the cost before we set off and, very reasonable chap that he was, he turned off the meter when it turned out to be more.

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XIV – Newhaven to Worthing

Hasteful MammalMY CUNNING plan for my fourteenth coastal walk was to walk from Newhaven to Shoreham on Saturday. Indeed this plan was so cunning it mutated to keep everyone guessing.

In truth, the weather forecast for Saturday was one of bucketing rain, which didn’t sound a bundle of laughs. The best day this week, according to the Met Office, was yesterday (Thursday). So yesterday I went.

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XIII – Eastbourne to Newhaven

Hasteful MammalON FRIDAY night I decided that I needed to boot up Cleopatra, the old Windows 98 machine that lives in a corner of my bedroom, because I needed something on her hard drive. Perhaps because she is ancient in computing terms, or perhaps because she is still sulking over her replacement, Pandora, she repeatedly refused to boot up. But I am a stubborn mammal, and helpful, and eventually I got my way.

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V – Whitstable to Westgate-on-Sea

Hasteful MammalORIGINALLY, yesterday was not going to involve any walking as I already had plans. But then I got to thinking that my plans mostly involved the evening and, if I got up really early, I could also go for a walk. Which is how I came to be catching a train at the ungodly hour of not quite six in the morning. Even with this early start, the complications of a Saturday service and multiple connections meant that I only arrived at Whitstable at about 8 am. I immediately made my way back to the harbour, which is where I left off last time.

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III – Swale to Faversham

Hasteful MammalYESTERDAY, I was up with the metaphorical lark and, in a break with recent habit, actually caught the very same train that I had intended to catch. The world didn’t end or anything, which was slightly disappointing.

A series of trains carried me away across North Kent to Swale with enough time between connections to buy a coffee and some breakfast, which I sorely needed. I arrived at Swale halt by twenty past nine and stood in the shadow of the colossal Sheppey Crossing.

‘It looks big in daylight,’ I thought. ‘I wonder how small it will look later?’ And so, I set off at a suitably brisk pace…

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I – Gravesend to Strood

Hasteful MammalYESTERDAY, I had a plan to get up bright and early and perambulate part of the Saxon Shore Way from Gravesend to Strood in Kent.

Not out of the blue, you understand, but as part of a wider project. I have long wanted to walk the South West Coast Path, which is some distance from me (I live in London). But then, I wondered, could I walk to the SWCP?

From there it was a short mental step (and a promise of many physical ones) to wonder why I should stop there? A vague intention to walk the coast of Great Britain emerged. Well, more-or-less; I’m no purist about these things.

But first things first…

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