I RETURNED to the great grey granite city of Aberdeen just before mid-September in a largely successful bid to get a few days of walking in before the weather changed from summery to autumnal. A train journey lasting several hours conveyed me north from London and it was early evening when I finally alighted at Aberdeen station. From there, it was a very short walk to check in at my hotel, after which I was faced with the question of what to do with the rest of my evening. The obvious answer was to find food and go over my plan for the following morning’s walk. What I actually did was go for a walk right there and then. In the rain.Continue reading “CCXLIII – Aberdeen Loop”
I DECIDED back in September, against all sense and reason, that I would return at that month’s end and continue my walking adventure. And adventure of sorts was certainly a possibility, given the wind and rain warnings for the couple of days that followed. But the first day was relatively clement and went something like this…Continue reading “CLXXXI – Fort William to Glenfinnan”
NEAR the start of September, five years and one day after I set off from Gravesend, I found myself heading out of Carlisle on a route that would lead me to the Scottish border. Not only was this the start of the sixth year of this walking endeavour but the day would end with my stepping foot in Scotland for the first time in thirty-eight years. It was not unexciting.
The day began with the first possible train out of London, which deposited me mid-morning in Carlisle.Continue reading “CXXXVI – Carlisle to Annan”
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”
I AWOKE at an unearthly hour in Portmeirion, which was not entirely unconnected to the discovery that my phone’s alarm clock remains active even if the phone is turned off. Its beeping and warbling thus ate up any charge it had managed to recover overnight. Still, this meant that I was awake and, after a light snooze, I was able to watch the sun rise and to amble about the village in its first rays. It was lovely.Continue reading “XCVII – Portmeirion to Pwllheli”
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 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.Continue reading “LXVI – Cardiff to Barry”
MY CUNNING plan for the middle of last week was intended to involve my catching an overnight coach to Taunton and to grab a short nap in the process. It was a good plan. It was also a simple one.
And yet Von Moltke was still right.Continue reading “LVIII – Minehead to Combwich”
MY TUESDAY morning began with waking bright and early and devouring an excellent full English breakfast. I then checked out of my hotel and went in search of a shop that could sell me water for my walk. It wasn’t a difficult search on account of the hotel receptionist having already told me where to look. As I ventured outside, I found myself once again stepping around the Blackbird Without Fear.Continue reading “LVII – Lynmouth to Minehead”
I AWOKE bright and early in my dodgy-yet-pretentious hotel room feeling very hungry indeed. I had gravely miscalculated in not stopping to eat before getting to the hotel on Saturday night, despite passing a plethora of restaurants in Torquay, and had then felt too tired to go out and look for food upon arriving there. In consequence, I had gone to bed early on a sumptuous dinner of one packet of crisps and my body was demanding calories before it conquered any more hills.Continue reading “XXXII – Torquay to Kingswear”