THE third day of my April 2019 trip promised to be a long one. This was entirely of my own choosing because, when I’d looked at the map, something had leapt right out at me —two places called Shieldaig! This isn’t that amazing in itself; Gaelic toponyms are often repeated as they’re mostly descriptive in nature. ‘Shieldaig’, for instance, is the Anglicised spelling of a Gaelicised version of Old Norse síld-vík, meaning ‘herring bay’ and more than one bay in Scotland would have had herring in it. So, why my excitement about spotting two Shieldaigs?Continue reading “CCVII – Shieldaig to Shieldaig”
I 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.Continue reading “CLIV – Largs to Greenock”
HAVING enjoyed several weeks of decidedly un-Londony sunshine, I returned to Galloway at the beginning of June to find it just as bakingly hot but underneath muggy, grey skies. The humidity didn’t make for perfect walking weather but I didn’t care; I walked anyway.Continue reading “CXLVIII – Port Logan to Portpatrick”
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”
I HAVE had many alarm clocks over the years and, given time, I can learn to sleep through any of them. But a faceful of blinding solar emanations is always difficult to sleep through, which how I came to be up and about and haring for a bus on the third and final day of my mid-August trip. I made it to the bus stop with just minutes to spare and mentally thanked the great, glowing orb in the sky.Continue reading “CXXXV – Bowness-on-Solway to Carlisle”
HAVING ‘enjoyed’ torrential rain on my previous walk, I waited until the weather seemed slightly more promising before returning to Cumbria. The forecast in mid-June was for sunshine one day and probable rain the next. Slathered in sunscreen but half-expecting a downpour, I found Barrow-in-Furness basking beneath blue skies and looking somewhat better in the sunshine. Not by much, admittedly, but better nonetheless.Continue reading “CXXVIII – Barrow-in-Furness to Foxfield”
MY 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.Continue reading “CXXIII – Fleetwood to Lancaster”
ON THE third day of my last walking trip, I awoke bright and early and — just for a moment — enjoyed very much the knowledge that it was Monday and that I had taken a day off and so didn’t need to get up for work. Also, as I would only be walking about ten miles that day, I didn’t need to get up early to start walking either.Continue reading “LXXX – Pembroke to Milford Haven”
THE length of my walks in North Devon are, to some considerable extent, dictated by which towns still have any kind of useful public transport links. For the most part the railways were closed down in the 1960s and the buses are not exactly plentiful. I was struggling a little with finding an appropriate break point between Barnstaple and Ilfracombe, settling uncomfortably on Croyde, which gave me two walks of about thirteen miles each, but for the first of those, which is very easy going, that felt a bit too lacking in challenge.Continue reading “LV – Barnstaple to Ilfracombe”
AS IT’S been three weeks since I got back from Cornwall and I’ve let a number of other things get in the way, I thought it was about time I found some to write up some more of that week.
So I did…Continue reading “XLII – Falmouth to Porthallow”