SWCP #44 & 45a Polperro to Seaton

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What a fabulous day on the coast path (although we rarely have a crap one)! The core four were out again today, and bashed out 8.5 miles according to the book, then 10 miles if you believe technology. JC missed the previous section and LN had had a longer pause. We walked through a chilly wind, with a few showers, but brilliant sunshine shone through as it so often does. Wildlife was varied today: a bronze seal called Nelson, three dead frogs and a selection of ponies.

  • Start: 10:00 Polperro, Cornwall IMG_20200308_105418
  • Finish 16:00 Seaton, Cornwall
  • Grading: Moderate to Strenuous
  • Distance: 10 miles
  • Timing: 5.5 hours
  • Walkers; me, RS, LN, JC
  • Miles to date: 394.5

From 31st October – 1st April it’s free to park in Seaton! This is a refreshing change from the previous week, where parking in Polperro costs a small fortune on a Sunday, in fact 24 hours a day, year round. We left one car in Seaton, driving RS’s car back to Polperro which we left at the top of the hill, in a layby, and walked into Polperro down the steep, narrow Talland Hill flanked with the mind of cottages tourists come to Polperro to see.

Before anyone tuts that we didn’t contribute £9 to the historic village of Polperro’s upkeep, or whatever the bi-line is, our money was far better spent supporting local business such as Cornish Goodness (to get some sweets and gifts, and chat to to the lovely shop assistant) and Polperro Bakery for elevenses. And as today, I had the privilege of not driving and having my all-important end-of-walk pint bought for me, I have donated the carpark cost to Anthony Nolan via my Just Giving page 🙂

From Polperro town centre, you cross the IMG_20200308_110635bridge in front of the harbour and head out ofthe village on the left hand side (the other side, naturally as with all our walks would take you on the coast path in a clock-wise direction). The path is tarmacked for a while and then, when the holiday homes run out, it gets increasingly muddy! A steep-ish drop to the right, and not much of interest on your left, the path takes you to Talland Bay. Refreshments and toilets are seasonal here, so a Sunday in March – closed.

The sun was out, up another hill and hello to some ponies. We entered a few National Trust places: Hendersick, and out towards Bridge Rocks. Having been unable to find a suitable toilet stop, we had elevenses with legs crossed on a bench which some walkers kindly gave up us at the top of a very steep, puddle-filled set of steps.

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About an hour later, we arrived in Hannafore, just before Looe and were surprised to see Raffles hotel. We briefly considered popping in for a Singapore Sling, but didn’t think they would appreciate the mud…

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In Looe, we finally found a toilet shortly after discovering Nelson, the bronze-cast seal who was resident around Looe for some 20 years. Once it was established that Sarah’s Pasties (who won the Best Coast Path Pasty award recently) was closed, the heavens opened briefly and we wondered if the best part of the walk was indeed over. But as the Met Office had suggested: it cleared up minutes later and sunshine joined us for lunch.

Leaving Looe was strenuous, which was noticeable after the moderate previous stretch. The climb out of Looe, although on an easy path, was tough. We decended into Millandreath, and the very steeply up again to Bodigga Cliff.

The walk ended with a descent into Seaton, with two pauses: JC bought eggs from a road-side farm stall, and I later bought a bunch of Daffodils from outside someone’s house.

Learnings

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As I sit at home in Covid lockdown trying to write my blog, I realise I am actually finding coast path withdrawal more difficult than imagined. And as for finding the will power, interest and creativity to write: impossible. Fortunately I had written this one as soon as we got home that day. I remember as we walked into Seaton we each guessed how many coronavirus cases had been reported whilst we were walking. It had just slipped into 3 digits that day. Today, as I write I see that the UK has had over 28,000 deaths. On that day I’d joked that I hoped I could spend the rest of the month walking should we be laid off work… little did we know how bad it would now be…

Thank yous and mentions

  • End of walk pint at Smuggler’s Inn, although the interior seemed a bit too modern for real smugglers! 
  • As mentioned previously we can’t get through a walk without decent, local sustenance, so Polperro Bakery did us proud: millionaires shortbread, bread pudding and pasties.

The Charity Bit

Although it’s not possible to walk at the moment – charities still need your help and your funds, so please click on the above links if you feel generous…

 

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SWCP #43 Polruan to Polperro

Lantic Bay

We were very lucky weather-wise, as we so often are on the coast path. What started as a very miserable drizzly, windy day turned into a very pleasant, albeit strenuous, walk. It was great to have LL back on the path (last with us many miles ago in Croyde) accompanied by Bongo and newly acquired Quince. Our four-legged walkers seemed to do at least three times the length of the walk, doubling back every hundred yards or so to make sure we were all still at the top of the cliff…

Sunday 23rd February 2020

 

    • Start: 10:00 Polruan, CornwallIMG_20200223_110428
    • Finish 16:00 Polperro, Cornwall
    • Grading: Strenuous
    • Distance: 9.1
    • Timing: 4.5 hours
    • Walkers; me, RS, LR, JF, LL, Bongo and Quince
    • Miles to date: 384.5


We left Polruan from the carpark and headed out along a grassy headland. A gentleman (who I couldn’t get away from in the carpark at Polperro) had told us we’d be fine until we got to Lantic Bay, and then the hills would start. He suggested an easier walk in the other direction towards Looe – next week’s walk, I replied without wishing to engage in further conversation as we were characteristically behind schedule at that point!

 

Probably the cakiest elevenses we have had so far, as three of us without prior consultation, had each produced a homemade offering which we had on a bench above Lantic Bay in the drizzle. Out around Pencarrow Head and then into Lantivet Bay next where we made a detour off the path to check out the secluded little Palace Cove, pause for photos and marvel at the mauve rocks and ended up stopping for lunch. Whilst pausing for said photos, Quince decided he didn’t want to be on the rock with us any longer and lept off down to the beach, leaving us with hearts in mouths and staggering to believe the height he’d jumped from, totally unscathed!

From here up onto Lansallos Cliff where the view was much the same for the next few miles: cliffs, sea and good dose of mud, all the way to Polperro. 

And finally into Polperro – its charming harbour and turquoise waters welcoming us as we marched in looking for a decent pub to chuck down a beer before heading back to the agressively-policed car park…

Thank yous and mentions

  • Thank you to LL for driving today. It was a bit of a back and forth mission, through some real “Cornish highways” between Polperro and Polruan, but that’s part of the fun…
  • Beer o’clock took place in apparently the oldest pub in Polperro – The Three Pilchards. We were welcomed: muddy boots and dogs into a warm pub that smelled of roast dinner! We swiftly did one last climb of the day, heading to the rooftop garden up a set of steep narrow steps to enjoy an alfresco pint with views of Polperro playing our usual “which house would you live in?” game.

Learnings

Polperro is delighful, but be warned that there is one car park, and it is extortionately priced: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This we found particularly unreasonable and pop over to Tripadvisor and you will see that I am not alone with this view. There are aggressive signs advising you that is illegal to pass your ticket to another vehicle, you are obliged to pay for a minimum of 4 hours and I have to say I walked as fast as my sore legs would take me to race back to my car with minutes to spare because there was nothing about that carpark that would appear forgiving should you run over your time…

The Charity Bit

Every step I take on the path, I aim to raise awareness and money for Anthony Nolan via donations to my Just Giving page. To date I have raised £424, which is more than the miles I have so far walked. My aim to is to raise £630 for 630 miles. Unfortunately the walking is on hold at the moment, but the charity, its work and the people who need it are very much relevant now. Anyway donations, or shares of my blog post are most welcomed. 

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SWCP #42 – Par to Fowey

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This was one of the shortest walks we have ever done: it didn’t seem real when we finished as we all felt we needed to do another 5 miles to make it worthwhile! Having slogged through so many wet miles over the previous few weeks’ walking, this was a welcome rest – and we were home before dark too.

Sat 8th

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  • Start: 10:00 Par Sands, Cornwall
  • Finish 13:30Fowey, Cornwall
  • Grading: Moderate
  • Distance: 6.8m
  • Timing: 3.5 hours
  • Walkers; me, RS, JC
  • Miles to date: 377.4

We set off from Par along a footpath that linked to Par Beach. Through a short section of woodland and out to a carpark. The path was absolutely full of dog poo, which frankly I just found sad that so many people must use this path to get to the beach and have to dodge dog shit..

From Polmear at the far left of the beach, we rejoined the very muddy section of path, which rises up and round Little Gribben to Polkerris. I once jogged along here, on a sunny April morning a couple of years ago. It was nice to do it at a more comfortable pace today.

It was here that I discovered on this beautiful day that I had brought along a camera with no SD card, so sadly the quality of photos in this post will be lacking. Down some steep steps into Polkerris, were RS and I spent a day on the beach on our first camping trip to Cornwall about 3 years ago. It’s not the easiest place to get to – with a steep, narrow road leading to a limited car park on the way in – there is no visitor parking in the village itself. You would be better off either walking from Par or parking near Tregaminion or Menabilly Barton and walking from there. We left Polkerris via the path above the gift shop, and zigzagged up a wooded path through wild garlic and then out to an open headland with views of The Gribbin.

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Gribbin Tower sits on an exposed headland where, if the wind had been a little gentler, we would have had a very pleasant lunch stop. As it happened we were hunkered down on the floor against the least windy side for our sandwiches , also at ground level for ever-hungry labradors…

From here, we descended to Polridmouth which was said to have inspired Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca: something I must now read! The cove itself is delightful, at the bottom of Menabilly woods.

It was another couple of miles or so to St Catherine’s castle and a missed acorn along the way meant we missed it the first time…

Finally we arrived in Fowey, via Readymoney. From here we walked along the road, towards the harbour where we settled for a pint outside in the February sun.

I have yet to see a live dolphin on my walks. We had previously come across the skeleton of one, and today sadly there was one floating in the harbour. It seemed to attract a number of views from curious tourists and locals – a victim perhaps of the recent storms.

Thank yous and mentions

  • This time, mercifully, we were able to use a bus which didn’t cost the earth! Having IMG_20200208_140834done so much driving and ferrying around, we were able to find a bus stop and pay £4 each for the 20 min trip to Par.
  • Our end of walk pint was at The Galleon Inn in Fowey where we managed to fight off some seagulls and enjoy a harbourside pint.

Learnings

A 6.8 mile dry walk really does only take 3 hours, as the book suggested! Long may the dry walks last!

The charity bit

At the time of walking I had raised more pounds than miles for Anthony Nolan and was well on target for raising £630 (£1/mile walked). Now, of course walking is paused as we all sit at home waiting for Covid-19 to pass. The charity still needs funding, and I will still be walking, as soon as restrictions are lifted and we feel it is safe to do so, so do drop a quid or two here to get me on my way…

 

 

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SWCP #41 Pentewan Sands to Par

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A lovely sunny, yet slippery walk over the cliffs from Pentewan to Par, via Porthpean, Charlestown and Carlyon Bay. I have thoroughly enjoyed this stretch of coast as these are the first few places in Cornwall I ever visited and the stomping ground of where a dear friend of mine used to live before she flew away to start a new life in Cyprus. I personally found this leg far more tiring than previous stretches: lots of slips and near misses today, but all 8 of us made it wobbly-legged to Par. Some lucky folk managed to get two beers in whilst they waited for the car shuffle…

Saturday 1st Feb 2020

  • Start: Pentewan Sands, CornwallIMG_20200201_103029
  • Finish: Par Sands, Cornwall
  • Mileage: 9.6 m
  • Guide book timing: 4.5 ish
  • Actual timing: 5.5 hours
  • Grading: Strenuous, then easy.
  • Weather: 9 deg – Cloud, sun.
  • Walkers: me, RS, JC, LN, LR, JF, SLR, DP
  • Miles to date: 380 m

This made us all chuckle as we took our time working out (very reasonable) payment at the little car park in Pentewan. As another complicated car shuffle took place we took advantage of Little Bay Cafe to stock up on snacks and elevenses.

We set off out of Pentewan and it didn’t take us long to get it wrong. We missed a (non-existent) acorn and started heading towards the beach, which would have taken us nowhere. This was because the book suggests a more scenic route, via the cottages at the end of the harbour rather than the official route, which heads up a the road a little. Locals clearly knew that eight walkers heading in that direction wouldn’t get very far so we were shouted better directions from the other side of the water and sorted ourselves out. From here a steep climb up out of the village which then gives way to spectacular views of Black Head in the distance.

After staying up high for some time, we descended through a wooded area and down to a secluded cove below Drennick and paused for elevenses. I am sure by now this particular section is filled with bluebells.

We didn’t go out to Black Head itself – it’s amazing how much time little detours can add, but carried on around Gerrans Point and through Ropehaven Cliffs Nature Reserve. Quite a few taxing downs and some tough ups.

We stopped at Porthpean for lunch. The beach was almost empty bar a man who had stripped to his underwear and gone in for a dip. He apologised for the view as he emerged, saying that no-one was on the beach when he made the decision to do so and it looksed so inviting he just couldn’t resist! It did look inviting, but it was the first of February – easy to resist!DSC02534

IMG_20200201_143230From here onto Charlestown – possibly recently more famous for its connection to Poldark – something I must confess I have not seen. The quaint little harbour looks like a film set, even if you haven’t see what it’s filming…

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We briefly lost sight of acorns as we were busy looking for the loos. I think we upset a local as we held the door open for each other – but what can you do when only 2 of you have a 20p coin?

Carlyon Bay I remember fondly for Sam’s on the Beach, sadly no longer there, which I stumbled across late one afternoon on a day exploring Cornwall with my little brother a few summers ago. The coast path goes high up on the cliffs, skirting round the golf course and doesn’t have the views I had hoped for. We made our way towards the china clay plant (bit of a blot on the landscape if you ask me) and into Par. The path takes you behind the plant, along a footpath that you would probably want to avoid at dusk, then along the road and pretty much drops you off in front of The Par Inn, conveniently!

Thank yous and mentions

  • It was truly wonderful to have 8 walkers today – by far the biggest group we have been. Thank you for LN and RS for additional end-start shuffling enabling that number of walkers to walk!IMG_20200405_203505
  • End of walk pints happened in The Par Inn, and then the Welcome Home Inn whilst LN and I went to deal with cars.
  • Thank you for SLR for the gift of the beautifully illustrated South Devon Coast path book that she presented me as we were sitting on a rock having elevenses. Little did I know back then that the coast path would be on pause when we got to the Devon section… but as I mentioned on Twitter the other day: It’s been there for a long time and isn’t going anywhere!

 

Learnings

  • Once more we were made very aware that wet miles are far more taxing and feel considerably longer than dry miles.

The charity bit

As you may well know by now – I am aiming to raise £1/mile I walk of the South West Coast path which, all being well, will amount to £630. If you can and would like to make a donation then please do so here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SWCP #40 & 41 Hemmick Beach to Pentewan

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This was a bit of logistical headache and somewhat of a gamble with the weather. As we drove down the A30 the rain was lashing down on the windscreen and I’m pretty sure the passengers in the other car were cursing me! However, true to the Met Office’s predictions, it literally stopped as soon as we were ready to start walking, and we had a lovely sunny walk in the end, complete with a few local residents on the cliff tops…

Sunday 26th January 2020

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  • Start: Hemmick Beach, Cornwall
  • Finish: Pentewan Sands, Cornwall
  • Mileage: 9.5 m
  • Guide book timing: 4.5 ish
  • Actual timing: 5.5 hours
  • Grading: Strenuous, then easy.
  • Weather: 8 deg – Cloud, sun and wind.
  • Walkers: me, RS, JC, LN, LR, JF, SLR
  • Miles to date: 370 m

To try to cut down car-shuffle commuting, I drove JC, SLR and I to Gorran Churchtown. RS then went to pick up LN, LR and JF whilst the three of us started walking towards the carpark at Penare Farm. With very limited phone reception all round we had to hope that we were all going to end up in the right place and that I hadn’t got maps and timings all wrong. It turns out that after 360 miles I appear to know what I am doing – as we somewhat seemlessly arrived at the carpark within minutes of each other.

We rounded Dodman Point and were just about able to make out Nare Point and vaguely aware of Torpoint to our east and St Anthony Head to the west. Both probably far more visible on a better day. Along this stretch we became aquainted with a number pony families enjoying a day out and passed through a herd of delightful Dexters. All completely none-plussed as a of group walkers approached.

Gorran Haven was round the next corner and we descended into it finding a bakery open on a Sunday. It was lunchtime already, but as we hadn’t had our elevenses yet, we all indulged in cakes and supplies for a short stop on some benches overlooking the beach.

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From here out towards Turbot Point where rain ahead of us threatened to ruin the end of our walk. We stopped for lunch sitting on a damp bench and plastic bags overlooking a house at Chapel Point, having just seen a lone seal lolling about below. And as we made our way towards Portmellon a group of walkers whispered and beckoned us over to see a pair of seals hanging about at Roward’s Quay.

Mevagissey wasn’t quite as picturesque in the grey drizzle as I remember from Augusts past. Apparently LN predicted the exact words to come out of my mouth “I love it here, what a shame we can’t spend more time here”. The path wasn’t very obvious here either. The group split up:  those faster heading off ahead of us, slow at the back and we all missed the acorn directing us to the harbour and started heading in the wrong direction.

The last mile or so of this walk seemed to go on forever. Steep fields high above Pentewan Beach were slippery and tiring. LN and RS went ahead to take LN’s car to collect RS’s at the beginning. The steep concrete path that descends down to Pentewan was hard going on already tired knees, but the sunset walk along the beach more than made up for it. I had hoped to fill my pockets with sea glass, especially given the wind and high seas of recent weeks, but I guess late on a Sunday I was probably the last person to look for treasure…

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Thank yous and mentions

  • Thank you to everyone who pointed out my huge error in mathematics when I was arranging cars and allocating seats. Always remember to count yourself when you are counting car seats!!
  • The Ship Inn in Pentewan welcomed us weary, muddy walkers with full pint glasses and a roaring fire. We sat ourselves in the libary snug to the right of the bar and could’ve sat there all night. Oh but for the long drive home…
  • It was great to have SLR with us on her trip home from Guatemala. Whilst squelching through the mud we realised she had been fortunate not to have had to endure a British winter for a very looooooong time…

Learnings

What we discovered today and previously and for the coming walks was that wet and muddy miles are like walking twice the length of dry miles. The strain on your whole body to remain upright as well as the fact that your legwork seems to double as you slide your way along means you finish the walk exhausted. Better to plan less in these conditions – save the long mileage for when it’s dry underfoot.

The charity bit

Walking to raise money for Anthony Nolan gives me almost as much pleasure as doing ths walk itself. As more people join me, and share this journey and most of all donate to Anthony Nolan I know we are making a difference. Step by squelchy step along the path. Donate here if you would like to. Thank you for reading.

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SWCP – an unprecedented pause…

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It saddened me greatly when it dawned on me last weekend that we’d have to hang up our boots for some time…

The thought of weekends slipping by unwalked, and unexplored on the coast path fills me with dread and sadness. More so now than it did before, as the end of this strange and unusual time seems so uncertain.

But I am greatful that I have over 400 miles to look back on and be proud of. I am proud to have raised £424 so far for Anthony Nolan and I will continue to write and share what plan to do and what I have done. Now more than ever, is a crucial time for charities around the globe as we are all literally stopped in our tracks – let’s hope we can continue to support their incredible work from afar and they won’t suffer too much.

We finished Cornwall on 21st March, the morning after Boris asked us not to socialise anymore. I ummed and arred and hoped desperately that it was advice I could take on board and continue to walk with. I wore gloves and a mask for the 10 minutes I had to share the car with JC and of course RS and JC kept their distance of two metres away from me at all times (as they always do!). We couldn’t support local businesses and buy elevenses or Cornish provisions as we’d become so accustomed to doing and sadder still we couldn’t have our final pint in Cornwall to celebrate finishing.

But, it wasn’t enough. People didn’t undertand and didn’t take it seriously and now it’s time for us all to stay at home. It’s time for us all to take a pause, sit down for a bit whilst we ride this out and get this virus on the backfoot. A lump comes to my throat as I write this, as the calender of weekends lays empty in front of me, with the summer and the coast path ahead with a huge question mark hanging over them.

But it’s not over. It can’t be. There are so many more miles to walk (205) and so many more memories to be made. It doesn’t look like I have any hope to meeting my revised target of finishing at the end of the summer so it’s best not to have a deadline. I should have been walking this week. I should have been walking every weekend until it’s finished, but right now I have to stay at home.

Until then, I’ve got about 100 miles to write up…

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So here’s looking forward to more walking…

x

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SWCP #39b & #40a – Carne Beach to Hemmick Beach

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Starting as we meant to go on, another walk was planned for the following weekend. Back down to JC, RS and I wandering through Veryan Bay in grey drizzle and wind, and through the film set of Miss Pereguine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Highlights were probably me hitting the ground a grand total of 3 times, thanks to very slippery mud and lows were having to eat lunch standing up, sheltering from wind and rain. But that’s how it goes…

Saturday 11th January 2020

  • Start: Carne Beach, CornwallIMG_20200111_111322
  • Finish: Hemmick Beach, Cornwall
  • Mileage: 9 m
  • Guide book timing: 4.5 ish
  • Actual timing: 5 hours
  • Grading: Strenuous
  • Weather: 6 deg – showers, drizzle, rain, wind
  • Walkers: me, RS, JC
  • Miles to date: 360 m

Getting to the start and end were a little perilous – involving some proper “Cornish highways” complete with grass in the middle and some impossible passing places. We parked in the National Trust Carpark at Dodman’s Point – payment is a donation of £2. A sketchy drive through more lanes and a flood back to Carne Beach so we could start. RS tried out his gaitors on this walk, looking rather fetching with shorts! And we set off in the drizzle, sadly not able to appreciate the views from Nare Head.

Decent camera got put away due to slipperyness underfoot.

We arrived at Portloe from above. The path decends past a (closed) public toilet to a very sleepy little village and harbour. The houses for sale suggest that locals might be priced out of the area as there were also an unsurprising amount of holiday lets.

IMG_20200111_150141From Portloe, memory tells me a had a few skids going down a slippery path. We made our way to West and East Portholland (another land of holiday lets) and then onto Porthlune Cove. The whole of this area of the Caerhays Estate was used in the filming of Miss Pereguine’s Home for Peculiar Children, which I remember not enjoying in the slightlest! Apart from the scenery, I found the plot ridiculous and remember at the time I wrote a lesson for my ESOL students on my thoughts for the film. I am considering watching it again though, if only to shout “I’ve been there” at the TV screen!

 

From Porthlune Cove we spent a silly amount of time trying to work out where to go. The written instructions in the Coast Path book are vague at times and the lack of yellow acorns when entering farmland makes it confusing. The wind picked up here too and when I stopped to get my map out, it whipped out a crisp packet and carried it away faster than I could run to catch it. It hate littering and never, absolutely ever, do it myself. To balance this henious crime however, I do pick up anything in my path as I am walking. I draw the line at poo bags and “well-established” litter, as I don’t have the equipment to deal with that. So, my apologies to the owners of Caerhays Estate: The crisp packet out-flew me. Hopefully another helpful walker behind me picked it up!

It was nearing 4:30 when we got to Hemmick Beach. The plan had been to walk around Dodman Point back to the car and start from there next weekend. But visibility, relentless wind and sore legs from slips dictated that we call it a day and start afresh next time.

Thank yous and mentions

  • It goes without saying that I can’t do these walks alone. So thank you to JC and RS today!
  • The New Inn in Veryan was where we had our end-of-walk-pint as there was nothing to be had at near our parking spot. It was dark by the time we arrived, and a cosy local pub with a log fire was what we needed!

Learnings

  • At this time of year, darkness falls early and it’s not worth it nor is it pleasureable to walk in the dark: we made the right choice not to walk the extra mile or so that day as it was far better in the sunshine the following week.

The charity bit

As I write this I am reminded of the email I received around the same time of this walk from Anthony Nolan thanking me for my continuous fundraising through Just Giving page

If you would like to know more, or feel like making a donation, then please click on either of the above links.

As always, thank you for reading and walking with me on this journey. All comments, thoughts and questions appreciated and answered!

 

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SWCP #38 & #39a -Falmouth to Porthscatho, Porthcatho to Carne Beach

The first walk of the year set us literally on the right path: sunshine, blue skies and the bar set very high with an excellent start to another year of walking! Highlights were the beach of seals and for RS particularly LN’s Christmas cake for elevenses!

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Saturday 4th January 2020

  • Start: Place, St Anthony, Cornwall IMG_20200104_104405
  • Finish: Carne Beach, Cornwall
  • Mileage: 9 m
  • Guide book timing: 4 ish
  • Actual timing: 4.5
  • Grading: Easy – Strenuous
  • Weather: 6 deg – sunny with showers and rainbows.
  • Walkers: me, RS, LN, JC
  • Miles to date: 351 m

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 We started the walk at a place called Place, which is where the ferry from Falmouth, and then St Mawes would drop you off in the summer. We did this by car, with some naviagtion and left my car tucked into some hard standing that didn’t say we couldn’t. (Other gateways had very clear instructions not to do so!) l left some charity information on the dashboard in case anyone got upset about it, but all was well.

The walk starts at St Anthony Church, following the path behind it and then into some woods. From here we climbed upwards and were rewarded with views of Falmouth Bay, and of course Falmouth and Pendennis Point as we made our way to St Anthony Head.

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From here we continued across a few grassy fields and muddy paths towards Porthbeor Beach, stopping for elevenses on Porthmellin Head.

As we rounded Porthmellin Head, I spotted a lone seal swimming about some rocks. We DSC02458stopped to watch and I pointed it out to come walkers coming our way. “That’s nothing” they responded “There’s hundreds in the next cove.” And sure enough, before we got to Towan Beach, there was indeed one of the happiest sights I have seen so far. A beach full of wildlife-documentary-worthy seals!

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Stopped to check out the view, and see if there were any more seals, before dropping down to the beach and leaving the path to enjoy a softer walk.

The weather changed, as it did frequently that day, but the walk to Porthscatho was easy enough.

From Porthscatho, we entered Gerrans Bay, and continued curving round towards Pendower Beach. Upon reaching Pendower Beach, the path was diverted inland: of course, writing this 2 months after walking it, I can’t remember why! It was well signposted, and we came down the road past the hotel to the carpark at Carne Beach. Stopping at a stall to buy a pot of primroses and some veg.

 

Thankyous and mentions

  • Thank you to JC for driving today, and to LN and RS for starting the year with me!

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    Muddy boots and local primrose

  • A much enjoyed pint at Plume of Feathers in Porthscatho, on our way back to collect the car. I enjoyed sharing information about growing up in Somserset with the friendly barman.
  • A nod to Porthscatho stores, where I grabbed a bag of Cornish Coffee, as I do when in Cornwall.

Learnings

  • Seals are there if you look for them!
  • Start as you mean to go on – get out and walk!

The Charity Bit

If it’s your first time here, then you won’t know that whilst I am on this incredibly scenic, sometimes very challenging walk, I am raising money for Anthony Nolan. I aim to raise £1 for every mile I walk, and so far am very much on target! If you have enjoyed reading this, then please read more about what Anthony Nolan do, in the above link. Even just £1 is another mile, so make a donation here if you so wish.

 

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SWCP #37 – Helford to Falmouth

Full of a decent breakfast, and minus two walkers, RS, LN and DP set out to do a shorter stint from Helford back to Falmouth. We might have been slightly fuzzy from the previous night’s shenanigans – enjoying the variety of pubs, local ales and a change of scenery from what we’re bored of in Exeter. Something went wrong with my phone/SD card so I lost all of my own photos from this day. Thanks for DP for sending hers!

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  • Start: Helford Passage, CornwallIMG-20191215-WA0049
  • Finish: Falmouth, Cornwall
  • Mileage: 10 m
  • Guide book timing: 4.5
  • Actual timing: 3.5 hrs (finishing at Gyllynvase Beach)
  • Grading: moderate
  • Weather: 9 deg, cloud, drizzle and sun.
  • Walkers: me, & RS, LN, DP.
  • Miles to date: 334 m

Four of us headed out of Helford, up the hill towards Polwidden cove and onto Durgan.

Little coves…

river views…

Durgan

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Woodland and fallen trees…

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From Rosemillion Head, we made our way towards the picturesque Maenporth beach, making use of the cafe for a late elevenses/early lunch

And from there it was only a mile or so to Swanpool and then Gyllynvase Beach in Falmouth. An unprecedented early finish, in the sunshine, but we made our way to…

Thank yous and mentions

  • Thank you to CW for dropping us off in the morning before heading home.
  • DP’s photos – something (that I don’t understand) went wrong with my phone so I was unable to take or save any photos…
  • RS for tech support!
  • We stopped at Maenporth Beach Cafe for some cheap food, sitting on their terrace in the December sunshine.
  • Our end of walk beers were at The New Inn at Mabe Burnthouse on our way home.
  • Thank you to Bosanneth Guest House again, for allowing me to leave my car for the day, enabling us to do our walk.

 

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SWCP #36b Porthoustock to Helford

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Porthhallow

The Half Way point was reached finally! Probably about 2 or 3 months later than I wanted or had hoped to, but reached nevertheless! We were joined by DP for her first walk, and CW came back again – having recovered from his previous North Devon walk SWCP walk #3 Lynmouth to Combe Martin.

If you read my last post you’ll know that the logistics of walking are far more complicated than just a set of legs on the coast path, and this was no exception…

6 people, in three cars meant it went something like this: JC picked up DP and drove to Porthoustock. RS & I drove to Helford, where we met LN & CW who had also driven there. I drove 4 of us to Porthoustock, we all walked to Helford and then it got complicated again. CW drove me and JC back to Porthoustock to collect our cars. He then went back to Helford to collect DP, RS & LN. JC and I drove separately to our accommodation in Falmouth, where we all met at roughly the same time, to celebrate walking 315 miles of the coast path!

December 14th 2019

  • Start: Porthoustock, Cornwall

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    Half Way!!!

  • Finish: Helford, Cornwall
  • Mileage: 10 m
  • Guide book timing: 4.75
  • Actual timing: 4.5hrs
  • Grading: moderate.
  • Weather: 7 deg, cloud and sun.
  • Walkers: me, & JC, RS, LN, CW & DP.
  • Miles to date: 324 m

Funnily enough, depsite it being one of the most complicated commutes, it was one of the easiest we’d done and we finished at a comfortable hour! We arrived in Porthallow less than an hour after leaving Porthoustock. Those few miles were fairly uninteresting: cutting inland through some farmland, which was poorly signposted. Porthallow itself is little more than a beach with some fishermen’s cottages, and probably tourist struggling for parking in the summer. It marks a monumental half way point for many a walker, as exactly 315miles from either end.

December sunshine accompanied us onto the clifftops towards Nare Head and Nare Point.

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We found a spot for our elevenses near Men-aver Beach, in a tiny little garden, whose table we made use of standing around for cake and flasks of tea. From here, a short diversion to avoid erosion, along some wet wooded pathways until we got to Gillan Creek.

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From Gillan Creek, it’s possible to cross at low tide. You can follow signs past houses, pointing out the crossing points and warning you not to do so in high water.

What looked innocent from afar was indeed a fast flowing and deeper than our boots, so wasn’t really crossable. This means you have to walk up and down the creek – not too far, but fairly flat and boring. We got to St Anthony-in-Meneage and found a combination of a wall and a bench to scoff some sarnies, before setting off upwards to Dennis Head.

Beyond Dennis Head, which I don’t seen to have any photos of, we entered some woodland somewhere between Ponsence Cove and Bosahan Cove I found a curious object. On stopping to inspect, we all became rather curious as to how, what we believe to be a skeleton of a dolphin had got up onto the coast path some 30-40 metres above water…

After we’d googled and discussed the bones of the mystery animal, we were on the home straight, heading for Helford way before dusk – a first for a long time!

Thank yous and mentions

  • To the tireless drivers for making the impossible, possible!IMG_20191214_154720 Thank you always!
  • The ShipWright Arms for a warm and welcome pint at the end of the walk. I am sure DP, LN and RS enjoyed a second one whilst waiting for the drivers to return!
  • Once we arrived in Falmouth, 5 of us spent the night at the truly delightful Bosanneth Guest House. Very welcoming to weary walkers, excellent breakfast and stylish, comfortable rooms. Such a treat for us – much as I have loved camping, to fall into a cosy bed at the end of an evening was a wonderful way to reach (over) half way!

Learnings

  • You can do anything if you set your mind to it. Up until now, it’s been a challenge, but one that’s well, well worth it. I cannot recommend it enough – if you are lucky enough to have willing drivers and a good pair of boots then get out there and walk!
  • Here’s what I wrote when we got to the half way point: SWCP – half way…

The Charity Bit

When I did this walk, I had raised over £300 – I believe I was on target for raising £1/mile. I am now considerably further along the path and continuing to raise money and awareness for Anthony Nolan through my walks and from donations on my Just Giving page.

If you have any comments or questions, please post them below 🙂

 

 

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