South West Coast Path 2014

Posted by: john57r

South West Coast Path 2014 - 03/11/13 11:27 PM

Been planning my two big walks for next year.
The SWCP looks attractive for a variety of reasons.
I don't think I could justify doing the whole lot in one go but could conceivably get away in doing it in two stages; say one in May and one in August. The Lizard looks to be about half way.
Alternatively; I could do three sections; say Poole to Plymouth; Plymouth to Newquay; Newquay to Minehead. Two next year and one the year after.
Fancy doing it from Poole as I have friends along the south coast whom I can stay with for the odd night or two.
I am a 18 - 20 mile per day sort on the C2C and the like carrying my own gear.
How long do you think I should allow for each section; proceeding at a reasonable pace? Will B&B it so what is accom like to book?
Any other thoughts welcome on any related issue.
Plan to travel by train.

Posted by: Harland

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 04/11/13 10:04 AM

I walked it in April/May 2007 averaged 15.8 miles per day not counting distances from the path to B&B and pub! Average ascent per day was 2,873 feet, the north coast is far harder than the south. I didn't book any accommodation in advance apart from the night before I set off and also Clovelly a couple of days in advance as I was told that this may be difficult to get a bed.

However I carried my tent, sleeping bag and sleeping mat in case I couldn't find anywhere. This enabled me to walk without any great concern where I would stop for the night, on days when I felt good then I would walk a bit further. Despite carrying my tent etc for 41 days I didn't need to use it as I always found somewhere to stay. By walking in late April/May I managed to miss the main holiday period. I nearly had to camp on a bank holiday at Mullion Cove where there was also a wedding taking place but I found the last available bed as I was walking out of the place on my way to camp.

Two very useful web sites which you probably have found are:-

And for accommodation lists see:-

You need to check on tides and ferry times/availability as some of the river crossings can be forded at low tide but other you will need to use a ferry.

I took my compass but packed it away after the first day as I just kept the sea on my right-hand side - being ever helpful you will need to keep it on your left-hand side!

Pleased to answer any other questions you may have.
Posted by: john57r

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 04/11/13 10:35 PM

Thanks Harland,
And a belated well done on doing it all at once. Wish I could but I suspect 40 days would be a bridge too far domestically. North and south do seem to be different walks in many ways too.
Would you go for a 3 split or two? If so what would be the split? I certainly could do May and September.
Did you have a planned itinery or just stop when you felt ready? I must confess the idea not booking; just turning up and seeking a bed feels interesting as I have not done this before.
Bit of a toss up between this and the PW. Truth is I don't really fancy the latter but feel the need to be able to say I have done it. By contrast the SWCP sounds good...
Posted by: Harland

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 05/11/13 10:26 AM

I must admit when I said to my wife that I was thinking of walking the 630 miles of SWCP she said OK. So I booked my train and my overnight accommodation at the start, 2 weeks later she said "how long will you be away a couple of weeks" - at that stage she realised that I would be away for circa 5 weeks! Speaking with her after about 3 weeks she was enjoying herself so much she said take as long as you want!

I walked from Minehead as that was where the guidebook started although you can get the reversed route. I also wanted to finish along the south coast as I spent many happy holidays there with my parents in my youth some 60 years ago. In many ways the way you are thinking may make better sense as it will get you ready for the more strenuous parts of the northern coast.

Being retired I like to start walking from my front door to the station, complete all the walk, take train home and walk back to my house. If I couldn't walk it all in one then I guess that my decision about where I would finish would be based around how I would get home from there. For a 3 split I would go for Plymouth and Newquay as the interim stops as I presume that the trains would be good from there - it would also save you staying in Newquay overnight! For a 2 split I would finish at Falmouth a 295/335 mile split 52k/62k feet.

I didn't have a set itineray albeit I had a rough idea where I might stay before I left home but when I was walking I usually decided where I would look to stay that night. In practice, however, because of the good weather I had when I got to my destination for the night I would look at the next town/village and continue when I felt good. Although I had a list of accommodation frequently, when arriving at my stop for the night, I would find a local (usually someone walking a dog) and ask their view on where to stay. On the days that it was pouring with rain then I would normally try phoning a B&B about lunchtime so that I knew I had a roof over my head and that I wouldn't need to put up my tent albeit I never had to.

I am walking the Pennine Way for the second time next year which remains my favourite but it was my first LDP so that may be the reason. I like the remoteness of this walk but the SWCP is my second favourite. A totally different walk as clearly navigation is easy but around every headland is something different and as I said earlier it took me back to my early years, I remmbered the names of places that I had been to but couldn't remember what they looked like apart from the sand and icecreams!

The ascent for the whole walk is some 115,000 feet i.e. some 4 times the height of Everest so it isn't that easy, I lost some 21 pounds in weight but I guess that there are easier ways of doing that!

At this time of year it is appropriate to show below my comment at the end of my journal:-

"A lasting memory of this walk was to be the war memorials in every town, village, and hamlet listing those who gave their lives during the two world wars. Whilst I guess there is one in every conurbation the significance seemed to hit home more in these small seaside locations."

A really lovelly walk, well maintained and one that I was really pleased to have done and I would recommend to anyone. As people say nowadays (although I don't like the comment) ENJOY!
Posted by: john57r

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 25/11/13 11:35 PM

I have been looking at a rough itinery to put some outline structure to the walk; mindful of course of what you said about being able to find accommodation every night when you did the walk.
I know it is a few years ago but can you recall any areas where you did find or could have found difficulty getting a bed for the night?
For example around the Lands End peninsula or Hartland Point?
With the benefit of hindsight was your pace a comfortable one for you? The climbs look impressive on paper; what about real life?
A first stab has me at 20 days from Poole to Penzance then 19 days from Penzance to Minehead. Plan to do section 1 in early May and the second at the start of September ( unless I get a pass out to do it all at once!) I will be celebrating my 60th birthday not long after finishing so I may be giving you a couple of years from when you did it but would be interested in your thoughts

Posted by: Harland

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 26/11/13 10:44 AM

I show below where I stayed on my walk and have given the accommodation a quick rough guide as how good they were. There was nothing wrong with "Good" but I wanted to be able to give some "Very Good" and some "Poor"! Happy to provide further information on each or the walk if you wish. I have also noted where the accommodation wasn't too easy to find.

Overnight Accommodation VG/G/Poor

Minehead Marston Lodge Hotel 01643 702510 G My first night so booked in advance
Lynmouth The Bath Hotel 01598 752238 G
Combe Martin Blair Lodge Hotel 01271 882294 VG
Woolacombe Clyst House B&B 01271 870220 VG Could prove difficult but I found this lovely B&B - there was a hotel available (3 star?)but was too expensive
Barnstable Cresta Guest House 01271 374022 G
Westward Ho! Brockenhurst B&B 01237 423346 G
Clovelly The Old Police House B&B 01237 431256 G Booked 2 days in advance as could prove difficult
Elmscott Elmscott Youth Hostel 01237 441367 G
Bude (Upton) Harefield Cottage B&B 01288 352350 VG Upton could be difficult but Bude should be OK
Boscastle Boscastle Youth Hostel 0870 7705710 VG
Port Gaverne The Anchorage B&B 01208 880629 G With the filming of "Doc Martin" Port Isaac round the corner may prove difficult nowadays
Trevone Well Parc Hotel 01841 520318 P
Newquay Beresford Hotel 01637 873238 P Loads of places available
Perranporth The Perranporth Hotel 01872 573234 G Should be OK and the best ice cream of the walk!
Portreath Fountain Springs B&B 01209 842650 G
St. Ives 6, Barnoon Terrace B&B 01736 793172 G
Pendeen Pendeen Manor Farm B&B 01736 788753 G Not much available
Porthcurno Sea View House B&B 01736 810638 G Not much available
Marazion Blue Horizon B&B 01736 711199 G
Mullion Cove Alma House B&B 01326 240509 G Don't get here on a bank holiday! However I managed to find a room eventually. Could have walked onto the Lizard Youth Hostel
Coverack Coverack Youth Hostel 0870 7705780 G
Falmouth Grove Hotel 01326 319577 G
Portloe Broom Parc B&B 01872 501803 VG Book in advance although I didn't
Mevagissey Honeycombe House B&B 01726 843750 VG
Par 84, Par Green B&B 01726 813720 G I managed to find a bed despite the ‘Daphne du Maurier Festival‘ taking place
Polperro The House on Props B&B 01503 272310 G
Portwrinkle 'B&B by the C' B&B 01503 230947 G Worth booking a couple of days in advance
Plymouth Sea Breezes B&B 01752 667205 VG
Down Thomas The Mussel Inn 01752 862238 G
Battisborough Bugle Rocks, The Old School B&B 01752 830422 VG Could prove difficult
Salcombe Torre View B&B 01548 842633 G
Strete Skerries B&B 01803 770775 VG
Brixham Sampford House B&B 01803 857761 G
Shaldon Potters Moorings Hotel 01626 873225 G
Sidmouth The Hollies B&B 01395 514580 G Had a job finding a bed here
Lyme Regis The White House B&B 01297 443420 G
Abbotsbury Abbotsbury Tea Rooms B&B 01305 871143 G Had a job finding a bed here
Weymouth Greenwood Guest House B&B 01305 775626 G
Lulworth Cove Lulworth Youth Hostel 0870 7705940 G
Swanage Swanage Youth Hostel 0870 7706058 G
South Haven Point Express Hotel, Poole 01202 649222 P

The advantage of taking a tent was that it didn't really matter if I couldn't find somewhere to lay my head. But phoning ahead the night before or at say lunchtime would give you some certainty and an idea whether you may need to walk a bit further the next day to get a bed. To be honest the first day was probably the hardest but I don't really train for these walks. My pace is steady only averaging just over 2 miles per hour but that includes stops for chats (and there will be many as people see the rucksack on you back), photo stops, breaks to eat/drink etc. Averaged about 16 miles per day and some 2,900 feet of ascent. The climbs on the north coast can be a bit strenuous but the path is really well maintained and a credit to the local councils. Having walked parts of the north coast since when the rain was coming down in torrents the path/steps can be very slippery and therefore worth taking a walking pole.

Two things to keep in mind when trying to ascertain whether accommodation will be available are the school holidays and bank holidays. I had my 60th birthday 26 days into the walk.
Posted by: john57r

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 26/11/13 08:47 PM

Thanks Harland,
Really appreciate that list. I am about to dive into it tonight!

Posted by: Harland

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 13/09/15 09:41 PM

I have just spotted the following website that in their words is:-
"A daily walking itinerary is a written guide which not just tells you how to get from one location to another, it also illuminates your walk by informing you of interesting things such as historical features, buildings and such like. It will also cover practical things which you may not have thought of, for example how to avoid the shooting range at Lulworth which closes the coast path there when shooting is in progress!"

You can print off one day at a time or all of the walk, alternatively buy a book!

Daily walking itineraries
Posted by: Harland

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 02/10/15 08:10 PM

Having had time to read through the item I suggested above I would wish to add a comment.

Whilst the guide is not an exact copy of The Cicerone Guide by Paddy Dillon it is so similar that I presume, perhaps erroneously, that it was written whilst looking at the Cicerone Guide. In addition there are a quite a number of spelling mistakes/typos.

It is still worth reading parts of it to get an idea whether the path is one that interests you but on balance, if I wanted to read it all, I would buy the book (which I did before my walk in 2007).
Posted by: john57r

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 03/12/15 10:15 PM

Evening Harland,
Hope you are well. Long time since we spoke. Sadly this forum is not well populated these days; hence I don't visit it much. Did the PW this year which was great and have been examining options for next year. I am swinging back towards the SWCP. I like to do a walk in one go as otherwise I do feel like it is cheating to an extent. Sadly I cannot be away from home for the five and a bit weeks I reckon it would take me to complete it.
I am confusing myself looking at video clips and guides various ( including the Cicerone one which oddly seems better than the national trails guides in this case; I usually find the latter to be quite good). May be just as well to take your advice; pack a tent and make it up as I go along. I think I can do Penzance in around 15 days. Working out an outline itinery is a bit frustrating.
Logic would suggest starting with the easier half first but I am drawn to the "normal" route from Minehead. I can get a direct train home from Penzance.
With luck I will get back in Sept next to do the second half; then at least it is done in 2016.

Posted by: Harland

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 04/12/15 03:09 PM

I did the Pennine Way again this year as it is certainly one that I knew that I would enjoy, in many ways I enjoyed it more the 2nd time.

I was thinking about walking the SWCP again next year but I have almost decided to fill in bits of LEJOG that I haven't done. I'll do the link between SWCP and Offa's Dyke and the bit between Offa's Dyke and the Pennine Way. I might, towards the end of next year, do the bits between the PW and WHW and the last bit from the end of the Great Glen Way to JOG.

I'm keeping relatively fit thank goodness. I am sure that walking helps albeit I don't do much between my long distance walks apart from swimming. The advantage for me is that even if I am not very fit at the start with a walk lasting 2/3 weeks I walk myself into "walking" fitness after 2 or 3 days. I don't rush, if it is a high mileage day then I just start earlier and plod along at about two and a half miles an hour.

Good luck with your walk, I am sure that you will enjoy it. A fresh view around every headland and if like me you spent some time there in your early years it is a delight to go back. However one of the camp sites that I used to stay at with my parents in my very early years that were basically us and a few cows now has thousands of static caravans - I thought I might stay there the night - I just kept walking!
Posted by: john57r

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 06/12/15 10:22 PM

The interesting thing for me, coming from "up north" is that I only know bits of the SW; and then from family holidays when the kids were young thirty years ago. So I have only fleeting memories of places like Bude and Padstow. Whilst I am familiar with the views I have not actually walked through the land before so it is a first; which is good as an old boy.
There will be some firsts on your 2016 plans; some interesting infills in unfamiliar walking territory; and quite a long way to walk. Are you going to risk the Flow country or stroll up the road to JOG? If you do decide to do the SWCP, we may meet up for a day or so.
I will chat before I go anyway; months away yet.
But a quick question for now: Put yourself back in your early 60s body. Where would you change your itinery if you had to, to trim about three days of your walk to Penzance?

Posted by: Harland

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 07/12/15 09:46 AM

Minehead Lynmouth 21.8 5,354 10.2
Lynmouth Combe Martin 13.3 4,429 7.8
Combe Martin Woolacombe 12.5 4,254 6.5
Woolacombe Barnstaple 20.7 971 8.0
Barnstaple Westward Ho! 19.1 531 7.5
Westward Ho! Clovelly 11.2 2,589 7.3
Clovelly Elmscott 13.5 2,323 6.7
Elmscott Bude (Upton) 12.2 4,272 8.0
Bude (Upton) Boscastle 17.0 141.3 5,105 Boscastle Youth Hostel 0870 7705710 8.3
Boscastle Port Gaverne 13.8 155.1 4,344 The Anchorage B&B 01208 880629 7.7
Port Gaverne Trevone 17.4 172.5 4,124 Well Parc Hotel 01841 520318 8.2
Trevone Newquay 19.0 191.5 2,959 Beresford Hotel 01637 873238 7.7
Newquay Perranporth 10.8 202.3 1,582 The Perranporth Hotel 01872 573234 5.7
Perranporth Portreath 12.2 214.5 2,454 Fountain Springs B&B 01209 842650 5.8
Portreath St. Ives 18.0 232.5 2,034 6, Barnoon Terrace B&B 01736 793172 7.5
St. Ives Pendeen 13.9 246.4 3,186 Pendeen Manor Farm B&B 01736 788753 7.5
Pendeen Porthcurno 15.6 262.0 3,776 Sea View House B&B 01736 810638 8.0
Porthcurno Marazion 14.9 276.9 1,817 Blue Horizon B&B 01736 711199 7.5
Posted by: Harland

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 07/12/15 10:11 AM

Sorry I sent it before I finished editing it!

To explain - From and to fairly obvious i.e. Minehead to Lynmouth, next is the daily mileage i.e. 21.8 then the ascent in feet i.e. 5,354 then the number of hours it took me i.e 10.2.

A bit later on where I haven't edited it (sorry) the figure between daily mileage and ascent is the cumulative mileage then obviously where I stayed and their phone number.

From this you can see the easiest days in hours are the ones from Newquay, Perranporth, Combe Martin and Clovelly. However keep in mind that the times are from start to finish including stops to chat, photos, waiting for ferry crossings, eat etc. and I wasn't pushing myself too much especially if I had a rough idea as to where I wanted to stop. I am sure that by walking a bit more each day to the next village, I guess that you will weigh less than me i.e. 16 stone, you should be able to trim the number of days down. On average you need to walk about another 3 miles a day however I found the first day from Minehead to Lynmouth quite "A challenge" so the first day may not be the one to try going a bit further!

A final point I would take a walking pole especially if the path is muddy. Whilst it was OK on my walk having walked parts of it again after heavy rain going down some of the cliff paths wasn't easy for me.
Posted by: john57r

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 10/02/16 10:55 PM

Evening Harland,
Hope you are well. Have thought about what you have said (and what I have read)and am ready to go leaving Minehead on 1st May and planning to arrive at Penzance 15 days later (around 19 miles per day allowing for a bit of accommodation finding each day). I am still pondering the tent carrying and have booked in at five YHAs as these seem to fit well with the itinery and/or in in areas where other beds may be in short supply (you can also cancel at less cost than B&Bs etc). These are: Elmscott, Boscastle, Treyarnon, Lands End (St Just) and Penzance itself. Will book in at Minehead the night before.
The outline idea is as follows:
1) to Lynmouth
2) to Ilfracombe ( noting your point about the easier start from Combe Martin)
3) to Saunton/ Braunton
4) to Bideford/Appledore
5) to Clovelly
6) to Elmscott YHA
7) to Bude
8) to Boscastle YHA
9) to Port Isaac/Gaverne
10)to Treyarnon YHA
11)to somewhere 5/6 miles past Newquay ( mindful of the easier start from there and my long next day to..)
12)to Portreath
13)to St Ives
14)to Lands End YHA ( some 5 miles earlier at St Just)
15) to Penzance
I am uncertain about phasing from Saunton to Bude; particularly around Clovelly (it is too far to Bude by the look of it but to Elscott looks a shortish day; as does the next one to Bude). Do you recall any beds in the Bucks Mill area?
By so doing I am becoming a section walker ( I think that is what they call it) but I cannot be away any longer and plan to do the remainder in September. In my defence it is a Pennine Way length section with rather more climbing by the feel of it and as such a reasonable challenge for my current 107 kg frame!

Posted by: Harland

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 18/02/16 09:10 PM

Sorry for delay, been sunning myself on holiday! The day you have from Clovelly to Elmscott was, even for me, one that I finished early – I remember sitting outside the Youth Hostel waiting for it to open. As well as Elmscott to Bude (I walked a bit further to Upton that day as again I got to Bude feeling good and with time to spare. So I think that you could make some savings here. In honesty, as you are taking a tent, I would “go with the flow” and just see how you feel - start early and about lunchtime start thinking about where you may want to stop. Sorry but I can’t recall any accommodation around Bucks Mills, my search via Google doesn’t help too much either but a bit of wild camping may be the best answer. Taking the tent really does give you the flexibility to stop wherever you want - I didn't take any of the extras, just the tent, sleeping bag and sleeping mat on the basis I could eat somewhere from my bag in the evening and something more substantial in the morning. In the event I did find accommodation every night so I needn't have carried the tent etc. but it did give me the comfort that I would have a roof over my head!
Posted by: Harland

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 19/02/16 08:23 AM

The following further searches the following website should help you find accommodation on the SWCP:-
Posted by: Harland

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 19/02/16 08:25 AM

Try again!

Accommodation SWCP
Posted by: john57r

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 20/02/16 12:54 AM

Yes, that middle section is quite awkward to envisage/plan for whereas the rest seems to fall more readily into long or short day sections. I have been trying to work out how to split it up to no good effect. A walk from Clovelly to Bude looks a bit on the long side... conversely a couple of short days in the middle of my trek may do no harm.
I am still wrestling with the tent issue because of the weight (with bag and mat around 2.75 kg). Survival bag and sleeping bag is an option I suppose...
The more I think about it though; planning is self defeating as there is enough accommodation on most sections and in early May I should not get stuck with the single night problem at most B&Bs especially if I arrive quite late.
Notwithstanding all this I have the usual pleasant sense of anticipation now. Not even worried about being a little unfit at the outset.
I trained moderately for the PW last year and found most of it reasonably ok in the event. Still have ten weeks to go to..
Posted by: Harland

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 20/02/16 07:49 AM

An issue to keep in mind re availability of accommodation is the Early May Bank Holiday on 2 May and the Spring Bank Holiday on 30 May.
Posted by: Harland

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 20/02/16 04:46 PM

As someone who also weighs about 107kgs at the moment, with 10 weeks to go why not try and lose 2.75kgs so that you can carry your tent etc. with no extra weight on your feet - well it makes sense to me!

I carried 17.7 kilos including the rucksack but excluding water/food. However there were a number of extra items that I shouldn't have taken e.g. swimming trunks as I intended to camp and go swimming at a local beach as the sun went down! Also gaiters, why do I take them (I don't any more) as I have never used them and when required they are at the bottom of the rucksack and I can't be bothered to get them out! I now take much lighter slip on shoes for the evening as the ones that I took weighed 2.8 kilos - big feet as well as heavy!
Posted by: john57r

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 20/02/16 09:07 PM

I shed 9 kilos doing the PW last year so will be lighter at the end at least! Will start some practice walks soon and that should help at least.
20 kilos is some weight to carry Harland but it is encouraging that you made it all the way with that on board. In reality I will no doubt be ok with the tent ( just take fewer clothes etc). Ironically I have just got a fancy berghaus rucksack but my old hi gear Tibet will be better with the tent etc having more top and bottom external straps.
I was aware there was a bank holiday in early May but seem to have excluded it from my thought processes. Too late to change now; so it will be the Saturday night in Minehead and Sunday at Lynmouth that are the possible problems. Not sure whether just to turn up at 5 pm Saturday and take a chance. As you say I can always walk a few miles up the track and find a secluded spot
Posted by: john57r

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 20/02/16 09:10 PM

Yes...I have worn gaiters for half a day in my entire walking career. They wont make the trip; nor will my heavy gloves etc. In fact a lot of PW stuff wont find a place in the sack
Posted by: Harland

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 20/03/16 06:45 PM

The Man Who Hated Walking by Overend Watts

I have just finished reading the above. For those that have walked the South West Coast Path then this book will bring back wonderful memories; I read it in conjunction with my very unprofessional journal. A wonderful and entertaining account of Overend Watts’ first long distance walk (for those of my generation he was the bass guitar player with “Mott The Hoople”). Any walk over a mile or so was something that he hadn’t really experienced before, in an amusing way he details where he went wrong (volume/weight of his pack etc – don’t we all at the start), the people he met and how he felt along the way. Unfortunately for him the weather could have been better but he finished. So if you have walked it there will be many great memories, for those that haven’t it is worth reading so that you don’t make the same mistakes that he did at the start or just read it for fun.
Posted by: john57r

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 30/03/16 12:27 AM

Will have a look for that, maybe as a read at days end.
Start on May 1st. Anticipation starting to build. Still not resolved the tent issue. It is sat on the office table looking at me waiting to be packed!
Posted by: K

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 19/04/16 10:04 PM

Have a great walk! We did portions between Lynmouth & Minehead in 2013 and really enjoyed it. (If you go off route the NT tearoom in Selworthy was great for a cream tea!)

Posted by: john57r

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 21/04/16 08:37 PM

Thank you K. I am really looking forward to it. Bit under practised so some early starts will be in order I fancy. Like the idea of teas and scones at any time but I fear day 1 to Lynmouth will be a bit of a trek; so the first cream tea may have to wait until another day...maybe day 2 !
Posted by: Harland

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 23/04/16 08:59 PM

Just back from my Minehead to Chepstow and Chirk to Edale walk so now I've walked from Land's End to Scotland. The weather was supposed to be changeable with thunderstorms, however all I had was rain for 2 hours one day and 5 minutes as I walked into Cheddar - I must be doing something right! I must admit that age seems to be taking its toll, I had thought about doing the SWCP again next year but now 10 years after I did it last time I know that I would really struggle unless I extended the number of days quite significantly.

Any way good luck to you and I look forward to hearing that everything went really well.
Posted by: john57r

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 26/04/16 09:24 PM

Well done Harland; good job done. What was the Chirk to Edale route? (in case someday I try and do the end to end).
Bet it seems like yesterday you did the SWCP.
My plan for next year is a n-s PW and in 2018 a back to back C2C ie start at RHB and finish back there (if the knees keep going). Actually may do the LWW to start the outward C2C for a bit of variety.
As for the immediate challenge; I am a bit undercooked preparation wise so it will be a matter of mind over hamstrings for the first couple of days. Just been so busy with various business projects; more so than before I actually retired!
By now by bag would normally be packed and looking at me with three days to go. Have'nt even started yet. Main issue is whether to take my nice new berghaus rucksack which I have only worn for 4 hours thus far or the heavier old faithful.
Decided after much thought to not take a tent. If I get caught short I will get a cab to some sort of bed for the night. Taking a survival bag and sleeping back for a real emergency though...
I will try and post en route. If not will drop a line when done.
Thanks for the best wishes; cant wait to get the train and Minehead digs out of the way and get boots on the path Sunday morning. Pity the weather forecast is not better.

Posted by: Harland

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 27/04/16 12:36 PM

Sorry for the length but the route I took was on arrival at Chirk I walked to Bronygarth to touch the Offa's Dyke fingerpost and back.

The next day I walked to Whitchurch via Glynmorlas, alongside the River Dee, Overton, Penley, Tarts Hill, Hanmer, Bronington.

The following day I walked to Weston via Wirswall and then the South Cheshire Way (SCW) all day, just South of Marbury, South of Wrenbury cum Frith, Aston, North of Hankelow, Hunsterson, Hough.

The to Congleton via Bridgehouse Farm, Haslington, up to the Cheshire Ring Canal Walk, Hassall Green, heading North before Rode Heath (still on the SCW), Little Moreton Hall, back to the Cheshire Canal Ring Walk to Congleton.

Next to Bollington (North of Macclesfield) via the Cheshire Canal Ring Walk all day.

The final day to Edale via Berristall Hall, B5470, Whaley Bridge, Buxworth Basin, the Peak Forest Tramway (PFT), then I should Have gone via Chinley then up to Edale Cross to follow the Pennine Way down to Edale. However I was keen to get the train home so I continued along the PFT to Chapel Milton then turned North up a steep single track road to join the road by the Chesnut Centre (Otter, Owl & Wildlife) via Rushup Edge to Edale.
Posted by: john57r

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 29/04/16 10:25 PM

It is funny how these "off piste" cross country connecting walks sound really interesting when logically I imagine they are a bit unremarkable. Guess it is walking for walking's sake in its purest sense.
Will park these in the memory bank for future reference.
Anyway, off to bed now and on the train tomorrow ready for Sunday am.
Another adventure.
Happy Days
Posted by: john57r

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 17/05/16 10:30 AM

Well I got there; just about. Got to Lamorna Cove in mid afternoon on day 15. Trying to get round from St Ives in two days was a bit tough on hot days and I got a few leg problems on the last morning. Plus I would have been late to the YHA which is a couple of miles on from Penzance centre. So with an early train in the morning, I decided I could pick up the last 5/6 miles on the second leg.
It was a good adventure and quite a tough challenge. worth doing. Hats off to you for doing it all at once. I think I would have to drop the pace slightly to get al the way round, although as you say, the southern half is a bit easier.
Some of the sections on the north coast were fairly brutal eg Bude to Boscastle, St Ives to Cot Valley YHA, Clovelly to Bude and the first day to Lynmouth.
Not sure I would want to do them again!
The scenery was magnificent, splendid and at times a bit intimidating.
Glad I did it though
Posted by: Harland

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 17/05/16 05:16 PM

Well done, I was thinking of you especially as the weather appeared to be quite hot which has its downside as well as upside. Did you carry your tent? You have done the hard bit, it is all downhill now to South Haven Point!
Posted by: john57r

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 17/05/16 11:58 PM

Yes I am slightly tanned on the head at least! Actually had some pretty bad weather on day two around Heddons Mouth. Really wet and windy on those high cliff paths. Not for the faint hearted. The two days of sea fret from Treyarnon to Portreath. Walking along the river bed of the Gannell was interesting too.
Didn't take the tent in the end; I had too much stuff although in fairness I used quite a lot of it. Found accommodation pretty easily in the event.
It was a toughie in parts but having done it I am not sure I buy in to the idea of anywhere on the SWCP being "downhill all the way" !!
Would you split the remainder at Plymouth if you were in my position? May not have time to do all the rest this September

Posted by: Harland

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 18/05/16 02:00 PM

I guess that having walked about 270 miles you still have 360 to go, so Plymouth at about 410 from Minehead is a bit short of halfway of the remainder but it has good train links to get you home. So if time wise you have to split it then this seems fairly sensible unless you fancy walking on to Salcombe which would be a better mileage split. However Plymouth, I guess, for you would be a one week walk and then it would take you two weeks for the remainder.

I presume that you didn't get to The Gannel at low tide as you had to walk along the river bed. The tides and river crossings are something that you will have to keep in mind when you continue onwards to South Haven point.

Whilst, because of time pressures, you had to break the trail into 2/3 parts how did you feel - could you have continued? Probably a difficult one to answer as if you had been able to spare the time to walk all the way then your brain would have tuned into that. What was the path like, the descents when I did a bit a while ago they were pretty muddy/slippy?

If I don't respond quickly it could be down to me using an old computer (as I am now) whilst the other gets sorted or the fact that I am going on holiday for a rest next week. Anyway well done it is a lovely walk albeit "a bit" strenuous in places.
Posted by: john57r

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 18/05/16 08:57 PM

Yes I have left myself an awkward sort of distance even if I use the Dorset Ridgeway route. It is three weeks walking near as makes no difference.
Plymouth would make sense travel wise and I reckon would take about 8/9 days. I may do this in September and come back early next summer for the rest; although I had planned a N_S PW next year.
I walked into Newquay and got directed to what in fact was the tidal "bridge" that was highest upriver. There seems to be a track of sorts that runs along what would be the river bed at high tide that gets you to Rusey Mill car park in a more direct way than the alternate SWCP overland route to that same point.
It runs below the bank itself although there would be no obvious way of climbing out if the tide began to run. started thinking about quicksand!
I had a few aching muscles, probably because I pushed on quite hard from St Ives, but I could have continued. I would have paced myself more and not chased the clock as much on a single trip. I am afraid I do berate myself if am slower than a pace I have in my head for any given section. Accepting that I might not arrive until say 7 at night not 5 would make life easier.
I do find however that after about 13 days I start thinking of home. Did the same on the PW.
The track was dry other than around Pendeen; too dry in some cases. Mostly it had a nice spring in it.
Posted by: Harland

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 19/05/16 08:25 PM

When you have time, and for the benefit of others contemplating walking the SWCP, could you let us know where you stayed and how good the B&B/Pub/YH was in a similar (or better) way to mine that I posted on Page 1 of this thread on 26 November 2013.
Posted by: john57r

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 07/06/16 08:59 PM

Here is a quick rundown of where I stayed. I have put down prices as a guide:
1) Minehead: Foxes Hotel and Academy.01643704450
They train teenagers with learning difficulties to hopefully embark upon a career in hospitality. This may explain the low price of £39.50 for b&b. In truth it was worth more relative to the area in which it is located. Clean and well appointed; it is on the Esplanade, close to the official start. G+
2)Lynmouth: Hillside House, Watermeet Road. 01598753501.
Around 400 metres from the harbour; it was easy to find as I staggered in after a tough 22 mile start. Denise is friendly without being pushy and the room was comfortable. Bit of river noise. Breakfast was good and she did me a sandwich thrown in for the price of £50. I was happy with the price and the place. G
3)Combe Martin: Blair Lodge. 01271882294. As you hit the first car park coming down off Great Hangman, Blair Lodge is 50 yards on your left (the name is painted on the roof). I had hoped to get to Ilfracombe but foul weather and fatigue slowed me up so I rang on spec. Rachel and her husband were great; dinner was good (there is a bar so you don't need to go out if weary) and the price was a very reasonable £55 for dinner B&B and a cider. VG
4)Saunton: Norboro Guest House. 01271816210. It was a long walk to make up for my short day previously. I cut across Baggy Point and over Saunton Down (recommended to avoid the road from Croyde)to make it in time. There is still an unpleasant half mile road walk to get to Norboro. Bernie and Rob kindly ran me into Braunton to eat. The room was ok as was breakfast. Perfectly adequate let down a bit by location (although only a few yards from the Burrows section) but there are few alternatives. £50 B&B. G
5)&6)Appledore. Torridge House. 01237477127. After a hot day I got the ferry over from Instow. Rang the number and Penny said she could put me up. Her house is just a few yards up a side street from the ferry and is delightful; full of woven rugs and laid back comfy furniture. The shower facilities were top notch. I thought £60 was a bit steep but didn't argue after a long day. In the event I stayed for two nights; Penny agreeing to do my washing and pick me up and drop me off at Clovelly after the next days walk. This was a good idea in the event. She is good company although we did not quite see eye to eye on the EU referendum issue! G+.
7) Elmscott YH. 08453719736. £20 self catering. Please stay here. It is in a lovely location but so few people stop it might close; leaving nearly no accommodation on this remote section of the walk. I was the only one there on a Friday night. It is 2 miles on from Hartland Quay so the hotel there is not the only option and that 2 miles makes the hard pull into Bude a little easier. Quaint old village school house conversion. You can buy food to cook there. G+
8) Bude. North Shore Backpackers Hostel (number in the back packers hostel guide). About a kilometre off the path in the centre of Bude. A nice place for £22. Decent basic facilities. Good value. bit of a trek after a long day. G
9) Boscastle YH. 08453719006. Beautiful location right in the fairytale harbour. Good food and shops close by (just out of tourist camera shot!). Right on the path which was vital after a rather brutal walk from Bude. Self catering. £21. Got my own room. Perfect. VG+
10)Port Isaac. Slipway Inn. Right on the harbour again; bang on the path. The owner runs a pub near Trebarwith and let me book a room for £50. The room was small but it is a tourist hot spot, so £78 dinner drinks and B&B isn't actually a lot. G
11)Treyarnon Bay YH. 08453719664. Beautiful setting and not a bad walk although it looks a long way on the map £19.73. Plus there is a basic restaurant and bar so all you need. Some slightly boisterous teenagers but hey the clue is in the name and it stopped about 11 pm. On the path. VG
12)Perranporth. The Seiners Arms. A pub bang on the harbour and path once again. I just walked in after a very long day and got in. Basic pub food and drink on tap. The room was a bit dated and slightly shabby but again perfectly adequate and above all convenient. £55 B&B. G
13) Portreath. The Portreath Arms. And again right on the path as you drop into the town. Well appointed. Food and drink on tap. £50 B&B (£77.90 inc dinner and drinks all night).G+.
14) St Ives. Cohort Backpackers Hostel. (number in the backpackers guide). Just in the town 300 yards off track. I liked this place. Clean, tidy, relaxed, drink fairly cheap in what is an expensive resort. £22. Bargain. VG
15)Cot Valley (St Just). YHA Lands End. 08453719643. Five miles from lands end actually but never mind. Hard to find but welcome after what is a tough 19 miles. Slightly run down. Bit pricey and the food was only ok. It is however well located if you need to make ground and have not got endless weeks to spare. £29.23. Location helps it up to a G
16) Penzance. YHA Penzance. 08453719653. 30 minutes walk out of town is a disadvantage. This is a "boutique" type of YHA with very few outdoor types in situ. Most guests were looking for a "proper" hotel without the price tag so I was a bit uncomfortable after 15 days on the trail. Good restaurant but the washing clothes option wasn't made too easy so I didn't bother. £18.73. G-
In short I got lucky; having no problem stays. I would stay at each one again if I had to and I would positively seek out most.
Hope this helps.
Posted by: Harland

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 08/06/16 09:02 PM

It is surprising how much accommodation is available without booking outside of the major school holidays. I agree with your comment about Elmscott Youth Hostel, we should also try and use other YH as they may continue to close along the walking trails in favour of the city centre locations.
Posted by: Harland

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 20/06/16 09:36 AM

I guess that we will have to walk (run) a bit faster. See new record for the SWCP i.e. under 11 days - I thought 41 days was pretty good!:-
Posted by: john57r

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 03/08/16 11:00 PM

41 days isn't bad at all! Think I will end up at 36 days but in 3 sections. I do find these record breaking things a bit depressing (without taking anything away from the valiant record breaker). I feel a bit of a fraud drifting along at 2.2 miles an hour.
Anyway, hope you are well, and this is to say I am off on leg 2 soon; Saturday 3rd September to be precise.
Porthcurno to Wembury. Have got 10 days free. If I can do a bit more I will but am leaving Plymouth on Tuesday 13th September at 9.25am.
The outline plan is:
1Porthcurno to Marazion
2to Mullion
3to Coverack
4to Falmouth
5to Boswinger
Thereafter have got five days to do with as I please
Got hostels all the way to Boswinger ex Mullion ( Alma House closed apparently so got to find somewhere). After Boswinger will take it as it comes.
11 days to finish off next May; then a reverse PW in August 2017..or so the plan goes
Have you got your mileage charts to hand for this next bit?

ps: anyone want to join me for the odd section..more than welcome
Posted by: Harland

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 04/08/16 10:20 AM

You are a speed merchant, my average speed over the whole route was 2.13 mph! I spent so much time looking for accommodation at Mullion Cove I should have continued to The Lizard and stayed at the youth hostel, may be worth a thought if you start early. Envious of you, I hope that you have good weather. My details shown below.

From -- To ----------------- Distance -- Cumulative -- Ascent -- Time - Avg.Speed
Porthcurno to Marazion --14.9 -------- 276.9 ---------1,817 -----7.5 ----1.99
Marazion to Mullion Cove 17.7 -------- 294.6 ---------2,848 -----7.8 ----2.28
Mullion Cove to Coverack 17.4 -------- 312.0 ---------3,475 -----8.0 ----2.18
Coverack to Falmouth-----23.1 -------- 335.1 ---------3,350 -----7.5 ----3.08
Falmouth to Portloe ------13.7 ---------348.8 ---------2,399 -----5.3 ----2.61
Portloe to Mevagissey ----12.3 ---------361.1 ---------2,375 -----7.5 ----1.64
Mevagissey to Par ---------11.5 ---------372.6 ---------2,326 -----5.2 ----2.23
Par to Polperro ------------13.1 ---------385.7 ---------2,730 -----6.8 ----1.94
Polperro to Portwrinkle --12.6 ---------398.3 ---------2,477 -----5.8 ----2.16
Portwrinkle to Plymouth -13.3 ---------411.6 ---------1,949 -----5.5 ----2.42
Plymouth to Down Thomas 12.8 -------424.4 ---------1,522 -----4.4 ----2.91
Posted by: Slogger

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 04/08/16 04:05 PM

The record attempts on our LDP's are jsu that to try and get along the route in the shortest possible time. They are far removed from normal long distance walking, they are not sight seeing trips taking in the scenery. Sure one would enjoy the scenery, but most will not register, the places passed through, when and where becomes blurred, the mileage and the clock are everything.
My own non stoppers and fast packing adventures, are a bit of both. Trying for a fast time, but also it's very important to me to enjoy the whole thing, scenery, wildlife, others along the route. I wouldn't enjoy the total head down, it has to be a combination of the two.
Posted by: john57r

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 08/08/16 11:05 PM

Pretty snappy on the Falmouth section Harland. Guess it is fairly easy hence the long distance that day. Can you recall if the Ferry at Helford runs most of the time ie close to low tide? I get that impression.
re the fast crossings Dave; yes I understand that they are different things. It just sort of nags away that what you take 10 days to do, fairly energetically, takes someone else three. Speaking of nagging away, the foot condition you suffer(ed?) from? does it commence with what feels like a dull ache within the pad of your heel like it is bruised?
Posted by: Harland

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 09/08/16 09:40 AM

My journal probably gives the reason for my speed that day, no stopping early on to chat, take photos etc.

"All the way to Helford River it chucked it down, my waterproofs weren’t waterproof, my left boot let in copious amounts of water. I did wonder at this stage whether I would get to Falmouth at a reasonable time and in a reasonable state. Luckily the ferry was just coming in, after paying my £3 I was taken across the Helford River to Helford Passage. Shortly after leaving there at 14.15 the rain stopped and it remained clear for the rest of the day."

The Helford ferry web site shows:-

The ferry operates from Good Friday or 1st April to October 31st. The ferry will run on demand between 9:30 am and 5.00 pm. During July and August, the ferry may run into the evenings, however if you look at our facebook page : Helford River Boats Ltd, you will see daily updates, timetables, weather forecasts, etc.

Very occasionally, because of extreme weather, we have to cancel the ferry. This is unusual, but if storms are forecast it might be advisable to look at our facebook page or contact us before your journey on 01326 250770.

Posted by: Harland

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 11/08/16 01:15 PM

There does appear to be a bit of a problem with the ferry at low water I guess depending whether it is spring or neap tides. The tide tables are available from:-

Or with this fishing one you can get further ahead:-
Posted by: Slogger

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 11/08/16 08:56 PM

Originally Posted By: john57r
Speaking of nagging away, the foot condition you suffer(ed?) from? does it commence with what feels like a dull ache within the pad of your heel like it is bruised?

Yes John that's exactly how it starts. I tried all sorts to fix it, in the end I decided to simply wait it out as it's supposed to burn itself out in around 18 months to 2 years. Mine took 3 years and i still occasionally that slight bruised heel feeling after a long walk. Mine started with me noticing a slight heel bruise type of feeling which after about a month or so quickly then developed to significant pain. Even walking become non enjoyable due to the discomfort. It was at this point I sought the help of Podiatrists. After a few months of spending far too much money with them and expensive orthotics shoe inserts, I gave up with it all and went to my GP. he referred me. That then set off the long long procedure that you have to go through with the hospital, who after around a further year offered me 'shock Wave' treatment. This sort of re- injures the foot in the hope that the body's own healing will re-start. At this point my foot had at last begun to settle some, so I refused treatment and was discharged. It has continued to improve from then on, until today it is no longer a problem.
Posted by: john57r

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 11/08/16 11:36 PM

On the day I get to Helford (Sept 6th), low water is 15.10 hrs at 1.1 metres. The ferry's facebook page implied that stoppages were rare however the guide books suggest it is more common. I wont have time to walk around obviously and don't want to resort to motorised transport. It is just over 13 miles from Coverack so I imagine I will be there by 13.00 hrs even with a normal 8.00am start. Am hoping there will be enough water in the river to avoid any delays. May crack on a bit earlier to make sure
Posted by: john57r

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 11/08/16 11:44 PM

Got the bruised feeling after the first day of my last walk ( to Lynmouth) and put it down to being the first day on a rocky track. It went away. Felt it again about a fortnight ago after a 10 mile leg stretch ( not done much at all lately) and it has stayed. Not painful but there. Tend not to notice it when into my stride.
I had tendonitis for a couple of years Dave and it eventually disappeared after a year when I didn't do any LDWs. Guess it is the same issue of the body healing itself. The problem of course is resting up for years whilst the rest of you is deteriorating.
I guess you just keep going as best you can. Got all the fancy inserts from NHS when trying to sort the tendonitis. They certainly cushion things fairly well
Posted by: Slogger

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 12/08/16 07:42 PM

PF(Plantar Fasciitis) is generally associated with over-pronation, the rolling inwards of the foot and the usual constructiveness that physio's go down is to suggest a footbed orthotic to support the foot arch. However if you require it for specific distance walking, you will have to have one privately made with extra cushioning. This works for some people.
The reason it didn't work for me, in fact made things worse, is that my affected foot doesn't over-pronate, it suppinates, the exact opposite, it rolls outward placing the weight on the outer edge.
As just about all the teaching to physio's, podiatrists etc is based on over-pronation for this problem I have found it all but impossible to get through to them that in my case it is caused by the suppination. The last thing according to my own research that a suppinating foot needs is an 'arch support', yet all the orthotics I received from NHs to two private companies came with substantial arch support. If they read up on the latest research into this condition they would also discover that the term 'faciitis' is also wrong and should be re labelled 'fasciosis'. The difference being that 'itis' means inflamation whereas 'osis' means degeneration. A US study of thousands of cases of this problem revealed 'no' inflammation in cells but levels of degeneration in the tissue.
If your problem is PF the heel bruise feeling is usually worse on getting out of bed in the morning and in the very early stages it goes away within minutes but is worse when walking around barefoot (ie without any support).
Posted by: MIKE M

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 21/08/16 10:34 AM

I also spent £££s privately,and hours and hours at hospitals,then gave up, and eventualy it just went away (after years)
Posted by: john57r

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 23/08/16 10:47 AM

Had a visit to the local podiatrist/chiropodist to get my toenails cut back and feet scraped ready for next week. The way he explained PF suggested time and stretching is probably the only way forward. The bit of walking I have done since Minehead to Penzance in May has been in some very light boots without the normal inserts and two pairs of socks I tend to use. This may not have helped. Have done nothing this last month and it does feel somewhat better. Rather like the tendonitis I had in 2012/3, An LDW free 2014 seemed to solve it.
Just have to take it steady the first day or so due to "lack of match practise"
Posted by: Slogger

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 23/08/16 01:32 PM

All depends John on the severity of it. One of our very good lady fell runners got a bad case of PF. She eventually had an injection, which got her going again, but as with all cases Ive heard about who had the injection, it only helps short term before the problem comes back. She then tried the foot spling which she continues, now 2 years on to wear in bed at night, thus stretching the fascia. I guess it all depends on the root cause of the PF.
Good luck with your walk.
Posted by: Harland

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 26/08/16 09:06 PM

I know that you are not off for another week but thought I would write to wish you well in case you don't have time to visit the site nearer the time. If you are like me you will have all your "stuff" all over the bedroom floor by now. I hope that the weather is kind to you but enjoy yourself whatever it throws at you.
Posted by: john57r

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 29/08/16 11:00 PM

Thanks guys
I appreciate that. To be honest my stuff is strewn all over the place but I have been so busy this summer I have not been out walking at all this last 6 weeks or so and was just reminding myself tonight that I am on the train On Friday so I better get some sorting out done ready.
No doubt this means I will forget something but this laid back approach feels quite good.
The forecast seems to be firming up to look ok. There seems to be a weather front hitting the SW on Saturday night but looks like a short sharp one off.
May have been a bit more concerned if I was heading out for three weeks, but ten days should be ok. Have only booked accommodation to end of day 5(Boswinger); will just see how far I can get in my allotted time.
Have written a TR for the first leg. Will try and post it before the off
Posted by: john57r

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 01/09/16 01:08 PM

I have stuck a trip report on walking forum ( SWCP for the over 60s). Not sure I can post it on here easily.
Anyway talk when I get back. best start packing! train in the morning

Posted by: Harland

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 02/09/16 08:35 PM

I didn't know about the "Walking Forum", well worth looking at. Liked the way you wrote up your trip report brought back many memories. Looking forward to the report of your trip starting tomorrow, trust that you are tucked up in bed by now but, if you are like me, the anticipation of tomorrow will be keeping you awake.
Posted by: john57r

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 06/09/16 09:39 PM

In falmouth end of day 4
Having a quiet cider outside on this warm night
Schedule has been about right. Testing but doable
Day one in the rain around lamorna cove was rough.
Been quite.humid since
Great fun tho...
Posted by: john57r

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 14/09/16 09:07 PM

Well I got to Wembury in 10 days in reasonable shape, so that's another 164 miles on the tally. So I have (near as makes no difference)some 200 miles to go. Got to Boswinger in 5 days ok; then ran out of steam a bit at Charlestown the next day. Picked it up and got to Polperro on the Friday night then slightly ran out of steam again the next three days. Luckily the accommodation stops sort of self selected slightly shorter days after the first week, so I made my objectives.
There isn't such a thing as an easy day on this track. The closest to an easy one is Cremyll to Wembury; the last day.
Again there is some stunning scenery and places just to sit and stare. The walking has the same hilly core but this time with the more temperate woods and river crossings to create a contrast.
Hard to compare its difficulty with other walks but ascent per mile may work. The first leg to Porthcurno was about 205 feet per mile. This leg about 180. The C2C and PW are about 130. I know it is a bit of a fag packet approach and has to be tempered by the extra availability of drinks stops and public toilets down there and the easier navigation. But my knees have some sympathy with this approach.
Truth to tell, I loved it again and will finish the job next spring. Once again, hats off for doing it in one go Harland. Most people seemed impressed with my more modest three pronged attack.
Will write up over the next few weeks

Posted by: Harland

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 18/09/16 04:46 PM

Well done, as you say "only" 200 miles to go! Whilst Portland Bill is said to be an option it is well worth an easy day, leaving your rucksack in your B&B, especially if it is fine.

The prisons look pretty secure from the outside and although I am law abiding if I hadn't they would have put me off especially the Verne Citadel. However having just Googled the Verne Citadel I see it is now an immigration removal centre that in 2014 held 600 detainees awaiting deportation. It is built on the highest point of Portland, the Verne is surrounded by cliffs and a moat, with two entrances - one via a footbridge and the other via a tunnel.
Posted by: Slogger

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 19/09/16 09:58 PM

Cracking John well done, looking forward to reading your account of your trip.
Posted by: Harland

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 25/09/16 05:24 PM

Just thought, you have only got to climb the height of Everest next time (and a bit more) to finish.
Posted by: john57r

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 28/09/16 10:31 PM

What a comforting thought! Yes, just over 80,000 feet done and there's you telling me it is all downhill from now on
On the plus side I am doing it in 11 days; much faster than these mountaineering types take to do Everest apparently grin
Posted by: Harland

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 29/09/16 09:32 AM

The year I walked it more people climbed Everest than walked all of the SWCP, that must confirm that walking the SWCP is harder!

Whilst on the subject of Everest, an old quiz question:-

What was the highest mountain in the world before Everest was discovered?
.Answer "Everest" as it was there even though it hadn't been discovered!
Posted by: john57r

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 29/09/16 03:49 PM

In an attempt to be credible I will do the last leg in April next year. I started on the 1st may last; so at least I can say I did it within one calendar year!
Posted by: john57r

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 29/09/16 03:59 PM

Here's a question for you and Slogger...
Would you have a feel for how likely the refuge hut below Auchope Cairn is to be occupied overnight? I am just thinking about a PW next August. It is not so much not wanting to do the whole section to Byrness in one go ( although it is a bit of a stretch), but logistics. I could travel up by train to Berwick and get to KY in the afternoon. It is about 7 miles to the hut (about 3 hours as I recall up and down and over the Schill). Thus I could get there by about 6pm. This would save me mooching about in KY for hours and would make for a somewhat easier walk the following day. I guess I could bunk down there even if there is someone in but maybe not if there is a hut full....
Posted by: Slogger

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 29/09/16 05:07 PM

That's a hard one but I don't think many stay there overnight. Most nights I would say it would be unoccupied and I would think worth a chance. The only problem as I'm sure you are aware is that if it is full, it's another 10 miles to the next one, with nothing in between.
If it were me I'd chance it and be prepared to walk on to the next if need be.
Posted by: Harland

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 29/09/16 05:17 PM

Sorry can't help with that one. I walked South to North using the Forest View service of staying there 2 nights and being transported back from half way to Kirk Yetholm and back to that point the following day. I think they do it in the other direction but I guess that you would get there too late for this service.
Posted by: john57r

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 30/09/16 01:46 PM

It was just a thought really; a way to split the long section up right at the start of the walk. I know it can be done but it is a long old haul with a full pack; especially if the weather is down. When I walked in last year (same split as you Harland), a couple of people did stay overnight having walked from Byrness and for whatever reason did the few hours to the finish the following morning. On balance though I guess most people; having done the 19 miles would press on to the finish.
Also it is unlikely to be so full as to not have some space on the floor.
The four hour walk to Lamb Hill would be just about doable in daylight I suppose in august...
Posted by: Harland

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 03/10/16 09:32 AM

Whilst I didn’t measure the walk or count the bridges etc. I understand from my research at the time that: -

The path was 630 miles (1014km) long. It was graded easy for 103 miles, moderate for 276 miles, strenuous for 185 miles and severe for 66 miles.

There were 2,473 signs and way-mark posts

There were 921 stiles and 26,719 steps

The path crossed 17 large rivers, 11 by ferry, 2 by bridge, 2 by walking round and regrettably 2 by taxi

I used 2 taxis because the ferry to cross the Percuil River from St Mawes to Place was not running as it was too windy. In addition because low tide was not due for 5 hours I had a taxi to take me round to the other side of the River Erme. Both of them took about 30 minutes each to get me around the rivers.

There were 302 bridges in total
Posted by: Slogger

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 09/10/16 07:06 PM

The Lamb Hill Hut is not as used as much for over-nighting, this is evident as there are never any leftovers left by people for others to use, Tea Coffee, Soups etc. In Hut 2 at Auchhope there is usually plenty.
Posted by: john57r

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 17/10/16 05:29 PM

So Harland,
How many of these various items have I got to negotiate from Wembury Church to South Haven Point??!!
Starting on Wednesday 19th April and plan to finish on Sunday 30th April.
Left Minehead on the 1st May 2016; so at least I can say I completed the distance within one calendar year. Long day from Lulworth Cove to Swanage ? (booked in at the YHAs).
Booked at Beer, Lulworth and Swanage. !2 day schedule to sort out.
Posted by: john57r

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 17/10/16 05:41 PM

My plan is 13 days starting on 13th August Dave (to make it a bit more challenging than 2015 and given that I know the route a bit better now).
At the start I just thought it would save an overnight stop in KY if I could get a lift there by say noon on Saturday and then a gentle stroll to Auchope for the night. I have booked Forest View on the Sunday night (13th). Know what you mean about Lamb Hill as there is little point stopping there unless you have from Bellingham; but it is only about 3.5 hours from Byrness. Bit of an awkward one as I used Colin and Joyces taxi service last time and they are two quite short days. Plus the climbing up and down the hill to Trow seems a bit of a waste of effort. One to ponder.
My other days saved are theoretically by doing Hawes to Malham and Mankinholes to Torside.
Got hostels booked at Alston, Dufton, Hawes, Malham and Mankinholes.
I may have a look at the Hawes Malham day and see if there is another route to shave a few miles off. I have done Penyghent and Fountains Fell quite a lot.

Posted by: Harland

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 20/10/16 09:18 AM

The Lulworth Cove to Swanage was easier than I expected although over 20 miles long and over 4,400 feet of ascent and descent. However I had had been walking non-stop for weeks by then so I was fairly fit, weighed a lot less and I was nearly finished. You need to make sure however that you can walk through the firing range that day. It was due to open at 09.00 when I was there but when I arrived at 08.45 it was already open - however don't stray off the path there were signs everywhere telling you to walk between yellow markers and not to stray because of unexploded shells, although in all my time through the range I never saw evidence of any shells that had exploded. See details here for 2016, you will need to look nearer the time for 2017 but it should give you a good idea.
Posted by: john57r

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 27/11/16 07:55 PM!/2016/11/johns-south-west-coast-path-south.html
Here is my write up of the second leg of my SWCP.
I am scheduling the last leg to commence on Wednesday 19th April 2017; finishing on the 30th ( just within one calendar year for the lot.
Think I got the Lulworth ranges right ( do it on a saturday morning) but I may get to Bigbury a few days early for the ferry across the Avon (Thurs 20th). Have ordered a tide timetables book to see what time I have to get to the Erme seting out from Wembury Beach. I think the ferry over the Yealm starts at 10.00am.
Anyway, hope this is of some interest

Posted by: Harland

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 27/11/16 08:20 PM

I had trouble getting to the link, so try this. Haven't read it yet but will do so shortly.

Posted by: Harland

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 27/11/16 09:42 PM

A brilliant read whilst looking at my photos so that I could recall all the places/beaches. A problem with walking the whole lot in one go is that, for me, I can't remember one place from the next apart from the major conurbations. I remember that I started out to try and recall the places I stayed but about day 10 it was all I could do to remember where I stayed the night before and where I was going that night - felt a bit stupid when people asked where I had come from and where I was off to! My wife asks what I think about when walking day after day - the answer is probably nothing, just enjoying the scenery but disengaging brain (if I have one!).

John there is a short private message to you.
Posted by: john57r

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 27/11/16 11:07 PM

Thanks for that Harland. I suppose one error isnt too bad. I too find that I cannot remember certain stretches as they tend to blend into each other. It does not happen as much to me on inland walks as I guess there is more variety.
If you can remember, was it around a 4 hour walk from the Wembury ferry to the River Erme?
Got myself a nice pair of Altberg boots to gently break in for the next leg. My last pair of Mamutts managed about 800 miles, including a PW and the SWCP thus far. The rocky tracks do seem to knock the stuffing out of them somewhat!
Posted by: Harland

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 28/11/16 10:02 AM

Excerpts from my journal: The walk along the coast was easy although a bit of a climb by the church out of Wembury. There was then an easy wide path leading to the ferry pier where I arrived at 10.15, the ferry was due to run between 10.00 and 11.00. I changed the indicator to a white circle to signify that I wanted the ferry to cross the River Yealm and waited and waited and waited. Eventually at 11.00 the water taxi arrived ‘sorry if you have been waiting long but I came down at 10.00 and nobody was there so I went off and did a couple of jobs’! I had been getting quite cold but I didn’t have the courage to complain.

Having walked to the River Erme that I couldn't wade across I went by road via Mothecombe to Bugle Rocks, The Old School, Battisborough, my B&B for the night where I arrived at 15.30. So it did take about 4 hours as it was quite a way to get to the B&B from the river. BUT it was from the other side of the river after the water taxi turned up.

Whilst waiting for the landlady to turn up I looked at the following days walk, I needed to get to the other side of Bigbury-on-Sea between 10.00-11.00 to catch the ferry to get across the River Avon, if I wasn‘t there by 11.00 the ferry didn't run again until 15.00-16.00 (I got there at 09.50). As a consequence I arranged for a taxi at 07.00 the next morning to take me round to the other side of the River Erme. The taxi ride took about half an hour to get about 20 yards across the other side of the river.

My boots also gave out during this walk as they let in water, although I continued with them. Wearing plastic bags inside the boots only made my feet slip around, it was a good idea but it didn't work for me. I think that it was the continued use in very good weather that dried them out and made them crack.

Only mentioned the minor mistake so that you knew that I had read it all! You should give a prize for the next person to spot it!
Posted by: john57r

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 28/11/16 10:55 PM

Thanks for that. Did you "publish" your journal and if so how can I get to it? As you see, I am a bit stone age in terms of IT (even struggle to post photos properly)
Am waiting for some tide times to arrive so I know how plan accommodation around this section. I think you went over the Avon in early May(?)...not sure of the ferry is running on the 25th April when I go through.
I too always start off thinking I will clear my head and ponder crucial issues; but I rarely do. Tend to get tied up with the here and now; probably not a bad thing.
Did you get the train back from Bournemouth? Presume it doesn't take long from South Haven Point?
Posted by: Harland

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 29/11/16 09:25 AM

No I didn't (can't!) publish but in many ways it is just a reminder to me of the walk so whilst it does talk about the walk a lot is about what I had to eat in the evening - an essential part of the walk! I got a National Express coach from Poole to London and then another to Leeds or Harrogate - can't remember which. I presume that it was cheaper that way at the time although it took a long time. I know that I slept most of the way. The driver from Poole, after he heard that I walked 630 miles, phoned his central office and told them not to book one of the seats so that I could have both.
Posted by: john57r

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 20/05/17 11:43 PM

Evening guys,
No doubt you will pick this up next time you are passing this site. I did the third leg, over 12 ( 11.5) days from Wembury to Poole Harbour; Finishing on Sunday 14th May. Another great walk with having my raingear on for a total of 40 minutes ( and that because I couldn't be bothered to stop and remove it after 10). Just over 200 miles if you count the 5 miles along the beach to Bournemouth railway station at the end. Some quite tough walking on this last leg as you begin to hit the chalk. Some delightful villages and Coves and one or two tedious bits.
Glad to have done it now. it does seem a long way/lot of days when you try and retrace them as you are drifting off to sleep.
Next up the PW in 12 weeks time...and the issue of that first day over the Cheviots..still to be resolved
Posted by: Harland

Re: South West Coast Path 2014 - 03/06/17 08:01 PM

Well done, a really good walk and as you say some (lots) of delightful villages and coves along the way. You will have seen it at its best with little rain although walking in hot conditions up and down the chalk cliffs does take it out of you.