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#406090 - 03/11/13 11:27 PM South West Coast Path 2014
john57r Offline
Full Member

Registered: 29/10/11
Posts: 145
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.

John

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#406091 - 04/11/13 10:04 AM Re: South West Coast Path 2014 [Re: john57r]
Harland Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 29/04/05
Posts: 1285
Loc: North Yorkshire
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:-

http://www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk/

And for accommodation lists see:-

http://www.luggagetransfers.co.uk/south-west/accommodation.html?location=&page=1

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.
_________________________
Pennine Way 2005&2014; C2C 2006; SWCP 2007; WHW 2008; GGW 2008; Dales Way 2011; Clev.W 2012; Yorkshire W.W. 2012; Offa's Dyke 2013; Peddars Way & Norfolk Coast Path 2014; Pembrokeshire Coast Path 2015: Land's End to John o'Groats in stages 2018.

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#406097 - 04/11/13 10:35 PM Re: South West Coast Path 2014 [Re: Harland]
john57r Offline
Full Member

Registered: 29/10/11
Posts: 145
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...

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#406099 - 05/11/13 10:26 AM Re: South West Coast Path 2014 [Re: john57r]
Harland Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 29/04/05
Posts: 1285
Loc: North Yorkshire
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!
_________________________
Pennine Way 2005&2014; C2C 2006; SWCP 2007; WHW 2008; GGW 2008; Dales Way 2011; Clev.W 2012; Yorkshire W.W. 2012; Offa's Dyke 2013; Peddars Way & Norfolk Coast Path 2014; Pembrokeshire Coast Path 2015: Land's End to John o'Groats in stages 2018.

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#406131 - 25/11/13 11:35 PM Re: South West Coast Path 2014 [Re: Harland]
john57r Offline
Full Member

Registered: 29/10/11
Posts: 145
Harland,
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

John

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#406132 - 26/11/13 10:44 AM Re: South West Coast Path 2014 [Re: john57r]
Harland Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 29/04/05
Posts: 1285
Loc: North Yorkshire
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.
_________________________
Pennine Way 2005&2014; C2C 2006; SWCP 2007; WHW 2008; GGW 2008; Dales Way 2011; Clev.W 2012; Yorkshire W.W. 2012; Offa's Dyke 2013; Peddars Way & Norfolk Coast Path 2014; Pembrokeshire Coast Path 2015: Land's End to John o'Groats in stages 2018.

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#406134 - 26/11/13 08:47 PM Re: South West Coast Path 2014 [Re: john57r]
john57r Offline
Full Member

Registered: 29/10/11
Posts: 145
Thanks Harland,
Really appreciate that list. I am about to dive into it tonight!

John

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#407003 - 13/09/15 09:41 PM Re: South West Coast Path 2014 [Re: john57r]
Harland Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 29/04/05
Posts: 1285
Loc: North Yorkshire
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
_________________________
Pennine Way 2005&2014; C2C 2006; SWCP 2007; WHW 2008; GGW 2008; Dales Way 2011; Clev.W 2012; Yorkshire W.W. 2012; Offa's Dyke 2013; Peddars Way & Norfolk Coast Path 2014; Pembrokeshire Coast Path 2015: Land's End to John o'Groats in stages 2018.

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#407009 - 02/10/15 08:10 PM Re: South West Coast Path 2014 [Re: john57r]
Harland Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 29/04/05
Posts: 1285
Loc: North Yorkshire
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).
_________________________
Pennine Way 2005&2014; C2C 2006; SWCP 2007; WHW 2008; GGW 2008; Dales Way 2011; Clev.W 2012; Yorkshire W.W. 2012; Offa's Dyke 2013; Peddars Way & Norfolk Coast Path 2014; Pembrokeshire Coast Path 2015: Land's End to John o'Groats in stages 2018.

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#407021 - 03/12/15 10:15 PM Re: South West Coast Path 2014 [Re: Harland]
john57r Offline
Full Member

Registered: 29/10/11
Posts: 145
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.

John

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