Posts Tagged With: England’s Longest National Trail

South West Coast Path: Wind and Weather Continue

The incoming tide put on quite a show in the Portreath Harbor yesterday evening.

Our days have been a wild mix of gusty winds and drenching rain showers. Unfortunately, blustery conditions have kept us off the trail. Evenings, on the other hand, have been fairly calm and quiet.

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South West Coast Path: I may be an American, but…

We cut across the headlands to Holywell Beach, hoping to dodge the rain cloud coming our way.

As we came over the rise, we saw a crowd of folks gathered down on the beach. Many appeared to be sporting medieval costumes, some were perched on horseback, others just milling about. There was also a small fleet of rickety, wooden boats ready to launch. I pitied the poor stunt men or women who had to set sail in today’s weather!

We knew the crew was filming something. My guess was Poldark.

When Reg asked one of the staffers, he told us it was an episode of East Enders. Well, I may be an American, but my British pop culture is not that rusty! Definitely not East Enders. We were later told it was a Netflix film, but the name escapes me.

We spent the rest of the walk into Perranporth simply trying to remain upright. Winds whipped off the ocean at 30-40 mph (depending on which weather report is to be believed), the worst we’ve ever walked in.

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South West Coast Path: Making Memories

There are so many more memories to capture beyond the beautiful scenery of the South West Coast Path. Here are a few of our favorites.

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South West Coast Path: Porthcothan to Newquay

We expected rain, but today was a beautiful day for a walk.

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South West Coast Path: Rainy Days and Mondays

We tried to walk yesterday…we really did. We left our B&B at 9:00 in the morning under gray skies and threat of rain and strong winds. After a quick stop to pick up lunch at the local SPAR store, we left Padstow, wishing we could have spent more time poking around the upscale harbor town.

By 10:30, we were sipping tea at the Trevone Beach cafe, cold, wet and frustrated that Mother Nature had whisked away our beautiful weather. We had a nice chat with an older couple who were traveling in their camper van. As he told story after story of his exploits, swimming, hiking and mountain biking, she would continually remind him, “That was 40 years ago.”

The bus shelter provided a semi-dry spot for lunch.

We eventually decided our best option was to catch the bus back to Padstow where we could relax with a nice glass of wine while waiting for a later bus to drop us at our next lodging. As we watched to flag our bus down, our friends in their camper van drove past, tooting and waving.

To be allowed to sit in the restaurant with wine, the server told us we had to have food on the table, but it didn’t have to be a lot.

It was a long crazy day, but we eventually made it to Old McDonalds Farm, where our room awaited. Many thanks to the Atlantic Coaster – bus line A5

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South West Coast Path: Old Friends and New Friends

We enjoyed a spectacular afternoon today with our friend Ian, who just happened to be on holiday, visiting with longtime friend Julie and her family in the big white house pictured above. The photo on the right is the view from the front room. A gorgeous setting that is situated right along the South West Coast Path.

We took a short walk to Polzeath Beach, a popular surfing beach. Then, Julie treated us to a delicious home cooked mid-day meal, a wonderful treat after 2 weeks on the trail. We felt terribly spoiled as Ian later drove us (through the pouring rain) to our B&B in Padstow. A great big thank you to Ian, Julie and her family for sharing the afternoon with us!

The Padstow Harbor.
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South West Coast Path: For All You Doc Martin Fans

Perhaps this scene looks familiar to you.

Today we arrived in the fictional village of Port Wenn, home to everyone’s favorite television doctor, Doc Martin. It’s been awhile since we’ve watched the show, but we remembered enough to have a sense of having been here before.

Doc Martin’s small cottage draws crowds of people who pay for tours to see the television show locations.

In reality, we are settled for the night in Port Isaac, home to the many scenes and location shots of the long-running series. It’s given this little port village quite a tourism boost. Our B&B host told us that locals can donate a certain sum to charity for the opportunity to appear as an extra on the show.

We ate dinner at The Old School House Hotel and Restaurant.

For as bustling a village as Port Wenn is, Port Isaac rolls up the sidewalks when the sun goes down, returning to its quiet coastal village roots.

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South West Coast Path: Hillside Reunion

We had a bit of beach walking this morning.

Another beautiful day greeted us as we set off to our next stop – Crackington Haven. With a short 10 mile walk, we hoped for an early arrival, allowing us to do some much needed laundry. We zipped along at a pretty fair clip for most of the morning until the rolling green fields gave way to the all too familiar ups and downs.

Reg reaches the midway point on his climb up from the steep, rocky descent snaking down the opposite hillside.
There are times when it’s impossible to see where the trail goes.

What we did know about today’s trail was that, at the end of the day, it would lead us to a reunion with our dear friend Ian, whom we met several years ago while walking the Camino de Santiago. He’d booked a room in our Crackington Haven hotel, driven from his Oxford home and met us on the trail, lifting our spirits and escorting us down to where a cold drink and a hot shower awaited.

Our reunion with Ian took place when he intercepted us on a hillside not far from Crackington Haven.
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South West Coast Path: A Ten-Hour Workout

Because we wanted an early start this morning, we ordered a breakfast tray that was delivered to our room last night.

We hit the trail at 7:30 this morning in anticipation of what our guidebook described as “one of the hardest days of the path.” We left Hartland Quay just as the sun was rising, and set our sights on Bude, 15 miles away.

This was one of our first descents.

We continued on, racking up a total of 10 major descents, crossing creeks that flowed into the ocean. For every drop in elevation, the path climbed right back up the other side of the ravine, leaving us huffing and puffing most of the day.

At the end of the day, according to our guidebook, we had conquered 4,500 feet of ascent… and as everyone knows, what goes up, must come down! The math makes my feet hurt. We have never, on any of our treks, experienced such elevation gain and loss in any one day. But we did it today, and now that this day is nearly behind us, we will sleep well, hoping that this was the hardest day for us.

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South West Coast Path: Who Cares About All Those Stairs?

Especially when we can enjoy the cute little village of Clovelly this evening!

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