Posts Tagged With: travel

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.

Categories: South West Coast Path | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.
Categories: South West Coast Path | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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.

Categories: South West Coast Path | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A Most Unusual End to a Tough Day

2acd3171-3c83-4d13-924e-b1e0ee881068A most unusual day indeed!

After a grueling trekking day of steep, slippery ups and downs punctuated by more than 1,370 stairs, we found our accommodation in Clovelly after a walk down a cobblestone way too steep for vehicles.

How do they get supplies to the pub where we are about to have dinner? They slide them on sledges. And the bottles of Southern Comfort I am sipping? Same way.

Now, the question of the day: How will we make it back up in the morning with our backpacks?

Categories: Scottish Highlands and beyond, South West Coast Path | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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

Categories: South West Coast Path | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

South West Coast Path: Westward Ho!

No, we’re not heading home just yet. Westward Ho!, our stop for the night, was named for Charles Kingsley, the 19th century author of the novel Westward Ho!. The exclamation point is always included, punctuating the seaside resort town with an expectation of excitement.

Golfers at the Royal North Devon Golf Club must share the course with flocks of sheep and a herd of horses.
This is a GPS screenshot of of our route today. We walked from the bed icon on the right, up the River Torridge, then back down the other side, wrapping our way around to Westward Ho!, where we are now relaxing (literally) at the bed on the left.

We’ve passed many harbors and rivers at low tide, so we were excited to finally see the effects of the high tide. As the tide came in, the River Torridge water levels rose, floating all the boats and creating an idyllic scene…at least until the tide raced out again, leaving boats grounded, waiting for the cycle to begin again.

Today was the last of our easy, flat days for near future. Tomorrow we will again follow the contours of the coastal cliffs. The guidebook warns of steep ups and down. Can’t wait!

Categories: South West Coast Path | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

South West Coast Path: It’s What’s For Breakfast

Our alternative lodging offered us breakfast boxes for an additional £5.50…each. It’s what’s for breakfast.

A little fuel to start our day.
Categories: South West Coast Path | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

South West Coast Path: A Mad Scramble for a Room

We spent two nights in Braunton, where we discovered a bustling town center.

Our restful two nights ended in a flurry of anxiety when I discovered an email last night buried in our junk folder. Our reservation for tonight (Saturday), one that had been confirmed last February, had been canceled! Madly searching for an alternative proved fruitless Friday night, everyplace we called was booked. Finally, this morning, after some determination and creative problem solving, we found an alternative and managed to avoid a night on the park bench.

This morning the path led us out of Braunton, upstream alongside the River Taw to Barnstaple where we stopped for tea, then crossed the river, where we turned and followed the same river back downstream to Instow. Not the most inspiring walk, but the sun was shining and we knew we’d have a roof over our heads at the end of the day.

I suggested we grab a bottle of gas station wine and some KFC from the takeout next to our room. I was tired, but while I was showering Reg made other plans. “We’ll have to walk about a mile, he said, but I found a pub that looks like it might be a little better than Kentucky Fried Chicken.”

I wasn’t eager to make the almost two-mile round trip walk to dinner, but the place was awfully cute and the fish and chips delicious.
Categories: South West Coast Path | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

South West Coast Path: So Many Stairs

Sue climbs a flight of the 30,000 stairs on England’s South West Coast Path. No, I did not add a zero. But I am adding as we walk. So far, 2,159 stairs in five days, 64 miles, and 13,200 feet of ascent.

But this is not a story best told by the numbers.

Categories: South West Coast Path | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

South West Coast Path: Beach Walks

Walking from Woolacombe to Braunton, we passed long stretches of white sand beaches.
This portion of coastline boasts some popular surfing spots.
We also carefully skirted the perimeter of an active military installation where the popping of gunfire urged us on.
Categories: South West Coast Path | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: