Our alternative lodging offered us breakfast boxes for an additional £5.50…each. It’s what’s for breakfast.
Posts Tagged With: Walking in England
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.”
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.
Rain arrived right on schedule this morning. As we stewed over threatening weather reports at breakfast, two English women trekkers set our minds at ease, assuring us we could walk the low route along the cliffs and be sheltered from the worst of it.
Our day encompassed 14 miles with 6,300 feet of elevation change. And yes, we got very wet! Rain finally eased off about 1:00 pm. I think we climbed and summited every mountain and hilltop between Porlock and our destination of Lynton.
We encountered lots of steps today. Steps up and steps down on sections too steep to maneuver without. As we sip wine in the bar of our Bed and Breakfast, we have one more trek for the day…just a short walk to dinner before curling up in bed. We’ve had enough fun for one day!
At breakfast this morning our host tipped us off to what turned out to be the perfect outing for our last day of leisure. A short two-mile walk found us in the medieval village of Dunster, nestled in the shadow of Dunster Castle.
While parts of Dunster Castle date to the 13th century, most of what we saw today was renovated between 1868-1872. Now run by the National Trust, the castle and gardens are open to the public for self-guided tours.
I promise you we really are here to walk the South West Coast Path. Tomorrow our work begins when we pack our bags, hoist them on our shoulders and take our first steps along England’s longest national trail…rain or shine.
It has been six months since we sat down with guidebooks, maps and iPads to book the lodgings for our South West Coast Path trek. At the time, the trip was well in the future so we were fairly relaxed about the plans. Now that our September start date is just around the corner, the pre-trek jitters are beginning to surface…everything from “Will our backpacks arrive when we do?” to “Can we conquer the endless, daily ups and downs the path demands?” Mostly, I think, we are simply ready to just get going; to take that first step and announce, “We’re off!”
To get in the spirit and to offer support, we joined the South West Coast Path Association. As a part of our membership, we received a copy of their guide (pictured above) which includes, in addition to the above trail map, details of every aspect of walking England’s longest way-marked footpath.
The entire path is 630 miles, beginning in Minehead, Somerset and following the coastline down and around to Poole Harbour, Dorset. As you might imagine, that is a far too ambitious goal for carryoncouple. If all goes well, we will complete our trek at the most westerly point of mainland England, Land’s End, West Cornwall, 260 miles (give or take) from our Minehead starting point.
We’ll see you soon…on the trail!