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Discussion Forum - LDWA ideas forum - South West Coastal Path


Author: Arthur Metcalfe
Posted: Fri 14th Sep 2018, 12:03
Joined: 1987
Local Group: West Yorkshire
Hi Sally How did you get on walking The Southwest Way this summer. Did you walk it at 20 miles a day? Do you have a blog site address of your walk that you could post on this ldwa ideas forum for me log on to? To read about how you got on. This years' walk was the best ever in reguards the weather,started walking on grass finished up walking on straw. I have walked on this walk in temptures of 75deg + but not 10-12 days continious,nocked me out when I reached Bude that I took a day off to get my breath back. I took 46 days nice and leasureley
" adders 2, slow wormes 3,lizards 1,a school of dolphins 18-20 of Lands End.
Thanks A Metcalfe
Author: Arthur Metcalfe
Posted: Wed 13th Dec 2017, 15:37
Joined: 1987
Local Group: West Yorkshire
hi Sally a bit more info. The shop in clovelly is not very well stocked so you should take some food from Westward Ho! for going there and for going to Hartland Quay, in case the wooden snack is closed when you reach there.
I walked this path all at one go in 2006, in 31 days, ave 20 miles a day, but I realised it was to fast a pace for this type of LDPath. So the next time I walked it I took a lot longer 5 weeks +. It can be walked at 20 miles a day but it's to much milage, and chasing time to reach the end of the day,will I get there in time? Much better setting a reasonable milage and just amble along at around 2and a half miles ahour enabling one to soak up the scenery, and have a decent rest for the next day. Much better to be , Walking to the acc ie Minehead-Lynmouth-Coombe Martin- Woolacombe, or Croyde -Braunton,etc. After all the accents and descents all add up 4 times the hight of Everest. If you are only going to walk this route only once? ( Which is what I though at the time but when I reached the end I though WOO! I want to walk it again) there is no point in rushing through it,has I found out the first time of walking all 630 miles at one go.
By the way when one walks a coast path there is 4 views to take in. The view on your Left countryside. The view on the Right, a moving Seascape. The wider view of the Sky above and around, The view of the Edge of the cliffs between the land and the sea snaking from left to right in the distance in front of you has you move along. And of coures when you stop and look behind to see where you have come from. ( a Coaster) artie
Author: Arthur Metcalfe
Posted: Sat 25th Nov 2017, 12:10
Joined: 1987
Local Group: West Yorkshire
hi sally .Yes it is possible to find acc when you reach your stop at the end of the day. I have done this many times in the past Or you could ring ahead and book if you have a list of acc for your next stop,or ring ahead a tourist info in the morning for them to book you a acc for your next stop..You will not reach one at the end of the day as they tend to close 4-5pm,thats were there is a tourist shop. Bank holiday weekend can be difficult,Woolacombe is difficult on a weekend.Instow,Westward Ho!,Portleven,Portreath,Porthtowan,Porthcothan,Petranporth,Crackington Haven,all these places have limited ACCOM. Bigbury on Sea as only one Acc.last stop before crossing the River Avon and on to Salcombe,unless you intend to walk round. You will need to stop in this area if you intend to walk on from Wembery. Some walkers just bus round the Rivers to Bantham and miss this this section out shame it a nice streach. but if you ring a head ,or tourist shop just 15 or so mins walk in Plymouth from the Barbican steps (ferry crossing ) across to Mountbatten. There Is Acc in Challaborough One,The Dolphin Inn Kingston,Ringmore just inland .Suggest you also take the full map of the SouthHams or print of copys of the parts needed just in case you have to walk round the River Erme , and the River Avon
I suggest also that you look at all the maps, 125,000 in your local library(say if you do not have them) and read the text for each stage in the Southwest Ass book and follow the routh on the maps' to give you some idea of the nature of the path. Be prepared also though (any port in a storm) if you reach a place with all the cheapest acc full,it could be a case of a £60-70 pound B/B
or in my case once Nil Desporandom sleeping in a church porch, or bus shelter. I tend to plan the walk so as to reach Lulworth Cove on a Friday as the Firing Ranges are only open on a weekend,unless by setting of in June Like me by the time of reaching The Firing Ranges they may be open for the there summer Holidays the SWWAY BOOK will have the opening times of the ranges. I work out my stops and back track the days for starting the walk as a guide from Lulworth Cove,It doe's not always work out though. Make your first stop Porlock, as its a tough day for a 20 mile go,Minehead to Lynmouth. The average Price for this walk will be somewere around £55-60,aday,it swings and round abouts cheapest B/B £35 in North Cottage Braunton,to £70 I had to Pay in Paighton a posh Hotel (on a bank holiday) YHAs £15 to £23 well whatever to me it's worth every penny. And do have a grand journey.. Ps do not carry anygear the you may only use once or twice, ( dead weight) you can always buy any dammaged or worn out ,lost on the way. And there is still enough public loos for fresh water on the way,for if the weather is a scorcher,Supermarkets,Librarys too, or just ask a householder. Please do write on the Forum if you have any queries of the walk that you would like to know more off. ps The weather will be warmer in June + Shorts and sun hat all the way,Yeppe.pps And a tub of Sudocrem for any sore skin due any rubbing,nicks and scratches essential worth it's weight in gold. Artie
Author: Sally Lightfoot
Posted: Fri 24th Nov 2017, 17:16
Joined: 2011
Local Group: Norfolk & Suffolk
Hi Peter - thanks for the story of your experience, what can I say? Although there seem to be many pitfalls, none of which I appreciated before I decided to do this in one go, I'm sure everyone that has done it, overall, enjoyed the experience - although some because they won't have to do it all again!!! Looking forward to it - I think. Good luck with any long distance walking you have planned and thanks again.
Author: Peter Steckles
Posted: Wed 22nd Nov 2017, 1:09
Joined: 1998
Local Group: East Lancashire
Hi Sally.

I found the A-Z Adventure Series excellent. I stripped them down and took out the pages I didn't need just to keep the weight as low as possible.

I also have ViewRanger on my smart phone so I purchased the SWCP map from them. Not to use for navigation, just to us in case I needed to locate my position. The whole path is well signposted, and there are very many small towns and villages, but there are some quite remote spots, and when the weather is driving in from the sea, and can be a quite desolate place. I had my phone switched off all day, only firing it up when I needed to, to keep the battery topped up for when I needed it.

I looked at all the guide books and blogs I could, but you have to experience all the ferry's along the Southern part of the walk, as some of them are tide dependent, others when the chap sees a disk saying come and get me, some finish early, and as mentioned, the famous wade across the River Erme. I got quite anxious about that, but I timed it OK when the tide was low. Otherwise I understand its a long walk inland!!!

Keep an eye open also for the Army Firing Range at Lulworth. The path is open most of the summer, but later in the year they close the Path so that they can fire live rounds into the sea from the tanks. I know. Its a tough job but someone has to do it... :-) Bit risky to nip through when they are on maneuvers.

You don't need my story, but I set off from Minehead to do the whole path, but when I got to Hayle I had a rather dodgy tummy (to put it mildly...) so I spoke with mission control and she suggested I went home and returned to complete the following year, which I did. Started at Hayle again (first leg from Hayle to St Just), where I found the Lands End Youth Hostel full of students who had hired the hostel for the week and who had driven there in Mini Buses!!!, and the chap in charge didn't give a fig that I had just raced from Hayle through a howling gale and finished in the dark. I did find other accommodation but you need to be flexible as things can and do sometimes go wrong with your plans.

I was going well, right round to Exmouth (Starcross Ferry). I checked the ferry times and had to run (with full camping gear) in boots 2 miles to just see the ferry leaving Starcross!. I then had to wait in the rain with some frisky students until the ferry returned, which turned out to be the last run of the day.... Feeling a bit sorry for myself, I fired up the phone and booked B&B in a village called Otterton. This was inland, and as I made my way there I witnessed a nasty car accident where the car overturned on a bend. I sprinted about 300 yards and assisted. Didn't think much about the day until I awoke the following morning with a massive deep heel blister on my left foot.

I completed the next day, and then had to relieve the pressure of the blister by lancing on several occasions as it kept refilling, and which was incredibly sore. All I can say is that all the fun went out of the walk, after my 2 mile run to the ferry, then the 300 yard sprint to the car incident and my huge blister which by this time was raw. So I went home. Healed the left heel (which took a month), and returned later in the year to complete.

Catching that ferry across at Studland was the most exhilarating experience I can remember. I planned to complete in one go, but circumstances dictated that that wasn't to be. Some take many years to do the Path and others do it in one go. However you do it, the experience will stay with you for ever.

Good Luck!

Peter
Author: Sally Lightfoot
Posted: Fri 17th Nov 2017, 14:04
Joined: 2011
Local Group: Norfolk & Suffolk
Hi Artie - thanks for all the info! Wading in the River Erme - hadn't planned on that one! Thinking of doing it in June next year, should be warm (in theory), long days and before the schools break up. My idea is to book the first night accommodation and just take each day as it comes. Would I have any problems finding B&Bs/hostels on the day enroute? That way I can plan distances as I go along, and see how I feel. I have the set of 6 Harvey maps for the South West Coast, but maybe the A-Zs are a better option? Thinking path easy to follow, with enough waterholes on the way, and a place to rest my weary head - what else do I need - apart from good weather and fellow travellers to keep me sane?! Good luck with the Kent 100 and thanks again for all the info.

Hi Paul - as above thinking of doing it in June - will study maps and get a rough idea of where to stop overnight, looking at completing it in 4/5 weeks. Will keep you posted if you're still interested.
Author: Arthur Metcalfe
Posted: Thu 16th Nov 2017, 16:39
Joined: 1987
Local Group: West Yorkshire
hi sally
Iam re typing out my acc list again due to wear and tear on last year walk.I can let you have a copy in due time. The handest streach is from Clovelly to Bude , and St Ives to Pendeen Watch. The easy stretch is from Mortehoe to( Westward Ho! ,what an address) as is Cape Cornwall.and from West Bay to Portland Bill.
One thing to bear in mind in Planning is that depending on the timeing in having to WADE the River Erme on the South Hams. An earlist possible crossing to reach Bigbury on Sea ,accommadition is limited in this area only 4 places.And due to the Ferry over the River Avon is limited to One hour in the morning and One hour in the afternoon, on to Salcombe
It Pays to stop in Wembury,or in Noss Mayo.before going on.This applies weather one stops in Crawsand or Kingsand ( nice place to stop if you like quirt stops ,or stopping in a busy city of Plymouth. There is a set of Booklets for the path called A to Z ? look up, with strip maps !125,000,no need to then carry the full oO,S Maps with the route and info, 5off them ,cost is more than other books. Ican't recommend Cicerone.Trailblazer guide books have better a detail. The YHAs can be very busy in High summer if not booked in advance especilly the Lizzard. Are you going to B/B,hostel the walk, and or use some of the camp sites? If the weather is good this is a scream of a walk. If you have seen Paul Rose programe on bbc a few weeks a go, this will give you some idea of the walk. I can lend you a DvD of the path but a lot is missed out and it is filmed from a hellicopter in the reverse way. Do let if you have any querys, very pleased to be able to help you out. I have encluded my Mob no 07496564461 if you wish to ring for info. As for my next SWWay I will be walking it before,or after the LDWA 100 in Kent. happy walking Artie
Author: Paul Gibbs
Posted: Sat 11th Nov 2017, 21:38
Joined: 2008
Local Group: Dorset
Sally. Walking the SWCP in one visit has been on my to do list for a while, but I've never found the time. Next year might just give me an opportunity, and some company would be good. I too am a novice at using this forum, but I'd be pleased to hear about any plans. Paul
Author: Sally Lightfoot
Posted: Tue 7th Nov 2017, 12:37
Joined: 2011
Local Group: Norfolk & Suffolk
Hi Arthur and Deirdre
Thanks for your replies. I'll order the South West Way Association Handbook, and contact the Dorset Secretary.
Arthur: As it would be difficult to break up the days evenly, was imagining sometimes less than 20, sometimes more. I've done a lot of walking, Norfolk very flat, so when it comes to hills it just means I have to slow down a bit, but reckon on an average of 3 miles over that distance is realistic - what do you think? How many days are you planning to do it in? If you're a camper then I suppose you can take each day as it comes - for me it would be B&Bs or hostels, so would have to do my homework, depending on when I do it, could you leave this to chance or are they pretty busy so you'd need to book? If you wanted an extra companion along some of the way, that would be great if dates work. I'm still very much in the planning stage! Thanks again.
Author: Deirdre Flegg
Posted: Mon 6th Nov 2017, 19:39
Joined: 1993
Local Group: Dorset
PS Sally-I suggest you re post your message on the Long Distance paths section of the website-it might get seen by more people.
Author: Deirdre Flegg
Posted: Mon 6th Nov 2017, 19:37
Joined: 1993
Local Group: Dorset
Hi Sally,

Someone from our Dorset group has just completed the SW path in one hit (about 32 days, I think). She walked with a companion. I am sure she would be delighted to give you some tips. I suggest you email our Dorset Secretary and ask him to forward a message-he will know who it is.

And as for Arthur-he is being modest, as he is a real veteran of the path(has done it in one lots of times) and will have plenty of advice, as he says.

Good luck with your planning.
Author: Arthur Metcalfe
Posted: Mon 6th Nov 2017, 16:46
Joined: 1987
Local Group: West Yorkshire
ps If you would like a fellow Coaster to walk with .have boots will travel.
Author: Arthur Metcalfe
Posted: Mon 6th Nov 2017, 16:43
Joined: 1987
Local Group: West Yorkshire
hi sally I too am walking the South West Way in 2018. it's a tough walk,and the best walk in England. You should buy the South West Way Association Hand Book which gives all the Information you will need. There is plenty of places to camp/or B/B and to obtain food, and stop for a tea during the day.Also recommend a good stick to help on going up the steps and there of quite a few.
If you need any info please do get in touch. Are you a strong walker? you may find 20 miles a day very taxing, as there is only one day where you will not have to have any ascent or descent .this walking from Braunton to Instow. A Most brilliant way to spend the time needed to for this walk,you will love it.
Author: Sally Lightfoot
Posted: Thu 2nd Nov 2017, 15:56
Joined: 2011
Local Group: Norfolk & Suffolk
Hi - have wanted to do the South West Coastal Path for sometime, not sure how to go about it, would be great if someone (or more) out there would like to do it too. About 630 miles, in one hit, averaging say 20 a day looking at about 31 days, or break it up and do it in sections, as and when. Thought I would just throw this out, probably looking at starting next year now. Have been a member for about seven years and done lots of great trails, never been on the forum before, so no idea who, if anyone, will read this.
Hope to hear from someone, if only with advice.
Sally Lightfoot
Norfolk

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