Tuesday, 27 August 2013

What's Next?

Two walks over the weekend, the first being a 25.4km walk from Rhayader to Llangurig, the penultimate walk on the Wye Valley Way. The walk included climbing to the walks highest point, which, as the laws of physics state should be at the source of the walk. However, the WVW does not beginning at the source, nor does it visit it, but it starts at the River Severn, a mile or so into its course.
There is a viewing point up in the mountains where you can see across the mountain to the source, this is the biggest let down of the walk, however, I'd still put it in my top 5.
Standing at the highest point then, I had a good view over to Pumlumon and the location of the source, so although the walk does not go there, I have a walk planned to visit the three summits on Pumlumon as well as visiting the source of the Wye and the Severn (again). October looks the best time at present. Following the final walk in September.
Additionally, we completed the walk across the Malvern Hill from Malvern to Ledbury, which was Leg 10 of 12 of the Thames to Wye Path, so getting closer to finishing that one, with a 20km and 12km walk to arrive in Hereford.
Whilst the walk over the Malvern Hills were expected to be undulating, what was surprising was the up and down following the Hill, with uneven ground. To our surprise, the Bank Holiday Monday was the date of the Ledbury carnival, so the town was closed off, which resulted in us parking the other side of town and having to walk extra thro the crowds to the car. A total of 20.6km and lots of up and down.
Given both walks will be finishing shortly; plans are already in place the next walks.
Replacing the WVW for myself will be the Glyndwr's Way (GW). Logistics of this walk in the heart of Wales is going to be difficult, as there is little public transport, so the plan is I'll be doing the walk twice!! Parking at the previous walks finish, I'll walk out 10 - 15km until I find a location to park the next time and then return. The net effect being walking the whole path in both directions.
Replacing the Thames to the Wye will be Shakespeare’s Avon Way (SAW) from Naseby (Battle of) to Tewkesbury, via Rugby, south Coventry, Leamington, Warwick, Stratford, Bidford, Evesham and Tewksbury

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Ncp Day 6 Fenwick to Berwick

20.4km Day started with us making our way down to the Holy Island Causeway, once again like yesterday following the route of the St Cuthberts Way. It is here that the St Cuthberts, St Oswald and Northumberland Coastal Paths combine. The journey to the causeway seemed to be shorter than I remembered it being. Whilst St C's and St O's Paths, cross the causeway and end at the abbey on Holy Island, we ventured back onto virgin territory by heading north along the coast to Berwick. After negotiating the marshy land immediately after the causeway, we had a familiar choice of following the inland route on the map, just behind the dunes or venture out onto the beach and enjoy another "barefooted" walk. Once again the later was taken. As the tide was out the first half of the beach walk was completed without sight of the sea, just a vast desert of sand to the west. We met up later with the sea just before striking up onto the cliff's (low ones)on our final journey to the Tweed estuary. As Berwick is on the North side of the estuary, this meant following it in to the first of the three bridges. Here at the end the signposting went mad and we ended up making our own way to the start of the walk to the Train Station. Just the video to do now, thinking of combining the St O path and NCP into one, will see.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Ncp day 5 belford to fenwick

Ncp day 5 belford to fenwick 10.8km
A small blog entry to march rhe small distance travelled. Away from the coast the sea breeze had gone and left a hot steamy day, walking along ferns and over fields.
We soon joined up and shared the path with the st cutberts way, a walk we did some 18 months ago. Ending in the same b&b, with the same dummy in the front garden area.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Ncp day 4 seahouses to belford

Ncp day 4 seahouses to belford 17.9km
Today started with the choice of the inland route to bamburgh castle or the alternative beach route which required a tracing of our stdps back into the centre of seahouses.
Given the promising forcast a barefooted walk on the sand was a must. The impressive bamburgh castle was hidden by headlands and dunes until almost being at its doorstep, or should that be its drawbridge.
Leaving the coast and aiming inland, views across the massive sand estuary following bamburgh, holy island of in the distance on the coast and inland to the cheviots all presented themselves.
Later crossing of the east coast main line, following a phone call to the siignalman for permission to cross and a dart across the a1, where necessary before arriving at our destination of belford

Ncp day 3 craster to seahouses

Ncp day 3 craster to seahouses 19.2km
Back to dry, sunny days, we left crasters to a still sea, different than the darkened skies from the day before.
A short walk to today,s castle followed, becoming memorable but the fact we thought we,d took a wrong turn, so in backtracking and correcting, adding half a km, we the. Found out hsd we continued an hundred metres we would hsve been on the path. Leaving dunstanburgh castle we drppoed down onto the beach for the first of two long beach alternative walks. Here treking shoes were kicked off for a barefooted walk along the shore, you dom,t get that on many long distance walks.
A lenghty break at a seaside pub and a lounge on bath towels st the next beach delayed our arrival into seahouses, where a long detour atound the habour awaited.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Northumerland coast path

Day 1 cresswell to warkworth 18.2km
A taxi down to the beginning of the northumberland coastal path, delivered us under overcast skies. These got darker for the first hour followed by a sharp shower, driving under umbrellas sheltered us from the worst. Following this bright skies remained for the rest of the day.
Walking largely on the sand all day, we had the company of lots of walker (dog) runners and families.
The walk was extended with a lenghty rest on the beach, beach towel were rolled out, and paddling cooled burning feet.

Day 2 warkworth to crasters

Ncp day 2, warkworth to craster 24.2km
The longest day of the walk on the wettest day.(according to the long range forcast)
A dry start was shortlived with the rain starting and continuing all day. Not that tbe seal we bumped into on the beach minded.
Walking out of warkworth in the dry, we passed the impressive castle, according to the guidebook, there are more to come, with bamburgh castle being the best.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Northumberland Coast

After the 6th June's post at the end of the Southern Upland Way, I used public transport to get to Warkworth, on the Northumberland Coast, to start a further 3 days walk along the St Oswald Path, eventually ending up at Hadrain's Wall and Corbridge. From where I made my walk home. The point of the three days walk was to join Hadrain's Wall up with the coast, all path of a series of path from the South West (Lizard) to the North East (Berwick on Tweed) walk. I had good weather over the three days, had the pleasant company of Alice, for 1.5 of them, has a good walk over the moorlands outside of Rothbury, ended up walking 26 mile on the second day looking for a wild camp. Having though I'd found one in a small field only to have the owners pass and see me, luckily just before getting the tent out, so on I went. (They didn't sound like they were going to be receptive to me asking!!) Anyway, tomorrow sees a return to the North East and the continuation of the St Oswald Path, also labelled as the Northumberland Coast Path, from Warkworth upto Berwick, plus a bit more at the beginning of the walk. Walking this "flat" walk, with my wife, there will be no camping, B&B's all the way. 11 mile a day average strolling and with our luggage being transferred, only a light day pack on my back. Certainly is the opposite of my recent Southern Upland Way adventure. I'll probally end up with seeing more people in the first day then the whole of the SUW as well. So Sunday is the first day. Blog to follow. In between the SUW and now I've been distracted from walking with being a taxi/luggage service for my daughter a university, decorating has also been on the card, but I have managed two more legs of the Thames to the Wye walk, having walked from Pershore to Worcester, including crossing the Severn. (so it should be called the Thames to Severn to Wye Walk). Followed then by a walk into the Malvern. (A walk across the Malvern Hills to follow) On the theme of River's I also completed the Rhayader to Builth Wells leg of the Wye Valley Walk, leaving only two legs left. This on what was the hottest day of the year at that point. The final walk over the hills into Rhayader was hard work in the heat. But the ice cream and cold coke in the town help the cool down.