For newcomers

At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!

My blog nick-name is SIR HUGH. I'm not from the aristocracy - my middle name is Hugh which relates to the list of 282 hills in Scotland compiled by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891. I climbed my last one (Sgurr Mor) on 28th June 2009


Sunday, 31 July 2016

Retrospective - Torquay to Shaldon

I wondered if I had been exaggerating about the severity of the last part of my SWCP walk from Torquay harbour to the ferry at Shaldon.

I plotted the route on Memory Map on OS 1:25

10.9 miles
4481ft. of ascent


For comparison I selected another piece of coast with steep cliff contours from Berwick-upon-Tweed to Eyemouth with the same distance, and from the statistics for that one it wouldn't be taken lightly, but note the contrast - half as much ascent in the same distance.

Distance 11 miles
2249ft. of ascent


South West Coast Path SLIDESHOW

I have now edited AND CAPTIONED  the photos from my 20 day Land's End to Exmouth walk.

There are 319 photos.

To view click the link below to Dropbox.

Click on the first photo thumbnail.

Select "Full screen" at the bottom.

I found that each photo needs about one second to avoid buffering before advancing to the next - this may vary for different computers.



I have invented a little gizmo to deal with walking pole attachment to a rucksack. It applies if your rucksack has side pockets.

I cut off the top of a 500ml. plastic drinks bottle. To avoid problems with the sharp edge I put it briefly on my ceramic hob. The resulting object goes into the side pocket and poles can go in sharp edge down without damaging your rucksack.

My reason for this invention occurred on the train home. My poles were attached with sharp ends exposed, facing downwards. As I put my rucksack on in the train and swung round I nearly had somebody's eye out.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

SWCP - Torquay to Exmouth

Tuesday 26th July (sadly my younger brother's birthday, now in a home with dementia)

My hotel did not do breakfast so at least I could have an early start. I have carried a plastic box from home containing Tuc cheese biscuits and so often had thought of ditching them to save weight but after three weeks of being toted round the south coast they came into their own. That was also a Baby Bell cheese remaining from a gifted packed lunch from one of my B and B hosts. Fortunately there was a good supply of tea bags and those horrid little milk cartons in the room so at least I had something to start on.

So I was off by 6.50 (am!).

From there the path to Teignmouth was as tough as anything I have ever walked. That may be incorrect, but memories dim about certain sections of the GR10. Every time I slogged up a very steep, rough path there's was no relief, just over the top and back down again (I don't know how many times). I was able to assimilate the topography, and so often it seemed the path could have been run round the rim of the intrusive cliff instead of plunging down, and climbing up its sides. The general effect of all this, apart from huge physical exertion is demoralisation. I suppose the problem is in obtaining permissive paths across private land?

From there onwards there were a few other onerous flights of un-ergonomic steps to get me to Chaldon and the ferry crossing to Teignmouth. The boat was just leaving and they stopped and re-extended the gangplank and across I went. The Blue Café, a little wooden hut on the harbour wall, had a jokey proprietor referring to my walking poles, " have you been skiing then?" I told him what I had been doing, (and some), and his attitude changed saying that he would like to do the SWCP himself, hmm!

From Teignmouth there was a road diversion not signed then more switchback stuff on overgrown and uneven paths whose description was the same as the aforementioned to arrive at. Dawlish. Both those sections gave little in the way of views, mainly passing through woodland.

From Dawlish there was a long seafront concrete walkway bonus to Dawlish Warrens and the turn north for mainly uninspiring road/cycle track walking to Stracross and the ferry to Exmouth.

All In all a disappointing finish to a splendid, challenging walk with scenery to rival any other south of the Scottish border.

I have e just finished eating in the Manor Hotel. There was a coach party in and the four corse dinner menu fixed at £15.95 was rattled through by a bevy of staff so the coachers could enjoy the forthcoming "entertainment" in the bar as announced during the course of the meal - it was going to be some guy telling "clean" jokes. I retired to my room to finish this.

Much has been said about my appreciation or otherwise of this trip, and I would say that it has been more of a challenge than a holiday. This morning I was in much pain with my ankle/foot and as far as I can remember this has been one of the toughest walks I have done which at my age may be said to have been a bad idea. Anybody who walks the whole 650 miles of this path in one none-stop trip has my profoundness admiration, and I mean that more sincerely than anything else I remember saying recently.

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Monday, 25 July 2016

SWCP - Brixham to Torquay

Monday 25th July

In Brixham harbour there is an exact replica of Drake's Golden Hind in which he circumnavigated. Even though a replica it had me choked thinking of the hardships and the shear scale of achievement in such an unsuitable vessel. It seems like a toy.

This was said to be an easy section. After some road to start with it was off into the woods. There were unsigned paths everywhere and I got off course doing another massive descent to a beach with its corresponding ascent up steps that have no connection with human ergonomics - generally half as high again as your household version with varying distances in between. They are really barriers to stop further erosion.

After that walking was easy along the promenades of Goodrington and Paignton but in uncomfortable heat. Fortunately there were always stops for refreshment.

I arrived at Torquay TIC wanting them to find accommodation to the north but they had nothing to offer. They only cater for clients who register with them and it seems few do, I suspect because it costs. I decided to follow the path and take my chance. Again there were ascents and descents on the path and I battled on in the heat. At a bout 3:00pm I took to the road to find accommodation without taking too much notice and then found that I was not far off Torquay harbour where I had started from, having done a semi-circle.

I force marched back in the other direction, and not far from the Torquay suburb of Babbacombe I found the posh Ansteys Lea Hotel. They don't do one nighters but I was persuasive and got a full ensuite with a bed like a rugby pitch, but no breakfast for £40 - that's part of the enjoyment: using one's experience and communication skills to achieve the objective.

I am now eating in a gastro pub a couple of hundred yards away.

Tomorrow I hope to finish my SWCP section at Exmouth and have decided to settle for that. I had intended to go inland, north to connect with the Macmillan Way, Barnstaple /Castle Cary route and follow that to Castle Cary. That would take another week, and I think I have become addicted to B and B etc. accommodation in preference to the tent and I must draw the line somewhere on cost. AND, now here is a real whinge : yesterday and today I have developed a painful left ankle, enough to spoil ENJOYMENT. It is ok on flat surfaces, but even on lumpy woodland paths it is a problem. The heat, most of the time has been uncomfortable, and I think I am due for a rest. After what has been said in recent comments I HAVE enjoyed myself and am not deterred from future ventures, although I may well kick out the camping equipment - there is always a way.

I have a caravan booking in Torridon , Scotland before the end of August so watch this space. There will be local walks from home in the meantime. So, a final post for this trip to come tomorrow.

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SWCP - East Prawle to Stoke Fleming


Saturday 23rd July

The Pig's Nose renewed its eccentricity credentials last night. After I had posted on the blog I went to pay my bill at the bar. A Lakeland Terrier was sat at the bar on its own stool lapping up a half pint of beer.


Today was a 14 miler ( tops for me these days). The bonus was that it was supposed to be mainly flat. That turned out to be erroneous apart from the walk round Start Bay following Slapton Sands and Slapton Mere. A section before Bee Sands was one of the rockiest narrow paths I can remember anywhere - it was like switchback miniature boulder hopping in a narrow gully overgrown with bracken on both sides.

The approach to Start Point was increasingly dramatic on some narrow cliff edge paths with a fair amount of ascent up to the final ridge when a Tarmac road over the ridge leading round to the lighthouse took away some of the drama. The view of Start Bay was spectacular, a huge almost perfectly circular area of blue sea with my destination visible many miles away on the other side. That view would go into my top hundred.

The forecast was for circa 19 degrees but it was more like 30. I really toiled and sweated all day drinking several bottles of water, two Fantas and a tea stop.

I had decided to camp at the Camping and Caravan Club site but on arrival at Stoke Fleming I found the adjacent pub marked on the OS map no longer exists. I was heading for a camp site in the village when a restaurant/ bar attached to a large caravan/chalet/holiday home site appeared. I asked if they had any accommodation and the guy let me have a chalet bungalow at a knockdown price and I was able to eat at the restaurant. The meal was a concoction thought up by a chef with ideas but no skill or gift for combining ingredients and some of the stuff was only only half warm. Background music was piercing pop but the decor suggested something more sophisticated. Another place pretending to be what it isn't.

I bought some tea bags, milk, and a tin of rice pudding for my breakfast and intend to set off early to get to Brixham in time to find somewhere to stay. Internet couldn't find anything suitable and I had come to the end of my patience with the awful music. I am back st my chalet now having written most of this back here.

It has been a hard, sweat dripping day and I am well tired. I don't think this will go with only 3G but I'll try.

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Sunday, 24 July 2016

SWCP - Stoke Fleming to Brixham

Sunday 24th July

I had bought a tin of rice pudding for breakfast and some tea bags so I would at least have something to start the day. The chalet tin opener was useless and my own mini opener was not much better. I eventually managed to hack and scythe an opening fortunately without opening an artery! I left them a note about their defective device, and posted the key through their letterbox

I was away by 7.00am, good job too.

Easy walking on road and forest track brought me to Dartmouth Castle at 8.30am where surprisingly the café was open for my first bacon butty of the trip, plus of course a pot of tea. It took about fifteen minutes to arrive and there were no other customers at that time. Before departing I bought an attractive looking home baked sausage roll for lunch which they put in a fancy patisserie box - £3.50, crikey, it was only a sausage roll.

Much later, after crossing the Dartmouth Ferry to Kingsmere I decided to lunch. The ferry by the way is a powerful little tug that ingeniously nestles the landing stage and car carrier along side and motors the whole thing across.

Back to me lunching on a panoramic viewpoint high above the sea. I took a bite of my sausage roll. It turned out to be sickenly, and violently currie flavoured and the thick surrounding pastry was like soggy cardboard, almost impossible to bite through. I stood up and in truec baseball style threw the dam thing as far as I could over the cliff, and I'm pretty sure it went into the sea.

I met another guy who I have seen a few times who is also backpacking the SWCP and he told me there was a café a bit further on at the National Trust gardens at Coleton Fishacre. After a big climb I saw a sign pointing to car parks and guessed this would lead to the café, but decided to continue. I made the huge corresponding descent and at the bottom I met an interesting couple, he in particular a follower of Buddhism and working at their retreat near Ulverston near my home and known to me. I mentioned that I had missed the café and he said, "oh, it's just up here through this gate" and I followed. That turned out to be a fifteen minute climb equivalent to the descent I had just made, and with interesting conversation all the way I was shattered. In rock-climbing parlance that is referred to as being sandbagged; however I passed on my blog card, and I was taken aback when he presented me with a 1965 Winston Churchill commemorative silver medal. I know he will be reading this and I'm sure from his sense of humour he will not mind my anecdotal rendition of our meeting which for me was interesting and worthwhile, and I may well make a visit to the Ulverston retreat when I get back home.

I went into the café and it had just started to rain. The place was heaving and no tables were available. I ended up wandering around with a tray containing a pot of tea and cake until I found a display table and seat at the entrance to the garden centre and sat their, miserable, in the rain and then giving in to don my waterproof.

The path was strenuous, almost as if purposely deigned to descend immediately after every steep ascent. My new maxim: whichever way you walk this SWCP it is uphill all the way.

I walked into Brixham and after asking about ,found a cheap hotel that doesn't do evening meals, but at £42 B and B the en-suite had a bath and I wallowed.

I have just eaten fairly well at the Quayside Hotel, but bordering on the pretentious. Scallops, mackerel fillets and a deserty thing all dolled up to justify high price.

I will be looking out for a good tin opener tomorrow.

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Friday, 22 July 2016

SWCP - Hope Cove to East Prawle

Friday 22nd July

Over 50 years ago, circa 1965 I had a holiday at Salcombe with brother Nick (who is sadly now blighted with dementia) and my sister-in-law, and some other friends. We had taken our Merlin Rocket racing dinghy as the main objective, that is for Nick , Anne and myself. We were based on the Prawle side of the Kinsbridge estuary and discovered The Pig's Nose at East Prawle which even then was renowned for its eccentricity. Tonight, with an eery feeling I am sat eating in the same pub. More of that later.

Strenuous walking this morning in hot and windless conditions took me to Salcombe. Here the roads are steeper than some of the serious bits on the SWCP.

I met a guy walking with his wife and he had done the TGO Challenge but we couldn't identify any common acquaintances. Do some people do the TGO with luggage transfer?

The sun seemed to get hotter all day. At Gara Rock there is a posh modern hotel on the path. I had plenty of water but thought I would have a treat. I had to go through a receptionist young girl to get to the bar. She spoke virtually no English and couldn't understand what I was saying, nor could I understand her. The guy behind the bar was a wet lettuce, and when I selected a small bottle of lemonade ( far from my requirements, but the best of a bad job from their selection) charging then had to go back through the the receptionist and they wanted £3.50 - more from frustration at the long winded procedures in my hot and bothered state than rebellion at the price I told them to keep their lemonade and walked out.

The Eden Emporium at East Prawle eventually supplied me with a chilled Fanta for £1.40 and directions to my B and B at Welle House.

I have just done whitebait (again), and cod and chips (again) at the Pig's Nose and all was well, except for skin-on battered cod, but the fish itself was great. The place is heaving and they seem to have no tab system or table numbering and you order all your food and drinks through the bar where they scribble things down on bits of paper. They are still renowned for their eccentricity after many owners in the intervening fifty plus years from my last visit.

I spent ages at the B and B trying to book for tomorrow night to no avail (Saturday, school holidays). There is a Camping and Caravan Club site at Stoke Fleming, a good 14 miles March so it looks like tent night number two. We will see. I am tired and stiffened up after today's exertions but it has been a good day with the ferry crossing from Salcombe, a much better service than the last one.

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Thursday, 21 July 2016

SWCP - Kingston to Hope Cove

Thursday 21st July

At last, I thought. A shorter day to give me more time to relax instead of rushing round booking ahead, doing laundry, and confirming evening meal.

I was off to an even better start because the Dolphin landlord offered to run me the two kilometres down to the point where I would have emerged if I had done my Bear Grylls act fording the River Erm.

The path passed over a short section of beach. Three guys were camped there with three tents that might have come from Woolworths in the good old days. They were full of cheer, "we had a drink last night so couldn't drive home."
Two or three stiff ascents and descents lead to more level walking, then down to Bigford-on-Sea, the home of a large static caravan holiday site. There was a beach café where I would have preferred to sit inside because of the heat but it was all pop music and amusement machines and shell suits. I pressed on. Round the corner was a little hut selling beach toys and refreshments and after finding nobody attending I was ready for off when an old salt appeared from another door. I had a good mug of tea, then through conversation discovered that the ferry across the River Avon to Bantham forty minutes walk away only operates from 10.00am to 11.00am and 3.00pm to 4.00pm - it was now 11.30am. The old salt suggested asking the Lifeguard people a bit further on if they would ferry me with their boat, or to ring the ferryman (he gave me their number) to see if he would do a special.

The lifeguards were "jobsworth". I walked quarter of a mile up the very steep road to where the footpath for the ferry departed. I then found I had no signal to phone the ferryman. A passer by told me I would get an EE signal 100yds up a track off the road which amazingly worked. The ferryman was abrupt and open to no suggestion of a special. I walked back down the very steep road to another beach café and whiled away time to arrange my rendezvous with the obdurate ferryman at 3:00pm. My visions of an early finish had been annulled.

The ferryman was quite jovial as we exchanged experiences of various biting insects. The passage only takes about five minutes.

Easy walking from there on with many folks on the path had me at The Cottage Hotel, Hope Cove for 5:00pm.

This is an old established, possibly fifty plus room holiday hotel with a "dinner, bed and breakfast" deal. The emphasis here is on the five course dinner which I reckon is the main attraction. It starts from 7:30 and is manned by a team of attentive uniformed staff. I am presently struggling through the cheese course after a goat's cheese, duck confit salad starter, an orange sorbet, grilled hake with all the trimmings, and a mixed fruit compote thingy, and I reckon I have gone the distance.

Before dinner.
Wifi does not extend to the rooms and I had no signal on EE so booking ahead involved going back down to the bar to research on Internet, return to room to use landline at 9p. minute and all that repeated three times until I eventually nailed an interesting sounding B and B at East Prawle.

The sunset across the bay from this dining room window is a constantly developing wonder of nature. There are few people left now at other tables, a tribute to my gastronomic stamina. I think there may be coffee but I'm giving in - off back to my room now looking forward to tomorrow.

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Wednesday, 20 July 2016

SWCP Wembury to Kingston

Wednesday 20th July

The ferry from Warren Point does not start until 10am and it is about 40 mins. walk from my b and b so there was no point in setting off before 9.00am. Being me I arrived at 9.25, and the ferry, being itself didn't, arrive until 10.10am. I had swivelled the board to signal my need of the ferry and then sat on the steps watching a number of yachts preparing for departure. I saw three set off, all under power although there was an ideal wind blowing straight down the estuary which would have conveniently taken them out under sail.

After some initial climbing this walk was on a wide track and almost level for several miles high above the sea with clear views - perfect walking.

The next problem was the Erme river which the SWCP crosses by wading, if you get there at low tide. I didn't. The accepted procedure is to phone for a taxi which I did at 3.15. The first refused but gave me another number. They agreed to pick me up in about half an hour at the Mothercambe Tea Rooms. It is now 4.20 and I received a call a while ago to say there had been an accident delaying the taxi, and another call just now to say they won't be here until 5.00, then suddenly Phil Greenwood from my B and B appeared in front of me having brought his son and chums down to this beach, so we had the opportunity for more conversation. The taxi arrived about 5.20. My lady driver was part of her own business ( the best description I can give from what she told me). She was a complete extrovert, never stopped talking, but made it happen both ways, a likeable character running this business for 19 years based on personal and attentive service judging from some of her anecdotes.

I was dropped off at the Dolphin Inn in Kingston (Cornwall) where I had pre-booked. This is an ancient, archetypal English village pub, the sort the Americans may dream of. I was told it is Quiz Night and by 7.00 the place wil be heaving so I agreed to eat at 6.30 for their convenience.

Quizzers arrived. A collection of twenty or so high earning middle classers, with loads of laddish badinage, until the ladies arrived, and then some very quiet confidential stuff whispered entre deux. I overheard the word "BBC". The routine is that a special menu has been prepared for this gathering before they embark on the competition.

One snippet: he had been invited to a business "brunch" and it turned out to be just coffee and croissant, talk about "Disgusted from..." and commiserations and advice from his audience - "I would have..." etc.

I departed the scene before the fun started to avoid being arrested for possession of an iPad linked up to the Internet.

From my open bedroom window one of the aforementioned had sneaked out for a smoke, then one of the ladies arrived who said she thought the gent had given up up on the baccy.

"Don't tell the wife"

"My lips are sealed"

A classic case of denial thinking he could disguise the stink

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Tuesday, 19 July 2016

SWCP - Kingsand to Wembury

Tuesday 19th July

The forecast was frightening in terms of heat and I was persuaded to create a shorter walk by missing out the section form Kingsand that goes via two ferries to then travel through what I was told is the unattractive industrial scenery of Plymouth. Others have since disputed some of that and I'm a bit annoyed with myself. I am not fanatical about doing the whole of this LDP, and many take the ferry from Cawsand (Kingsand) direct to Plymouth then the short water taxi to Mountbatten, and it is a bit academic whether one would use the word cheating, but it still wrangles. Even if I finish this section to Exmouth there remains Barnstaple to Minehead.

The cruise across Plymouth Sound was a worthwhile experience in its own right in bright shimmering sunshine and a fresh wind. That wind was with me for most of the walk which was certainly hot, but nor quite enough to annul appreciation of the huge vista of Plymouth Sound with white sails setting off to who knows where, and a huge sense of history imagining the different sight one would have seen during WW2.

The going was easy on good paths. There was one stop not long after disembarking, for a Fanta this time, not tea, and further on for tea and lemon drizzle cake at Bovisand Bay. From there it was fairly wild rugged coastal walking nearly at sea level to arrive at Wembury.

My B and B is with a Mr. Greenwood in a large modern house. He is well travelled as an ex Navy guy and most interesting to talk to. This is an immaculate B and B, and for me the kind of memorable encounter that contributes to making these walks enjoyable.

I am now eating in The Old Wheel, and have enjoyed a repeat of a recent menu with whitebait, but devilled this time, and another good fish pie.

A long table has been set up to accommodate what looks like the annual outing of the Women's Institute, sixteen of them, eight down one side and eight down the other. The down-the-line snapshot impression I see is a collection of incredibly varied, specially done hair styles.

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Monday, 18 July 2016

SWCP Downderry to Kingsand

Monday 18th July

It was only about twelve miles to Kingsand and I opted for an 8:00am breakfast - I should have known better.

Mr. Board dropped me off back on the path and it was uphill between hedges and bracken immediately on an awkward path. It was incredibly hot and I was bothered by buzzing flies, little black flies that bite, and the occasional horsefly that bite like hell. Within twenty minutes my shirt was exactly as it would have been if I had taken a shower, yes, the whole shirt and I do not exaggerate.

Onwards on slightly better and more open paths, but so often on a slant as I have previously mentioned compressing the edge of my right foot into the side of my shoe - uncomfortable.

The Jolly Roger Cliff Top Café was a welcome discovery after I had walked all the way through Portwrinkle (enchanting name) with ever diminishing hope. There I ordered a pot of tea FOR TWO and sat inside in my drenched shirt making those guys in Ice Cold in Alex seem like debutantes in the business of hot weather travel.

I left the road just after this to follow The Path. It descended steeply through a collection of run down shanty chalets with odd paths leading off through gorse bracken and other unidentified shrubbery. I was soon lost and SWCP signs were long gone. I ended up on the beach several hundred feet below the road where only two other people had managed to make it. I was informed by a very credible local that I could not get round because the tide was in, but there was the possibility of a rock climb up a slab. I modestly established my credentials but he wisely advised me to return the way I had come. I toiled back up to the road.

My intermediate destination was Rame Head, and having taken the road instead of the elusive Path I navigated back onto course. At Rame Head there was the option to visit the old fort and the WW2 gun emplacement, a high point peninsula off the path. In the parlance of modern day usage I'm not sure about, it seemed "rude" not to do so. I had the satisfying feeling of seeing the view from a significant point on the UK map.

I had one and a half bottles of water remaining and reduced that to one. My philosophy says I must end up with some of the water I carried at the end of the walk to prove my prudence to myself or whoever.

A bit further on I met a quiet and softly spoken walker and we walked the
last couple of kms into Kingsand together. He gave me much information about forthcoming ferries from his knowledge as a local resident, and more of that tomorrow.

I am booked in at the Halfway House Inn. The building is ancient, part of the central village ambience. My room is modern and well furnished. Atmosphere in the bar/restaurant is pleasantly lively ( always a good sign), and no riff-raff, yes, I am a bit of a snob. Service is modestly professional and food almost above and beyond.

My starter: Seared scallops, crispy pancetta, chilli jam, lemon crème fraîche. Sounds crazy,but the creator ( not with a capital) knew what he was doing.

Main course: a three fish fish pie, very good, accompanied by some sea veggies I couldn't identify, but may have done with more cooking.

Desert: secret.

Night night.

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Sunday, 17 July 2016

SWCP - Polperro to Derrydown

Sunday 17th July

Today as I passed through Looe and later through Seaton I reckon I was suffering from enochlophobia. Masses and masses of families are on holiday squashed into grid patterns on the beaches only a few feet apart from each other, and progress through the the town streets is impaired as I try to wend my way through these throngs who are following no particular course, and usually in space-consuming groups.

By the way I did receive a freebie at the hotel last night, but that was discount negotiated by me on the room price rather than handed out gratis.

I was soon on steep climbs out of Polperro. At one stage passing through a dark wooded tunnel I brained myself on a low hanging branch, unpleasant, but no real damage.

Later I met Anita sat on a pleasant viewpoint. She lives locally and is a recently retired hospital consultant (acute medicine) and we had interesting conversation about her recent visit to Cape Wrath, her ascent of Kilimanjaro, and here traverse of the GR20 (Corsican ridge walk - particularly demanding), and her thoughts and appreciation of Scotland.

I've had two tea stops today. The beach café at Bodigga was run by a charismatic guy from Costa Rica, a bit pricey, but a high standard. My bill was £5.40. I gave him a ten pound note and he gave me £5 change saying he was saving me carrying the weight of all the change.

I am now at Treliddon Farmhouse B and B about a mile above the town of Derrydown. They drove down to pick me up and will do the same this evening for my visit to The Inn on the Shore. I was welcomed by Sue Broad with a large teapot of tea - how did she know? Well they have had plenty of SWCP walkers here before.

More about the meal later - having a little rest now.


Christina (family daughter) drove me to the pub. She is a young chef for a restaurant, The Blue Plate - ,where I called, yes, for tea, in the village before getting my lift to the B and B. Her boss has trained and worked with some of our nationally known chefs and runs the restaurant to the kind of standards you would expect. So I made the wrong choice.

First of all, bearing in mind it is a sea food pub, no mussels, run out of chips, and no goats cheese thingy (the only of two non-fish on starters). The wifi needed signing up to a Google account with endless input and donation of loads of personal info. which I declined to pursue. I ordered a Caesar Salad. It came with no anchovies, no egg, only enough Parmesan to be seen through a microscope, and generally unpalatable. I sent it back and have now ordered battered fish (species not specified) and have to settle for crushed new potatoes instead of the absent chips. An extra pint I ordered did not materialise and I had to remind them. Next instalment...

...well, it arrived. The. crushed new potatoes were a fatty conglomeration. The fish was cooked with skin on. I know that seems to be almost universal, and as a Yorkshireman there are not many things I am proud of, but they do know how to cook battered fish. There is nothing wrong with mushy peas, but theirs were dolled up into a sickly mint flavoured mess that I left. The rest I ate because I was hungry and beyond any further wrangling.

I didn't bother with desert and when I paid the bill they deducted the cost of my two pints. Ok, but in these kinds of circumstances, whatever recompense is offered the experience has been ruined.

Christina picked me up and was most upset about my experience, although it had been my choice and nothing to do with them, but everything rubs off in a small community like this. Back at the farm Christina fed me with her own home made scones, clotted cream and jam. I guess she is doing well as a chef but when she first started at The Blue Plate she was supposed to be Front of House but they decided to train her as a chef, but there is no doubt that her personality would make her very good at that first option.

This the best B and B I have had on this trip.

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Saturday, 16 July 2016

SW Coast Path - Par to Polperro

Saturday 16th July

This breakfast thing is always a problem. Walkers want to be off early and breakfast is rarely served before 8:00am. I arranged for cereals (milk in the bar fridge) bread and marmalade to be left out for me, and I was given the front door key to post back through the letterbox. So I was walking at 6:40am to tackle what is said to be one of the hardest sections of the SWCP.

Initial wandering across Par Sands eventually located the proper path and it was fairly easy going to Fowey. These Cornish seaside resorts have much in common with others in the North in terms of hoards of holidaymakers, but the architecture and ambience, in this summer sunshine has special attraction, especially with the harbours and boats on moorings, and sparkling, shimmering sea. All that was seen to advantage as I crossed on the ferry to Polruan. From there on the serious ascents and descents were frequent, but the paths were generally much better in width, surface, and strimming than much that has gone before on this walk, and that makes a huge difference, and nothing could take away from the views of secret little sandy beaches far below, and general Cornish coastline.

I met and had interesting conversation with Oliver Barratt, an acclaimed sculptor. He has erected a memorial at Everest Base Camp to climbers who have died on Everest, amongst his many other internationally displayed works - see:

I am installed in Polperro at The Old Mill Millhouse which seems to be frequented by a regular crowd of holidaymakers and providing a welcoming service and decent bar food.

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Friday, 15 July 2016

SW Coast Path - Gorran Haven to Par

Friday 15th July

Zephyr House B and B had me off to a good start throwing in a ham sandwich, baby bell cheese, and tomato packed lunch at no extra cost. They were very friendly and I wish them well with their B and B venture.

 From Gorran Haven to Pentewan was hard going with continuous ups and downs, narrow trough footpaths, and footpaths on the slant of the hill forcing feet round inside shoes. There was virtually no flat walking at all, as soon as I topped an incline it was straight down the other side.

 I met the same couple again I met yesterday just prior to my setting up my tent. Jacky and Ken (?) Beaver (poss. Belvoir?) from Bolton  they are active LDWA members - anybody know them?

At my first beach café stop for tea and scone the guy gave me a free bottle of water to send me on my way, so on top of the free packed lunch my reputation for generous hand outs is possibly being re- established?

At a beach café, can't remember which, health and safety prevented them from filling my water bottle, but they sold me a bottle of water along with the tea I bought. One might feel cross but at least I didn't end up with deli-belly.

I am at The Par Inn, but they don't do food so went up the road to The Welcome Home pub. They have only been in 6 weeks but I had the best curry I've had for a while for £7.95. Occupants were a dozen or so late middle aged beer drinkers - their noise was raucous and, overpowering and further enhanced by loud music, but somehow I didn't mind.

Tomorrow I have got a 14 miler reputed to be one of the hardest sections on the SWCP, Par to Polperro, and the forecast is HOT. I'm a bit apprehensive and planning an early start.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

SW Coast Path, near Portloe to Gorran Haven

Thursday 14th July.

I hadn't heard of my destination before. It's claim to fame seems to be the Llawnroc Hotel which my B and B host tells me none of the locals use because it is too expensive. Well, I'm dining there tonight but Bistro Bar only, not in what they call Fine Dining.

I awoke in my tent this morning, everything very slightly damp with condensation. What nobody tells you about is batting off a few large slugs that had crawled up the outside of my inner tent. I next had to almost dislocate several joints putting on those support stockings I have to wear, then performed my backward exit like a cripple deploying my, as yet, un-operated knee, and ensuring not to bring t'other into play, whilst dragging my loaded rucksack.

I had bought a Cornish Pasty and a large cake thing for breakfast, and carried two 500cl bottles of water and one of orange. I stodged down the cake with some of the water but couldn't face the cp. I just couldn't get going descending the rocky path into Portloe where, at 7:45 am I found them serving breakfast at the Ship Inn (rooms FROM £195). I had a pot of tea sat in a sumptuous armchair with smart waiters and well endowed clientele floating about - you should see the car park.

I was only charged £3. When the receptionist asked in such a genuine manner if there was anything else they could do for me I asked where I could dispose of a bag of rubbish, including the spurned Cornish pasty, an empty plastic bottle and other bits and bats, she inferred it had made her day allowing her to relieve me of this weighty burden.

The going was tough. Switchback ups and downs on rutted narrow paths through bracken in increasing heat, but that is what I came for eh? The challenge? The coastal scenery is superb, but not quite as good as Pembroke and other parts of the Welsh CP.

I was targeting Mevagissey but turning a corner a couple of miles short of M, I was dazzled by a collection of white houses nestling into the cliff. The first port of call immediately from my path was the Coastal Path Café. I had decided to seek lodgings here having done enough toiling in the heat, and when I asked for help they just made me sit down and they took over making phone calls whilst I consumed tea and lemon drizzle cake. I was quickly booked into Zephyr House B and B and then guided there by one of the staff who was on her way home. The café is immaculate and well worth a visit if you are passing that way - what a friendly bunch. I later found this is a community enterprise - good for them.

My b and b again is an immaculate private house run by a friendly retired local govt. guy and his wife, and I am their first visitor. Everything you could wish for is provided. I wonder if they think they are fated to continue receiving 76 yr old, geriatric, sweat dripping, dust covered eccentric compulsive geriatric walkers?

I'm off to the home of Fine Dining now, but only as a second class customer - more later.

First impression, good. They serve a local draught ale I have come to like in Cornwall - Proper Job. But at 7:30 only one or two other diners.

This is a purpose built flash hotel that must have cost millions. There were two young men at the bar where I ordered, one sat the wrong side of the bar drinking a pint of larger and playing on a mobile. There he remained during the whole course of my visit. There was no effort to indicate from the other that they wanted to give any reasonable service, just monosyllabic responses and an atmosphere of zero interest in the customers. The food was good but overpriced. I had a deluxe beef/cheeseburger and chips with four onion rings, all well prepared but at £14 and with that kind of service over the top. There were only a few others dining and I guess it is running at a loss. What a contrast to the COAST PATH CAFÉ.

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Wednesday, 13 July 2016

SW Coast Path - Falmouth to short of Portloe

Wednesday 13th July

At the Falmouth Bay they let me come and forage for breakfast at 7:30 without the cooked stuff. That enabled me to catch the early ferry to St Mawes at 8:30. That was half an hour's ride and from there I transferred to a smaller boat to get to St Anthony's Head. There you disembark onto a pontoon then straight into the woods - all a bit Bear Grhylls.

Actually started walking 9:15. First tea stop was at Porrbeor Beach then onwards to Portscatho where I sat in the pub and tried all possible accommodation via phone to no avail. Decided to wild camp as near Portloe as I could make it so went snd bought pasties etc. And marched on in some heat with one more beach café tea stop, with increasing number of ups and downs. I'm now camped 100yds off the path in a pleasant field with sea views having had a good day but feeling weary and not up to much more interesting writing.

Night night.

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Tuesday, 12 July 2016

S.W. Coast Path - Helford to Falmouth

Tuesday 12th July

At last a destination you may have heard of.

All the usual pretty bays with the ubiquitous beach café and families having fun mingled with single foot width trough paths, delightful cropped turf cliff tops, and waist high bracken and nettles.

I had not booked ahead. The TI centre in Falmouth had the only lady capable off sick so I had to STAND there going through the their brochure ringing b and bs with answer phones and no vacancies until I landed Falmouth Bay. They were helpful and found the Seaview pub for my evening meal where I am now. Whitebait again, and a very good boeuf bourguignon, and an ice cream pudding.

Back to the walk. At one point I descended to a bay. Here we go again railing, and it's the National Trust again. There was a sign for the coast path which on closer examination ( much later) had a badly eroded and almost invisible arrow pointing right. But within inches of the sign another bright red arrow sign pointed left, erected by you know who to way mark one of their own routes, so I walked half a mile before realising the error, and half a mile back.

I have to cross two ferries tomorrow to St Mawes then to St Anthony's Head. After that there is a very expensive coastline. So far I couldn't find a B and B and the cheapest hotel is FROM £195. I may be under a hedge.
PS. Just watched a guy put twelve savage twists of a salt cellar all over his meal

Monday, 11 July 2016

SW Coast Path, Coverack to Helford

Monday 11th July

I forgot to mention a couple of days ago a section of the path about a mile and half long was irritatingly overgrown - it was the National Trust again who ought to stick to looking after properties instead of fighting a loosing battle with nature and chopping trees down all over the place. A notice proclaimed the area to be suited to glowworms, yes glowworms, and good old NT didn't want to upset them by strimming the path.

Walking today was gentler and again I had a good café turn up for morning coffee - all very enjoyable. At St Anthony-in-Meneage there were boats and a slipway and a rather pathetic chandlery. I asked if they did tea. I was presented with a paper cup with a tea bag sachet thrown in together with one of those nasty mini milk cartons and asked for £1.60, then told to go outside, open a hatch door to reveal a machine that dispensed hot water. I hadn't realised the sachet had not been opened so had to fish it out and open it, then to go back inside and ask for a wooden stirrer which had not been included with the initial kit - " wus you ever bit by a dead bee."

Helford is quaint and attractive. I am in a B and B called the Sail Loft. The husband and wife are in their late seventies and keen sailors owning a fast 36 footer. She has two, and he seven Atlantic crossings and they are still at it, intending to be off to the Scillies at the weekend but for granddaughter baby sitting duty, hmm!

Tonight's menu at the Shipwrights Arms (well recommended with its new owners):

moules marinère, fresh local cod with chips and imaginative salad garnis, and sticky toffee pudding.

Alan, sorry, not a tractor in sight.

Tomorrow's target, Falmouth. First I have to cross the Helford river - the ferry is within two hundred yards of my B and B but it doesn't start until 9:30 am.

For the quote, one of those old Bogart films, RR will no doubt provide the title and the whole cast list straight from memory.

Just looking at a stunning bay view with boats from the pub window. The evening light is extraordinary, everything is rich with colour and sharp,sharp,sharp.

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Sunday, 10 July 2016

SW. Coast Path - Lizard to Coverack

Sunday 10th July

After a short distance, but hardish day I am now sat in the conservatory restaurant of the Paris Hotel at Coverack with a wonderful seascape on three sides.

Views today have been stunning with sunshine now and no sea fret, and at times it has been energy sapping hot with the path repeatedly more up and down than before. The path has also been narrow and trough like with a mini boulder interruption every fifty yards or so making for slow progress, but I dawdled anyway in view of the short distance. I stopped off at two cafés for tea. THERE IS JUST NO OTHER DRINK BETTER TO ASSUAGE THIRST AND DEHYDRATION.

I met a guy yesterday, Steve Mc Allister who is cycling round the whole of Britain, will post a link later to his blog.

I will report later on tonight's menu.

Starter - whitebait perfectly done - all crispy not soggy, and just enough thoughtful salad to accompany rather than over-face.

Main - whole plaice, salad, new potatoes - a long wait but worth it.

Did I have a pudding. I daren't say.


People watching. This pub restaurant is almost full, perhaps twenty tables, and it is now 8:15 pm. Several people are still wearing sunglasses propped up onto hair above forehead. I wonder what they think other people think when they see this?

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Saturday, 9 July 2016

S.W. Coast Path 3, Porthleven to Lizard Point

Saturday 9th July

Looking back I see I haven't explained my mission. I have already walked the SWCP from its start at Poole to Exmouth. Also when I walked my LEJOG in 2008 I covered Land's End to Barnstaple, so this trip intends filling in from LE to Exmouth.

I was off at 7:25 am into a sea fret that lasted all day, so views were limited, but I could look down at the sea with a range of quarter of a mile or so, and what a view it was. A strong wind was whipping waves up with gusto, and all was turmoil, frothing white, and action bent on destruction - marvellous!

Perhaps because it was cooler today with the fresh wind, but I felt much fitter, and although I didn't romp up the steeper sections I was able to take full enjoyment from the colourful abundance of wild flowers and the whole ambience of this coastal walking - a superb day's walking

I have an approximate rule allowing myself a rest every two hours (when backpacking). Today a 9 out of 10 café turned up right on cue, and after having a sufficiency of tea with my breakfast I was able to settle the 10 'o'clock jangles for coffee along with a sumptuous caramel shortbread.

Afternoon tea (just a pot of tea) - the best of all thirst quenchers was taken at the tea rooms at Mullion Cove, run by the same family since 1947 - I remember that winter.

Much later on I sort of lunched halfway down the descent into a zawn with Tuc cheese biscuits, a sandwich of Dutch rye bread and home made jam, and an orange, the last two saved from my breakfast at Lorne's b and b at Porthleven. I was watching the sea crashing into the narrow cleavage below trying its hardest to increase erosion of our terra firma.

My B and B is run by a lady whose wife is a sculptor. The garden is full of bizarre objects made from an eclectic collection of scrap.

I am, now eating in The Top Inn at Lizard. A main of pulled pork which seems to be prevalent in Cornwall with an interesting potato cake and other trimmings was a welcome addition to the normally boring pub menus. It was very good, but I was still hungry so ordered bread, humous and olives from the starter menu.

A couple across: he has his arm round her waist, hand protruding round this side so I can see. They are both totally, individually absorbed in their respective mobiles with no other interaction . So much for romance.

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Friday, 8 July 2016

S.W.Coast Path - Penzance to Porthleven

Friday 8th July 2016

Forgot to mention the yummy almond and raspberry tart last night.

Twelve miles today of pleasant walking to start with, then progressively more ups and downs. Being largely alongside the sea with the magnificent Cornish scenery is what I came for, but I have to say I was moving very slowly up the last few hills.

I'm booked into an Air B and B - see the website. The owner is away and has left the key with her neighbour and I have the full run of the house and a fully prepared breakfast in the fridge. The only trouble with Air is that you have to go through the website control and wait for confirmation of your booking which is no good for the spontaneous requirements of a day to day backpacker - I had booked this one from home.

I have now eaten well inThe Harbour Inn having chosen a veggie option: Cornish Homity Pie with accompanying vegetables cooked with care.

I've booked ahead for tomorrow into a B and B at Lizard Point - 14 miles. It's all easier these days with so many places having wifi as well as BT hotspots.

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Thursday, 7 July 2016

SW Coast Path 2

Thursday 7th July 2016

I messed up bus times and missed the 6:30 to Land's End. Flagged down a tax at 7:15 am, £ 30 got me there before the 6:30 bus, therefore started walking 7:35.

Good paths and fast going to start with, much needed to cover this 16 mile day. Dramatic Cornwall cliff scenery, but later the path became almost exclusively bedevilled with embedded boulders needing great care, and mini scrambling techniques, slowing progress hugely. Having said all that this southern section is nothing like as strenuous as north east from Land's End to Barnstaple which had me reeling at the start of my LEJOG in 2008.

At one point I spied a tree root at the edge of the path and told myself to avoid it - the he next thing I knew I was flat out on the path with a grazed knee and elbow. Everybody met afterwards, and there were many, seemed to notice my bloody knee and of course the evidence of my knee replacement which I thought had almost disappeared. One man and wife insisted on producing cleansing wipes and administering first aid - I had all that stuff with me but hadn't been bothered to dig it out.t

I was well exhausted on the few kilometres leading to Newlyn - my legs were like jelly and almost at the point of telling me they could go no further, but after that it was all road walking and I was able to march the last few kilometres in good order arriving back at Bay Lodge 9.75 hours after starting - a tough but enjoyable day.

The Bay turned out well, and a contrast with last night's mediocrity, and to hell with the cost. I have previously been accused of making these reports into a gastronomic record and am beginning to
wonder if I have a subconscious motive in that direction for these walks.

I was given a splendid window seat enabling me to view the dinghy racing in the bay, nostalgic for me going back to the two years brother Nick ( who is now in a home with Alzheimers) and I raced a Merlin Rocket at Hollingworth Lake.

Monk fish tail with a cheesy crust top accompanied by Intensely flavoured mini tomatoes, samphire, olives, et al with a side order of fries just in case. All worked well. Other diners were all looking well satisfied, and jazz Muzak was to my taste. My only crits were: far too much "no problem" and "you're welcome". Oh, it's good to be retired and reasonably comfortable.

Overheard at the next table, "we usually share a pudding", the kiss of death for any potential relationship for me. I DO NOT SHARE PUDDINGS.


Once I have posted I re- read on the blog bunt After that it is almost impossible to make corrections I Blogger Dashboard. I know there are errors bu can't do much sbout it.

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Wednesday, 6 July 2016

South West Coast Path 1

Wednesday 6th July 2016

Departed Arnside 7:51 am

Arrived Penzance 17:12 pm

Original rail ticket enquiry several weeks ago quoted £135. Subsequent browsing found Split Ticket website - cost £35.

I had booked in to Bay Lodge b and b where I stayed in 2008 for the start of my Land's End John 'o Groats walk. When I rang they remembered me because of the early breakfast to catch the morning bus to Land's End. I will be doing the same tomorrow morning and walking the sixteen miles back here for a second night. I'm off to the pub for food now. Will post later and update if anything of interest occurs.


At 7:00 pm there was initial doubt of having a table at the Longboat Inn, but they squeezed me in - the shape of things to come?

Sticky table, greasy chips, soggy batter on fish, frozen peas, small portions, limited menu.

I had a walk round Penzance to find something better for tomorrow. Everything was closed and I couldn't find one other eating place except for an Indian where, although open, all was dark and it

 seemed devoid of customers. On the way back to Bay Lodge at last I found the Bay, a posh restaurant up a steep hill and booked a table for tomorrow.

Bay Lodge B and B is excellent. Well recommended. They have just given me a fabulous early breakfast tray for the morning.

Bay Lodge B and B. Recommended
Coast path and St Michael's Mount
Photos would not go. Will try later.

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Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Dalesway in parts

Sunday 3rd July - Lowgill to Patton Bridge

A welcome temporary escape from Wimbledon, football, and the complex rapidly moving political pantomime saw me heading north up the M6,  sandwiches and coffee-flask packed in my rucksack and a Britten quartet playing on the radio. Brother RR recently transferred all his cd collection onto a memory card and gave me a copy. There are over 80 composers, each one with several opuses. RR tells me continuous playing would last for over a week. They are listed in alphabetical order and so far I have just finished the Brahms selection with much enjoyment. Britten seems a harsh contrast, but fascinatingly inventive and full of interest.

To one whose first music purchase was a 78 vinyl recording of Sydney Torch's orchestra playing The Dam Busters March it is bewildering to comprehend the achievement of recording so much music onto a piece of plastic not much bigger than a postage stamp. The same volume put onto the aforementioned 78 format would probably weigh several tons requiring storage space in a warehouse.

I do like to get off early - if you are first on the trail you have a good chance of seeing wildlife.  That was not particularly the case today but I did pass a backpacking tent still hunkered down but too far off my path to hear snoring from the incumbent.

This section of the Dalesway was enjoyable but in contrast to most other parts more inclusive of cow trodden fields interrupting the feel of being on old established bridleways and footpaths. I was able to devise a return  by other footpaths, roads and tracks to the north; those paths were less evident on the ground than the well established Dalesway but I thoroughly enjoyed this 10.5 mile round trip. Having started at 8:30 am I was back at the car for 2:10 pm and back home in time to be reacquainted with sporting and political developments.

I watched the Formula E race (a race in London, Battersea Park for electric racing cars). The presenters were second rate and didn't seem to have a comprehensive grasp of this new technology and I changed channels before the end. Later I watched the Grand Prix highlights and the contrast with the knowledgeable and entertaining David Coultard and the rest of the team was marked compared with the E1 presentation, and the final lap with Lewis racing with passion for glory was an all time classic.

A lone backpacker - I was curious to know the model of tent so...

...I zoomed. It is a two man tent weighing 2.2 kgs - my Terra Nova (one man) weighs 980gms, so I hope two people were sharing this weighty abode

The ubiquitous bath used as a livestock water trough. Do farmers renew the bath in their farmhouse every year? That is the impression I get from the number I see like this.
The bridge crosses the M6

Just another hideously untidy farm

Collapsed bridge. The local authority notice forbids crossing, but that was just a challenge for me - well I'm still here

A progressively more radical collection of three for my "Relics" folder

The southern part is the Dalesway and the northern my contrived return.
Click to enlarge


Another footballing observation.

All the players lined up before kick-off to sing the national anthems, BUT, most of them are not singing because they are not of the nationality of their team.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Lancashire Witches Walk (5 - final section)

Thursday 30th June 2016

The sense of drama of the Witches of Pendle story seemed to increase as we neared the Ashton Memorial, the venue for the hangings, and then the finish of our walk at Lancaster Castle where the witches were taken prior to hanging. Lancaster Castle is still a prison today. You can look at this true history on Wikipedia and there are several publications, fiction and non-fiction. A line from Wiki reads,

  "...Many of the allegations resulted from accusations that members of the Johnson Demdike and Gove Chattox families made against each other, perhaps because they were in competition..." - sounds familiar?

The fact that this walk attempts to follow the route taken by the witches after their arrests trekking from Pendle to Lancaster ensures the use of ancient paths and bridleways, and this provides continual interest and good walking underfoot throughout compared with some modern LDPS that are more contrived and artificial. We have thoroughly enjoyed the whole of this  project and splitting it into day walks has given us time to examine many points of interest.   

Caton Moor, just after our start

Tercet number 7  - there are 10 for the number of witches, and a poem for each one by Carol Ann Duffy - see whole poem below. The castings of the poems are raised to facilitate rubbings

Down into the Lune valley - river in centre - click to enlarge

Tercet number 8 on the bridge over the river Lune - a popular cycle track co-opted for a short distance by our walk

Orchid - click to enlarge to see spots on leaves at bottom which BC tells me is a point for identification

Number 9 at the Ashton Memorial near the execution venue overlooking Lancaster

I particularly liked the line, "sunset's crimson shame"

Ashton Memorial. There is history on Wiki if you want - not all that interesting, but we climbed the steps for a grand view of Lancaster from the top balcony

This pub was on the route from the castle to the execution venue and the witches were offered to stop for a last drink - see plaque below

Number 10 - at the castle

Lancaster Castle. It is still a prison

One voice for ten dragged this way once
by superstition, ignorance.
Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

Witch: female, cunning, manless, old,
daughter of such, of evil faith;
in the murk of Pendle Hill, a crone.

Here, heavy storm-clouds, ill-will brewed,
over fields, fells, farms, blighted woods.
On the wind’s breath, curse of crow and rook.

From poverty, no poetry
but weird spells, half-prayer, half-threat;
sharp pins in the little dolls of death.

At daylight’s gate, the things we fear
darken and form. That tree, that rock,
a slattern’s shape with the devil’s dog.

Something upholds us in its palm-
landscape, history, place and time-
and, above, the same old witness moon

below which Demdike, Chattox, shrieked,
like hags, unloved, an underclass,
badly fed, unwell. Their eyes were red.

But that was then- when difference
made ghouls of neighbours; child beggars,
feral, filthy, threatened in their cowls.

Grim skies, the grey remorse of rain;
sunset’s crimson shame; four seasons,
centuries, turning, in Lancashire,

away from Castle, Jury, Judge,
huge crowd, rough rope, short drop, no grave;

only future tourists who might grieve.


Another little gripe: I am not a keen follower of football, but I did, sadly watch the last (probably forever) England game.

I notice they talk about a player "winning a penalty". Well, that is ambiguous, but my interpretation, and the tone of the commentators implies that the player has managed to con the referee into thinking he was fouled, therefore meriting the penalty. If that is seen to be laudable there is not much hope for the morals of our youngsters who see these guys as role models.

Also, one player grabbed the shirt of an opponent and held onto it for ages  blatantly restricting the guy from getting the ball. The commentator said " You can get away with that when the ref. doesn't see you", his tone unmistakably implying that this was clever and praiseworthy action on the part of the perpetrator. It is all that kind of thing that puts me off watching what in concept is a fine spectator sport.