It was great to spend a few days near Falmouth, even though the weather was not great. We had planned to walk some South West Coast path and drove to the North Coast to walk from Port Isaac to Rock. But it was so grey and dismal we drove there instead. We visited Trelissick and went inside the house for the first time.
We enjoyed a unexpectedly sunny sail around the creek to St Mawes and Falmouth.
We enjoyed a walk around the Lost (but definitely found) Gardens of Heligan.
We then drove on to Mevagissey and wandered around the harbour.
We walked fifteen miles on the first May bank holiday Monday, from Oakham to Weston by Welland. We tried to stop for lunch at Hallaton, which has two nice pubs, but they were quite busy.
We continued our walk two weeks later, another 15 miles to Maidwell in Northamptonshire. We managed a nice meal this time at The Swan at Braybrooke. This walk includes part of the Brampton Valley Way, starting from an old railway tunnel at Great Oxendon. There was a second tunnel at Kelmarsh before the Macmillan Way leaves the old railway line at Maidwell.
In February we spent a few days in Cornwall. We spent a day walking the South West coast path between Bude and Crackington Haven, a distance of 10.2 miles. We have now walked a total of 216.6km (134.6miles) and have climbed 7,898m (25,912ft) since we started this walk at Minehead. Phew!!! :- )
After several weekends stuck indoors due to poor weather we returned to Stratford-Upon-Avon, the starting point for our completed walk along Shakespeare’s Way. Although it was a dull and dismal day it was nice to get out, have Sunday lunch cooked for us and experience places related to Shakespeare that we had not previously visited. We had a wander around the old school that Shakespeare attended and were even given a 16th century style lesson. Interestingly students from the nearby grammar school still have lessons here.
January has been a quiet month with little opportunity of escape from the routine. Dark mornings and dark evenings with unseasonably warm damp weather.
We started the month with good intentions and during the new year weekend we went for a stout 6 mile walk around nearby countryside broken by a warming lunch at the Plough Inn in Everdon.
After that weekends of grey, leaden skies and a winter bug kept us more homebound.
Emerging bulbs in the garden give the signs that thankfully spring will soon be with us.
This is a picture of our fridge. Fifteen years ago we started buying fridge magnets whenever we visited somewhere new. The majority of them are either from the British Isles or small islands off the Brittany coast. Although not great distances sailing to these places can be exciting.
Sometimes we venture further afield and we are finalising plans for our main holiday this year, a Cuban Caribbean adventure. We have booked through an independent travel company called Rickshaw Travel. They specialise in putting together individual travel packages. I usually like trawling the internet myself and exploring travel details and accommodation but it seemed more sensible to call in the experts this time. We are pleased with the final itinerary which has a good balance of culture, beaches and scenery. We have purchased mosquito deterrents and have booked a few vaccinations. There is also the daunting task of trying to learn a little Spanish. We have downloaded a course by Paul Collins and have stuck post it notes on objects around the house. We don’t seem to be getting very far with it though. I tried listening to the course on my journey to work but it is far too distracting when driving.
Donde podemos ir a bailar salsa? (Where can we go salsa dancing) Ha Ha!
Hasta primavera (Until springtime)
After an early start we arrived at Clovelly visitor centre. It was a lovely, clear October day and we were keen to begin our three day “stroll”. We left the car at Clovelly and walked to Hartland Quay.
This is a very rugged part of the South West Coast Path. Our hotel for the night at Hartland Quay was a friendly place frequented by walkers and locals. It was surrounded by steep windswept coast and a shore of jagged rocks.
This next stretch is described as severe in the guide book, and not without reason. It can be done as an 8 hour walk to Bude but thankfully we stopped halfway at Morwenstow. Our walk ended at Hawkers Hut. The Rev Hawker was a characterful local who used the hut to reflect and smoke opium. The hut is the smallest property owned by the National Trust.
We stayed at the Bush Inn, a cosy place, with authentic beamed ceilings and stone floors. It is described as once being the haunt of wreckers which is easy to believe on this coastline.
Monday was a cloudier day and we set off early to beat the forecasted rain. It was another strenuous and scenic stretch of coast which gradually became gentler as we neared Bude. A tasty chowder in one of the many cafes was very welcome. We experienced torrential rain on our drive onwards to Falmouth. We were relieved not to have been out climbing the combes in that downpour.
We somehow took the wrong route out of Stamford, travelling northwest rather than south west. This meant half of our walk was along roads instead of footpaths. We missed the villages of Easton on the Hill and Ketton and only rejoined the route when we entered Empingham. Rather a walk ruined really, we will be careful to cross reference our MacMillan Way book and ordnance survey phone app next time.
After lunch, sat outside in the sunshine at the White Horse Inn, we crossed the road and followed the footpath to Rutland water. We took the North Shore route and followed it back to Oakham.
A nail biting taxi ride took us from Stamford back to Tongue End. Boy that guy was in a hurry.
The steep banked footpath along the river Glen was designated as a nature reserve. The cattle that maintained the landscape thankfully stepped aside as we ventured past.
The river bank began to reduce in height and we started to leave the fenland landscape behind.
After Sunday lunch at the Hare and Hounds in Greatford we walked on through Shillingthorpe Park where the house was once used as a lunatic asylum. As we emerged from woodland into the dappled sunlight we encountered the magical sight of a herd of roe deer crossing our path. They were almost too far away by the time we had our cameras ready.
Our tired feet found a busier Stamford as it was the weekend of the Burghley Horse Trials.