Back in Cornwall

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 dismalĀ  we drove there instead.
We visited Trelissick and went inside the house for the first time.

Grounds and gardens of Trelissick

We enjoyed a unexpectedly sunny sail around the creek to St Mawes and Falmouth.

Working boats on the Fal estuary.

St Mawes

We enjoyed a walk around the Lost (but definitely found) Gardens of Heligan.

Sculpture
Happy pig

We then drove on to Mevagissey and wandered around the harbour.

Boats in Mevagissey harbour

Walking the MacMillan Way

In early September we walked from Maidwell to Great Brington. The weather was a bit grey so we only walked 11 miles and were glad to reach The Fox and Hounds for a well deserved beer.

Green fields

Entrance to Holdenby House

Later in October we continued our walk to Flore (just five miles). We drove back to the Fox and Hounds for an enjoyable lunch.

The building of a train line caused a detour as our path was blocked by a giant hole.

Isles of Scilly sailing in early June

St Mary’s in the morning

Weather forecast thankfully turned out much better

St Mary’s harbour from Star Castle

St Mary’s sunny afternoon

Walk around Tresco, grey start over Cromwell’s castle

Old Grimsby, Tresco

View from Tresco to St Martins

Walk around St Martins


Bracken control

Devon cattle grazing

Sunny beach, St Martins

Our anchorage

Macmillan Way from Oakham to Maidwell

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.

Just outside Oakham
Green footpaths
So cute

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.

Brampton Ash
Cute sheep, love the pink ears
Dark tunnel
Tunnel exit
Bluebells
Old footbridge near exit to Maidwell village

South West coast path (Bude to Crackington Haven)

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!!! :- )

Bude


Crackington Haven

Finer February

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.

Stratford streets
Shakespeare’s school house
Ancient graffiti

January

January sunshine
Nuevo a-nyo (New Year)

Happy New Year

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.

Magnetic memories
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)
Adios (Goodbye)

South West Coast path Clovelly to Bude

Clovelly to Hartland Quay
Clovelly to Hartland Quay

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.
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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.
Hartland Quay where coal and lime used to be unloaded.
Hartland Quay where coal and lime used to be unloaded.
Hartland to Morwenstow
Hartland to Morwenstow

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. imageimage
Hawker's Hut
Hawker’s Hut

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.

Walking towards Bude
Walking towards Bude
Uppy downy
Uppy downy
Journey's end - Bude
Journey’s end – Bude

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.

Macmillan Way…..ish Stamford to Oakham

Stamford
Stamford

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.
Back on the footpath
Back on the footpath

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.
Rutland water reservoir
Rutland water reservoir
Rutland water
Rutland water

Back to the MacMillan Way Tongue End to Stamford

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.
Tongue End
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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.

Roe deer
Roe deer

Our tired feet found a busier Stamford as it was the weekend of the Burghley Horse Trials.