Author Topic: SWCP for the over 60's  (Read 20854 times)

johhnyp

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Re: SWCP for the over 60's
« Reply #15 on: 22:23:00, 27/03/16 »
Hello Jane,
Thank you for getting in touch. I have been so busy the last month or so that, other than practise walks, I had not thought about the logistics of the walk. As things stand I rock up to Minehead on Saturday 30th April about 5 pm. If I find somewhere then great; if not I guess I walk a few miles and try the tent out. It will at least take a few miles off the walk to Lynmouth.
Still not decided to take the tent or not although I have been leaning towards doing so despite the weight and the space it takes up. What did you use as your source for B&B contact details up the trail or did you ask one nights B&B for info about the next? A guy on another forum did the whole walk in 2007 and reckons he did not use his tent once; often not booking until he decided to stop somewhere.
That apart I am really looking forward to it. Time pressures mean I could not do it in one go but I think two halves in the same year is ok. The knees are okish at the moment but it is definitely a two pole job given the descents and distance involved. A few early starts I fancy.
Ice Cream is high up one my list.
What were your favourite bits of the north coast?
John


JaneSarah

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Re: SWCP for the over 60's
« Reply #16 on: 20:48:41, 28/03/16 »
Hi John
The tourist information centres are very helpful, and it's well worth calling in to get bus timetables, accommodation lists etc. If they are closed, there is sometimes a list of B and Bs with vacancies  in the window. If open, they  can help in booking, sometimes for a small fee. If a B and B was full, then they could sometimes recommend somebody else to try. I also used the accommodation list at the back of the SWCP handbook.  I think they note in the guidebook if there is a stretch with few B and Bs, and that's probably where you need to book ahead or be prepared for a longer day.  I think the only time you might find it difficult is the bank holiday weekend at the start, but there's plenty of places in Minehead so it shouldn't be a problem.[/size]


If I did it again, I don't think I would take a tent. What really makes the difference to knees, blisters etc is not carrying too much weight, as I'm sure you know. You're planning to keep up a good pace, too. Also, despite some lovely times camping, I'm a wimp and don't much like camping in bad weather, so I keep the tent for trips in warmer climes like Greece. The only reason for camping would be that it's obviously a lot cheaper, especially if you are looking for a single room - sometimes hard to find and you can only get a tiny discount on a double. But as somebody else said, you can always post the tent home if you find you don't need it.


Impossible to say what were the best bits - overall it's the variety and contrasts that make this such a wonderful walk, and it also depends on the time of year etc - eg if the foxgloves are out along the cliffs (more on the south coast).The area around Tintagel and beyond is lovely, including the hostel. I saw seals around St Agnes, then just beyond St Ives.


Jane





Jane Sarah
Do check out our walk through Greece from the northern border to southern tip at www.greekhiking.com. What next?

johhnyp

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Re: SWCP for the over 60's
« Reply #17 on: 22:12:50, 28/03/16 »
Yes the knees etc... should have shed a couple of stone twenty years ago :-[. Funny how the pile of surgical supports and medicines is nearly as big as the clothes pile these days! Been doing half day 13 milers with pack in preparation and they knees are complaining slightly. Still, with two sticks and some early starts and a nice steady pace it should be alright on the night O0
Thanks for the advice. Be brave or have aching knees? I will let you know what I end up doing. Just starting to get that nice feeling of anticipation as the clock starts to count down in earnest

John

Rather be walking

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Re: SWCP for the over 60's
« Reply #18 on: 11:27:48, 29/03/16 »
Good luck with the hike johhnyp.
I've walked the SWCP twice. My favourite section is from Clovelly to New Polzeath.
Last year I walked the new'ish (well to me as there was no coastal path there when I walked the SWCP) section from Port Isaac to Port Quin.

be safe out there.

John.
LDP Done:SWCP,SDW,IOWCP,HadriansWallPath,NDW,ClarendonWay,HangersWay,C2C,CaminoDeSantiago.

Alfie

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Re: SWCP for the over 60's
« Reply #19 on: 15:51:15, 01/04/16 »



I hope you have a grand time on the SWCP John,


I started going down to the South West in December 2012 and completing a couple of days at a time when I could get a long weekend. I have now got as far as Penzance. If you manage it in 34 days then " you are a better man than me gungadin " LOL. I've been using the Cicerone guide and it splits the route up into 45 days. I would give top spot to the Hartland Quay to Bude day, 15.5 miles and about 4,000 ft of ascent I seem to remember; as hard as any day you can reasonably have in the Lakes. Can I just suggest that if you want to reward yourself, then when you get to St Ives, book a table at the Porthminster Beach cafe and sample their Monkfish curry.
I wont be down again till June ; I have booked a cottage in Falmouth for a week and hope to get the Penzance to Portloe section completed.
And finally, don't fall asleep on the Braunton to westward Ho! section. It's 23 miles with about 10 ft of ascent, and lots of dodgy sand.


It will be great to hear how you get on...

johhnyp

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Re: SWCP for the over 60's
« Reply #20 on: 01:00:22, 02/04/16 »
Thanks for the good wishes guys. Not had much time to prepare for this one so the first few days may be tough going. I do tend to overestimate how long walks take. In 2015 I planned a 16 day PW and in truth could have done it in 13 in good shape; which is how I worked out 15 days to Penzance. The walk seems to naturally fit in 3/4 shorter days; from around Westward Ho to Boscastle (am staying at Elmscott YH), coinciding with some of the reportedly tougher bits. Longer sections seem to crop up at the start and finish ( Minehead to Ilfracombe in 2 and St Ives to Penzance in 2).
Truth to tell I have given up trying to work out exact days and will rock up to the nearest settlement and hope for the best. The flat bit does sound like a drag but, oddly, I find I like some of these "boring" bits ( like the vale of Mowbray on the c2c).
The Monkfish curry is on the list although normally I avoid curry when out in the hills for obvious reasons!
I will most certainly write it up.
I arrive in Minehead on the Saturday before the May Bank holiday at about tea time. Not sure whether to crack on for a few hours or look for a bed for the night as the walk to Lynmouth and thence to Ilfracombe look fairly stiff on "new" legs
John


Jac

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Re: SWCP for the over 60's
« Reply #21 on: 10:26:32, 02/04/16 »
Hi there
Coincidence - you are starting on the same date as I started in 1998, arriving in Minehead latish and finding accomodation difficult as I had a dog with me.
Asked a passing local who recommended The Foxes Hotel right on the sea front. It was brilliant and a really worthwhile organisation. Have just checked and they currently have 6 rooms available on 30 April and are quoting £39.50 single! doubt you'll better that.

http://via.eviivo.com/foxeshtlta24

May 1 is interesting in Minehead - I was woken by drumming and music - the Hobby Horse was up very early.
« Last Edit: 10:30:28, 02/04/16 by Jac »
Most walks start by finding the way out of the car park

johhnyp

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Re: SWCP for the over 60's
« Reply #22 on: 23:04:36, 02/04/16 »
Thank you for that Jac. Sounds to be a good worthwhile place. I will book it. Do you recall if they do early breakfast? ( know it is a while ago now). Have to get to Lynmouth, so I imagine I will need a good 10 hours or so.
I haven't seen a hobby horse procession in the flesh so that's another first!
Hope the weather forecast picks up a bit

Jac

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Re: SWCP for the over 60's
« Reply #23 on: 09:09:19, 03/04/16 »
Sorry - it was a long time ago and I don't know whether early breakfast was an option as I wouldn't have asked for one. My next stop was the Blue Ball at Countisbury (then called The Sandpiper but now back to it's orginal name). That is just above Lynmouth and I had no difficulty reaching there despite it being a scorching hot day. If you're booked at Lynmouth you shouldn't have any worries.
On a different point - I took the footpath along the beach to Porlock, still marked on the OS and waded across the outfall, only ankle deep but it was low tide so might not be do-able now. Perhaps check locally.
I'd done absolutely no planning, just took off for the Bank Holiday weekend with the dog and an ancient sleeping bag my mother had made from an old eiderdown, no tent, and trusted to luck.
 Have fun
« Last Edit: 10:53:27, 03/04/16 by Jac »
Most walks start by finding the way out of the car park

johhnyp

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Re: SWCP for the over 60's
« Reply #24 on: 21:18:06, 03/04/16 »
Good to know that it can be done in a one Jac. Countisbury didn't look to be much on the map but if it has accommodation all to the good. I haven't booked much else along the way; just YHA's at Elmscott, Boscastle, Treyarnon and Lands End ( at least I can wash my gear!); so I will turn up on other days and see what happens. That is about as adventurous as I get these days!

Jac

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Re: SWCP for the over 60's
« Reply #25 on: 08:38:40, 05/04/16 »
I've been ambling down memory lane again and thought it might be worth mentioning that after reaching the official end of the SWCP - a rather inauspicious spot with a long queue of cars waiting for the ferry and, due to the inclement weather, not even the dubious excitement of trippng over nudists on the final stretch of Studland beach - we turned left still following the coastline and had lovely walk on footpaths across the heathland and through the woods finishing in Wareham; an interesting little Saxon town on the River Frome with a good bus connections (The Jurassic Coaster X53). A much nicer place to end and our last night's wild camp in the woods was lovely with whistling sika deer all round the tent in the early morning.
Most walks start by finding the way out of the car park

johhnyp

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Re: SWCP for the over 60's
« Reply #26 on: 09:36:56, 06/04/16 »
I have never been to Wareham, and, having some limited interest in that time in history I should really. Presume you can bus to Bournemouth and the train home?
I have booked at the Foxes by the way. I have a son with some slight " disadvantages" so am quite pleased about that. It looks pretty cheap compared to B&B prices in this part of the country too!
That will do me though; I have a bed at the start and the end of the walk and four YH's in between. Should be able to work out the rest.
Weather forecast firming up a little now we are only 25 days out; not looking great but hey ho...in the great outdoors

John

Jac

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Re: SWCP for the over 60's
« Reply #27 on: 11:18:59, 06/04/16 »
Glad you have found room at The Foxes - such lovely people.

Yes, the bus goes from Wareham to Poole but in fact Wareham also has a railway station! I forgot that as the Jurassic Coaster Bus runs between Exeter (where I live) all the way to Poole so, with bus pass, that was very useful.

Most walks start by finding the way out of the car park

johhnyp

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Re: SWCP for the over 60's
« Reply #28 on: 16:45:41, 29/04/16 »
So on the train tomorrow to Minehead, then start on Sunday. Looks a bit more like February than early May but may get the odd bit of sunshine en route to Penzance surely?!
Did decide to pre-book at Lynmouth after day1 given it is a Bank Holiday. After that we will see how it goes.
Do quite like this night before anticipation. Bit undercooked preparation wise for a walk of this distance but hopefully the walking legs will kick in soon enough.
Happy days :)

john

vinny

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Re: SWCP for the over 60's
« Reply #29 on: 16:39:37, 30/04/16 »
John, Hope all goes well on your walk.
I too like the idea of booking no B&Bís, two people I meet last year doing the Pennine Way did just that and had no problems.


Have a good walk


Vinny