Author Topic: SOuth west coastal path - tips please  (Read 7598 times)

mickcope

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SOuth west coastal path - tips please
« on: 06:16:43, 30/11/11 »
Hi - i wonder if I can ask a few questions as this is all very new to me:

1.  Is the path well marked or will a GPS unit be needed or useful
2.  I currently walk 15 miles in 4 hours on the flat road - what might this look like on the hardest bits of the path in terms of how long I will be walking?
3.  I need to keep in touch with my home (kids) - is there much of a mobile signal around the path
4. If B&B - what is the typical weight people carry in their Backpack
5.  Any other tips welcome

cheers
Mick


oldboldgeezer

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Re: SOuth west coastal path - tips please
« Reply #1 on: 07:30:22, 30/11/11 »
Hi Mick and welcome to the forum
 
It may be worth popping over to the welcome section and introducing yourself to everyone .. .. else only those with a bit of an interest in the SWCP are likely to know you'r around  O0
 
The whole of the path is well marked and a GPS is unnecessary from a nav point of view .. .. the only benefit of carrying one would be to keep a record of distance travelled and height gained etc if you're going to keep a journal or other record .. .. and possibly to give you an accurate position
 
When I walked the path in 2005 I didn't take a map .. .. because it meant taking so many  :(   Instead I used the four National Trail Guides which include extracts of the 1:25000 maps for the bulk of the route and a general route description plus a bit of area-specific backgound info .. .. all you need really.  I'm also someone who is happy to make notes in the margins of a book so I kept a record of timings etc alongside the route information  :)
 
The places that tended to present the biggest problem from a route finding perspective were the bigger towns .. . .where it wasn't always obvious exactly where the path went .. .. everywhere else (even in the foulest of weather) was just a question of keeping the sea to my right  ;D
 
For up to date information about the path it's worth joining the SWCP Association and getting their annual hanbook which will also give you a list of B&Bs in close proximity to the path - more critically it gives you up to date information about any path diversions
 
Most people I walk with complain that I walk too fast (although I'm not sure I would walk 15 miles in 4 hours even on a road) but my average speed over the ground was a shade over 2.25 miles per hour (averaged over the full 630 miles and carrying my tent etc plus up to two days of food and up to 3 litres of water).  Note that I've used SoG not walking speed .. .. that includes time to take photographs, chat to people, pick up food and water in villages etc
 
One of the things to note is that a lot of the walking is harder than you would expect!!  And there's certainly a lot more up and down than anyone would expect if they've never walked on the path before (81 000 ft from memory!!)
 
I have an excel spreadsheet that I got my accountant to create which allows you to change a number of parameters and will list which villages you will pass through on each day at that speed etc .. .. drop me a PM is you would like a copy - I used it when I was in the planning phase - primarily to work out if it was possible to complete a route that the guide book suggests is  a 56-day walk in just 31 days - because that was all the time I had  O0  and to work out the critical points where I needed to carry an extra day's food in order to avoid running out
 
If you go the B&B route you only need to carry the minimum amount of kit as you would for a day walk and possibly a spare change of clothes for the evening with a pair of light sandles to give your feet a rest ;)  Something that I gleaned from talking with people along the route who were using the B&B option was that they felt compelled to get to the next B&B which seemed to be to the detriment of their enjoyment .. .. whereas I walked until the end of the day and if there was a campsite handy used that .. .. and if there wasn't then I wild camped .. .. no pressure and not a care in the world :)
 
On the subject of mobile phones I managed to get a txt msg to my family most days .. .. but we had an agreement that they wouldn't get overly concerned until the third day of not hearing from me .. .. which gave me a bit of scope on the occasions when I wild camped away from a town or village.  Of course, in the ensuing six years things will have improved (hopefully  :-\ ) but one of the issues for me was recharging the phone .. .. you will just need to pack your charger  :D
 
Feel free to ask any other questions as you develop your plan .. .. but most importantly, enjoy the walk .. .. it's amazingly beautiful and varied  :) :) :)
 
"A smile is a curve that sets everything straight."

mickcope

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Re: SOuth west coastal path - tips please
« Reply #2 on: 14:49:33, 30/11/11 »
That is wonderful - thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge - I am really looking forward to it -
Cheers
Mick

oldboldgeezer

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Re: SOuth west coastal path - tips please
« Reply #3 on: 08:38:00, 01/12/11 »
That is wonderful - thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge - I am really looking forward to it -
Cheers
Mick

No worries Mick
 
Hope some of it's useful ;)
"A smile is a curve that sets everything straight."

Bandit127

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Re: SOuth west coastal path - tips please
« Reply #4 on: 21:26:14, 01/12/11 »
Excellent post by oldboldgeezer.

I haven't done much of the SWCP but I can chip in with the following.

Expect to be walking up to 600' (200m) and back to sea level 3 or 4 times for every mile of progress made on parts of it. My experience is around North Devon (Combe Martin/Ilfracombe/Lee Bay). The ups and downs are shorter than hillwalking in the Lakes so it is slightly less taxing as your muscles get a break in routine. But not much less taxing.

Under foot is generally fairly good - either paths or grass during the dry months.

I used to live in Plymouth (Stonehouse) and part of the path was on my way home from the pub to my flat and I can confirm that it it very easy to lose it.... (Oh - hang on - maybe there were 'other factors' involved there... LOL)

If your leg muscles are only trained on flat walks, expect some very tough days.
 


mickcope

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Re: SOuth west coastal path - tips please
« Reply #5 on: 22:30:27, 01/12/11 »
Cheers Bandit127

Think i need to scour Essex for some hills!

Mick

yorksgal

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Re: SOuth west coastal path - tips please
« Reply #6 on: 22:34:03, 01/12/11 »
Hello Mick, good response you have had already, I myself have not walked in that area but when you do please don't forget your camera and show us yours pics  O0

oldboldgeezer

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Re: SOuth west coastal path - tips please
« Reply #7 on: 08:29:24, 02/12/11 »

I used to live in Plymouth (Stonehouse) and part of the path was on my way home from the pub to my flat and I can confirm that it it very easy to lose it.... (Oh - hang on - maybe there were 'other factors' involved there... LOL)

If your leg muscles are only trained on flat walks, expect some very tough days.
 

I had forgotten how difficult it was to find my way around the Plymouth section .. .. and that's as a Plymothian .. .. lol (maybe that was part of the problem .. .. I thought I new where I was going.. .. should have just followed the sea and the signs!!)
 
 
"A smile is a curve that sets everything straight."

Barwood

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Re: SOuth west coastal path - tips please
« Reply #8 on: 15:34:13, 01/08/17 »
I know this is an old post but hopefully you can still help. Oldboldgeezer you mention in your post about an excel your created and wondered if you still had it?


Planning on walking from Penzance to Woolacombe and any extra help or advice would be great :)

archaeoroutes

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Re: SOuth west coastal path - tips please
« Reply #9 on: 19:48:18, 03/08/17 »
Just got back from the south Cornwall bit (Lizard etc). Be prepared to add a few hours each day just messing about on the beaches!
Walking routes visiting ancient sites in Britain's uplands: http://amzn.to/2j91hIj

Welsh Rambler

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Re: SOuth west coastal path - tips please
« Reply #10 on: 20:08:47, 03/08/17 »
Don't be misled by the statement 'The whole of the path is well marked' because it isn't. Maybe some of the signs have become collector's items but I've found you do need a map. I recently did Brixham to Torquay and there were very few signs.
Regards Keith

John Walker

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Re: SOuth west coastal path - tips please
« Reply #11 on: 21:09:47, 03/08/17 »
Hi Barwood and Welcome from Twickenham,

Sorry, I can't offer anything as elaborate as Oldboldgeezer's Excel spreadsheet for planning stages of the SWCP but we walked the stretch from Penzance to Woolacombe (backwards!) in stages during 2007 to 2009.  You can see the details of the stages we did here: http://www.greenlives.org.uk/swcpstages.html  If you click on the link to each individual stage it will give you an OS map and description of the route (in the wrong direction!). The distances we covered each day look quite short but be aware some of these stages are quite challenging (i.e. a lot of climbing and descending!). Don't know if you are planning to camp or stay at B&Bs but there are some links to places we stayed on these web pages (sorry, don't like camping  :(). As it was a decade ago can't guarantee they still operate, of course.

It's a great walk, I'm sure you'll really enjoy it.

BTW, my only problem with following the path was the occasional diversions due to cliff falls :o

JW
http://www.greenlives.org.uk/walk.html
National Trails completed: SWCP, Thames, SDW and NDW

Phileas

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Re: SOuth west coastal path - tips please
« Reply #12 on: 20:41:11, 15/09/17 »
As far as signage is concerned, like all National Trails it is fully signed with just the occasional ambiguity. However, signs can occasionally be missed if distracted.
Robin

harland

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Re: SOuth west coastal path - tips please
« Reply #13 on: 21:28:58, 15/09/17 »
For anyone thinking of walking the SWCP then the following is worth reading:-

http://www.luggagetransfers.co.uk/south-west/swcp-itineraries

However whilst the guide is not an exact copy of The Cicerone Guide by Paddy Dillon it is so similar that I presume, perhaps erroneously, that it was written whilst looking at the Cicerone Guide. In addition there are a quite a number of spelling mistakes/typos.

It is still worth reading parts of it to get an idea whether the path is one that interests you but on balance, if I wanted to read it all, I would buy the book (which I did before my walk in 2007).  An absolutely wonderful walk, brought back many memories of holidays in my youth.


Theo Frum

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Re: SOuth west coastal path - tips please
« Reply #14 on: 19:04:22, 16/09/17 »
I walked until the end of the day..........no pressure and not a care in the world :)

I did that by B&B. I just walked until 5pm, and then knocked on doors of B&Bs.