Author Topic: How easy are our coastal paths to navigate?  (Read 990 times)

Beth FF

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How easy are our coastal paths to navigate?
« on: 15:51:57, 01/06/18 »
As I'm planning on walking all of the coastal paths in Britain I was wondering which ones are the easiest (eg good signage, no ambiguity) and which are the worst (eg those where I might wonder where on earth I'm supposed to go)? Or are they all good and it's just the bits inbetween that might be tricky?

alan de enfield

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Re: How easy are our coastal paths to navigate?
« Reply #1 on: 16:20:44, 01/06/18 »

Pretty difficult to get lost - if heading from Southampton up the east coast just keep the sea on your right, turn 'left' at the top and again keep the sea on your right, when you get to the other corner, turn left again, keeping the sea on your right all the way down to Lands end,  continue turning to the left and go along the South coast keeping the sea on your right until you get to Southampton, then you will know where you are.


If doing it the other way, reverse the options and keep the sea on your left.


In all seriousness - whilst I have only walked parts of a few coastal paths they are generally well used and well marked, I would guess that it will be mostly the same except (maybe) in the very wilds of Scotland and possibly parts of Wales.



Get a GPS loaded up with OS mapping at 1:25,000 (it will clearly show all of the footpaths and routes) and you cannot (famous last words) go wrong.


You would need (maybe) a couple of hundred OS 1:25000 maps, at 10 a time that's a lot of money.


You can actually programme the co-ordinates for every Lifeboat station and it will give you course, distance and ETA. In an emergency (you slip and break a leg or wotever) you have your position to tell the rescue services.
You are planning on 'sofa-surfing', B&B ing etc so recharging the batteries would not be a problem.
« Last Edit: 16:31:35, 01/06/18 by alan de enfield »

Beth FF

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Re: How easy are our coastal paths to navigate?
« Reply #2 on: 16:31:36, 01/06/18 »
 ;D yes, keeping the sea in sight does help when walking a coastal path...if you end up in Birmingham you've come a little too far inland  :D
Hmm, I shall have to seriously consider a GPS. More lovely kit to research!  :)

Jac

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Re: How easy are our coastal paths to navigate?
« Reply #3 on: 16:42:20, 01/06/18 »
I suggest you have a look at this blog.

Starting from Kings Lynn, Norfolk in April 2010 she is now on Kintyre, so has the top and north east yet to do. Excellent description of each days' walk including photos/distance/time and map.

https://coastalwalker.co.uk/

Personally I have only done the SWCP and Pembrokeshire CP  both well waymarked and actually getting lost would be difficult, as AdeE says just make sure you keep the sea on the same side. In towns the official route can sometimes be a bit less obvious but provided you find the way out onto the coast again that hardly matters.
Have fun :)

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

Owen

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Re: How easy are our coastal paths to navigate?
« Reply #4 on: 17:06:44, 01/06/18 »
How much research have you done on the Scottish coast? There are long sections where there is no roads or footpaths let alone villages and some very long sea lochs which will need a lot of planning to get around. Getting around the west and north coasts without a tent and relying on finding somewhere to doss down will be a stretch.

harland

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Re: How easy are our coastal paths to navigate?
« Reply #5 on: 19:50:47, 01/06/18 »
Whilst it doesn't give you a guide to footpaths try reading John Merrill's "Turn Right at Land's End". 6,824 miles averaging 26 miles a day.  Suffered a fatigue fracture in his foot after 3,300 miles - also ate 1,511 bars of chocolate.  Whilst I love chocolate I am not prepared to walk that far, having said that he had one for every 4 miles!  :D He wore out 33 pairs of socks and 3 pairs of boots.

fernman

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Re: How easy are our coastal paths to navigate?
« Reply #6 on: 20:29:28, 01/06/18 »
There's quite a bit of description in "The sea on our left: A couple's ten month walk around Britain's coastline" by Shally Hunt (1999) though it's not the best-written book, I got bored with it halfway through and gave it to a charity shop.

I also have a copy of "Two feet and four paws: Walking the coastline of Britain" by Spud Talbot-Ponsonby (2011), as yet unread but reviewers speak well of it.

Both of these can be bought through Amazon for the usual 0.01p plus 2.80 postage.

 

Zizag

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Re: How easy are our coastal paths to navigate?
« Reply #7 on: 22:28:08, 01/06/18 »
The Anglesey Coastal path Is well signed .
Another one of those ,Where the sea Is always on one side of you .
 :) :D ;D ::) :o .
 Circular walk  ,
  clockwise or Anti-clockwise nice 200 Kilometers =125 miles
One of the best walks in the British Isles . :)

scottk

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Re: How easy are our coastal paths to navigate?
« Reply #8 on: 00:44:13, 03/06/18 »
OS mapping online is 20 or 8 with Tesco club card points. You can use it on your phone. I carry an Anker charger which can recharge my iPhone 4 times and weights 200g. Don't use my phone for mapping though, I print off the area I need on A4 paper. The coastal paths round Aberdeenshire are ok but definitely not well sign posted all the way.

geordie33

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Re: How easy are our coastal paths to navigate?
« Reply #9 on: 08:22:55, 03/06/18 »
I have walked the full length ofthe Durham and Northumberland coast paths.They are easy to follow (and well worth the effort)

tonyk

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Re: How easy are our coastal paths to navigate?
« Reply #10 on: 10:13:46, 03/06/18 »
Whilst it doesn't give you a guide to footpaths try reading John Merrill's "Turn Right at Land's End". 6,824 miles averaging 26 miles a day.  Suffered a fatigue fracture in his foot after 3,300 miles - also ate 1,511 bars of chocolate.  Whilst I love chocolate I am not prepared to walk that far, having said that he had one for every 4 miles!  :D He wore out 33 pairs of socks and 3 pairs of boots.
........and wore the same shirt and underpants for six months without washing them.In fact he averaged 28 miles per day whilst carrying a 60lb pack.On the east coast his daily average was 34 miles per day.

 The book is a bit repetitive but he does detail a lot of the problems a coastal walker will face.
 Far better to carry a tent as there are plenty of places on the coast where you can wild camp and modern kit is far lighter than the kind of stuff that Merrill was carrying.Merrill was also carrying an old style video camera and tripod that must have weighed a ton and a pair of heavy binoculars and SLR camera,hence the reason for his very heavy pack.

 

joncombe

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Re: How easy are our coastal paths to navigate?
« Reply #11 on: 11:30:18, 03/06/18 »
I've walked all of the coast of England and most of Wales (I hope to finish the coast of Wales in a few weeks time, only about 25 miles to go). I've also done all the east coast of Scotland and most of the north coast, and planning to do all the coast of Scotland too, but the west coast which I have yet to do is the most remote and most difficult.
I'd say all the named trails are very good - South West Coast Path, Pembrokeshire Coast Path, Norfolk coast path. Signage on the Wales coast path can be patchy in places. The Suffolk coast path on the other hand I thought was poor, it sems to spend a long time away from the coast (I found a more coastal route for much of the way). Also the Cleveland Way and Fife coast path were good.

As others have said, Scotland is the toughest. For most of the way there are no proper footpaths (and what do exist are not marked on maps), so be prepared for lots of climbing barbed wire fences (and some fording of rivers), and a fair bit of a road walking (I did about 15 miles alongside the pavementless A9, which was not fun)
I am writing it up here if anyone is interested though I am many years behind writing up compared to where I have walked https://britishcoast.wordpress.com/

Beth FF

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Re: How easy are our coastal paths to navigate?
« Reply #12 on: 18:29:34, 03/06/18 »
@ Jac
Thanks for reminding me about Ruth's blog. I bookmarked it some time ago and have meant to read it properly, so have spent the afternoon reading the sections from Southampton to Westward Ho! It's given me an idea of what to expect.

@ Owen
RE the Scottish Coast...I honestly don't know how feasible it'll be so at the moment I'm not even thinking about it. It will be some time before I get up there which gives me plenty of time to decide what my "rules" will be. As you said, it's going to take some doing unless I camp and even then it'll be slog.

@ fernman
Thanks for the heads up about those books. I'll have a look.

@ Zizag
Anglesey is on my wish list so good to know it's well signposted.

@ scottk
I've got my eye on the OS online mapping as it's such good value isn't it. Keep hearing about those chargers too so will add one to my kit list. Takes the worry out of the phone running out of power.

@ geordie33
Good news about those stretches then. It does seem as though a large amount of the coast has footpaths and well signposted routes.

@ tonyk
I really really do not want to camp, and being a small woman I don't want to add the extra (allbeit relatively lightweight camping gear) to what I'll already have to carry. I've had a couple of camping holidays and enjoyed them, but no way am I going to do wild camping (never done it before) whilst also doing such a massive walk. I'll leave that to the hardened ex-squaddies that are walking the coast I think. 

@ joncombe
Wow, that's amazing! I shall keep an eye on your blog. I'm thinking England, Wales and the east of Scotland will be relatively OK, but at this stage I doubt I'll tackle the west coast of Scotland. Just looking at the map I can see what a nightmare it could be trying to walk it.

Stube

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Re: How easy are our coastal paths to navigate?
« Reply #13 on: 21:21:46, 03/06/18 »
For England's south coast you may find "Walking the south coast of England" by David Bathurst (Summerdale) IBSN 978-1-84024-654-4 useful. It provides a detailed description of the route  from Lands End to South Foreland.

Rather be walking

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Re: How easy are our coastal paths to navigate?
« Reply #14 on: 12:27:23, 05/06/18 »
I met a guy walking from Dover to Lands End on the Bournemouth Sea front back in the early 90's. He skipped over the sections between Gosport and Southampton by going
via the Isle of Wight and then back in at Lymington.

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