Friday, 2 August 2013

Day 12 - Wednesday 31 July

12.4 miles - Widemouth Bay to Marsland Mouth

A really lovely morning.  My training partner Jo joined me and we set off from Widemouth at 8am.  The first part was pretty easy going and we managed 4.5 miles in the first hour.  Before attempting to walk/run the coast I would have thought this was a terrible speed, but after 11 days on the coast, this was impressive.

North of Bude the coast and cliffs became more wild and bleak and the hills started.  Near the radio station at Harscott we realised that we had gone the wrong way when the sea was on our right instead of left!  The headlands have some interesting names and we passed Lower Sharpnose Point and then Higher Sharpnose Point.  There were several steep ascents and descents but also some good running through fields in between.  We stoppped to take photos at Hawkers Hut near Morwenstow and shortly afterwards saw a sign for Marsland Mouth - 1.75miles.  We realised that we were ahead of schedule so I called Alan to let him know that we should get there an hour earlier than expected.

Finally we reached Marsland Cliff and I was almost sad that I had climbed my last hill.  The hill down to Marsland Mouth was a runnable hill so we were able to run to the end.  We were met by a welcoming party of 2 men and 2 dogs (Alan and Alfie and a photographer and his dog Finley).  I had actually been quite worried about whether Alan would find Marsland Mouth as it is a 20 minute trek down a footpath from a very tiny remote road.

It was a funny feeling to get to the end, but it was special that Jo had joined me for the last leg as we had done so many of our training runs together - thank you, Jo. 

After a few photos we walked back up the hill to the car.  I will do another 'mop up' post if you want to look out for it!

Higher Sharpnose Point

Jo in Hawkers Hut

Wild cliffs

Marsland Cliff

Marsland Mouth (won't be going up that hill)

Marsland Mouth - the end!

Me and Jo at Marsland Mouth

Day 11 - Tuesday 30 July

26.8 tough miles - Port Gaverne to Widemouth Bay

This was the hardest day so far with plenty of hills from the start of the day until the end.  The toughest hills were probably up to High Cliff between Boscastle and Crackington and then at Lower Tresmorn the other side of Crackington.  The hills in the guidebook were described as 'steep', 'very steep', 'very very steep', and 'extremely steep'.  I think Richard may have regretted joining me!

We started off to a sprinkling of rain but that soon disappeared and the weather was hot whereas the forecast was for rain!  We were prepared with sun cream.  We passed through the edge of Tintagel, Boscastle and Crackington Haven eventually arriving at Widemouth at 5.30pm.  By the end of the day we had developed our own style which probably looked as if we had fallen out - I went ahead going up hill and Richard went on going downhill.

Alan then dropped Richard off to his car at Wadebridge and he (Richard) then had a 2 hour drive home,  by which time Alan and I were in the pub.

We stayed in Bude in a hotel stuck in a 1970's time warp.  The owners were very friendly but their dogs were not so friendly when they attacked poor Alfie.

Looking forward to the final leg on Wednesday.
Start of the steep hills

More steep hills

Yet more steep hills (the photos don't do them justice)

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Day 9 - photos

Far end of Perran Sands

The Gannell

Hueks Hut, Newquay


Julie and Alfie

Day 5 - photos

Devils Frying pan, Cadgwith

The Lizard, most southerly point in UK

Porthleven Sands (bit blurry!)

View from Porthleven

Day 4 - photos

Jackie at Pendennis Head

Not an adder but a slow worm


Black Head

Day 3 - photos

Pete at Portmellon

Dodman Point in the mist

Lovely Carne Beach

St Mawes

Day 2 - photos

First ferry crossing - from Polruan

Gribbin Tower, Gribbin Head

Lots of steps!

Day 10 photos

Me running, Richard, Gannell river and the Rumps

Day 10 - Monday 29 July

26.2 miles from Porthcothan to Port Gaverne Apologies for late posting – I was having lots of problems with accessing internet and with this blogger. A much better day. I was joined by Richard from work who had run an 18/20 mile race the day before! The first half of the day was easy running to Padstow around Trevose Head and ???? and then up the Gannell River to Padstow. You don’t see Padstow at all from a distance. Padstow was packed with tourists and not very pleasant as they were all ambling around. We bought some water and then made a quick escape on the ferry across to Rock. From Rock around to Polzeath was easy walking although we did have a bit of a wander through the sand dunes. After Polzeath the path was still supposed to be easy, but I wouldn’t say it was easy. Lovely coastal views though. The last 3 miles to Port Isaac were supposed to be more challenging and they were, with a series of ups and downs. We were pleased to get to Port Isaac where again there were loads of tourists. We walked past Doc Martin’s house and I recognised a few other buildings from Doc Martin. Apparently they have just finished recording another series. We walked on another ½ mile to Port Gaverne where Alan picked us up. The forecast was for showers but we didn’t have any in spite of heavy showers elsewhere in Cornwall. In fact by the end of the day parts of me that the factor 50 had missed were quite red.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013


Everything is ok - just having problems with the blogger. Will try to post more detail tomorrow. I should finish walk/run tomorrow

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Day 9 - Sunday 28 July

About 26 miles (felt like 50!) from Trevaunance Cove to Porthcothan (north of Newquay)

Things didn't go quite according to plan today, I guess it had to happen sooner or later.  I got to Perranporth in good time and thought I was going to go across the sandhills but part way along the path takes you down on to the beach and a long trudge along the sand.  I saw lots of dead jelly fish at the high tide line.

After yesterday I wasn't that keen on sandhills, I now really don't like them!  At Holywell Bay I had to cross the sand dunes but could not find any coastal footpath signs so I found my own route. It involved getting sand in my trainers, some big hills and going through lots of undergrowth so my trainers got wet too.  I had also seen signs about adders in the sand dunes which made me nervous.

At Crantock I planned to take the boat ferry across the Gannell river, the only problem was that I missed the place that the ferry goes from and walked over a mile down the river before I realised.  I had no alternative but to turn round and go back (or a 5 mile trudge around the river).  Annoyingly the path that I had come down (and had to go back up) was overgrown and wet so my trainers got very wet.  One good thing was that the boat driver donated the £1.20 fare to the charity.

The ferry took me into Newquay which was then a very long trudge, it seemed to never end.  I eventually escaped from Newquay and at Watergate Bay I met up with Alan and our friends Julie and Alan.  Julie kept me company on the last 7 miles to Porthcothan.  We had a good catch up whilst walking.

In spite of all the negatives the paths were in the main good cliff top walking today peppered with a few hills.

We arrived at our B&B in Wadebridge only to find that we were not booked in until tomorrow (partly my fault partly their fault).  We ended up at a B&B in Padstow (the mother of the lady in Wadebridge).  As it is carnival week in Padstow it was difficult to find somewhere to eat, but we did eat eventually.

An eventful day - hopefully tomorrow will be more straightforward.  I am being joined by Richard from work for 2 days, we plan to reach Port Isaac tomorrow.

No time to upload photos, will try to do so tomorrow.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Day 8 - Saturday 27 July

23.9 miles from Lelant to Trevaunance (near St Agnes).

Another excellent day on the coast. My running friend Jo and her Springer Katera joined me today.  Weather just right.    After a frustrating start trying to find our way through the Towans (sandhills), the day was a lovely mixture of good cliff top paths sprinkled with a few steep valleys. I ran much more than I have for several days and we made good time.  I have to say that I was so glad to have company through the Towans otherwise I may still have been there trying to find my way out!  Thank you, Jo.

My aunt and uncle met us at St Agnes Head and walked a little way with us.  At the end at Trevaunance Cove we had a family gathering with my Mum, Alan, my aunt and Uncle, 2 cousins and their families. Lovely to see them all.

Just as we were finishing we could see ahead to Trevose Head which I will hopefully reach on Monday - it seemed a long way off.  I should be joined by some friends tomorrow afternoon at Mawgan Porth.

Staying at my Mum's tonight and going out for a meal.  Sarah and Mike are joining us this evening and Sarah will very kindly give my legs a well deserved
Safely out of the Towans

Godrevy Lighthouse

Steep hill

Another steep hill

Jo and Katera

Me and Katera, Chapel Porth in background

Beaches merging into one

The way forward for tomorrow

Friday, 26 July 2013

Day 7 - Friday 26 July

26.8 miles - from Sennen Cove to Lelant

Another fantastic day.  I had been really worried about today as the coast from Pendeen to St Ives is very remote with no where for refreshments.  Alan will confirm that I was really nervous yesterday evening - I think I was a bit of a pain!

I set off from Sennen at 6.30am - I had to run along the back of the beach which was a bit of a pain as I got sand in my trainers!  There also seemed to be a snail convention going on, there were snails all over the path.

After about 4 miles I reached the coast near St Just where we have spent a couple of holidays recently.  It seemed strange to pass by without visiting St Just itself.  I am pretty sure that I saw choughs on this stretch of coast.  I then passed into old mining territory - a lovely nostalgic part of the coast.

I met Alan and Alfie at Pendeen lighthouse the last place they could meet me.  We filled up my water for the next 14 miles.  I felt as if I was setting off into the unknown as the guidebooks desvribe this as the 2nd hardest section of the coast path in Cornwall.  The next 14 miles were actually really enjoyable, the path was boggy at times and I got very close to a lot of granite boulders when I had to scramble over them, but it was good.  My only concern was that I had to ration my water as I was worried that I was going to run out.

Just as I was coming into St Ives I bumped into Chris from work and his wife Jenny - they have been on holiday in St Ives for the last week.  None of us could believe the coincidence that we had just bumped into each other.  I went with them back to their lovely holiday cottage in the middle of St Ives.

I walked on (literally no running today) to Lelant where Alan and Alfie picked me up.

Tomorrow I will be joined by my running friend Jo and her Springer Katera who is much more well behaved than Alfie!

Cape Cornwall

St Ives

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Day 6 - Thursday 25 July

23.7 miles from Perranuthnoe to Sennen Cove. A fantastic day!

Strange to be by myself today after company for the last 3 days.  I did however have Alfie for company for the first 9 miles, he was not very talkative though.  The first 9 miles were flat and I managed to run a fair bit.  I then passed our hotel and dropped Alfie back to Alan.  I walked literally all of the remaining miles, the terrain was quite rough and included some scrambling through granite boulders in places.  I was down to 25 minute miles a couple of times!  I don't know what Jo, Richard and Dave are going to think of my slow pace when they join me over the next few days - my running legs have definitely left me but I can stride out really well!

The scenery today was again stunning.  From Porthgwarra to just before Land's End in particular it was amazing - lovely granite cliffs, sandy beaches and clear torquise blue sea.  Places for lunch were not plentiful and I ended up with a sausage roll at Porthgwarra.

Alan met me at Sennen, he had scrambled down to a dog friendly beach with Alfie and then they had been to Cape Cornwall .

Looking forward to another lovely meal at the hotel this evening. I must stock up on fuel as tomorrow's walk to St Ives will be remote with literally nowhere for refreshments.  The scenery should be good though.
View of Mount's Bay

Almost inmpossible to spot the path after some scrmabling

A spot of woodland


Beautiful granite cliffs

Around the corner - crowds at Land's End