Saturday, 24 January 2015

Coasting 2015: Our rough schedule

We're now in week 4 of our walk around the coast of GB, having a rest day in St Ives. We've walked just over 300 miles and enjoyed some spectacular scenery. We've been very lucky with the weather so far, and are just starting to settle into a rhythm. We've rough camped 9 times and have spent the rest of our nights in a range of pubs, B & Bs, hotels & guest houses (we have yet to work out the difference between them!). 

We have a rough ETA for arriving at a few major points along the way. So far we're on target, but it's very early days and we expect to have to make adjustments later. 

Our rough schedule is as follows;

16/2/15.   Cross into Wales
31/3/15.   Cross back into England
19/4/15.   Cross into Scotland
10/9/15.   Cross back into England
8/11/15.   Cross the River Thames
25/12/15. Arrive home. 

Today I spent an hour on The Island doing my bit for the RSPB Garden Birdwatch, notching up 11species (Sparrow, Dunnock, Robin, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Wren, Meadow Pipit, Crow, Starling, Stonechat & Herring Gull). I also added Common Gull, Purple Sandpiper, Razorbill & Guillemot to our Trip List, which is now on 82. The list also includes Chough, Great Northern Diver & Med Gull. 

Some more photos:
(The header photo was a view of Cape Cornwall taken from our rough camping site)

Simon striding off towards Land's End in our first sprinkle of snow

Our only 2 Cornish Chough so far, near Kynance Cove

St Michael's Mount, Penzance

Spectacular scenery & craggy paths

Fulmars gave us great views playing on an updraft

Our first sea mammal, a Grey Seal. We also saw about 10 Bottlenose Dolphins today in St Ives bay. 

A welcome visit by Delia & Libby who  joined us for a walk at Land's End. They bought cake & took away some unused kit. 

We're in Cornish tin mine country

We'll set off first thing in the morning, now heading East along the North coast. We're looking forward to more stunning scenery, and hopefully some milder weather. Roll on Spring!

The link to Mary's map, showing our progress:

Friday, 9 January 2015

Coasting 2015

Simon & I have been talking about walking around the coast of GB for about 20 years, so we decided it was about time we stopped talking & started walking! 

On 1st Jan we stepped out of our front door to walk clockwise around the coast, hoping to be back home next Christmas. It will be roughly 5000 miles & we plan to cover an average of 100 miles a week. 

We have set ourselves a few guidelines:

1. Keep the sea on our left!
2. Take no transport except for ferries to cross inlets & estuaries. 
3. Stay as close to the coast as practicable, using long distance coast paths where possible
4. To camp whenever practicable but use B & Bs etc in winter if needed....but always carrying our own kit

We will be Facebooking as we go whenever 3G or Wifi & power allow, and I will update this blog during rest days when possible. 

Although not specifically birding, we are both carrying bins, so will whip them out if anything interesting appears! Simon isn't actually a birder, but he's a very good spotter! We're keeping a trip list & also a weekly list. 

Today we're having a rest day in Plymouth having walked 123.5 miles in 8 days. During week 1 we saw 59 species including Cirl Bunting at Broadsands. A few photos from the trip so far:

Setting off along Exmouth front. 

We spent the first night camped behind the car park at Dawlish Warren. A very windy night & a good test for our new tent!

Watching the Cirl Buntings at Broadsands. Couldn't walk past without adding them to the list!
We camped by the beach at Mansands & were serenaded by a Tawny Owl over the sound of crashing waves!
It was a nice easy walk along Slapton Sands, a nice break from all the hills. Saw some lovely Goldeneye. 
Some of the paths have been quite difficult, but the scenery was fantastic. 
Lunch with a view!
A wander around Sutton Harbour in Plymouth. It was lovely walking without a pack!
The lighthouse at Plymouth Hoe

Tomorrow we'll be catching the Cremyll ferry in the morning and then walking west towards Looe. It's a bit far, so we'll probably be having a wet & windy night on the cliffs somewhere!

Mary is kindly mapping our progress. I'm going to try & insert the link here, but as I'm a techno-numpty, it may not work!