WB 19/20/21/22: Oh Flower of Scotland
A very late weekly blog that covers the last 4 weeks so it is a bit of a long one. Going to try and get back to doing them weekly.
Progress has been good these 4 weeks, and I am still on schedule. I have travelled from Skippool, Lancashire to Irvine, Scotland covering 610 miles.
Particularly in weeks 19/20/21 the mileage was very long, about 160 miles for each week (30 miles above average). This was both physically challenging but also meant I was out walking for more hours. This meant i had less time to keep up with fundamental admin and I was slowly becoming more behind with this. I am not entirely sure why I scheduled in so many long days at this point, maybe because it was flatter but from next week onwards the mileage returns to normal.
The Cumbria Coastal Path or lack off was a bit strange. At present it may be better if they just say they don’t have any England Coastal Path, as in the only 20 mile section they have 'opened', 1 miles is actually not open, and the other 3 or 4 incident points probably knock another 6 miles or so off. Hopefully when they finally do open it as legislated by 2020, it will take a truly coastal route as the Cumbria stretch contrary to what some people predicted has a great range of beautiful coastal scenery.
I feel bad mentioning the sun/heat here as I will take it over rain any day. But during weeks 21/22 I have had a rare little heatwave in Scotland meaning for about 10 days I had no clouds in the sky at all. This has two main issues the first being the general heat causing significant fatigue and making the general physical challenge of the walk harder. The second issue is the battle not to get burnt which I just about won, this consisted of constant application of sun cream and using anything thrown over my head to cover my neck. But the sun was also nice in a way so I can't complain.
BBC North West did a little video (click below) to put on their get inspired page. I was quite apprehensive about it and am still not entirely sure about the video but others say it is good. It's one of those things for every minute of filming there was less than a second of clip. Also before anyone notices Portreath was not a rainy day I named the wrong day.
Mental Health Awareness Week
Given how late this blog is I am a bit behind, but Mental Health Awareness Week which was set up by The Mental Health Foundation was a couple of weeks ago. Go onto The Mental Health Foundation Website if you would like to see more about what happened.
Core Paths Scotland
Whether it was an oversite in my planning or just stupid that the paths are not shown on OS maps I had not heard of these Core Paths. These have come into existence since the early 2000's under legislation from the government. It appears these have not been entirely successful and in fact it is hard to find out which routes there are, and even harder to know which ones are actually walkable. It appears the reasons the Ordinance Survey haven't put them on their maps is firstly that these paths do not have the certainty or permanence of those paths south of the border, so in effect a landowner could challenge them at anytime whereas south of the border legislation means once it is on the definitive map it is permanent. Secondly Ordinance Survey were worried about the state of the paths and had proposed if they did put them on the map they would have to include a label/caveat which would include '.... Representation on this map is no guarantee that it is usable ...'. So the idea of the core paths is great and some of the ones I have used are great (others have been impassable or seemed not to exist), but there implementation appears not to have been done well.
I should add a note if anyone knows of an online source that just shows the walkable Core Paths I would be very interested.
Please click links below to find out more detail about each specific day:
- Day 127: Skippool to Heysham
- Day 128: Heysham to Arnside
- Day 129: Arnside to Cark
- Day 130: Cark to Walney Island
- Day 131: Walney Island to Kirkby-in-Furness
- Day 132: Kirkby-in-Furness to Bootle Station
- Day 134: Bootle Station to Parton
- Day 135: Parton to Silloth
- Day 136: Silloth to Bowness-on-Solway
- Day 137: Bowness-on-Solway to Rockcliffe
- Day 138: Rockcliffe to Riddindyke
- Day 139: Riddindyke to Carsethorn
- Day 141: Carsethorn to Palnackie
- Day 142: Palnackie to Seaward
- Day 143: Seaward to Carsluith
- Day 144: Carsluith to Kirkinner
- Day 145: Kirkinner to Port William
- Day 146: Port William to Sandhead
- Day 148: Sandhead to Port Logan
- Day 149: Port Logan to Port Kale
- Day 150: Port Kale to Stranraer
- Day 151: Stranraer to Ballantrae
- Day 152: Ballantrae to Culzean
- Day 153: Culzean to Irvine
Specific thank yous:
The Rose & Crown Pub, Cark – thank you for organising me a pitch spot, providing me with a free dinner and breakfast, and persuading lots of people to donate.
The Queens Arms, Walney Island - thank you for letting me pitch in your beer garden.
The Shires - thank you for joining the walk, getting me lunch and putting me up for the night.
Trudy & Keith Harrison - thank you for putting me up for my rest day, and cooking me probably the best paella I have ever had!
Vicky, Fairydust Emporium, Silloth - thank you for allowing me to sleep on your sofa, and providing me with dinner and breakfast.
The Mounsey-Heyshams, Castletown House - thank you for letting me stay in your house and cooking me dinner and breakfast.
The Steamboat Inn, Carsethorn - thank you very kindly for offering me a complimentary room for my rest day, giving me a free dinner and breakfast and letting me do my laundry.
Seaward Holiday Park - thank you for giving me a complimentary pitch.
Harmony B&B, Carsluith - thank you for offering me a complimentary room and breakfast.
Drumroamin Farm - thank you for giving me a complimentary pitch.
Jack & Amy, Sands of Luce Holiday Park - almost too long a list, thank you for free pitch, bed, several dinners, breakfast and bbq’s.
Ali & Anne, Dunskey Estate - thank you for the use of the cable hut and the lovely BBQ.
Ryan Bay Holiday Park Client - thank you for the use of your static.
Kings Arms Hotel, Ballantrae - thank you for providing a free meal and drink.
Also thank you to everyone who donated last week, and all the kind messages that I received.