Day 125: Blackpool to Skippool
Distance: 18.00 miles
Ascent: 795 feet
Weather: Sunny all Day
Accommodation: The Wells Household
I set off from the high tide organ just before 8am, this supposedly makes a sound at high tide when the water smashes into the seawall. I headed under the South Pier and back onto the promenade. It was clear lots of people had fun last night as there was lots of rubbish on the promenade, a few smashed bottles and even a few piles of sick. On top of this a few of the people on the beach (yes sitting/lying on the beach before 8am) appeared to have been there all night.
After heading under the Central Pier on the sand I climbed back onto the promenade just short of Blackpool Tower. This is a fairly impressive structure and really dominates the Blackpool skyline along with the Big One. In front of the tower is a very interesting concept which is titled The Comedy Carpet and really did slow my walk down as I read quite a few of the gags as I was walking over.
I stayed up on the promenade as I passed the North Pier, it felt a bit greedy of one town to have 3 piers but they were all in good order and I am sure would all be busy later on. The sun was already quite fierce even at 9am and I was lucky to be able to use the lower promenade where I was shaded some of the time. This promenade took me all the way to just shy of Cleveleys. At this point the promenade became much nicer, and in fact the promenade in front of Cleveleys was by far the best I had seen on the walk so far. It was just designed so well, not overly fussy, not overly complicated but nice clean lines and designed in a way that appears to be easy to maintain.
I met up with Kathryn & Lloyd again in front of Cleveleys just before 10am when we had arranged to meet. We dropped down onto the beach where after a couple of miles we got a little caught out by the tide as we had to cross a little stream which was now well above boot height, but it was no issue we just had to take boots off and wade across. Once across we headed up the beach and towards the lookout station. This lookout is an amazing piece of architecture, with its design making it appear as if it may topple over at any moment. We climbed to the top where the views were lovely though I stupidly forgot to take a photo.
After a quick tea break we made fast progress along the promenade to the Fleetwood Ferry slipway. Kathryn and Lloyd left me here and would re- join near Stanah. For some reason during planning I had decided this ferry shouldn’t be used. I think because there is a viable alternative path up the river and I thought the ferry was seasonal (I don’t think it actually is on closer inspection.)
The start of my route up the River Wyre was not very scenic along main roads for about 3 miles. On top of the unscenic route the breeze had completely disappeared and I was starting to get very hot. Finally after a holiday park, I ended up on the Wyre Way which was much nicer, though with the lack of breeze and no shade/shelter at all I was actually starting to get affected by the heat/sun after being in it for almost 6 hours already. I could feel myself getting a little weak so I decided to sit for 15 minutes in the shade of a bush and drink some more water.
After this I quickly made progress to Stanah where I cooled down with an iced lolly and re-met up with Kathryn and Lloyd a few hundred meters later. The final couple of miles along the river were quite scenic and just shy of Skippool there were lots of jetties with boats of varying degrees of decrepidness moored up on them.
Even though I had only walked 18 miles today (I am not sure how much more I would have managed) I was very glad to reach the end and be on my rest day. I feel thoroughly lethargic and quite exhausted and I assume this is as a result of the heat. I think the temperature was mid 20’s and it will be interesting to see what happens if we get a proper heatwave and temperatures in excess of 30 degrees as I would then definitely have to alter my normal pattern and walk very early have a rest around midday and then walk in the evening.
The above is not a complaint about the weather as I will take warm, sunny days any day of the week.
So a hot, but successful day. Now looking forward to what I am sure will be a lovely homecooked roast