Littlehampton to Bognor Regis

Saturday turned into a failure on the walking front, or at least not as planned. The plan had been to go to Lewes, then walk the Ouse valley and the coast path back to Brighton, returning on the train. I got as far as Worthing before the trains were cancelled as a result of a fatality further up the line. By the time a bus alternative came into view, there wouldn’t be enough time to do the walk. So I gave up at that point, sat and read my book on the seafront whilst enjoying a coffee, which rolled into a light lunch, and then did the walk back along the coast to Rustington. So not entirely a waste.

On Sunday we all went west along the coast, through Littlehampton and into Bognor, stopping on the way for a pint. The trains managed to get us back ok this time.

All in all a great weekend, heaps of sunshine, and great company.



The South Downs Way – Amberley to Lancing

A change of scene from yesterday, away from the coast and into the hills, following the chalky ridge of the South Downs. Mel, Kate and Piers were along for the ride too,and despite it being cooler and windier than yesterday, it was still very agreeable.

A pub stop in Washington helped fill our bellies, although the pint of beer each probably didn’t help the legs, and I could have fall end blissfully asleep on top of a hill shortly after. But we made it back to Lancing after 14 miles and took the train back with time to enjoy some evening sun on the terrace.



Littlehampton to Brighton Coast Walk

After dropping Mel off for the first day of her course, I set off along the coast, east towards Brighton. A warm, sunny day, only marred by a stiff breeze on the face and some light cloud to temper the sun.

The walking was good, hard paths of Tarmac of firm ground most of the way, a few stretches along the shingle beach to squirm about in, but level and easy going for the most part.

I enjoyed the mix of architecture along the way, a good mix of styles both old and new. I don’t get why you by a beach house and then put up a 6 foot fence to obscure the view though. I suppose at least you we still near the beach, even if you can’t see it.

The area around Shoreham was the only dreary bit, passing by less than inspiring industrial areas, the noise and fumes of lorries the only thing to keep me company.

I celebrated the journey with an ice cream on Palace Pier, surrounded by French exchange kids and a bewildering array of accents. Then a stroll across town, taking in The Lanes on the way to the station for the train back to Angmering and the short walk back to rejoin Mel, by which time Kate and Piers had arrived and dinner was well underway.

Another 25 under the belt, and plans for a good walk tomorrow too.

Littlehampton

Down to Sussex for a few days, so Mel can attend a sculpture course. Good excuse to some walking too.

Walked along the coast a little, then followed the river to Arundel, where it proved rude not to find a little restaurant for a meal and gratis glass of wine. Very tasty.

Now suffering a slow train ride back due to a derailment nearer Brighton. Will get there eventually!

The Length of the Quantocks

Here’s something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time and never before felt up to. Walking the length of the Quantocks in a day.

Getting a beach, hills, sunshine, pretty clouds and a castle (hotel) into the same day might seem excessive, but that’s all on offer with this one.

Mind you I wasn’t feeling on top of the game today, but that was in part down to still suffering from a slight cold that I’ve had all week, and maybe something to do with one too many beers last night. The legs were fine but just not as chipper as I had been last week. Things improved after a coffee stop mid way and the downhill stretch into Taunton was much easier, but I felt fairly wiped out as I tried to regroup over a coffee in Cafe Nero. A little rest and recuperation tomorrow perhaps?

Off to Sussex later this week, so plenty of opportunity for a coastal walk, or perhaps the Downs too.

22 miles today, making 82 the total for the week.

52,146

That turned out to be a bit longer than planned. 25 miles, or thereabouts. Some might call it a marathon. Some nice hills, all enjoyed on a lovely sunny day. Felt the chocolate brownie and ice cream where appropriately just desserts.

Felt really good today too, full of beans and a good pace. Took it easy on the way out, and a very quick return from Minehead to finish.

March Half Million

Well that’s March over, and a record for steps taken. Just over 500,000 steps in all. Or around 225 miles. Not bad considering I get very little walking in normal day-to-day activities. That’s the downside of living in a motorhome, and working on a computer all day. One of the reasons to make going for a hike a priority this year.

In the scheme of things, I’m sure others manage much better than this. March has seen a concerted effort to get out on nearly a day basis, and with hopefully more settled weather ahead and long daylight hours, I’ll find plenty of time to rack up the miles.

October and November were not bad months, lots of walking done whilst in Scotland. December was a bit of a write off as I got sedentary as soon as we got back to Somerset. Lesson learnt there.

I’m starting a principle of doing at least one, and preferably two, overnight trips per month from now on. I also want to try extending the distances, and I’m even considering a 24 hour day & night walk as a real challenge.

Bath to Westbury

A very comfortable night, waking early and mostly ready to go. Just need to get these legs to get me down 4 flights of stairs without landing in a heap at the bottom.

Out onto the cool, grey streets of Bath, heading for the centre in search of breakfast to set me up for the day. A little cafe called Made by Ben fits the bill, and a whopping slab of Tortilla certainly fill a hole.

A brief wander through the town admiring the architecture, and then winding through residential streets before I find the canal path that takes me in a big arch, east then south. Flat terrain as on would expect on a canal path, not a single lock to vary the level, only the occasional swing bridge.

Nearing lunchtime, and the legs are definitely feeling the strain. The engine seems to be low of fuel and I’m pleased to find the cafe just along from the Dundas Aqueduct. I order an omelette and get one accompanied by a pile of fries and a salad. Great value for money and much needed fuel that last the rest of the day.

On reaching Avoncliffe I leave the canal behind and climb the hill heading south. Once on the top I can see the White Horse and the grim skyline of Westbury. I still have good 10 miles to go.

A surprise as I come across Farleigh Hungerford Castle, deserted at this time of the year. I press on through woods and over farmland, retracing steps at one point due to bad way marking by some nob of landowner.

A final stretch into Westbury, walking the verge of a noisy fast B road, then veering off through the industrial estate that blights the skyline. 20 minutes to kill before the train whisks me back to Taunton, a welcome coffee and a seat. Exhausted, 21 miles today, making 44 for the trip, which I’d estimated at 35. Good to test yourself though.

Travelling Through Life