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Over the past three or four decades, my wife (aka A) and I have walked about a dozen long-distance trails in England and Wales, one in Scotland (with P and B) and one in Ireland. The question that we are often asked is: “What do you do with your car?”

For this first blog post following the summer hiatus, I thought that some of my readers might find it interesting to learn something about what it is like to undertake a long-distance walk. If you are not interested in walking as a pastime, then please feel free to look away now.

In early June, we covered another section of the South West Coastal Past (SWCP). This very long trail snakes around the coast of the peninsula from Minehead to Poole. The section we did this year was from Falmouth to (almost) Plymouth, which corresponded to the route of one of Sir Tony Robinson’s Walking Through History TV programmes in the reverse direction. We walked from West to East in order to follow the guidebook, rather than try to interpret the guide in reverse if we had followed his route from East to West.

The answer to the question is: “We leave it at home.” A long-distance walk, by definition, starts and ends in places that are some distance from one another so public transport gets us to the start and back from the end. The interesting thing about this year’s walk was that, given the geography of the coast of south Devon and Cornwall, there were several estuaries that were too wide to be crossed by a bridge near the coast: hence, completing the walk included three ferry crossings.

A ferry crossing from Falmouth quay took us across the estuary to St Mawes

St Mawes

and the Rising Sun.

The Rising Sun

It would have been a struggle man-handing our suitcase on and off the ferry without the help of one of the crew and we forgot to put something in their pasty fund tin! Continue reading

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