Posted by: natsevs | November 28, 2010

Reydon to Ipswich

I woke up just after 7 and figured I would get an early start so was off by half 8. It was another misty morning but my tent was actually dry for once when I packed it down. I walked along the road into Reydon and through down to Southwold before walking out to the river past a big water tower. The river was lined on both sides by loads of jetties and I went over the footbridge to then head down into Walberswick. It was a proper countryside village which was quite nice. Out the other side I started on paths along the edge of some marshes but I noticed quite a few signs about with maps pointing out footpaths that were closed. The paths I was on weren’t closed though, until I came to the big temporary fence beyond which the levees were getting rebuilt. As it was the weekend there was no one working and the diggers were parked up so I just climbed over and walked through because a detour would have taken me on a huge loop. When I got to the fence blocking off the other end I made my way over it and had successfully beaten a blocked path for once. Next up, I made my way through Dunwich to the heath and marshland where all the birdwatchers were about again. There was a mixture of sea walls and dune walking along to the power station at Sizewell. The path went in front of the power station then stopped so I ended up on the beach past a Christian retreat place. It was hard work going along the beach so I came up onto the cliffs at the first opportunity and there was path all the way to Thorpeness. Going along there I managed to catch myself just before I trod on an added thankfully or I might have ended up with teeth in my legs.

Thorpeness was another posh little place and there is a path behind the beach from there to Aldeburgh. At Aldeburgh I had to come in and back on myself a bit because of a river, so I went along the high street to the town steps and onto the main road out of there. After I had got beyond a golf course a coast path took me out to woods, heath land and marshy bits near the river side where I saw another adder. Seeing two adders didn’t make me look forward to camping very much. At Snape I was onto road and got to the bridge with The Maltings on the other side. Once past them the path goes out to the riverside again where there is a big horse and cart statue in the middle of a field for some reason. There were still quite a few people around, most of which were quite rude, not replying if I said hello and generally looking at me like I was dirt. I stayed on the shore until there was no more path then came up to the road to Orford. There were little lanes to Sudbourne, which is basically just a big manor house from what I saw. Paths took me away from the big house and I started looking for a camp spot. I found one and started setting up but then heard people walking about and though I should move somewhere more out of the way. I ended up in a bit of woodland by a road where there were loads of pheasants and during the early evening a deer was walking around the tent barking a lot.


There was no more bother from animals during the night so I slept well and had scones for breakfast. I walked out through more fields and got to Chillesford onto a little road. From there I was onto farm tracks and path with the day turning out to be quite sunny in the end with a nice wind still though. I got over a small hill then down to a sea wall and along the last of the river with the occasional group of geese flying over. The next field in had a massive deer herd running through suddenly then further on there were 2 more in another field who then ran for it too. It was all a confusion of rivers flowing into each other then I had to come in a little bit then took the road back out and onto the sea wall once more. There was a Martello fort along there that had been converted into a house. Further on there were a couple more, some converted some not. The beach was lined with a load of fishers in their little tents and there was a good path behind there until I was forced inland because of private property. Coming in on the road was a concrete block with bars in the top and prisoner of war written in metal along the window. From Bowdsey, I headed up towards Alderton eating the last of my food so was in need of a shop. Alderton had a shop but I hadn’t realised it was Sunday and the shop was closed. A little road took me out towards the next river then went northwards towards Woodbridge. It was all road up to the bridge and from there was a riverside path back down with 2 blokes playing bagpipes stood there. I got to the station with the sun still out and was picked up by some family friends who I stayed with in Ipswich.


In the morning I packed up and went for breakfast then was dropped back off at Woodbridge. I walked along the riverside to find that the path had flooded and was blocked off so I had to come back on myself and take to the roads instead. Eventually a path took me to the river and onto a levee with the path going all the way to Felixstowe around little bays and stuff. When I got to the coast I went into Felixstowe proper on the path and it was actually quite hilly for a change. After a while I had to come in on what was supposed to be a proper path but there was very little signage and I was mostly on road. When I came to a roundabout I somehow managed to take the wrong road, a lorry on the other side beeped me and the bloke looked to be quite angry for who knows what reason. I basically walked up there then had to get down onto another road and out towards yet another river. I had to walk through docks with lorries surrounding me before I made it out to where a path crossed a railway and went up the river. The path took me through fields then into a wetlands reserve, which were all completely empty of people, except for a car reversing all the way down a very long track out of the reserve.

When I reached a marina the people turned up again, mostly birdwatchers as usual. I then had a boatyard to get through and was back on path again until I came to some private school and switched to road walking up to the A14. My brother had seen that there was a premier inn the other side of the bridge and managed to persuade them to give me a free room for the night. Unfortunately the only one of four premier inns around Ipswich with vacancies was Ipswich north, quite a long way from where I was. I figured as it was free I would get a taxi up and back in the morning and it would still be cheaper than most B&Bs I’ve stayed in. The only place I could see that I could get the taxi to come to was the Premier inn where I was so I ordered it to there. The taxi driver was a really nice bloke and ended up giving me the journey for free so things were looking good. The reception however had heard nothing of me getting a room but was really nice about it. I paid for the room in the hope that I would be reimbursed at some point and thankfully before I went to bed I noticed an envelope under the door with a receipt for the money going back onto my card and a note so it all ended up pretty well.

Posted by: natsevs | November 23, 2010

Holbeach St Matthews to Cley-next-the-sea

The breakfast at the pub was a good one although I was still pretty full of curry from the night before so I struggled a little. The rain that was falling during the night had cleared when we got a lift back to Holbeach, or almost to Holbeach. The road out to the coast where I had been picked up was blocked because one of the lorries carrying sugar beet from the fields had come off the road slightly and tipped over in a ditch. We got out there and walked through the fields to the sea wall instead as more lorries arrived causing a bit of a jam. It didn’t take too long to get over to the sea wall which was now within a military area and the marshes beyond were a bombing zone. With the watch towers and military buildings out in the marsh the scenery was a tiny bit more interesting. The wind was going for it again but the rain held off until we were going in along yet another river up to Sutton Bridge.

We got up to the pub in Sutton Bridge where the car still was and stopped for a drink before mum and dad set off back home in the car. Whilst we were in the pub it tipped it down with rain but thankfully lessened before I set out again although I still got fully waterproofed up before I ventured into the misery. With the wind, the left side of me was completely dry but the right was drenched, it kept blowing my back cover off too so I was having to hold it in place. I had typically left my map in the car but one advantage of the boring terrain is that I knew I was just on levees for the rest of the day up to West Lyn. When I got to the river, the rain started letting off more and had stopped when I reached West Lyn. I had to go onto road through town but was back onto levees up to the bridge and back down the other side shortly before taking roads and path to Kings Lynn. A friend of my grandparents picked me up from there and I stayed at her house in Downton Market.

I woke up and had a decent breakfast before packing up my bag ready for another day. There was quite a lot of traffic on the way to Kings Lynn but the weather forecast was a lot more hopeful at least. I set off through the town at around 10 but had to go along the roads because there was no route along the coast. Once I had reached Castle Rising there were paths and a cycleway up to meet the A52 where I had to walk along the verge for a while. After a while I reached a small road out to Wolferton where there is an old royal railway station but the tracks no longer go through there. There was a road out of Wolferton through fields which soon became a track with signs saying it was a private road which I ignored as usual but didn’t have any trouble. The track went right along to the coastal part of Snettisham where I hit a spot of trouble. Directly in front of me was a water ditch so I had the option of walking seaward to hope for a way over or landward. I chose to go seaward and was completely blocked off still even though the map showed otherwise. When I went back the other way there was a bridge over and track onto the road out to the coast. I was finally back onto path again which was typically on a levee to start but soon dropped onto the beach.

At Heacham I came up to the promenade and walked that all the way to Hunstanton where I came to a cliff that was half orange and half white and quite pretty. I had to go up at that point and was onto the Norfolk coast path on the cliff tops. That took me past the lighthouse which was home the first parabolic reflector (Wikipedia it). I then met a guy coming the other way carrying a similar bag to me who was doing the Ridgeway Walk and had started from Lyme Regis. On from Hunstanton there was the old town then down to a golf course where a golfer told me that the path had been changed and the one I was about to walk on was horrible. He told me how to get to the proper one which was between the golf course and the dunes. Out of the golf course was a walkway through a nature reserve and I stopped just beyond there, before Thornton in a very quiet field.

A small wind started up in the night but I put in my headphones and listened to some music to drown it out which worked perfectly and I was off to sleep before the album was halfway through. My breakfast was cookies and crisps but at least the rain of the night had stopped. As I packed down the tent a tractor drove up to where I was and one of the two guys jumped out and came over to me. I thought it was going to be the moment I got some proper trouble for camping on farm fields but he asked me whether a car blocking their gate was mine. Once I’d said I was walking he seemed alright and actually wished me luck even though I didn’t say how far I was going so I guess they didn’t mind me camping there. I plodded off into Thornton which didn’t have a shop but did have a pretentious looking deli and café that I steered clear of. The coast path went inland to avoid the ‘A’ road but I stuck to the road as normal, it even had a footpath for once. Coming out of Brancaster there was a portakabin which held the village shop so I was able to get some decent food and some nicer drinks. I was back onto the coast path at Brancaster Staithe when I got to the harbour and followed it along the front with marshland on the seaward side of me.

The path goes out on a levee and was full of bird watchers, a group of people I would be seeing a lot of in the next few days. Before Burnham there is an annoying bit where the path goes in and back on itself before looping round into Burnham itself. The path back out from there was even busier with loads more birdwatchers who disappeared when I got to the beach at the end. The tide was right out making the beach massive and I walked along it in front of the dunes until Holkham Gap. The path in from there goes in to a car park then straight back out again through pine forest. It actually got a bit sunny at that point and people were out to make the most of it and I passed a few as I reached the beach north of Wells. I then came to another car park by which a new marina was being built up by some digger boat. A very straight road took me down into Wells-next-the-sea. It’s a nice looking place and when I went in to find a food shop I was very tempted to buy a cheap hat I saw to replace one of the lost ones but fought the urge. The path continues out by the marsh edge and at one bit loops in and round but the map shows another path cutting off the extra walk. The tide was right out and I thought I could see the footbridge so I got onto a slightly worn path to find the bridge was mostly absent and after checking the mud I decided going the long way was a safer option.

My legs were starting to ache along that stretch and I got to Marston just before 5 but carried on towards Blakeney. I had a radio interview just before Blakeney then I walked into there which is really pretty again but I didn’t have time to hang about because I needed to get out and find a camp spot before it got dark. I got out of town and walked the road unsuccessfully looking for decent looking places to camp either side. I got right to Cley-next-the-sea so then had to get out of there as well with it starting to get quite dark now. Going out from Cley the path came to the beach which was surprisingly busy still including a school party walking around. I finally stopped on a very small patch of grass between the beach and a nature reserve with minimal shelter from the wind.

Posted by: natsevs | November 21, 2010

Saltfleet to Holbeach St Matthews

The rain stopped at about midnight and I was thankfully able to get some sleep after that. In the morning it was cold and my sleeping bag was starting to get worn now making it less of a protective layer. It was sunny but everything was still soaked from the day before so I opted for shorts over wet trousers and set off before 9. Out of the reserve I was immediately back on road walking through Saltfleet. Out the other side I got onto path though behind the dunes towards Mablethorpe. There was one stage where the path disappeared and I had to go through long grass and spiky bushes but otherwise it was ok. The last stage to Mablethorpe was on the beach where I saw the apparently famous sand train as well as quite a few people out enjoying the sunshine.

When I got there I came up to the promenade along to Sutton on Sea and continued on out. I was going to come onto the roads at some point but a woman asked how far Sutton was and said she had come along the beach from Anderby Creek. There was a cycle way to start but it became more and more sand covered until it disappeared and I just walked the beach. Down a fair way I came across a heavy duty construction vehicle carrying massive pipes along the beach in the direction I was going. At Chapel St Leonards I returned to promenade again where the flies that had been mildly annoying all day became almost unbearable. The seaweed covered promenades were packed with them and they were getting in my hair, eyes and nose. Getting nearer to Skegness beach pubs started popping up, still doing a fairly good trade, and there were a lot of holiday villages as well. I got to Skegness at 5 and found the B&B I had booked which was a carbon copy of many of the seaside budget hotels I had been in this year.


The entertainment next door of a dodgy Elvis impersonator wasn’t too loud once the window was shut and the TV volume was turned well up. Unfortunately I made the mistake of watching the Matrix until 1am like the idiot I am. I was obviously tired in the morning as I packed up and went down for breakfast. The sun of the previous day was long gone and it was back to the grim days of before although not too rainy to start with. I walked out through Skegness onto the road along to Gibraltar Point 3 miles down the coast. There was path for the last part when I got to the nature reserve and I headed towards the bridge marked on the map. Unfortunately when I got to it there were 2 fences I would have had to climb over before getting onto it then once on there was yet another, very spiky, fence. It looked like I would have to walk all the way back to Skegness and take the inland route south and that is exactly what I ended up doing. I probably came inland about half a mile short of where I had started so at least I wasn’t completely starting again from scratch. I came in through a caravan park to the A52 as the rain and wind picked up quite a bit adding to my less than impressed mood. I got abuse from a few cars as well because there was no footpath in between towns.

At Wrangle, I took smaller roads gradually leading closer to the coast and it was absolutely lashing it down with rain now. The landscape was absolutely flat, full of cabbages and just bleak. The tractors zooming around were the only other people about with their trailers and crop pickers. The roads were covered in water but thankfully any cars that did pass were nice enough not to spray me, although I was absolutely soaked anyway. I got to Freiston Shore at 5 and ordered a taxi to pick me up from there whilst waiting in the cold and rain. When the taxi arrived I had to strip off my waterproof layers before I was allowed in so I didn’t get the seat soaked as well, which was fair enough. He was a nice bloke and knocked off a couple of quid from the fare as he dropped me off at the Y not guest house in Boston. My parents were coming up the following day so I had booked the guest house in advance so I was somewhere they could find me in the morning. The room was massive and there was a shared kitchen so I was able to cook my own dinner rather than shell out for a take away.


As I ate my breakfast in the morning the owner was quite chatty, she had recently had to have surgery on her shoulder because of slipping on ice last winter pushing a taxi. Mum and dad arrived and the weather was better again thankfully. We drove down to Freiston shore and set off along the path on the sea wall once more. That path took us to an open prison and into it which was an odd experience. We were on the levee where there was a flock of sheep fenced in by a flimsy electric fence, most of which skirted round us and ran away but 2 kept running ahead until they hit the wooden fence in front. Being sheep and therefore stupid they ran at the electric fence, got shocked a few times but then broke through which annoyed one of the inmates a little bit. Thankfully the guy just gave some gob and didn’t do anything else, apparently it was our fault they had put up an ineffective fence. After that it was levee walking all the way to the river and then more to go up the river into Boston. We got onto roads through the town over 2 bridges before getting back onto the mind numbing paths on levees.

Once out of the built up bit we stopped for lunch on the other side of the river. Soon after lunch there was a huge landfill to walk in front of where there was a herd of horses which didn’t like Allie (our dog) but were quite friendly to me. There was constant levee walking with flat and boring landscape around us as we walked the front and up a second river to Fosdyke Bridge. My parents stopped there to get a taxi back to the car whilst I walked on with Allie. I stopped a little way along to tie my laces and an Alsatian came out of nowhere running at us and barking before turning around and running back to the bridge. It was still dull and I didn’t feel like I was making very good progress but then it’s hard to tell when the view barely changes. As the sun went down I actually started running for a bit before thinking better of it seeing as I wasn’t completely sure how far the point where the road met the coast would be. The advantage of the approaching dusk is that a few barn owls started appearing flying around the fields and marshes. I met up with the car before it got too dark and we drove to the pub my mum and dad had booked for the night, a pub which for one night only wasn’t serving food. There was a curry house down the road though that turned out to be really good, if a bit slow.

Posted by: natsevs | November 19, 2010

Weeton to Saltfleet

I finished off what food I had left for breakfast and set off into the darkness of another miserable day. I carried on along the sea wall until I was blocked off by a water ditch, river thing where I made the mistake of heading out towards the sea edge where there was a sluice gate I might be able to get over. I have no idea where the optimism came from but it was unfounded as there was a way over but as usual it was all locked and blocked. Back I went, then further inland along muddy fields to get over a flat concrete bridge to a road. The road seemed like a safer option from there on in rather than risk getting stuck again. They were typically nice and wiggly so I took a track that was shown on the map which turned out to have been ploughed further on so it was back to sticky mud again for a bit. The rain got heavier as I rejoined another wiggly road and started to get hungry but all I had was a gel energy thing which was disgusting and made my throat hurt. I met a guy called Jon as I came to a path onto the sea wall who was a nice bloke from Leeds that goes out that way for the bird watching.

The path was all overgrown so my legs were quickly soaked by the wet vegetation, I wasn’t having the best of days. I walked the path all the way to Paull where I was hoping to find some food but they have 2 roads with 3 pubs and no shop. I walked a much larger wall out of there coming in along a river with an oil refinery or something equally bleak on the other side. The bleakness was added to by the misty rain hanging in the air making everywhere dark and obviously my hunger. I got to a road bridge that I crossed then stuck on that road all the way up to the main drive into Hull. It was a lovely walk. I eventually hit a garage at 3.20pm and got myself some food and drink before carrying on through the endless industry. I came off at Drypool to meet a path where there was a big convenience store, unfortunately it had chuff all in it so I carried on without food provisions for tea or breakfast. Further on, moving through the docks, there were 2 retail parks, neither of which with a food shop in them. After the second one, I walked the front through derelict wasteland to get back onto roads at Hessle and make my way to the place I was going to stay in. Luckily there was a pub as part of it so tea was sorted at least.


I was hoping for a better day but wasn’t optimistic. It started with a bourbon biscuit and crisps for breakfast, a proper athlete’s meal. I started walking at half 9 and was at least thankful that it wasn’t raining today. The place I had stayed was right under the Humber Bridge so I had to make my way inland to find my way onto it and over the river. That was easier said than done apparently. After going down quite a few wrong roads I came to the visitor centre (something to do with the bridge but no idea why you would visit a bridge?) and could finally follow signs to get onto the pedestrian access to the bridge and make my way over. I was very glad of the lack of wind but the view was still rubbish because of misty rain. At the other side I came in to Barton because of a waterway but was glad of it when I saw a big supermarket and was able to stock up on a few days worth of food. When I got back to the front, it turned out there was a little bridge over the waterway so I hadn’t needed to come in but I was ok with that. I was along levees once more for a very long time with the occasional diversion through a timber yard or something similarly unsafe looking. The signs pointed me through them though and I managed to not get crushed by heavy machinery or falling wood. I got to East Halton something and came in over a bridge before going back out to the levee again.

 There was a sign saying splash deck closed to the public but nothing to block me so I figured I would be alright, especially as my map clearly showed a footpath going right along there for quite a while. As I started along, there was a car coming the other way which I thought meant that it must lead to somewhere with access. At least half an hour later I came to a fence blocking me off, if it was me I would have put the fence at the start to be clear but hey. Over the defence wall was a path at sea level so I hopped over and walked that past workmen repairing the defences. When I had passed the fence on the other side I climbed back up and over onto what I guess was called the splash deck. Feeling quite pleased to have avoided a detour I carried on with a large and busy jetty in front of me, a Jetty that I could get nowhere near because the very tall, very spiky fence to my right had curved round to be directly in front of me. There was a gate but it was locked and I was screwed. Apparently this was why the splash deck was closed off. I looked for a way around it but there was no chance and I could see that on the other side of the busy road, the other gate was firmly shut and padlocked too. I had to go back, potentially all the way to where I had got onto the splash deck, and I was not happy. As I walked along the top there was a footpath sign heading inland next to the perimeter fence. There was also another temporary fence and a footpath closed sign but I really didn’t want to go back 2miles or more. It was really overgrown with brambles and nettles and I was wedged between a fence and a steep bank. I decided to climb the bank and saw that the fence on the other side looked a lot less dangerous (no spikes) and had come away from the posts at the top.

On the other side was a field of cows so down I went and I chucked my back over, then I had to follow. The disadvantage of a broken fence is that as you climb it, it bends backwards dumping you in the brambles so as a new approach I sort of pulled it down and dived on it to roll over and fall onto the ground the other side. Smooth. That way I did avoid the barbed wire running along still attached to the top though. On the other side of the field was a road going inland which after well over a mile met a road that was actually going in the direction I needed it to. After a village I was walking along a busy pathless road next to an oil refinery, until getting out onto a little road where I passed some lads drinking cans and obviously heading out for the night. I couldn’t help but wonder where though seeing as there was nothing but industry for miles. The map showed a path over to Immingham when there were in fact several paths and no signs. Using cooling towers as a reference point I went in what I though was the right direction. When I got to the golf course I knew I had gone right but I didn’t know which direction I had actually entered it from. Luckily there was a bloke there with his dog finding lost golf balls who directed me to the road. Once through Immingham there was farmland to walk through right by the motorway and unfortunately that was my only option for camping so I set up by the only group of trees for miles.

The following morning was a really still one with the mist just hanging there in the fields. I walked through the fields along tracks and paths until I got to steps up to the road. I thought I was on the main road to Grimsby but it turns out I had come up at a junction and gone down the wrong one going towards a dead end of an industrial estate. The rain started about then as I came off on a road doing a big loop to head in the right direction. I got onto the main road and walked the hard shoulder all the way in to Grimsby, getting right into town before I had the option of walking on a path. On the way through I nipped into tesco express and the girl behind the till pointed out that I had a big bag on my back, I’d been wondering what that was. When I got to Cleethorpes I was able to get onto the promenade and as I made my way out my uncle Paul rang to say him and Sue were coming down to meet me for lunch. As I walked on looking for a café to stop at an American guy cycled up to me and asked if I was homeless because he was looking for 2 homeless people. Apparently homeless people always have a big rucksack, I can’t say I have seen many who do, especially with a tent hanging off it but there you go. He kept asking if I was alright though which was slightly odd if you ask me.

Paul and Sue arrived and I hadn’t found a place to stop so we drove back in and went to the beach restaurant. It was a very welcome break after days of miserable weather and awful walking. Afterwards though, I had to get back on the road. Paul and Sue walked with me for a bit then went back to the car as I got past a holiday village and onto paths through slightly nicer areas. I got to Tetney Lock where fire engines were up to something then went over the bridge and along roads through Northcotes, Marshchapel and other places. The rain was getting gradually harder as I went along the road into North Somercotes, passing a b&b which was really tempting. A bloke was leading his horse along the roads by walking behind it with really long reins. Out the other side of town it was starting to get dark already and I had no idea where I was going to stop. I passed holiday camps but none would take tents and the rain was still getting harder even though I stupidly thought it might let off and stop as the weather had said. When I got to Saltfleet I went into a nature reserve near the road and searched out a camping spot, ending up in a pretty rubbish one, very wet and not too happy yet again.

Posted by: natsevs | November 16, 2010

Scarborough to Weeton

The thunder storms continued through the night and I woke to a miserable morning although the weather forecast said the rain should let up at least. Me and Sue went to a café (Teasmaid) for a cooked breakfast, Paul wasn’t feeling up to it, where the owner was quite a character. I was dropped back off at Sandsend with the rain still coming down and a serious wind going. I was getting battered as I made my way along marine drive around North Bay then right through town past the fair and all the amusements. I went along the beach for a bit before coming up to the top above the spa. There was a group of people out walking that I had to get past before I got to Osgodby where the path had fallen to the sea. One garden had the corner of its fence sticking right out with no ground beneath it. I had to come in onto the road for a short stint but was back out again before reaching Clayton. On the way out of there was a headland to get round before going onwards to get to Filey Brig and round that to Filey itself. I went down some steps to meet a slipway onto the beach and walked along in front of the town.

After a while I was forced off the beach at Reighton Moor, having to come up onto the cliffs once more and come inland a bit now passing a holiday village. There was a path to start with but then I made my way across fields and a large open space where they were building a new golf course. After a maze of gorse bushes where I was spiked quite a few times I got onto the cliff top path going out and round Flamborough Head. The wind was still ridiculous, causing huge waves to batter the cliffs with spray coming right up to where I was walking on top. At Bempton cliffs there were loads of RSPB platforms for viewing the sea birds but unfortunately the puffins had already moved on again.

The point of Flamborough head came into view and it looked very rough down there and still quite far. I got down to those lower cliffs and there was a diversion inland because of path erosion but I decided to ignore it. I came to a gully with steps down to a broken bridge but I could jump over the little stream at the bottom so there was no problem. The steps back out had mostly disappeared in a mudslide so getting up was a tiny bit messier but it wasn’t exactly steep. Once back up, the path wound in and out with the cliff edge and out at sea I saw a block of rain heading towards me. In no time it had arrived and I was getting absolutely soaked. I arrived at the lighthouse and the signal station was making some very strange noises. The rain thankfully stopped soon and I made my way along the south cliffs taking longer than expected. The sea here was completely flat thanks to being sheltered from the wind by the headland. I made it to South Landing on the coast out from Flamborough itself to be picked up, after taking lots of nice sunset pictures.           

I was all packed up in the morning ready to be reunited with my full rucksack after over a week of walking with just a day sack. Paul drove me back out to South Landing and I was on my way around half 9 with the bag feeling really heavy, particularly as the first thing I had to do was go up a steep slope. The cliff top path went down and up a few dips before I got to one dip that went right down to the beach, allowing me to get onto it and over to Bridlington down there. The beach was covered in white pebbles and boulders from the cliffs. Once at Bridlington I came up to the promenade and walked the front past the harbour and out again down on the beach. I was on the beach for quite a while and there was still a fair wind and showers going again. It was all sandy to start but was soon getting rockier with low clay cliffs rising up behind. It was a dull stretch but there were a few people about walking dogs and stuff.

Further on the tide started coming in but there was still enough room to walk below the cliffs. I got to Hornsea at about 3pm and had to come up onto the promenade to get through, then at the other end I attempted to go back onto the beach but it was obvious that wasn’t going to be an option. I climbed up the clay to a caravan park and out onto fields. There was no proper path but there did seem to be a track along the edge through fields and in front of a firing range towards Mappleton. I was on the road from there because of the tide being right in and a big MOD area blocking off any countryside route. There were a few showers before I reached Aldbrough where I grabbed some food for breakfast before continuing out still on the road. I was hoping for a camp spot early out of there but as it was I walked another hour before finding one. It was all ploughed fields with houses overlooking them, I investigated one only to be disappointed then come up to a ditch. I tried to get over that and ended stuck in it then got stung a lot by nettles coming back out the way I came. Once I’d retreated back to where I got into the field I carried on down the road in fairly heavy rain now and the wind picking up. I did find a spot soon after with a bit of shelter even if the soil was quite loose.


The hedges stopped the wind effectively even though it picked up quite a lot through the night. As I set off in the morning it was another miserable day. It was dark and windy and rain showers were soon to come. I was on the roads again and therefore never going in a straight line but being forced to go in a big zigzag instead. I finally got onto one going out to the cliffs where the map showed a track going along the edge set back a little bit. When I arrived, it wasn’t set back any more, in fact most of it had disappeared below and been washed away. I made my way along though to meet an equally eroded path before a road popped up heading into a holiday park. The cliff height dropped and I was able to get on the beach there which I walked on all the way to Withernsea. I got my lunch in the high street there from some bargain shop then got back to the front and along the promenade to another holiday park. A path was meant to lead to and through the park but it was fenced off so instead I made my way in front of it with cliff on the other side. There were loads of caravan foundations and pipes hanging out over the cliff edge where yet more erosion had been happening. The fence wasn’t even secured most of the way because it had obviously needed to be moved inwards so much. That was lucky for me because it soon got to the point where I didn’t feel safe on that side, with less and less room to walk and I was able to get over the fence fairly easily.

I walked through the park to the road out to Newton then there was supposed to be a path through a wind farm over to a gas terminal. The path had been ploughed over but I followed where the map showed it to be and walked directly under a few of the turbines. They are absolutely huge when you’re stood under one and the blades look like they are about to take your head off even though they are miles clear of the ground. A bridleway went around the edge of the gas terminal to Easington and then I had a very long and dull road to Kilnsea. Just as I was approaching the visitor centre there the bus down to Spurn head drove past me. The centre was a café with leaflets on a wall and no-one took any notice of me as I waited to ask about the bus. Despite being ignored, I found a bus timetable on the wall and found that the bus that had passed was the 3.12pm one. It was 3.11pm. Apparently that didn’t mean it was going to wait until the time it was due before it set off because it was long gone even when I arrived.

The trip down to the head was 4 miles making an 8 mile round trip and the next bus wasn’t for over 2 hours so I’d either had to do the 8 miles or have a long wait at the point. There was no chance, I walked down to where the main road ends and looped round to make my way back up the way I came. I realised I also needed water so stopped at the pub but the sign on the door described me perfectly as the sort of person they wouldn’t like to enter so I doubted very much whether it would be worth me even asking for some tap water. Out past a closed hotel I got onto a sea wall and was on that for the rest of the day. At about 5pm I found a spot below the bank with another one over a ditch blocking the wind. Unfortunately once I was sorted the wind changed so I grabbed everything up and walked on further in the hope of a decent nights sleep. A mile or so further on there was a spot with seemingly decent shelter and flat spots were becoming scarcer so I made my second camp there. With only 0.5litres of water I had to forgo the noodles and just have hot cross buns for tea.

Posted by: natsevs | November 12, 2010

Seaton Carew to Scarborough

I was up early again as everyone had to get to school and was over at grans for breakfast. I was dropped back off at Seaton Carew around half 9 and walked the promenade through the town coming out along the road. It was a long road to make my way down towards Middlesbrough and it started raining quite heavily. After passing a landfill site and some industry there was a reserve either side of the road for a bit but then the industry popped up again and I was back to the rather unpleasant walking. As I reached the Transporter Bridge the sun came out and I got straight on to be taken over to Middlesbrough proper. On the other side the Teesdale way went along the road to the Riverside stadium then around the side of that by the side of the railway. I made my way through road works on a closed road then over a rail bridge to get onto a path right alongside the tracks. I was on that for ages through steelworks and all sorts of lovely scenery. It stunk at times and there were pipes running by my side most of the way.

Finally I got away from the railway and onto a short road out to Redcar sea front where I had to jump a fair few puddles. I nipped into Pacittos for a strawberry top ice cream as I made my way along the sea front. I should have gone for a lemon one. Out of Redcar I went down onto the beach to walk to Saltburn which was a much nicer walk than earlier in the day. Once I had reached Saltburn the Cleveland way took me up a steep slope out of there to walk the cliff top to Skiningrove. I got down to there at around 5 and waited to be picked up. Unfortunately there was no signal down there and I didn’t know if Lisa had got my message. I was also supposed to have a radio interview in a while so it was pretty inconvenient. I ended up having to head inland and uphill to get signal but was rang by a paper and missed the interview anyway. Lisa arrived soon after as I was stressing out about having to do more than just walk every day. I was grateful to get back to the house and relax for my last night there.

I packed up in the morning then went through the same routine as the last few days then headed over to Skiningrove. I waited there with grandad and my uncle Colin for my uncle Paul to arrive as he was going to walk with me that day. Paul and Sue got there around half 10 and I said my byes and hellos then me and Paul set off up the slope out of Skiningrove. We made our way along the top before going in slightly and further up with quarries below, between us and the sea. It was a really sunny day and the scenery was great as well. At Boulby the path headed down to Staithes, a pretty little cove village. The climb out was another steep one then we continued along the cliffs was more until Runswick bay. We came down into there then up again on the steepest and longest climb of the day. Thankfully, it was also the last. There were more quarries below us again as we headed for Sandsend. Once down to there we took to the beach over to Whitby as the tide was on its way out. It clouded over on the way to Whitby but the rain held off and we got there at around 5. We went up to where the whale bone and the Captain Cook statue is and stopped whilst I had the radio interview I had missed the previous day. After that we went down for an ice cream and met with Sue before getting fish and chips. After tea we headed back to Paul and Sue’s in Scarborough where I was staying for a few days.


The next day I had a day off mainly because I hadn’t been to Scarborough for almost 10 years after coming up a lot when I was younger to visit my grandparents. I was also having lunch with my Paul, Sue and a very generous man called Mr R, the R stands for something but he didn’t want any mentions. My uncle and auntie are taxi drivers and so had told a lot of people about the walk and many of them had donated money for the charities. Mr R had told my uncle that when I got halfway he would donate £500, so the lunch was an opportunity to receive the cheque and say a massive thank you. In the morning I went around Scarborough seeing all the places I remembered like the Harbour Bar and saw where my grandparents bench is. Sue’s mum also joined us for the lunch which was very nice then in the afternoon I went into the Scarborough studio of Radio York for an interview. I have never been in a studio before so it was quite odd, especially as the presenter was in York still. After that the rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing.

The next day Sue dropped me and Paul at Whitby and off we went. We walked through town before starting the climb out back to the cliffs. The path took us through a campsite then along with quite a few dips but thankfully it wasn’t too hot a day. There was a nice lighthouse between there and Robin Hoods Bay, just before getting to the bay there was also a rocket pole. I couldn’t resist the temptation to try and climb that so up I went. We went down into the bay and onto the sea wall at first before getting onto the beach. There were school parties everywhere down there, but we were soon leaving them behind as we went to go up at Boggle Hole. Paul thought there was a way up further on but wasn’t sure so we didn’t risk it. It was really steep, and on the way up there were 2 guys carrying massive sacks of cockles or something up, looking absolutely knackered. I asked one of them how long he’d been doing it and he said 20 years, it didn’t look like it got an easier with time. We were on the top for a short while before we had to come down again to beach level and back up so Paul had been right after all. So we had another climb up and were basically climbing all the way to Ravenscar at varying inclinations. At Ravenscar we went to some tea rooms for lunch and a guy I had never met shook my hand and congratulated me. I was a little shocked before it dawned on me that it was a guy my uncle had talked to whilst doing practice walks up there and told me about.

After lunch, we were back on the cliff with lots of dips to get up and down. The weather started taking a turn for the worse as storm clouds and thunder started surrounding us on all 3 landward sides. As Scarborough castle came into view it was underneath a big black cloud with the odd bit of lightning biting down on it. I spent a lot of the time between then and finishing trying to get a photo of lightning but only succeeded once. Somehow the rain didn’t get to us as we plodded onwards along the top, up and down and in and out. We only started getting rained on as we went down into North Bay at Scarborough. Sue picked us up and we drove to meet some friends of theirs before getting a Chinese take away for tea.

Posted by: natsevs | November 11, 2010

Dunstan to Seaton Carew

I woke to a seriously cold morning and almost froze as I walked to the toilet block. After a tea cake breakfast I made my way back towards the coast at Craster. It was another very windy day but the coast path actually stuck to the coast for a change which was a bonus. There were a few dips to go up and down before going through a private caravan park and onto the beach for a short stint. The path took me up to a golf course after a short while and I walked through there towards Alnmouth. The coast path heads inland looping round to get to Alnmouth but there was a footpath straight over to the town so I took that. I met up with my friend Kathy there who lives nearby in Durham. We nipped to a shop for some food then had the challenge of finding our way out of Alnmouth. We found the bridge over the river eventually and made our way down the other side along path at first but that disappeared to be replaced by mud then a cow field. Once we had arrived at farm there was a path down to the beach. We got onto the beach and made our way along there until another river forced us in and onto the road. The road took us to Warkworth then onwards towards Amble.

I had seen a car a few times with a pig on it, saying “go on ask about the pig”. The car pulled up in front of us so I got Kathy to ask and was very disappointed with the answer. It was some money saving company and not something fun at all. We stopped a minute later for a beer before carrying on into the town. Here Kathy left me to wait for a bus back up to Amble to get her return train. My granddad had rung on the road in to say he would be coming out to pick me up. They live south of Middlesbrough so it was quite a way to drive out. As I walked on I was on the phone to Grandma and Grandad trying to direct them to where I would be. I stopped at half 4 before I ended up away from the road and my grandparents found their way to me. The drive home took 1.5 hours then I had tea at grans before being run to my auntie Lisa’s where I was going to be sleeping thanks to my cousin Rosie giving up her room.

I was up early and dropped off at grandma’s for a cooked breakfast before being taken back to Druridge Bay. We got up there at around half 10 and I set off along the track above the beach. It was a seriously cold morning as I made my way along to the end of the track then down onto the beach. The tide was right in but there was enough beach to get along all the way top Creswell. I had to come up onto the road there to go round a power station to Lynemouth. It meant I had to go back on myself a little bit but then found a path out from there to Newbiggin where a Jack Russell was running around the streets and almost getting run over. I managed to get hold of him but there was no number on his collar and no-one seemed to know where he’d come from so I had to just let him go and hope his owner came back. I had to go onto a busy A road to get over a couple of rivers around Camais which wasn’t very fun. When I got to Blyth I walked down through there along the river to get back to the coast. Once back to the front I was able to walk a mixture of path and beach all the way to Whitley Bay. Getting into Whitley bay I came up to the promenade to walk into town where I stopped to be picked up by my Grandparents again.

The journey to Whitley Bay in the morning was a bit shorter than the previous one but I still wasn’t getting started until gone 10. I carried on through Whitley Bay on another clear and therefore slightly cold day. The promenade and roads took me all the way through Cullercoats to Tynemouth. Once I had got to the river I followed a cycle path along roads and paths inland keeping me by the riverside. Fish quay was full of sea food restaurants all along the front then I got onwards to North Shields. Carrying on through I ended up on the main road heading towards the Tyne Tunnel. I hadn’t known there was a pedestrian tunnel but signs started turning up for it so I followed then hoping it was still there. It turns out it was real and I made my way down the steps to go through. Its quite a weird experience to walk through a tunnel but quite cool though. On the other side the escalators were actually working so up I went to now be in Jarrow.

I had said I would meet a friend by the bridge thinking I would be walking down that far so ended up looking for the nearest metro station to get into Gateshead. Once there I had to deal with the carnage of the Great North Run weekend. The proper run wasn’t until the following day but all the junior races were happening as well as the city games on mobile tracks and stuff. You could barely move around the bridge and it didn’t help that it was really hot. It was a bit of a shock to the system to be surrounded by so many people after quite a solitary life for months on end. After lunch I got back through the throng to the metro station and back to Jarrow. I walked through Tynedock and other lovely places to get out to South Shields which is actually quite nice. I walked along the promenade to get to a path through a reserve with some really nice beaches and cliffs with arches and stacks sticking out to the sea. I carried on along the path to Salter lighthouse and onwards to Whitburn. I came in to the road as Lisa was coming up that way. When I got to South Bents they drove up with everyone bar grandma in the car, the kids had all been doing various sports all day.

It had rained a lot during the night and was still quite showery in the morning when I was dropped back off at South Bents. I set off along the front to Sunderland but had to come in to get the bridge over the Wear. I followed the road to the harbour then more roads southward through a lot of obviously quite new estates. Finally the road took me into Seaham past a massive boot sale. I walked the front through there before getting on to a path as the road turns inland. The path goes along between the cliff top and the railway and was quite popular with dog walkers. It was quite a good path at first but the further I got from the car park the less maintained it became. I was soon going along right by the rail side then the path started going in and out quite a lot. There was a point where my only option seemed to be to get onto the rail tracks to go over a bridge. I wasn’t keen on getting flattened by a train but didn’t seem to have an option so got my leg over the broken fence and went over the bridge VERY quickly. Once on the other side I could see that the path did actually come under the bridge and round to the side I was now on. Oh well.

Once down and up a dip I was blocked off by some building work so had to get along another path around the edge of that. After more ins and outs I got to the point where I was completely blocked off by thick vegetation. I tried to find a few ways through unsuccessfully and going inland wasn’t an option because the town there was completely blocked off by big fences and private land warnings. Finally I found a hole in the vegetation right by the cliff side and made my way down the dip and back up again. After that I decided I would go down onto the beach for a bit. It was an interesting experience, the sand and mud was dark grey and the stones were bright orange as a result of years of industry down the coast. There were a load of fishermen that had somehow driven down there and parked up on the sludge. I don’t think I’d eat a fish I had caught on that bridge.

There was a little river to get round and then along further before I had to come back up onto the cliffs. I stayed on the path until it came to a drop with no other option but down. I went down a very rough and slippy path back up then down and up once more to come up to a caravan park. Out of there was a track to a golf course that I made my way through with some guy hitting a ball that went past about a meter from me which was nice of him. On the other side there was path again and that took me through a load of old industry then in onto road at Hartlepool. My impression of Hartlepool can be summed up by walking past a completely melted down bin after about 5 minutes. I walked on out to Seaton Carew and Simon and Lisa picked me up there and took me back to Grandma’s for tea. Then I went back over to theirs and watched TV and chilled for the night.

Posted by: natsevs | November 10, 2010

Barns Ness to Dunstan: Back in England

I managed to sleep through the wind and rain but it was picking up in the morning so I was packed up and walking by 8:10am. I got to the car park just before the nuclear power plant and went into the public toilets to brush my teeth and have a wash whilst hiding from the now very strong wind outside. The John Muir way took me round the front of the power plant then past a caravan site on the other side. The cliffs rise up after that and I walked the cliff top path until it hits a gully where I came down through some woods to the beach. I was on the beach for a while until a point where it is meant to come in by a stream. It was nowhere to be seen though so I had to climb over a mound and walk up the actual stream until the path appeared above me. Once up, I walked the roads to Cove before getting onto a cliff top path once more to Pease bay. Out of the bay were coast path signs but there was no path marked on my map. I decided to risk it and climbed up some very steep steps and onto the path. The risk paid off up to Siccar point but after that the path seemed to disappear completely. I made my way through sheep fields to a track and ultimately to road looping round to Dowlaw. The weather was still miserable and it was not exactly an interesting day of walking. A farm track connected Dowlaw with Lumsdaine farm then from there I was on roads for the rest of the day.

Walking along there a magazine woman rang wanting to do a face to face interview the following day and I stupidly said I would be in Berwick, even though it was almost 3pm and Berwick was still at least 12 miles away. The roads took me through Coldingham and Eyemouth, where a school kids were piling off a broken down bus, and onwards to Barnmouth. From there it was the A1 all the way to Berwick and not a pleasant experience. The advantage of being on the road is that I walked past the welcome to England sign which you don’t really get on footpaths. I took some pictures by the sign with the guy in the burger van looking on obviously thinking I was an idiot. It turns out the campsites on my map at Berwick were now holiday parks and didn’t take tents. As a result I asked my mum and brother to look for a cheap B&B but they were having very little luck. Finally my brother got hold of a guy who had some room and didn’t cost over £60 and I made my way through town via the supermarket to get there at 6:45pm quite knackered.


The following morning the owner had printed off the week’s weather for me as well as showing me the tide tables so I knew what times I’d be able to cross to Holy Island and back between. He was a really nice bloke and it turns out I stayed at his brother’s campsite in Badrallach. I set off to meet the journalist at the train station and did the interview in a coffee shop. It was a really sunny morning but I wasn’t setting off until gone 10am because of the interview, not that I minded a shorter day after a 10hour day the day before. I started off over the bridge across the river then headed out to the coast on the other side at Spittal. There was a promenade through Spittal finishing at a path heading up the cliff to join the Northumbria coast path along the top next to the railway. As I walked along the track a car came up and asked me if I knew whether they could get down there, I had no idea but it didn’t look good so I told them as much. They turned around at the first opportunity, I’ve no idea how they got up there. IT was quite a nice walk even though the wind had picked up and there was the odd bit of rain. Coming up to a farmhouse I walked through a field of cows to come to the gate with the standard huge bull stood in front of it. He was a nice fella though and I skirted round him as he stayed completely motionless. From there was a road going along behind the dunes now, coming to a path in the same direction. The path took me to Goswick Golf course and I was back onto road out of there before getting onto path once more.

I had to loop in when I hit a river to get over a footbridge. On there was an army guy who asked where I was going, they were about to do a practice bomb run apparently. I got to a car park via a very muddy path then set off over the causeway to Holy Island. Halfway along I jumped out of my skin as a massive boom sounded to my left and I looked around in time to see the cloud of water fall back down to the sea. I’d forgotten about the bomb run. The causeway was still slightly submerged in places but thankfully no cars thought it would be funny to spray me with water. I got to the island and set off around anti-clockwise for a change. The path took me past the ruins of the monastery then onwards to the castle looking impressive up on its hill. The wind was now ridiculous and at some point my bag cover was taken by it, never to be seen again. I hid behind a bank a couple of times as I continued my way around the edge. In the dunes on the opposite side, a shrew had somehow managed to twist its leg and tail together in grass and was continuing to spin around making matter worse for itself. I set about trying to free it, and after a rummage in my bag for nail clippers, I had released the silly thing and let it go into the grass to probably get eaten or get itself into trouble again.

I was soon back on the less flooded causeway again and making my way over to the mainland once more. I stuck to the Northumbria coast path for a bit but then there were other paths which actually stayed closer to the coast. I was eying up camp opportunities now but I really needed somewhere sheltered from the wind. The paths ended and I was soon onto roads but had seen a wood on the map so headed slightly off track to them in the hope of a sheltered place to stop. For once it actually worked out very well, the only unnerving thing was a big incredible hulk cuddly toy hanging onto a fence looking out at me in my tent.

The trees did a really good job of blocking out the wind during the night so I was able to get a good sleep. As I set off it was raining a bit but was also quite sunny so there was a really good rainbow behind me. I had to start the day along the road, turning off on a smaller one towards Elwick and beyond. The rain was getting a lot heavier but I figured it wouldn’t last. Unfortunately when it did stop, it started again very quickly and my shorts got very wet. It let up properly though as I made my way along a path to the beach at Budle and struck out along there to the point. The wind was ensuring that I got blasted by sand as I continued along towards Bamburgh. I came up onto the road at the golf course club house but was soon back down to the beach again to walk in front of the impressive Bamburgh Castle. The beach was really pretty too and there were plenty of people walking along enjoying it, even with the ridiculous wind battering everyone.

The sand being blown around made it look almost like a desert storm and made the walking interesting at least. I stayed on the beach until coming up at Seahouses. I was missing a map so was glad to find one at the tourist information there as I walked through the town, stopping to buy some food as I passed as well. I took the road out towards Beadnell where I had intended to stop at a caravan and camping site owned by people my uncle knew. I got here at half 2 though and couldn’t justify the early stop so I just popped in to say hello. I ended up stopping for a cup of tea and they kindly passed on word to the site at Dunstan who said they would be happy to have me. After about half an hour I set off again and was behind the dunes out of Beadnell towards Newton-by-the-sea. Once I’d gone through there I was back onto the beach with Dunstan castle clearly visible up ahead. I crossed a stream and a flat fish sitting in there caught my attention as it jumped out of my way, it was perfectly camouflaged so I wouldn’t have noticed it if it hadn’t moved. I came up off the beach to head in to the campsite. They put me in between a hedge and a bank so I was nicely sheltered from the wind. To add to that one of the guys running it came and gave me a couple of bottles of beer.

Posted by: natsevs | November 8, 2010

Dalgety Bay to Barns Ness

After a breakfast of brioche and biscuits and a slow pack down, I walked into Dalgety Bay town along the coastal path. It started raining lightly but gradually got heavier as time went on so I gave in and put on my waterproof trousers going out of the town. Once through some woods it was absolutely lashing it down as I made my way towards Inverkeithing passing the occasional person obviously doing the Fifie Coastal path. Despite the rain I was boiling which was very annoying so as soon as it started letting off the temptation was there to remove my coat. Just before I reached the forth bridge it had stopped completely for a short while so I took off my waterproof trousers too. Unfortunately, going over the bridge the weather closed in again and my legs were soaked very quickly. Someone beeped at me up there too but I think it was actually a friendly one for a change.

Over at Queensferry the rain stopped again and I started to dry out as I made my way through the woods and grounds of Dalmeny House. The river Almond forced me inland to the road bridge then I went straight back out along riverside paths, now in bright sunshine and warmth. At the coast again I came to a little harbour and got an ice cream. I’d had to take my bag off to fit through the door and had a little trouble getting it back on with an ice cream in my hand as people watched on. A guy did offer some help, albeit too late, and I had a brief chat with him and his wife. I walked on a bit then sat down to finish my ice cream, then as I set off again the guy came running up with my map. Yet again I had left it somewhere but thankfully there was a very nice bloke around this time. I could go along the front up to Gorton Harbour where I had to get onto road which I followed along the edge of Edinburgh. It took ages so it was good to finally get to the beach on the other side and onwards through Portabello to Musselburgh. My parents were coming up for the weekend so they had booked a Travelodge there that I headed towards. I had to come right in through Mussleburgh and out the other side, getting some snacks along the way. My parents didn’t arrive until 1am and I had their key so I had to wait up for them to get there.

I was woken by knocking on the door at 8am, thinking it was mum or dad I shouted something then slowly made my way to open it. Turns out it was a breakfast. I told the girl I hadn’t ordered one but she said it must have been paid for by someone who had left early so I may as well have it still. We drove into Musselburgh then walked out along the river to join the John Muir Way on the coast. This took us past old ash lagoons then to the road over to Prestonpans. Between there and Cockenzie is a power station that we were able to walk in front of and continue to Seaton Harbour. Not long out of Seaton we were able to get onto the beach for a while but my friends Amie and Aiden were up visiting Aiden’s parents and I had arranged to meet them around lunchtime. As a result we came in at Longniddy to find somewhere to have a bite to eat. The first place we found was a sandwich shop y the train station and we definitely lucked out, the sandwiches were pretty good. Amie and Aiden turned up and we all had a very lovely lunch. We all set off again around 2 but Amie and Aiden were only able to go a little way before they had to head back. We went along the beach path again but the John Muir way cut off a headland so we took a track out then had to get around the edge of a golf course to Aberlady.

Aberlady is on one side of a bay and we walked along the shore to a wooden bridge over to a Nature reserve up the other side. A sign said dogs weren’t allowed but we saw plenty of other people walking there’s around there so we figured we would be alright with Ally. The path went alongside another golf course then onto a beach. The beach was quite pretty and at the other side we came up onto dunes again then over a hill to Gullane where we stopped for the day. Whilst waiting for a taxi to take us back to the car I tried a Sea Buckthorn ice cream which was slightly strange. In the evening we had tea in a pub the taxi driver recommended, we were the only people eating but it was alright.

I was up at 7:30 the next morning but really wanted a lie in for an hour or 2. It was looking sunny outside at least though. I was dropped off with Ally back at Gullane whilst mum and dad drove on to Dunbar before getting a taxi to North Berwick. The walk up and round to North Berwick was a really nice one along the beach most of the time and took almost 2 hours. Annoyingly my camera batteries were dead so I didn’t get any photos of the views as I walked along. I met mum and dad at a bird observatory in North Berwick then we all carried on along the beach. Cliffs started to rise up but we stayed along the bottom rock jumping as the tide was out with Bass Rock, turned white by all the gannets on it, as a constant companion. The little bay beneath Tantallon castle made me feel like I was back in medieval times and was seriously impressive with our voices echoing around it. We could have come up a few times but decided to carry on along the bottom as it was more interesting and there weren’t actually paths up top so it would have been road walking. Gregan bay opened up in front of us and I ventured out to a weird little harbour carved down into the rock out on the beach. We stopped for lunch at the bay, which had quite a few people enjoying the slight sun on it. The beach further on had loads of witch stones on it so I collected up a few.

At Ravensburgh Sands there were loads of people again, these were having champagne picnics and allsorts so we looked a little out of place in our walk gear. It was here that we had to finally come up off the beach and take roads inland to get over a river by taking the most direct route possible. This turned out to take us through the front garden of Tyninghame house. They weren’t impressed to see us there but didn’t have a go really so it was ok. To be fair we had ignored a few ‘no public access’ signs. Once over the bridge we were back onto the John Muir Way, taking us to the coast once more. We skirted the edge of a pretty estuary then got through some woods to pass a farm park. Before getting to Dunbar there was a foot bridge over a river that had a second bridge over it right on the beach. The second bridge had both ends in water as the tide was now coming in. We had to go around another golf course at Dunbar then into town where mum and dad had left the car. I retrieved my bag from the car and set off alone as my parents and the dog drove home. I had another golf course to get through on the other side of Dunbar then past a lighthouse before settling in the dunes around Barns Ness for the night. The weather had said it would be windy and rainy overnight so I was hoping they were wrong.

Posted by: natsevs | November 3, 2010

Dundee to Dalgety Bay

I was still feeling pretty full when I woke up the next morning but I would soon be walking it off. At first glance it looked to be a miserable day, it was still dark outside and raining. When I ventured out though, it turned out to be a lot worse than it looked. I wasn’t carrying my full bag as I was staying in a caravan in St Andrews that Jill was going to drop my bag at. I was soaked in seconds and couldn’t even see the opposite end of the bridge.

When I got up onto it the wind and rain was straight at my face. It took 15mins to get across and was one of my pockets actually filled up with water. Once over I hid in the subway feeling a little bit abused.

Setting off along the Fife Coastal Path I was hopeful it would get a little better but was disappointed. Most of the path was flooded and the water was starting to seep in through my waterproofs now.

Once I got into the forest at Tentsmuir it was a little bit more sheltered from the wind at least even if the rain was still getting through. The paths were still flooded and I was in there quite a while until coming out in farmland near Leuchars air field.

I had to take the road into Leuchars itself then through the RAF base with a brief stop for a scone at a bus shelter. Once I had got to Guardbridge it was all roadside path to St Andrews as the rain started to let up and the wind dried me off a little bit.

I know St Andrews is the home of golf but it was still a bit of a shock just how many courses are there. I got some food then continued on past the castle and cathedral and out the other side to head up to the caravan park. I let myself in before the rain started up again and was battering the caravan roof. My bag was there so i set about putting my wet clothes up to dry and watched tv eating donuts.

The rain was still going in the morning but let up slightly as I got ready. I only had my daysack again when I set off because Gil was picking up my rucksack and meeting me where I finished. The rain stopped and I climbed the fence back onto the coast path. The path went up and down into bays quite a lot and the weather had decided to be sunny so I started getting a little bit hot.

At Boarhills the path goes inland along farm tracks to get over a river and back out to the coast. There were a lot of golf courses on the following stretch and numerous times where the coast path signs said to just walk the beach so I was lucky the tide was out. A path through the Kilminning nature reserve took me to Crail which was another quite attractive town. Out of there the path had been covered in rubbish and flotsam from the recent storms.

There was an interesting rock formation with loads of arches along there too.

Going through Anstruther i got an ice cream and continued on to Pittenweem stopping for a go on some swings on the way. Out of St Monans the path was closed because of storm damage so I had to take the high tide route that lopped round to the castle there. I didn’t get to Elie until half 5 but decided to press on to Lower Largo anyway. I got past shell bay slightly inland but the river crossing on my map was nonexistent. I had to head out to the beach to get to meet the bridges taking me back in again annoyingly.

I got back to the beach and followed it to Lower Largo, arriving at 7. I met Gil at the Robinson Crusoe hotel and had a drink then went to the van for some much-needed food.

I was sleeping quite well until a lorry came and emptied the bottle bins in the car park. I set off at 9 saying bye to Gil for the last time of the walk.

Once past the hotel I was down onto the dunes and beach to Leven. Some old guys stopped and talked to me along there, one of them walked off whilst the other kept on talking. Once up at Leven it was road walking to Buckhaven along quite a skanky stretch. There was a path out of Buckhaven to East Wemyss along the top of the slope.

Out of West Wemyss was a mixture of path and beach, having to go up over an old colliery and down into Dysart. It was a really hot day again and I had a fair sweat on walking down through a park to Kirkcaldy. There was a path by the railway out of there to Kinghorn. The view over the Forth to Edinburgh was really clear now. There was a stupid loop to go round then I was back onto main road over to Burntisland. The links there were nice.

Out of there I needed a friendly local to point out where the path actually was. It runs right along by the railway crossing it to go along the seaward side after a bit. When I got to Aberdour i had to get round Hawkcraig point and should have camped round there because there were some good spots. Stupidly, i carried on so I had to get through Aberdour before I could start searching out another one. I ended camping in a field next to a straw bale after trying to flatten the cut straw beneath me rather unsuccessfully. It was right by the path but people stopped passing by eventually.

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