The Hike

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The Hike

In August 2018, immediately following his residency at Cyprus Well, David walked the entire coast of Cornwall. He documented the walk in a daily poetry blog which is available below. He also raised sponsorship for the RNLI, the JustGiving page will be open until 10th September: click here if you would like to sponsor him.

Day 21: Pendower to Falmouth

Route
A leisurely 9 mile walk from Pendower to Falmouth, via Portscatho, Porthbeor, and St Anthony Head. I swam at Porthbeor – a house favourite, and was joined by an inquisitive playful seal. I also re-met a couple of German women who I’d passed ten days ago going the opposite way round the coast. From just above the lighthouse at St Anthony I got my first view of home. In my family we observe the Catholic tradition of praying to St Anthony for the return of things lost – I imagine this tradition to be connected to the lighthouse. From Place I took the little ferry to St Mawes, and from there the main ferry across the Carrick Roads to Custom House Quay where Becky and Andy were waiting for me with a glass of wine. In the last three weeks I’ve walked over 300 miles of coast and border, and over 400 miles in total. Bath time.
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Day 20: Gorran Haven to Pendower

Route
A calm quiet walk down the Roseland coast from Gorran Haven to Pendower, passing Dodman Point, Porthlune, Portholland, Portloe and another Nare Head. The day was quieted yet by long drizzle and crows’ caws, before turning to heavy rain. I was accompanied from Portholland to Portloe by a delightful kitten, who according to the waiter at the inn, likes to walk the 2 miles to Portholland and back with passing hikers (apparently undeterred by rain). A soothing day.
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Day 19: Polkerris to Gorran Haven

Route
A good stretch from Polkerris to Gorran Haven, starting near Par which still shows signs of industry and ending in the Roseland. I swam at Du Porth, just beyond Charlestown, and met Luke Thompson at Mevagissey. We discussed his experience growing up near the town and the artist community that lived there (including WS Graham at a time). By the end of tomorrow’s walk I’ll be in very familiar lands.
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Day 17: Plymouth to Millendreath

Route
Today I rejoined the coast path and having taken the ferry from Plymouth to Cremyll I walked round the Rame peninsula to Millendreath, heading back along the South Coast to Falmouth. From the outset the South Coast character was apparent: the seas calmer and clearer, the inclines more gradual, the environs more wooded and secretive. The evening grew stiller still. It is nice to be walking in the direction of the sun.
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Day 16: Callington, Calstock, Gunnislake, Tavistock & Dartmoor

Notes
The second of two days on the Devon-Cornwall border, exploring the border settlements of Callington, Calstock, Gunnislake and Tavistock, and walking more of the Tamar Valley discovery trail. By this far south the Tamar feels like a proper river.  In the afternoon I visited the slopes of Dartmoor with striking views of the border region over to Bodmin Moor and down to Plymouth. Stayed the night at Routrundle.
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Day 15: Clawton, Launceston, the Kensey & Upper Tamar

Notes
The first of two days on the Devon-Cornwall border before I walk back to Falmouth on the South Coast. I spent today on the north border, relaxing in the morning on a Christmas tree farm near Clawton, before returning to Launceston to walk the Kensey down to the Tamar and explore some of the border there. In the evening I called in on Linda and Ivor at The Bell and I stayed the night at Cyprus Well. Continue reading “Day 15: Clawton, Launceston, the Kensey & Upper Tamar”

Day 14: Widemouth to Morwenstow

Route
My final section of North Coast walking from Widemouth Bay to Morwenstow. The North Coast threw its worst at me today and high winds, fog and rain forced me to abandon the coast path a mile short of the border for safety’s sake. Instead I headed inland to Morwenstow to visit the Reverend Hawker’s parish, where I met Mel and her dog Bruce. Ended the day with a trip to Woolley Moor and found the modest puddle which is the Tamar’s source.
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Day 12: Polzeath to Tintagel

Route
A strenuous 18 mile walk from Polzeath to Tintagel, and the first of a pair of days walking coastline that I have never visited before. I’ve been told this stretch is wild and hilly, and indeed with the strong wind, good rain and over 3000ft of elevation today often felt more like walking in the Lake District. I finished my walk at Tintagel, of course associated with King Arthur. As a Yorkshireman I know where Camelot really was. I was more touched by Port Isaac of ‘Doc Martin’ fame, although the village of Tintagel is fascinating.
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