By: Blonde Two
Does anybody else like to prepare for the Big-Christmas-Eat by getting in a bit of harder-than-usual exercise? We don’t have any mountains available down here in Devon and the sea is too cold to stay in for more than about 30 minutes but we do have a tough-walk asset in the South West Coast Path. You probably don’t have time to walk the whole 630 miles and climb the staggering 35,000 metres height gain before you sit down to your turkey but, if you visit the section between Kingswear (near Dartmouth) and Brixham (near lots of fish), you will find yourself with a fair amount of up and downing as well as some fantastic sea views, castles and forts.
When I set off recently to walk this route for a well-known outdoor magazine (coming soon) I realised that it had been around 15 years since I last did so. As I reached the half-way point of the ridiculous steps that stretch out of Mill Bay Cove (near Kingswear Castle), I remembered why I had left it so long. Last time I had been a Scout leader, was walking it as part of a total River Dart – Torbay route, and didn’t enjoy trying to keep up with teenagers. This time I was walking on my own, was probably fitter but nonetheless found myself swearing at the trees as they laughed at my efforts.
There is much to recommend the South West Coast Path. The scenery is spectacular, the history fascinating and you usually meet interesting people. Its the up and down though that gets to me. I can’t decide whether I prefer the expected pattern of a mountain’s up then down system or the unpredictability of the coast path’s up-down-up-down-up-down route. One thing is for sure though. It was a lovely day to be outside, I was earning some money and I felt pleased with my efforts afterwards. Time to get wrapping those pigs in their blankets, I have worked up a Christmas appetite just looking at the photos!