Trail notes for beginners
Brit, living in US, and currently visiting Devon. Channeling our inner Katharine May, we just walked a chunk of the SWCP from Hope Cove to Bolberry Down, followed by a wild swim at Hope Cove. We're avid hikers back home in Washington State, and while there are great trails in the North Cascades and Olympics which we love, walking around the edge of our home island in Puget Sound means walking along the tide line because "private beaches".
On the other hand, we're also avid cyclists and our island is a haven compared to the roads here!
Absolutely agree with you! I feel so appreciative of the fact that one could literally walk the whole perimeter of the UK safely. I walk a lot on my own and although I still prefer to have my dog by my side in places I’m not 100% familiar with, I’ve never ever had bad experience compared to other countries, that I’m not going to name
I was reading The Electricity of Every Living Thing whilst on holiday in Pembrokeshire last year, where over the years I've walked miles of the coastal path. Your description of the shouty man advising the small fast steps on the ascents was a game changer! After years spent lunging upwards, and being so out of breath, I shall never climb another steep incline without the slightly comedic upward shuffle.
Thank you Katherine! I loved my walks when I visited the UK❤️. The whole ethos seems geared to walkers. It is a different, and I would say friendlier, experience than in the States. USA the focus is more on “hiking” wilderness areas, which are not always accessible. And you don’t want to stray onto private property, you might get shot!
Anyway, I recommend toe socks. Though they are one of those things you either love or hate. And in your kit, a pocket knife. And agree, well-fitting shoes, but not tight shoes realizing your feet swell on long walks. I’ve learned all my lessons from experience 😉.
This is a great guide, thank you. I also remembered that time we had to be rescued in the Scottish hills because my dad did not have a guide like this ; )