day data

  1. day 1 – Cardiff to Newport

    miles walked: 20   completed: 20   to go: 1040.3

    It all begins: a lost Garmin, a drowned land, a lighthouse with a Tardis, a bridge that moves, and an interview in woodland

  2. day 2 – Nash to Severn Bridge

    miles walked: 22   completed: 42   to go: 1018.3

    The second day starts in the wildlife wetlands near Newport and takes me to the Severn Bridge (a short diversion form the path!), icon of 1960s modernism.

  3. day 3 – Severn Bridge to Llandogo

    miles walked: 15.7   completed: 57.7   to go: 1002.6

    Day 3 takes me from the Severn Bridge to Llandogo, in the heart of the Wye Valley. Whereas the trip from Cardiff to Severn Bridge was dominated by the signs of 19th and 2oth century industry and heritage, moving into the Wye and Offa’s Dyke is more a shift to the mediaeval and older: castle and monastery, hill fort and folktale, wild leaps into the unknown. However, as I walk I found that while this certainly is a place of Norman Castles, Saxon ramparts and Iron Age hill forts … it is also home of First World War ship-buiding and the heart of early copper and tin industry. The day also marks the end of the Wales Coast Path and start of Offa’s Dyke Long Distance Path.

  4. day 4 – Llandogo to Monmouth

    miles walked: 7.3   completed: 65   to go: 995.3

    An easier day; walking with Janet and Lewys, tea & cake at the Kymin, Monmouthopedia and BBQsrc, a missed meeting and a welcoming interstitial community

  5. day 5 – Monmouth to Pandy

    miles walked: 16.2   completed: 81.2   to go: 979.1

    A day with Les, the Lancastrian Welsh speaker; woodstove and subterranian pump, old churches and multicoloured markers

  6. day 6 – Pandy to Hay-on-Wye

    miles walked: 17.8   completed: 99   to go: 961.3

    This day runs almost all along a ridgeway with only the odd walker along the way. So more a day of wide panoramas ( both real and photographic) with little in the way of human settlement, let alone technology.

  7. day 7 – Hay-on-Wye to Kington

    miles walked: 14.5   completed: 113.5   to go: 946.8

    This was a relatively relaxed day’s walking through farmland and low mountain moorland. It started with a discovery and ended with a meeting, with the odd monkey puzzle tree between.

  8. day 8 – travel day from Kington back to Monmouth

    a milestone - the first phase of the walk complete; a vetran walker on the bus, a 90 year old dancer, and the haunted house of Watery Lane

  9. day 9 – leaving Monmouth and flying to Paris

  10. day 11 – in Paris and wishing I were in Wales

  11. day 16 – return to the trail

    No walking this day, just a drive from Manchester Airport back to Kington, where I eventually visit the Tavern and muse on the future for a town in a time warp.

  12. day 17 – Kington to Knighton

    miles walked: 13.5   completed: 127   to go: 933.3

    A day that starts and ends with two cafes and two golf courses, with rolling sheep-filled hillsides between. Flock art, unexplained turkey legs and a monument to a Victorian railway baron.

  13. day 18 – Knighton to Newcastle

    miles walked: 7.2   completed: 134.2   to go: 926.1

    No, not Newcastle upon Tyne (that would be a long day), but Newcastle upon Clun, only a short seven and a half mile walk over low hills and farmland, nearly due north from Knighton, wth Offa’s Dyke clearly running beside the path for nearly all of the day and my first red kite.

  14. day 19 – Newcastle to Forden

    miles walked: 13.2   completed: 147.4   to go: 912.9

    The day from Newcastle to Forden started with a 'switch back' over hills and valleys, which give way to long flat stretches of the Severn Flood plain, with an unexpected meeting on the way, images of imagination and feet that ran across Jura.

  15. day 20 – Fordon to Porth-y-Waen

    miles walked: 20.1   completed: 167.5   to go: 892.8

    A longish, but easy day cutting across the flood plains of the Severn. Passing the birthplace of the now ubiquitous Leylandii, a dry dam and a possible nuclear bunker.

  16. day 21 – Porth-y-Waen to Llangollen

    miles walked: 19.5   completed: 187   to go: 873.3

    A day of three castles, one that was not, one that was missed and one of a king who will come again. A day of lows, but ending on top of the world.

  17. day 22 – travel and talking

    No walking today, just travel day back to Kington to pick up the van and then talk in the evening at Glyndwr University in Wrexham.

  18. day 23 – Llangollen to Ruthin

    miles walked: 15.6   completed: 202.6   to go: 857.7

    A day that starts with a journey to World’s End and finishes at Weatherspoons, taking in an Iron Age fort, Heathcliff moorland, and, guided by a gaping socket led eventually to the future site of a 21st century shepherd’s hut.

  19. day 24 – Ruthin to Prestatyn

    miles walked: 20.7   completed: 223.3   to go: 837

    A long day, over high mist-swathed moorland, through horizontal stinging hail, across rolling farmland, and honey-sweet gorse hills, passing pack-laden school parties and meeting walkers from Colwyn Bay, before eventually skirting the escarpement high above Prestatyn and, with the falling sun, to the sea and the northern tip of Offa’s Dyke path.

  20. day 25 – Chester to Flint

    miles walked: 11   completed: 234.3   to go: 826

    The northern start of the Welsh Coast Path … if you can find it. A day starting with a long walk along the straight canal-like Dee and ending with a castle dwarfed by towers. Power station and Airbus wing, tide-swept flotsam and rain-drenched walking.

  21. day 26 – Flint to Mostyn

    miles walked: 8   completed: 242.3   to go: 818

    Eighteenth century immigration and pollution, gunshots across the marches, and one of the modern wonders of Wales.

  22. day 27 – Mostyn to Abergele

    miles walked: 18   completed: 260.3   to go: 800

    Political images on the Duke of Lancaster, a wind farm farm, a gas terminal and a lighthouse, dunes and promenade, more promenade, and more, slightly dingy, promenade, and a sea of caravans.

  23. day 28 – Abergele to Conwy

    miles walked: 21   completed: 281.3   to go: 779

    Meeting a missionary in a Llanfairfechan cafe and mistaken for a druid on Great Orm, St Trillio’s by the sea and Conwy by night.

  24. day 29 – Conwy to Llanfairfechan

    miles walked: 8   completed: 289.3   to go: 771

    While yesterday was supposed to be a short day and turned out to be a long one, today was intended to be a long one, from Conway to Bangor, but turned out to be shorter. Sand, roads, railways and a message from Buzz.

  25. day 30 – Llanfairfechan to Menai Bridge

    miles walked: 13   completed: 302.3   to go: 758

    Along the coastal nature reserves leading to Bangor, City of Learning and first steps on Anglesey. A labyrinth, an unplanned tour of an industrial estate, and an unplanned sausage and bacon bun.

  26. day 31 – Menai Bridge to Benllech

    miles walked: 21   completed: 323.3   to go: 737

    onto Anglesey, island of druid and prayer; a missing cafe, a priory dovecote, a wave-lashed lighthouse and a blocked path

  27. day 32 – Benllech to Amlwch

    miles walked: 15   completed: 338.3   to go: 722

    the lifeboatman mapmaker, Anglo-French connections, deadman's gold and animal rescue

  28. day 33 – Amlwch to Cemaes

    miles walked: 8   completed: 346.3   to go: 714

    overlooking brickworks and approaching Yr Wylfa; a signal man, a station environment officer, and a youth in black

  29. day 34 – MHA in Rhos-on-Sea and Colwyn Bay

    A tale of two visits, from independence to dependence a path we all take, redefining ageing, and challenging spirituality.

  30. day 35 – Cemaes to Church Bay

    miles walked: 12   completed: 358.3   to go: 702

    This day took me to one third of the way round Wales. Nuclear power and flower power, white ladies and ladies in black, hidden gardens and wild gardens.

  31. day 36 – Writing and WiFi: Beach Hut and MorphPod

    No walking just a day to catch up and seek out new experiences before setting off for wedding in Sheffield. Starting in the Beach Hut Cafe on Llanfairfechan and ending up in The MorphPod at Felindre, near Knighton … back into Offa’s Dyke territory

  32. day 37 – wake in a MorphPod and off to a wedding

    a walker, a community pub, nuclear safety and a cutting-edge technology camping hut

  33. day 38 – Off-Path – Sheffield

    A day far from the Wales coast at a wedding in Sheffield, but hearing tales of inundation and a images of journeying.

  34. day 39 – back to the path

    Back to the trail after the wedding, but pondering the life of the village shop and the glory of the penny post en route.

  35. day 40 – Church Bay to Holyhead

    miles walked: 14   completed: 372.3   to go: 688

    wet and windy, puddles and a new bridge, crabs in the grass and cockle pickers beneath the chimney

  36. day 41 – Holyhead to Rhosneiger

    miles walked: 26   completed: 398.3   to go: 662

    in which the intrepid walker meets other intrepid walkers and cyclists, extends his vocabulary, learns mastery of cattle , and conquers weather and distance

  37. day 42 – Rhosneigr to Malltraeth

    miles walked: 14   completed: 412.3   to go: 648

    a simple coast walk involving bovine encounters, an ancient burial, a church in the sea, and the seat of princes, and, although we miss on the path, picnic dinner with a fellow coast walker

  38. day 43 – Malltraeth to Menai Bridge

    miles walked: 22   completed: 434.3   to go: 626

    missed beach, trackless dunes, stoney ground, chaste cupid, and salacious gossip

  39. day 44 – Menai Bridge to Caernarfon

    miles walked: 9   completed: 443.3   to go: 617

    in which I encounter a scarecrow at the docks and a giant rubics cube, visit a nurturing place for aspiring artists and designers and the home of advanced geo information in Wales

  40. day 45 – a day in Caernarfon

    radical roots in the North West of Wales

  41. day 46 – Caernarfon to Nefyn

    miles walked: 26   completed: 469.3   to go: 591

    starting the Lleyn Peninsular, race for life, a wrong turn on the dyke, the road goes ever on, I need a knife and glimpse a half-understood fragment of local life

  42. day 47 – Nefyn to Tudweilog

    miles walked: 9   completed: 478.3   to go: 582

    a leisurely day, bread pudding and marine biology, seaplanes and wild boar pate

  43. day 48 – Tudweiliog to Aberdaron

    miles walked: 17   completed: 495.3   to go: 565

    round the end of Lleyn: fishing, orchids, ham and eggs and a pilgrimage

  44. day 49 – Aberdaron to Abersoch

    miles walked: 21   completed: 516.3   to go: 544

    a goat, a bull and a dead calf, a subterranean landscape populated by the Cornish, brought to tears twice, and lost four times, and end in the land of private

  45. day 50 – Abersoch to Criccieth

    miles walked: 20   completed: 536.3   to go: 524

    shifting sands and an iron man, coin studded trunks, bright painted huts, and I get to half way,

  46. day 51 – Criccieth to Porthmadog

    miles walked: 11   completed: 547.3   to go: 513

    a short day to start the second half, an ice cream parlour and quay-side bistro, a steam railway and a surreal village

  47. day 54 – Penrhyndeudraeth to Harlech

    miles walked: 16   completed: 563.3   to go: 497

    a day on the coast path with no sea, oak wood and hydroelectric, exhausting, depressing, and encouraging at the end

  48. day 55 – Harlech to Barmouth

    miles walked: 17   completed: 580.3   to go: 480

    reminder of a gypsy holocaust, a church in the sand, adders in the marsh, beach sculptures and pizza tales

  49. day 56 – Barmouth to Fairbourne and Dysynni Valley

    miles walked: 4   completed: 584.3   to go: 476

    a toll bridge with no toll, a Genoan wreck and a textile map, Mary Jones’ Bible and Jane Whittle’s gallery

  50. day 57 – Fairbourne to Aberdyfi

    miles walked: 21   completed: 605.3   to go: 455

    station incognito, I get to Aberdyfi twice and pass through Tywyn four times, rain, getting lost, more rain, getting lost again, a glorious beach and an inglorious diet

  51. day 58 – Aberdyfi to Machynlleth

    miles walked: 12   completed: 617.3   to go: 443

    another coast path day without the sea, a life boat and a crocodile, a Royal church welcoming all faiths, and growing poverty in a grieving town

  52. day 59 – Machynlleth to Aberystwyth

    miles walked: 21   completed: 638.3   to go: 422

    from centre of power to centre of learning, up and down the hills and valleys, far from the sea, Roman Steps and old ways, a wild walk along beach and cliff and, no, don’t break the window

  53. day 60 – Aberystwyth to Aberaeron

    miles walked: 18   completed: 656.3   to go: 404

    memorials to Welsh nationalism and red kites hunting, lost sheep and first poetry

  54. day 61 – writing and WiFi at Aberaeron

    a day writing, admin and checking mail, yuppie-free yachts and Georgian terraces, a market town and £1.20 shop

  55. day 62 – Aberaeron to Aberporth

    miles walked: 19   completed: 675.3   to go: 385

    breakfast on the quay, a precipitous path and new-look Urdd camp, 3G but only in Cardiff, and a warm welcome at The Ship.

  56. day 63 – Off path visit to Lampeter

    lovely people at Lampeter, imagining the future and peeking into the past

  57. day 64 – Aberporth to Cardigan

    miles walked: 13   completed: 688.3   to go: 372

    the oily fingered philosopher and the suspicious photographer of an MOD facility, dolphins and aborigines, a church by a hill and the ministry of hospitality, not to mention Willy Wonka

  58. day 65 – Cardigan to Newport

    miles walked: 18   completed: 706.3   to go: 354

    “It’s hard, very hard”, arduous vertiginous path and rural life for the incomer, not to mention twenty dancing virgins

  59. day 66 – Newport to Goodwich

    miles walked: 13   completed: 719.3   to go: 341

    an easier day, along a coast like a half-eaten sandwich, green and black beetles, the last invasion of Britain, and the final voyage of the Lusitania

  60. day 67 – Fishguard to Strumble Head

    miles walked: 6   completed: 725.3   to go: 335

    an unexpectedly glorious day, Fairyland and choral evensong

  61. day 68 – Strumble Head to Abereidy

    miles walked: 16   completed: 741.3   to go: 319

    local knowledge and stone circles, decayed brickworks and a deep lagoon

  62. day 69 – Abereiddy to Caerfai

    miles walked: 16   completed: 757.3   to go: 303

    sandal walking again, wild ponies and a floating seal, Hebridean havoc and the first feminist, spray drift and the true path

  63. day 70 – Caerfai to Newgale

    miles walked: 8   completed: 765.3   to go: 295

    words and WiFi at the Oriel-y-Parc, horses and lime kilns, surfers and mobility scooters

  64. day 71 – Newgale to St Brides

    miles walked: 13   completed: 778.3   to go: 282

    satsumas and soldiers, a fragmented nation and fracturing cliff edge, and a friend well met

  65. day 72 – St Brides to Dale

    miles walked: 15   completed: 793.3   to go: 267

    candles for peace and fortifications for war, a Twitter contact and a volunteer coastwatcher, a tantalising isthmus and a giant popgun

  66. day 73 – Dale to Neyland

    miles walked: 16   completed: 809.3   to go: 251

    tidal detours and delays, the unforgiving sea, caged paths and a town with good taste

  67. day 74 – Neyland to Pembroke

    miles walked: 6   completed: 815.3   to go: 245

    military heritage and maritime houses; bullocks, bridges, mud and swans; a bad take-away with a glorious view

  68. day 75 – Pembroke to St Govan’s Chapel

    miles walked: 28   completed: 843.3   to go: 217

    the second longest day, oil and power, whisky and waves, ribs in the rock

  69. day 76 – St Govan’s Chapel to Freshwater East

    miles walked: 7   completed: 850.3   to go: 210

    a short damp day starting with a steep hill, walking an embroidered landscape, a change of rock means a change of scene, and hubris: a walled cliff top surrounding a demolished mansion

  70. day 77 – Freshwater East to Saundersfoot

    miles walked: 15   completed: 865.3   to go: 195

    a badgers and a dolmen, being the outsider: HIV and holiday camps, seaside holidays and Famous Five adventures

  71. day 78 – Saundersfoot to Amroth

    miles walked: 3   completed: 868.3   to go: 192

    in which Fiona and I travel through dark tunnels and across wooded cliffs, to get to the end of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path

  72. day 79 – day off – Tenby and Caldey Island

    a lightening visit to the island of the saints, fear of loss and a gift of cake

  73. day 80 – Amroth to Laugharne

    miles walked: 11   completed: 879.3   to go: 181

    I negotiate a beach, sink in a ford, walk where a poet has trod, and meet a philosopher chef

  74. day 81 – Laugharne to Llansteffan

    miles walked: 15   completed: 894.3   to go: 166

    the deserted path of the first Carmarthenshire estuary, a glimpse of Dylan Thomas’ boathouse, no rest at the Pilgrim’s Rest, but water from a mythical queen

  75. day 82 – Llansteffan to Carmarthen

    miles walked: 9   completed: 903.3   to go: 157

    a walk on the sands and a curious community, learning from locals, and the dog who was afraid of hats

  76. day 83 – Carmarthen to Kidwelly

    miles walked: 14   completed: 917.3   to go: 143

    mostly roads, a little beach, a rebel and a local hero

  77. day 84 – Kidwelly to Llanelli

    miles walked: 13   completed: 930.3   to go: 130

    “one aim, one business, one desire”, a repaired exhaust, and cycling for work

  78. day 85 – Llanelli to Llanrhidian

    miles walked: 17   completed: 947.3   to go: 113

    we don’t do Swansea, the jungles of North Gower and a fortuitous meeting

  79. day 86 – Llanrhidian to Hillend

    miles walked: 12   completed: 959.3   to go: 101

    fellow walkers and runners, a community shop and search for childhood cave

  80. day 87 – Hillend to Port Eynon

    miles walked: 9   completed: 968.3   to go: 92

    encounters with a snake and a horsefly, an unexpected fellow traveller, eastern and western meditations, and two acts of kindness

  81. day 88 – off path – a wedding in Nottingham

    a wedding in the east and a plumber who likes a challenge, suits, tents and paper boats

  82. day 89 – Port Eynon to Three Cliffs

    miles walked: 8   completed: 976.3   to go: 84

    starting with an unexpected meeting; journeying past limestone, line-wash and wind-flung sand dunes; stories of trauma: broken toe nails, bites, bruises and brain tumours, and intimations of consciousness; ending with a cornucopia of kindness and a sumptuous feast

  83. day 90 – Three Cliffs to Swansea

    miles walked: 14   completed: 990.3   to go: 70

    meeting a new friend, and eating with old ones, tank tracks and snake tracks, the first female industrialist and the slow emancipation of women

  84. day 91 – filming at Three Cliffs

    slumming it executive-style and an interview in the sun, pilgrimage and walking music

  85. day 92 – day at Three Cliffs

    writing and laundry, foam floods and laundry vans

  86. day 93 – Swansea to Port Talbot

    miles walked: 13   completed: 1003.3   to go: 57

    surprised by nature behind the busy streets and Stallone on the waterside, faint childhood memories and grand hotels

  87. day 94 – Port Talbot to Porthcawl

    miles walked: 10   completed: 1013.3   to go: 47

    a beach under threat and childhood memories

  88. day 95 – Porthcawl to Ogmore

    miles walked: 7   completed: 1020.3   to go: 40

    beaches and BMI, a dolls-house lighthouse and the highest dune, melting gelato and treading on ghosts, fish and chips by the fun fair

  89. day 96 – talk at Swansea

    talking about walking, Welsh cakes and the future of energy

  90. day 97 – interview at Llansteffan

    salubrious places, shifting sands and broken bodies

  91. day 98 – Ogmore to Llantwit Major

    miles walked: 11   completed: 1031.3   to go: 29

    late breakfast, limestone beaches, and an ancient seat of learning

  92. day 99 – Llantwit Major to Barry

    miles walked: 16   completed: 1047.3   to go: 13

    tank traps at the power station, and a fresh view of childhood haunts

  93. day 100 – Barry to Cadoxton and MHA visit at Penarth

    miles walked: 2   completed: 1049.3   to go: 11

    a short walk and meeting nonagenarians

  94. day 101 – Cadoxton to Penarth

    miles walked: 8   completed: 1057.3   to go: 3

    and then we were five

  95. day 102 – Penarth to Cardiff

    miles walked: 3   completed: 1060.3   to go: 0

    homecoming to classic Cardiff weather, the end is a beginning