I was asked multiple times as I walked on England’s longest National Trail, “What has been your favorite part?” It was easy to answer. “Every part, because the scenery changes with every mile, and each mile has something unique to offer.” At 630 miles long, with an equivalent elevation gain and loss of climbing Mount Everest four times, with most of it running through National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the South West Coast Path traverses the most amazing and brilliant landscape I have ever seen. Walk along with me on my day-by-day, mostly solo, adventure as I discover what’s over the next hillside, and what’s around the next headland, on a path that continuously hugs an ever-changing, picturesque coastline.
Travel with me as we visit timeless historical fishing villages, harbours, and churches. Meet great people, from authors, artists, poets, and actors, to fishermen and geologists, to all the many kind and helpful people I encountered along the way, to the new and great friends I made. Hike with me on the ups and downs of walking, literally of the ascents and descents of the many hills, and figuratively of the thoughts and emotions that I experienced. Learn some history of smuggling, the coastguard, lighthouses, and the South West Coast Path itself, and about the important industries of fishing, farming, and mining that I grew to appreciate. I introduce you to the varying coastal weather, from some of the hottest days in years, to gale force winds and downpours, and from days with light rain or gentle breezes, to the lovely, warm, sunny, perfect days that I just did not want to end. We sit and relax on beaches, and walk the hilltops where we observe the miles and miles of views behind and ahead – of where I had walked from, and where I was walking to.
I share a few of my “record-breaking” occurrences, and my encounters with herds of cows, mountain goats, horses and sheep, and golf courses. I search for my ultimate location for a beach hut, and indulge in a few cream teas, other desserts and English food. I talk about influential books, important organizations, music, paintings, and connections with the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage walk I did in Spain. We walk along a coastline where the blues of the waters outline the browns, reds, and whites of the cliffs, and where sandy and rocky beaches outline the greens of the hillsides, headlands, and farmland. We hear crashing ocean waves, chirping birds, and complete silence. I describe the times I participated in local life with local people. I reveal some words of wisdom I obtained from others, and some I thought of myself.
Each day/chapter of this book begins with a relevant quote, and ends with daily statistics, including mileage, hours, and the names of local pubs. I explain my trip planning, some logistical and essential information, and over 180 black and white photos accompany my stories. Find out the significance of my title, “The Arrow Closest To The Acorn,” read about the life lessons I learned, and discover how I fell in love with each and every one of the 630 miles. Please join me (and my “purple shoes”) as we celebrate my 50th birthday on an American woman’s walking adventure on England’s 630-mile South West Coast Path.
The book is available in both paperback and eBook formats on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, and other Amazon channels. Thank you!