My suitcase is waiting, ready for me to pack, as I prepare for my trip to England. On Saturday I'm heading over to the U.K. and on Tuesday, March 4 I start my attempt to run 1014 kms around the South West Coast Path. Trying to decide what to take has been difficult. Over the last three months England's been battered by pounding storms and gale force winds. Most of my running gear is for -25C conditions and I don't think wellies, a rain coat and a brolly will be appropriate for running.
I checked out the long-range forecast for the area from March 4 to 18: Current indications point towards unsettled conditions persisting for much of this period but not to the same severity as we have seen recently. Southern and eastern regions should tend to see longer spells of drier and brighter weather than previous weeks, although still with some periods of rain. Not much help.
The South West Coast Path passes through five areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, seventeen Heritage Coasts, a National Park, two World Heritage Sites, a UNESCO Geopark and Britain's first UNESCO Biosphere reserve.
There is some fascinating history along the route, both ancient and modern. Here are some of the highlights. The path starts in Minehead, Somerset at the mouth of the English Channel. At the 145 mile mark is Tintagel, Cornwall, the home of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. At the 154 mile mark is Port Issac. This is the setting for the TV show Doc Martin. The series is set in the fictional seaside village of Portwenn and stars Martin Clunes as the brilliant surgeon Dr. Martin Ellingham.
At the 291 mile mark is Poldhu, Cornwall the location of the famous Poldhu Wireless Station. It was Guglielmo Marconi's transmitter for the first transatlantic radio message sent on December 12, 1901 to Marconi's temporary receiving station on Signal Hill, St.John's, Newfoundland. At the 553 mile mark is West Bay, Dorset. This is the location for the TV series Broadchurch starring David Tennant. One of the highlights of the show is the cliff footage. The path finishes after 630 miles at South Haven Point on the shores of Poole Harbour, Dorset.
This is the ninth Quest in my "Quests for Kids" initiative and it's the one I'm most looking forward to. I was born in Buckfastleigh, Devon and spent many a Sunday afternoon with my mum, dad and my brothers and sisters building sand castles at our favorite beach, Bigbury-on-Sea, Devon. I'll be revisiting this beach during Rotary Coastal Quest 630 and maybe I'll build a sand castle or two for old time's sake.
If you want to support this Quest and follow my every step then visit this website.