THE CORNISH PILGRIMAGE 2016
Saturday 20th August
Today marks the journey to Morwenstow to commence my Cornish Pilgrimage Challenge. The day starts in turmoil at Redruth Station where ‘the whole world and its mother’ is trying to board a 5 carriage train bound for the Scottish Highlands. You’d think this time of year a couple more carriages would have been the sensible approach in providing a fair service to the high-paying travelling public. And once the Spanish students board at Plymouth there is no possible movement beyond one’s seat. Fire Risk! You wouldn’t stand a chance here!
Any way beyond Exeter the bus journey to Bude provided some solace in between much-needed catnaps (it was a two plus hour journey) though sadly deposited me at the town centre in pouring rain and gale force wind. When I say wind it wasn’t even possible to wear a bobble hat! Then finally it sinks in that there are no buses running to Morwenstow thus subjecting me to a ten-mile road march to reach the start point of my journey.
It is not unusual for me to have a warmup day before the start of a major challenge – the most I achieved before a walk was 47 miles – bit over-zealous on that occasion!
Passing a campsite, I enquire how much to pitch a tent – £30 plus is the reply – stuff that is my retort; Cornwall doesn’t need to be leisure capital of ‘Rip Off Britain’ – the tents worth less than that. Holidaymakers beware!
Continuing through Stibb and later Coombe Valley I gain some shelter from the on-coming storm. I see a sign for the Bush Inn, Morwenstow which says 2 miles – great I think, but an hour later I see another one saying Bush Inn 1.75 miles and so it goes on.
Two hours and three more sign posts later I finish the final mile to the village and locate the inn; at last I have sanctuary, good ale a hot meal and hopefully tomorrow a chance to start my walk along the famous Cornish Pilgrimage from Hawker’s Church to St Michael’s Mount.
Day 1 The Cornish Pilgrimage 2016 – August 21st – 26 miles
After a windswept night a sustaining breakfast at the Bush Inn sets me back on course for a new day as I head off in search of the official Pilgrimage starting point at Morwenstow Church.
The parish of Morwenstow gains much credence from its long association with Reverend Robert Hawker an eccentric vicar and poet who preached at the church from 1834 until his death in 1875. As a deeply compassionate man he sought to provide Christian burials for the many dead Mariners who had succumbed to the Kingdom’s most brutal coastline and as the Pilgrimage takes shape along the North Coast Footpath I find his little hut built of driftwood. Here he would spend many hours writing poetry and looking out across the Atlantic Anvil for those in peril on the sea.
A few more ascents lead me away from the past as the satellite dishes at Stanbury Point bring Cornwall into the 21st century. Further undulations take in Duckpool where I startle a hawk resting by the cliff edge; it takes off in front of my eye line and drops to a ledge below. On my next climb I speak to a couple of ladies enjoying their mandatory dose of exercise; by now many groups were parading the cliff tops as I encountered Sharpnose Point, Sandy mouth and finally Bude – now under siege of inclement weather.
I ponder long enough for refreshment at the Globe where the majority of holidaymakers appear to be taking shelter from our seasonal weather. Later I grab a pasty from a corner shop and across the road acquire a passport stamp at the Tourist Office. This no country for old folk! As the prevailing wind and rain fails to captivate even the most ardent bad weather enthusiasts and meets only the approval of local water fowl and a handful of seasoned fishermen frequenting the Bude Canal. The canal forms the preliminary stages of my walk to Langdon Cross and is the official start of The Cornish Way National Cycle and Walking Route. Although now benign, the canal once played a significant part in Cornwall’s Industrial Revolution largely transporting sand from the North Coast to inland farms where it could be used as fertiliser.
As the cycle route peels away from the canal it follows a course to Marhamchurch where I pause briefly to take a photograph of the church of St Morwenna. Passing through the village I continue towards Week St Mary, the next 4 miles of which are dominated by farmland. A herd of goats give their opinion of my effort and bewildered cattle stare at me as though I am some sort of anthropological curiosity – ‘Who’s this strange beast pounding through our countryside’. Soon normality is restored and grazing resumes. Thankfully traffic is minimal and with no facilities open at the village of Week St Mary I march on towards Clubworthy. I see a few signs for North Petherwin and during the final blast of the day I come across the billboard for the Otter Sanctuary; this provides me with a moment of solace too as I am nearing completion of today’s journey and at the next junction I cross to shelter at the Countryman Inn where carvery awaits which at least dispels some of the discomfort of yet another ‘Cornish summer day’.
Day 2 Cornish Pilgrimage 2016 -August 22nd – 21 miles
Langdon Cross to Five Lanes
After a laboured effort yesterday along the coast path and Cornish Way I was fortunate enough to be given a room for my toil at the Countryman Inn; a guest had failed to show up and I became the benefactor – ‘Fortune favours the Brave’ on this occasion and I certainly needed a shower and comfort to enjoy a proper nights sleep.
Rising at 7am I enjoy a good breakfast and plan my route for the day. It is something of a mixture starting on the busy country link into Launceston (B3254) where the narrow sections require a cautious approach. Stopping briefly at Yeolmbridge I mark up some sign posts with Pilgrimage stickers and then make steady progress to St Stephens Church. From here the road drops to Launceston Stream Railway; on the descent I pass Newport House where I had stayed on previous travels. The lady retired some years ago yet the place still evokes happy memories and I feel a sense of well-being each time I pass by it; I recall it being pleasantly antiquated and the lady proprietor was a lovely person of old tradition.
On reaching the railway I pause to take photos of the passengers waiting to board the noon train to Newmills Farm. I intend to visit the station in a while but for now I ascend the hill into town passing the old Norman Castle Ruin which remains Launceston’s most ancient landmark. Arriving at the Tourist Office I collect my stamp and the lady enquiries about this year’s pilgrimage and whether I stayed at The countryman the previous evening. I am happy to confirm a pleasurable stay there and after bidding farewell for another year I locate Sarah’s Bakery and stop for a coffee.
After the interval I return to the railway for a bit of old-fashioned nostalgia which makes my time in Launceston all the more satisfying.
After speaking to Nigel Beaumont, the founder of Launceston Railway, I obtain a special stamp from the platform shop. For a moment time stands still as I admire the old worlde advertising boards displaying products fashioned in a pre-decimal era when the waft of coal -fired engines was an every day event. Today the schedule runs on the hour every hour though to my sadness the train is presently en route to the hamlet of Newmills. Tregadillet is a mile uphill from Newmills which I make on foot along the byway formed from the railway bridge beyond the old priory. It is 2.5 miles to Newmills then a further mile to Tregadillet. At the top of the village is the Eliot Arms where a sudden attack of thirst prompts me to step inside. This inn was the starting point of my first big walk in 1992 and remains a popular meeting place. I recall a group called TWATS (Tregadillet walkers and train spotters) who took the train from Launceston to Newmills and then climbed the steep hill to the pub where they enjoyed sandwiches and refreshment. The simple pleasures still remain the most rewarding in life whatever one’s title – God Bless them!
My stay here was appreciated too, for beyond here lies a complex network of roads which I need to follow in order to stay clear of the A30. The first mile follows the old road out of the village where I cross at the roundabout to pick up the byway to Kennards House and the South Petherwin Junction. The diminutive road is less demanding as it veers away from the A30 leaving the din of traffic behind for awhile; it is well marked and ensures I make it to the junction without any bother. Turning right onto the busy B3254 is another matter demanding complete concentration and precise crossings to counter the narrow bends that prevail along this hazardous section. Two miles into the trek I cross a single track bridge, climb a hill which takes in another narrow section and at the top I bear right onto a farm track to Lewannick – phew – what a relief! The farm track proves to be innocuous without even a tractor to disrupt the 2-mile journey to Lewannick. After passing St Martin’s Church I grab a pasty from the Post Office and a pint at the local pub before returning to the task. The main road journey from here to Five Lanes is only 3 miles but the Pilgrimage adds a further 2 along the quieter byways and farm tracks. It traverses Kelly’s House and Plusha; then crossing the Callington/Bodmin Road I locate the farm route which is a mixture of woods, paddocks with a few scattered houses; the last mile follows the course of the A30 as it closes in on Five Lanes where I conclude my journey at the KIng’s
Day 3 The Cornish Pilgrimage 2016 – August 23rd
Five Lanes to St Kew – 21 miles
It was a pleasant evening at The Kings Head in Five Lanes last night and I slept well in the tent despite heavy dew and a ‘slug invasion’ at dawn. Today looks good and I enjoyed a full English Breakfast to get me back on the road with Altarnun just half a mile down the hill.
The gentle descent encompassed by woodlands sets up the day nicely and soon the church of St Nonna comes into view – behold ‘The Cathedral of the Moor’ as it is known locally, and more prestigiously, a title befitting of its grandeur. Altarnun is the archetypal olde worlde village with running stream and green but the church puts it in a world of its own and I enjoyed my tour inside where I met the warden briefly. After a cheerful interaction he signs my passport and I depart via the church footpath which leads to a country byway; from here I pass Nathania’s Pilgrim Hostel and later a little moorland pub called the Rising Sun. Bearing left I follow the road round to the Route 3 junction at Davidstowe Aerodrome. Here the slim trail skirts Crowdy Resevoir on its course to Camelford and along the way I see many cyclists, a few touring motorists and an abundance of sheep which frequent this wild, windswept terrain. I exchange greetings with other athletes enjoying their daily tonic of exercise and by 1pm I am making my descent along Roughter Road to ‘Arthur’s Kingdom’. The bright sunshine makes Camelford all the more welcoming and with time to relax I visit Jo’s pub, The Mason’s Arms and enjoy a peaceful beer in the garden. An hour later I make a further excursion to the Post Office to obtain some funds, then I am on my way again. Leaving Camelford, at the end of the cycle route I cross right to pick up the Trewalder Byway which passes Bowood Hotel and golf course. Beyond here I capture a glimpse of Lanteglos Church and then it’s off along the winding narrow roads associated with this section of the Pilgrimage. Villages are sparse here – more a spread of farm cottages broken by St Teath and Pendoggit – the latter I bypass as I make my descent to St Kew. The antiquity of this little village sizes up well with Altarnun complete with old church and inn of similar age. The masons lived at the site of the inn for ten years whilst building the Church of St James the Great and as ale was an important part of their diet they used the premise to brew their own. It must have ignited a good social forum during that decade because once they had completed their mission the old dwelling was officially licensed as a pub (around 1495) and is still known as St Kew Inn. I found the place delightfully intriguing and felt privileged to be able to camp the night on the pub garden opposite the iconic 15th century church.
Day 4 The Cornish Pilgrimage – August 24th
St Kew to Wadebride – 16 miles
Leaving the St Kew Inn, I take the steep ascent out of the village and then turn left onto the St Minver Road. It is much cooler today and I progress well along the byway ticking off all the appropriate junctions which form the Pilgrim Route. The rustic landscape ensures there is plenty of activity along these narrow lanes where tractors toil to move their harvest and I am quiet shocked to see a bus squeeze past leaving no room for even the slimmest of pedestrians let alone a tank like me! Re-emerging from a nearby gateway, I gather my composure and make light work to Rock where I stop to grab a sandwich. Both my feet are hurting – the left has a series of burst blisters covering most my heel (some of this was caused on last week’s Oundle Pilgrimage in the Nene Valley) and more concerning is a sore Achilles’ tendon. Ignoring the pain I plod on towards the ferry terminal with thoughts of visiting Padstow and its endearing world of Rick Stein.
Any hope of a swift crossing is soon dispelled on arrival at the shore where the whole world and its grandparents where queuing back to the road and half way up the hill. I really can’t see the pleasure in spending money on a holiday such as this which involves constant queuing.
By the time I reach Padstow I had lost the impetus of the day and struggle to make any headway through the crowd. All around people are queuing to spend the coin of fun – shops, cafes – even toilets – it was like watching cattle being herded along the street. I felt a sense of relief reaching the Camel Trail but it was short-lived as I could barely get going amid the throng of tourists who are clearly captivated by the sight of ‘two wheels’. Eventually I steal some grassland beside the trail and continue nipple high in cyclists. They come in their droves – all shapes and sizes – some of the ‘telletubies’ don’t look safe and are clearly traumatised by the experience; and there are adults that can’t even ride a three wheeler! Then of course you get the mandatory pair of ‘tanks’ who come along two abreast (and that was a sight for sore eyes!) bullying all else into submission; though I must concede it prompted a rye smile watching every one scatter into the vegetation! By the time I reach Wadebridge the mayhem of holiday season proves too much and so I decide to call it a day and attend to my feet. I book into the Swan Hotel for the night and on foot inspection find my right shoe is full of blood resultant from a burst blister – can’t believe it is that bad! A good scrub down and a spot of food soon puts pay to the discomfort leaving the rest of my day in front of the TV watching the cricket.
Day 5 The Cornish Pilgrimage Challenge – August 25th 2016
Wadebridge to Pentewan – 27 miles
Leaving Bodmin around 9am provides a good start along a much quieter Camel Trail than yesterday, and I enjoy the early steps stopping for a moment to look at the old train station next to the town’s library. There are definitely no camels present along this track which is largely characterised by its connection with the old days of steam. Before the Beeching axe fell this section formed part of the Great Southern Railway which followed the Camel Estuary to its terminus at Padstow, now the fish processing halls which earn the town a healthy living (any one remember Rick Stein!).
As the journey progresses away from Wadebridge I enjoy glimpses of its former life; well-restored platforms and time tables set partially in wooded escarpment gave it the ‘look of a railway’. At Boscarne Junction I bear right on the pedestrian footpath which forms part of my route via Nanstallon to Lanivet. After crossing a bridge a group of children escort me uphill to the village and ensure I take the correct road. This forms from the left of the Boscarne Sign post and so I follow its course to the Bodmin/Lanivet Road. After a quick blast of traffic I reach the village and immediately call into the chip shop to order some lunch.
Like Camelford chip shop, this plaice is also known as the best chip shop in England! But I have to confess it is very nice. Progressing beyond here along the Saints Way I soon become familiarised with the rural countryside which is presently busy with harvest duties. Some of the roads are a but tight but I am able to use my climbing skills to keep out of trouble; trees and gates are generally ok but I find hedge rows and barbed wire fences a bit of a problem – welcome to modern life on an ancient pilgrim route!
The journey continues inexorably for most of the time interacting with hamlets and farm yards where dogs herald my arrival at each passing place. People also take note of my progress, and at Luxulyan a guy pulls up to say well done; we had met earlier on The Camel Trail when he was doing his morning cycle ride; he went on to say he had cycled to Lourdes in France last year and is keen to do the Camino de Santiago – good on him – what a great challenge for him to do!
Luxulyan Valley provides an inspiring late afternoon session amid wild beauty and refreshing sound of running water’; en route a train thunders across the lofty viaduct and beyond here I walk through the grounds of the Eden Project. The path on the far left continues along Route 3 into St Austell; it is also possible to continue to Charlestown and Porthpean; occasionally I use this route when I need to call in to Mount Edgecombe Hospice. Today I just follow the course into the town centre and later exit along the Pentewan Tramroad. On completion of the cycle route I follow the coast path to the Pentewan Campsite where the receptionist finds me a spot to camp (19.30pm) – and obviously I had a pint after that lot!
Day 6 The Cornish Pilgrimage Challenge – August 26th
Pentewan to St Just-in-Roseland Creek
Setting off along the coast path in brilliant sunshine I enjoy the all round panoramic views across St Austell Bay. It is a strenuous first section as the trail climbs several paddocks on the way to the summit – the cattle need a good head for heights here! Reaching the peak there is a grass park with benches overlooked by a few houses and from here I follow the rows of cottages as they tumble to the harbour. The water scene is a mix of pleasure craft and fishing vessels and all around people are enjoying the holiday atmosphere. Bank Holiday looms and I need to get clear of these vastly popular seaside places. Struggling through the crowds I make my way to Portmellon where the pub ladies replenish my water supply to combat one of the hottest days of the year.
Moving away from the coast I pass all the rural communities along the way stopping briefly at the campsite at Boswinger for more water; later I cross the grounds of Caerhay’s Castle en route to Porthlunny Cove. The place is a hive of beach lovers who gather to enjoy the incoming tide and the tearoom nearby has a queue stretching from the car park; there is money to be made everywhere here today and as I leave more tourists struggle to obtain a space to park. My journey continues uphill via the coast path to Porthalland where I take a dip in the sea to cool down – then a cup of tea to relax. Heading back inland I reach the ‘Round Houses’ of Veryan; unusual buildings but effective in the days when the Devil lurked in every corner of a dwelling. He was not present today and so the challenge continues without disruption. After collecting groceries at the villageI continue to Porthgower for my last glimpse of the sea for awhile and after a quick burst along the St Mawes Road I turn off in the direction of Philleigh.
The road winds itself around the farmland and I cross some of the pastures via a footpath; soon I am approaching the Roseland Inn where I decide to take a break and indulge in some much-needed supper. The evening cools down as I set of for the final session which is a little painful on now blistered feet. I reach the creek before dusk and settle in a field nearby.
Day 7 The Cornish Pilgrimage Challenge – August 27th 2016
St Just-in-Roseland to Carharrack – 14 miles
Waiting by the boatyard whilst enjoying the serenity of the creek, Clive and Craig appear on the waves paddling ‘No Worries’ (name of the canoe) up to the shore. Shortly after mooring the Flushing Gig Rowing Team arrive to ferry across the water to Point. As the day progresses the temperature rises and I feel refreshed and grateful for my privileged passage across the estuary.
Docking briefly at Point I disembark bidding my comrades ‘Bon Voyage’ after three cheers for their beloved companion who died recently at a Cornwall Hospice which looked after him in his final days. I arrange to meet Clice and Craig later at the Coppice Inn, Lanner then set off to Devoran Quay I meet Anne for a snack and beer.
After the break I continue across the Portreath Tramroad towards Bissoe. The sunshine draws people across the Tramroad; dog walkers, cyclists and even joggers who can sustain the heat. I stop again at Bissoe for coffee and cake then press on to Twelveheads where I ascend to the old Redruth & Chacewater Railway which is an appropriate way to finish the day. Carharrack and Lanner here we come; and tomorrow all being well we’ll take a hike along the Gwennap Pilgrimage for the local section of the challenge. Hopefully we can provide some video footage for this leg and on Tuesday the journey continues to St Ives by way of Route 3, The St Michael’s Way and Coast Path.
Days 8/9 The Cornish Pilgrimage Challenge – The Gwennap Section
Having reached home territory I have 2 days to walk our local section known as The Gwennap Pilgrimage due to its association with the village and church near Trevince Woods and Comford, and the amphitheatre – Gwennap Pit where John Wesley preached in the 19th century. Starting at the Coppice Inn the route crosses the old Tresavean Tramway and continues above Lanner Village. The village largely evolved from a farm hamlet as a direct consequence of the mining industry; the Tresavean Mine and Tramway required intense labour which in turn gave rise to the terraces which stand here today. In ancient times Lanner was a staging post in a pilgrimage via St Day to St Michael’s Mount, my destination also by mid-week.
At the end of the Tramway the main Cornish Pilgrimage Spurs off to the left of Tram Cross Lane and heads of to Churchtown and Carn Brea via the Great Flat Lode which will form the first stage of my journey tomorrow. The Gwennap section, however, bears right down the hill and across the Falmouth Road where it meets Carn Marth and follows a course along the mining trail to Pennance Consols Mine. Taking the path on the left it continues past an amphitheatre and lake at the top where it makes a descent towards Gwennap Pit. There’s a left turn by a derelict farm building then a further descent to the road where another left turn leaves a trek of about a quarter of a mile the famous landmark. John Wesley preached at the open air amphitheatre on 18 occasions from 1776 onwards, and services are still held here occasionally. The pit was naturally formed from mining subsidence during a period when the Gwennap Region made up the richest square mile on the planet. John Wesley’s would have shown little interest in such prosperity as his concern was for the ordinary people who toiled in this great period of Cornish History.
From here the trail descends to Vogue Shute and the Star Inn; it continues through St Day by the old church, leaving the village via School Hill where it joins a footpath to Carharrack and St Piran’s Church.
Beyond the church it descends to Sparry Lane following a mining trail into Trevince Woods; the path runs for about a mile to the top of Gwennap and it is possible to observe many species of fauna that reside on the estate.
Leaving the woods along a country road on the right the journey rolls down the hill beside a stream to Gwennap Church. The serene churchyard is a good spot to visit and services are held here each Sunday along with other events/functions.
A few hundred yards from the church locate the byway on the right and ascend through the estate to Comford hill; cross carefully and join the byway to Trevarth which is less than half a mile. Joining the Lanner Road make the final descent to the Coppice to conclude the journey.
Day 10 The Cornish Pilgrimage Challenge – August 30th
Carharrack to St Ives – 26 miles
Having enjoyed my Bank Holiday tour of the Gwennap Region, I head off along Tram Cross Lane to the top of Tresavean Tramway Junction; then after a short walk uphill I bear right and take the byway to Copper Lane. My friend Anne is cycling ahead and we both take footage of the awe-inspiring landscape which affords all round views from the North Coast to Carn Brea Castle and back towards Redruth and Carn Marth.
Descending to Churchtown we pass St Euny Church and follow Route3 to the Carne; briefly it adopts The Great Flat Lode over the top as far as the Mineral Centre at Pool. Having reached this landmark Anne begins her return journey to Lanner while I continue on Route 3 to Camborne enjoying highlights of Heartlands, the new centre at Pool funded by the Lottery, and the many derelict engine houses that continue to haunt the landscape. The gaunt relics still emanate a voice from the past reminding us that they helped to make this region the richest square few miles in the world during the peak of Cornwall’s the Industrial Revolution.
After crossing the railway track to reach Camborne I stop for a break at Wetherspoons; then continue along The Cornish Way to Penponds. A diminutive trail leads me past a park and joins a narrow lane on its course through these rural outposts of the journey to Hayle. Passing through Penponds a train roars past above momentarily disturbing the solitude of village life. Joining a slim trail on the right below the railway tunnel I march on to Carnell Green; here the road widens and there are crop fields on both sides as I make my way to Gwineer. There is a greater flow of traffic here and amazingly a few walkers too! Cyclists use the road because it forms part of Route 3 which we adopt as passage for our Pilgrimage to Hayle.
Reaching Hayle I am pleased to see it is only 2pm and a brisk march across the estuary enables me to escape the busy streets reaching Lelant 20 minutes later. There is no respite here as the surge of holidaymakers proves unrelenting, yet by chance I catch sight of a fascinating pub called The Water Mill and decide it is time to take refuge and quench thirst before heading off on the St Michael’s Way which starts at St Uny Church.
This interesting old world pub has quant interior with Victorian working machinery and a large functioning water wheel outside too. After a refreshing interval I leave the commotion of tourism behind – once I manage to cross the bloody road that is! But from then on I indulge myself with the quieter coast lanes of Lelant.
Joining the St Michael’s Way at St Uny Church heralds the beginning of the last and most ancient section of the Pilgrimage to St Michael’s Mount; though there are still some miles to be trodden tomorrow along an arduous course across the wide open spaces of Lelant Downs and Trencrom.
The path is gently undulating with golf course to the right and the beautiful Porth Kidney Sands below with seaward views as far as Godrevy Point. A train chugs past on its way to Carbis Bay and soon a great sea of tourists engulf the beach ahead as I make my ascent towards the holiday centre. I follow the path through the grounds of the Carbis bay Hotel and over a couple of bridges; soon I pass the St Michael’s Way Junction and from here the remainder of today’s journey is completed along the coast path. On arrival in St Ives I head for Ayr Holiday Camp Site and book in for the remainder of the walk. Then it’s sauna, swim and a beer to complete today’s effort. Cheers everyone!
Day 11 – The Cornish Pilgrimage Challenge – August 31st
St Ives to St Michael’s Mount
After a press meeting with Toby from the St Ives ‘Times and Echo newspaper’, I start the day with a steep hike to The Cornish Arms at Carbis Bay where I join Steeple Lane and make further ascent to Knill’s Monument.
There is a bit of drizzle about as I make my way through the bracken to Laity Lane. Turning left I continue by road and pause to speak to a lady walking her dogs; she uses the St Michael’s Way regularly but admits it is one of the more difficult sections of the Cornish Pilgrimage Route to follow.
I find the next sign post by a few scattered houses which leads me through an escarpment; then I cross a paddock and enter farmland which makes up the next mile to a small hamlet near Bowl Rock Chapel. Crossing the road I pass by the chapel and ascend through the cattle field beyond as far as Tremcrom Hill. Here I join a nature park and enjoy a trek as far as the car park where I rejoin the road and then a byway which falls to a solitary Victorian Chapel. The building is now a residential property and soon I am traversing the back garden – colourful it is too I may add! Then another stile; a few more cattle fields and a farm and I find myself descending through another escarpment. Before the trail dips to its lowest point I catch sight of St Michael’s Mount and a little further downhill are a group of pilgrims. I catch them up and discover they hail from Germany and all look to be keen walkers dressed for the occasion. By now wet weather had transformed into another hot summer’s day and the Pilgrimage an ambience of hedge rows, time old features including a ford which can be crossed by a foot bridge and after an ascent by road Panoramic views of Mounts Bay and the idyllic Ludgvan Church. The downhill journey across the paddocks lead to some lovely wooded sections accompanied by the sound of running water. All is quiet at Ludgvan and it is too early for the pub so I continue across the flat farmland to the next road junction. Traffic is full on as one can expect in peak season, but I cross easily, take on the next section which also crosses the A30 and later the main line railway from Penzance.
The rest is a gentle stroll through the marshes to Marazion where the tide is out and I cross easily to the Mount.
The Island is full of Tourists and I fear having a panic attack after an intense walk and dehydration. The Harbour Master sees I am distressed and offers to sign my passport so I can escape the crowds; also I have a press release to secure for this week’s publication and promotion of our support for Cornwall Hospice Care. I now feel I should consider a final leg to Lands End tomorrow as a full end to end journey of Cornwall; it will bring more publicity and reopen old chapters of my old walking history with new meaning to my Pilgrimage. All will be revealed tomorrow!
As Pilgrimage Season approaches let’s look back in time and take a glim9pse of what has been achieved and the difference that can be made in the name of charity with a bit of community forum. There are two Pilgrimages held in August; one in the Nene Valley and the other in Cornwall to be published next week on this page- this has a new and exciting twist! Both will host fun days on the Saturdays in Question.
The first Pilgrimage takes place between Oundle and Islip from 13th August.
WALKING THE OUNDLE PILGRIMAGE FOR SUE RYDER THORPE HALL
Founded in 2010 it has become an annual ritual to trek around a 46-mile course along the Nene Valley in support of local hospice Thorpe Hall and to show gratitude to the invaluable work they do giving palliative care to terminally ill patients.
During that time I have written 4 guides to encourage other participants to walk/cycle the routes on offer: there are two 6-mile family routes; a 40-mile cycle route; a six mile village pub route and the main guide with at least 4 different phases.
Having put Sue Ryder on the Oundle map with the Pilgrimage (with a couple of spin off events also) we have raised over £20,000 since its origination.
Several local athletes who have walked with me on previous expeditions around the British Isles have become regular participants though we feel the public should be the greater part of this event; after all it is about giving something back to humanity and generally creating solidarity within the local community. With this borne in mind we are endeavoring to host a fundraising weekend at the outer reaches of our Pilgrimage at Islip (this section was extended along the Nene Way from Titchmarsh Nature Reserve and rejoins the main route along a track to Aldwinkle).
The Fun Day will be held at The Rose & Crown, Islip, Nr Thrapston.
A few of us will be camping there on the Friday Night having walked the Southwick /Wadenhoe section; we will then walk the Barnwell/Polebrook section from Oundle on the Saturday.
Sadly our main centre at Trek-Kits has now closed but it will be possible to obtain passports on the day of the walk for £5 at Islip. There are guides available at Coleman’s and Oundle Bookshop and I will endeavor to set up a new Charity HQ in Oundle soon. We will also be publishing from our EBOOKS section at:
For more information about The Oundle Pilgrimage Visit:
FUNDRAISING FOR CORNWALL HOSPICE CARE
Circumnavigating the Maritime Section of The Cornish Pilgrimage for Cornish Charities.
Day 1 Launceston
Day 2 Altarnun
Day 3 Camelford
Day 4 Padstow
Day 5 Pentewan
Day 6 St Just-in-Roseland
Day 7 Lanner
Day 8 Gwennap Pilgrimage and Evening Fundraising Quiz
Day 9 St Ives
Day 10 St Michael’s Mount
I intend to walk the entire Cornish Pilgrimage from Morwenstow to St Michael’s Mount which will take in a section between the two hospices of Cornwall Hospice Care; from Mount Edgecumbe I will walk to St Just-in-Roseland and camp; meet the Gig Rowers Club from Flushing at appropriate tide time to continue across the River Fal to Devoran; from the quay a group of walkers (and cyclists/equestrians) will aim to complete this section of the Pilgrimage at The Coppice Inn Lanner which will provide post walk entertainment/raffle draw.
1) Walkers; Gig rowing club: Contact Dave Matthews: firstname.lastname@example.org or 07932161677.
2)Walkers from Devoran to Lanner
3)cyclists; equestrians from Devoran to Gwennap Region; it would be nice to involve a local equestrian group to participate from Devoran to the Gwennap Region; they can saddle up at the Coppice or complete their journey at a chosen location in Poldice Valley if preferred.
To optimise the potential of this event we will need to do the following:
1. Obtain Sponsor Forms from co-ordinator Sarah Newton (Cornwall Hospice Care);
Tel: 01726 66869.
2). All participants are required to pay an Entrance Fee – £5 (Paid on the day to organisers). Also we are completing the Gwennap Section with a circular walk from the Coppice on Sunday for any one who may be interested – start 10.30am; entrance fees applicable.
3) At the Coppice Inn, Lanner we already have a fundraising quiz month throughout August each Wednesday night; this will reach a grand final on the eve of Sunday 28th and we hope to provide some light entertainment on completion of the main walk at Coppice Inn Saturday night; it would be a nice gesture if the public could see fit to pay £1 towards the cause; Also there will be a raffle draw at the pub – probably on the Sunday.
4) Online justgiving page to be posted on websites and Face Book pages.
5). Input from local companies who will subsequently get a mention in the publication/media. We will need Hospice Jars at all locations Relating to both the Pilgrimage and this individual event! Locally this is already in place.
We should look at obtaining a sponsor for Cornish Pilgrimage Shirts ‘Supporting local charities’ so we can properly represent the Hospices; local papers; networking sites; Cornish Magazines; Radio Cornwall; I’ll deliver leaflets for the whole Pilgrimage walk over the course of the Summer. We will finish with a Fun Day at The Coppice Inn (Incl Band, Raffle Draw, Book-signing and it may be possible to provide a BBQ or Pilgrim’s Supper).
1). Will set the Pilgrimage in the calendar as an annual charity event whereby we may do a different section of it or simply allocate the Maritime Leg as an August Venue. The route can be used by equestrians, cyclists and walkers/athletes; hopefully our enthusiasm and effort will pave the way clear for new participants to join us in future events such as our local Bank Holiday Walks.
2). There is a Pilgrimage Website with GPS maps for all nine sections.
3) Guides and passports to participate all available; posters and guides can be purchased at Gwennap Pit, St Day PO, Coppice Inn and in some libraries and Tourist Offices.
1). Encouraging the public to participate is hard when promoting endurance events – will need to spend more marketing on ‘ A Fun Day out’ with entertainment to follow. As athletes we have a duty to lead the way and donate our time through our hobbies to celebrate helping a worthy cause.
2). Events are largely funded through book sales but recently most of this has been donated to charity organisations. It would therefore be necessary for a business to step forward and finance printing costs and other admin. Keltek has looked after some of these requirements and I have funded the remainder (I only have a carers allowance to live on!)
1) Boxes and sponsor forms at the appropriate locations
2) Fundraising Quiz at the Coppice each Wednesday for Cornwall Hospice Care Pilgrimage Event throughout August Culminating with a Final on the Bank Holiday Sunday; the quiz team will continue to support the final leg of my journey to St Michael’s Mount scheduled to finish on Wednesday 31st August.
3) Live entertainment and raffle over the Bank Holiday Period.
4). The full pilgrimage journey will enable me to hand out flyers (printed by Keltek Brewery) with all info regarding fundraising events and opportunities to sponsor the charity. I will leave collection jars at my stopovers; also I can ensure the route is well-maintained and way marked throughout its entirety. I will try to win co-operation from the remaining tourist offices and libraries who have not yet supported the Pilgrimage and generally try to create more awareness/ exposure. Regions covered so far include: St. Ives; Redruth; Gwennap Pit; Falmouth; Truro; Parts of St Austell Bay; Padstow and North Cornwall. I guess efforts should be made to promote in Penzance and St Mawes. and Bissoe Cycle Hire.
5). It is essential we work with as many local companies/organisations as possible to receive good support for our efforts and to significantly raise the profile of Cornwall Hospice Care.
1). The tide will be a major obstacle when negotiating the creek at Devoran – so our co-ordination will be paramount!
2). Cyclists and equestrians should leave before the walkers to ensure a safer passage.
Please visit the following sites to obtain a greater insight into The Cornish Pilgrimage Route and ideology:
Follow Robin Moore on YouTube or visit ‘Robin Moore’s Walking For Charity on FaceBook’.
Starting at the Coppice we will walk a number of circular routes between 3-5 miles. Literature, books and guides relevant to the region, plus a few titles covering my overseas challenge walks will be on sale at the inn. Lunch menu is available throughout the week with carvery served until 3pm on Sunday.
The Coppice Inn at Lanner is proving to be a popular meeting place for walkers wishing to follow the old tramways/mineral trails and the Cornwall Pilgrimage Route along the Gwennap Region which is as rich in ancient history as it is in mining traditions.
Working with Lanner Council and the Coppice I hope to achieve a greater interest in local walks; it is a project which will also help build a good social forum within the community as well as a healthier lifestyle.
In addition to the Lanner walks will be hosting theme walks for each Bank Holiday Sunday in aid of Cornwall Hospice Care; these will involve walking the Gwennap Section of The Cornish Pilgrimage (10 miles) finishing with entertainment/live music and raffle draw at the Coppice afterwards. Also, I will be walking the complete Cornish Pilgrimage from Morwenstow to St Michael’s Mount during Spring and Summer months stopping at regional checkpoints each day; those who wish to indulge in a day plus of endurance walking can join me at any stage of the walk when we will also be promoting the Pilgrimage and CHC. During the course of the year we hope to hold cheque presentations to the charity with funds raised from our walks. These are usually four-figure sums; so far this year the Cornish Pilgrimage has raised around £500; all being well the next presentation could be after the Easter Gwennap Walk.
Visit ‘Robin Moore’s Walking For Charity On Facebook’ for fundraising events.
NEW BOOK TITLES
Robin Moore’s West Coast Walk of New Zealand
Lanner Walks (volumes 1 to 6)
Hopefully the New Year will start positively with a few local booklets/guides followed by an account of my 2013 expedition on the South Island of New Zealand.
For further information and videos/books about walking please visit:
Also check out the new Lanner Website available in the New Year and the Coppice Inn Facebook page.
Robin Moore’s Walking For Charity On Face Book’ and also YouTube for video footage.
For more about Robin Moore, Iconic Journeys (30,000 miles of expeditions), adventure walking books and travel guides visit: