Scotland’s Isle of Skye is a place steeped in myth, legend and natural beauty. Tales of giants and shape-shifting water horses are woven together with stories of dramatic mountain ranges and coastlines. It is an island that engages and inspires all that visit, and for those possessed of a wayfaring disposition, there is a 128 km (80 mi) trail which spans its length that encapsulates all of the diverse wonders for which it is renowned.
I hiked the Skye Trail in the summer of 2018. The post below includes impressions from the trip, logistical and background information, route recommendations, and a gear list. …
Click over to The Hiking Life to read the rest.
Most everyone who visits Pacific Rim National Park on Vancouver Island walks Long Beach.
It’s a classic.
MB Guiding posted a way to turn it into a 2 day hike.
We planned our hikes to coincide with very low morning tides. Thousands of anemones and hundreds of starfish in remote tide pools and hidden sea caves! A highlight was stopping for a break at South Beach and having two whales join us within 100 m of the coastline. The Pacific Rim Traverse is a great introduction to coastal hiking and camping. Prepare for a bigger adventure like the West Coast Trail …
I’ve done most of that myself day hiking. Tenting at Green Point Campground.
Consider going during the winter. It might be cool and stormy, but you’ll have the beach mostly to yourself.
The whole path is accessible to walkers and, where practical, some sections are suitable for cyclists, families with pushchairs, people with restricted mobility, and horse riders. …
The Wales Coast Path is not a National Trail …
Read his 2015 article on the experience.
Trip Report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles
I made coffee in the vestibule of my tent in the dark. Packed up and was on my feet by 8am. BIG day ahead. The toughest and most physically demanding of any on the Coast Path.
It was about 2 miles to town. Another 14 miles more (at least) to finish.
I finally saw rabbits on one farm. (SLUGS are much more plentiful.)
I detoured to Newport town to pick up provisions. There was some chance I’d need to wild camp again. I had no reservation for the hostel. And it was Saturday.
Scones and fruit cake are high calorie. Easy to eat.
For the first time in my hiking career an official trail crossed a golf course. That’s cool.
In the parking lot Duke of Edinburgh hikers were unloading. These are students who had to plan and execute an expedition of at least 2 days and 1 night. They looked woefully unprepared to me.
The steep, sheer, non-stop cliffs begin. The highest 575ft (175m). There’s only one emergency exit all day.
Narrow trails. Far less used than those in the south.
Most of the coves are inaccessible except from sea.
Stunning scenery. The weather improved over the day.
October in Pembrokeshire. You know what that means? 🙂 It’s Atlantic grey seal breeding time!
I did see dozens of seals. (And 5 distant dolphins.)
But I saw only one pup. The baby (white) looked nearly as big as Mom.
Pups can’t swim yet. And they are very uncoordinated on land. Helpless as a human baby.
Click PLAY or watch a similar baby on YouTube.
Mom was in the perfect protected spot, however. A collapsed sea cave called Witch’s Calderon.
Weather was great. Aside from the wind.
Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.
I was quite happy to round the corner and see that cliffs had ended. I’d been walking for nearly 8 hours.
On a weekend, I feared Poppit Sands hostel would be full. I’d need to wild camp again.
Happily there was space at the inn. I spent about 25 minutes in the hot shower! Welsh hostels are excellent.
It was a fun night chatting with an entertaining, informative Irishman. (Are there any other kind?) He was just finishing up a 3 month cycling holiday.
Before dinner I walked Poppit beach. My Coast Path would be ending first thing in the morning.
After coffee in the morning I had 2 miles left to trail end in St Dogmaels.
I visited the ancient Abby. And church built 1847 from Abby stones.
Here’s the finish.
Over 4 days I’d walked the first 20 miles. And the last 25 miles. About a quarter of the Coast Path. It was enough.
Then I walked another 2 miles along the Wales Coast Path, an 870-mile (1,400 km) route around the whole coast of Wales, to the bus stop at Cardigan. From there I planned to catch a bus to the train station.
In October there are no longer ANY buses to anywhere on a Sunday. Bus service has been shrinking for years for rural towns in Wales. ☹️
The closest train station was 50£ by cab. I hate taxis. So checked into a lovely hotel instead for 45£. A holiday from my hiking vacation.
Cicerone publishes an excellent guidebook with detailed map.
Trip Report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles
I had a plan. And plenty of doubts whether or not I’d make all the connections.
8am breakfast at the Manorbier Youth Hostel
8:33am bus to Tenby
9:37am train to Fishguard
That all worked! I was pleased.
I wanted to continue my hiking on the spectacular northern end of the Coast Path.
I studied the litter by the train tracks. Mostly drink containers. Some fast food wrap. Cigarette packages.
There was no trash can available on this platform. No wonder, Wales.☹️
I headed for Fishguard because it had a train station. From there I hoped to catch one of the much promoted coastal bus lines.
Wanting to head in the direction of St. Davids, locals sent me to catch the Strumble Shuttle. Starting Oct 4th it went on winter hours. Only two days a week: Thursday and Saturday.
I checked my watch. I’d arrived Friday, Oct 5th. ☹️
… Oh well. I started walking instead in the other direction. Towards the north end of the Coast Path. The best and most difficult section.
I picked up some provisions (including 2 litres of water) in town before climbing up and away towards headlands.
It was 1pm. I had about 6 hours of daylight to get as far as I could … wanting to shorten tomorrow’s final, most difficult day. I left Fishguard as quickly as possible.
There’s the ferry to Ireland.
It was misty, almost drizzling, all day. Many of my panorama photos looked a little grey.
Still, every hiker I spoke with felt it was great weather for walking. I heard it had been too hot in this section during summer 2018.
The cliffs grew increasingly rugged. Increasingly challenging. The highpoint of the day is 465ft (142m).
There are more cows than sheep.
Vegetation is dense. Plenty of thorny berry bushes.
I considered tenting in this bay, but it was still too early in the day.
Certainly I enjoyed the walking. There’s much to distract from the exertions of climbing up and down cliffs with full pack.
About 6pm I started looking for a discrete place to wild camp. Slim pickings. The Welsh have had hundreds of years to lock up their private property. There’s no “right to roam” in Wales.
The public space was a narrow path, dense shrub and then a deadly fall to the sea.
I lucked out reaching a now closed nature reserve. Climbed the fence. Found a secluded spot. And set up the Hubba.
It still had not rained. … Not until the middle of the night when I had to scramble and put on the fly.