Pete Hawthorn

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My Inspiration

Progression from Hadrian’s Wall Path, Wainwright Coast to Coast, and Pennine Way 

Start date:  7th April 2018  

Finish date: 11 July 2019 -  done in 10 stages averaging 4 days each (2 million steps  -  123,250 feet of climb  -  300 hours of walking)

High Point

When my daughters accompanied me for part of a day.

Low point

Getting to a cafe at the end of a hot day as they were closing, and knowing I had only a couple of snack bars and water to last me till the next day.  

My lightbulb moment

Ummm….Getting up in the dark in a yurt and being blinded by a motion sensor light when I opened the door to go across to the toilet building. 

Looking back 

I wanted to do the Wales Coast Path for charity, but wasn’t sure I would be able to finish it. I feel a bit bad about this now I’ve completed the walk.  I started in Chepstow as it felt right to be heading towards home - in the northeast.  

I was surprised by the low key start/finish points, and also how few walkers I met who were doing the whole path. There are the obvious best bits like Gower, Pembroke, Lleyn and Anglesey, but I enjoyed most of the various sections and different terrain - even the industrial bits. I wasn’t so keen on the inland diversions to get round estuaries - and mostly they were hilly - and also some long stretches on roads.  

Looking forward 

For me it’s the UK’s best LDP with varied scenery and really good way marking. (Coastal paths have more public toilets too). Next, it will have to be the Offa’s dyke trail, to complete the round

Special mentions

The strimmer teams (strimming vegetation away)  and whoever looks after the loos at Hazel beach, and most of the B and B owners - who went out of their way with food and lifts back to the path, and my sister who met me on several occasions, put me up and ferried me to start & finish points. 

I’m retired and active and need to have an aim for each summertime. Part of the interest in long distance walks is the logistics of travelling to various places and organising the accommodation and trying to hit favourable weather - which means short notice booking.  

I tried to do intensive four-day stages with a month or so in between. Each year I started in spring and packed in in August. I had to use B & B’s etc as I couldn’t carry the weight of camping equipment over long distances.