Charlestown to Fowey

Stage 47             OS Map of Stage 48                 Stage 49

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CHARLESTOWN TO FOWEY Stage 48 (12th May 2010)

We left the hotel at 9.05, an early sunny start as rain was promised for later. The path climbs easily away from the harbour past large houses and hotels, a golf course and a huge derelict site on the beach. The vast china clay works intrudes on the view as we approached . There was a missing sign at to tell us to turn inland to go behind the works. Much of this site is currently derelict but there are plans to establish an Eco Town here. Par itself has little to offer apart from a scrubby beach and more inadequate signing. This is in striking contrast with a fishing village in the next cove which has a pub, two cafes and a shop. We stopped there for lunch. The path then zig-zags up through a wood carpetted with wild garlic, then out into the open for a fairly easy walk as far as . On this section we saw a mass of orchids and found ourselves level with a hovering kestrel. is visible beyond the red and white daymark, long before becomes visible. Spits and spots of rain began as we left the daymark but by the time we reached the deserted (apart from oystercatchers) beach at steady rain had set in. We thought we would be arriving soaked at a hotel for the second day running but by 14.45 the rain stopped and we managed to dry out a bit before arriving dryish (though muddy) at the Fowey Hotel at 15.30

Total walking time 5h 20m, distance 19.1km, ascent 608m

The South West Coast Path is the longest of the official UK National Trails, running from Minehead in Somerset round the English south west peninsula coast to Poole in Dorset. The total length is just over 1000 kilometres or, more precisely, 630 miles. Only very dedicated walkers could contemplate completing the whole walk in one go, although plenty of people have done just this. Received opinion is that it would take around 6 weeks, even for the most dedicated.

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Bluebells and wild garlic

Polruan from Fowey