I’m packed, ready for tomorrow. Time for an early night. I’m hoping to be starting at 7:15 tomorrow. The weather forecast has improved slightly. With luck, I won’t get soaked to the core in the first hour.
From Thursday 26th to (hopefully) Sunday 29th September I will be attempting to walk The Two Saints Way, a 93 mile, revived-pilgrimage from Lichfield to Chester.
Day 1 is a 20 mile walk from Lichfield to Stafford. The first 10 miles are mostly up-hill to Gentleshaw Common and Castle Ring then across the chase. With the last few miles following the River Sow (when I scoped this out it had burst it’s banks and was ankle deep in water).
Day 2 is the hardest day. 23 miles from Stafford to Stoke-on-Trent. There are some very tough parts to this, particularly past the Duke of Sutherland’s Monument and “The King’s Walk” in to Trentham.
Day 3 is the longest walk; 25 miles from Stoke-on-Trent to Nantwich. Day 4 is 24 miles from Nantwich to Chester. I’ve not scoped these sections out so they’ll be new to me. They are, I’m relieved to see, described as the easier sections of the walk in the guide that you can buy from http://www.twosaintsway.co.uk.
See a detailed copy of the route of Google Maps at https://drive.google.com/open?id=1hJQwRSMr0iUuW70aowhtYJIf24xjXWEY
I’m doing most of this on my own, so I will welcome contact from everyone. Messages of support, advice on how to deal with blisters, translations of common Stokey-isms…..
I’m not doing this walk for charity. I’m not going to ask you to sponsor me. But I am going to use it to promote a climate change mitigation and biodiversity project run by some very good friends of mine. And it needs your help.
When I’m flagging on days 3 and 4 (or 30 minutes into day 1) this is what’s going to keep me going. The thought that it might encourage you to help fund this cause. For £20 you can have some trees planted, or fund the planting of hedges or be habitats in Great Bernera on the Isle of Lewis.
Please take a look at https://bit.ly/carbonguilt
Saturday 22nd September 2018. A planned walk starting on an as-yet un-walked part of The Beacon Way.
Our original plan had been to catch the bus to St. Micheal’s Church in Rushall, however as we were running a little late due to a surprise hairdresser appointment, we hopped off early at the Labour Club and picked up The Beacon Way on Harden Road, where it crosses the disused South Staffordshire Line. https://goo.gl/maps/rVHbPSBHs662 We were then walking home, travelling The Beacon Way in reverse to our travels to date, up to The Finger Post and then along the path we had walked out and back last weekend.
The second surprise of the day was the free-roaming horses on this bit of land just off Harden Road. A few of them were tied but 5 or 6 were just wandering free, in an urban “park” (for want of a better word).
The BW travels longs the Western edge of this parkland up to the Goscote Sewer works, where it turns left and heads up the to the Wyrley and Essington Canal. Navigation for the 7km is easy, The BW just follows the canal until The Coppice Industrial Estate by Clayhanger.
The day was miserable and it drizzled the whole afternoon/evening. Just enough to keep us slightly damp and glad of our hat/hood but not enough to get us soaked.
When we got to Pelsall North Common, though, we had a change of mind. After a quick cider at The Fingerpost pub, we decided we’d take a different route home. We’d already walked the rest of The BW that would take us home. So we went a couple of hundred yards back up the canal to the start of “The Cannock Branch” https://goo.gl/maps/gHMMmywPhm22 and walked up that branch toward Norton Canes.
Unfortunately, this was when Sharon’s Fibro kicked in and she was in pain for the rest of the walk. We stopped at The Toby Carvery at the Turf island and tried to order her a taxi with no success, so we took the most direct route home through Little Norton, up to Chasewater and across Norton Bog.
Including stops, the walk took us about 4.5 hours. We walked about 15km / 9 mile.
I’m recording the route (currently unfinished) for The Beacon Way, as it exists when we walk it, on a Google Map here… https://drive.google.com/open?id=1FnkuMuYweUJEQTfQQxBWvdWpnujFPFaJ&usp=sharing