newquay to perranporth

south west coast path

monday, 3rd september 2018

The weather forecast doesn't look very good for today and those pesky winds, admittedly light, are blowing from the wrong direction.

Newquay high tide 10:57

Newquay low tide 17:25

weather forecast.jpg
tide times.jpg

I start the day back in stinky Newquay next to the war memorial by the Atlantic Hotel. It is a properly murky start to the day.

war memorial

It's a late start for me today as the tide is in so I will need to take the ferry over the River Gannel and the ferry doesn't start until 10am.

I round Towan Head and I now have magnificent, if rather murky, views over Fistral Beach.

murky fistral beach

I drop down on to the beach and trudge my way along the golden sand. There are many surfers enjoying one of the finest surfing beaches around. There's not much wind though so the surf is rather pathetic.

leaving fistral beach

At the far end of the beach I join the Esplanade where I pass the Fistral Beach Hotel (@FistralBeachH), exclusively for adults. What have they got against kids? I walk along Pentire Point East, double back on myself and then walk through the car park here.

I turn down Riverside Crescent following a sign which points down towards the Fern Pit Cafe and Ferry (@fernpitcafe). As I get to the cafe a church bell chimes 10. Perfect timing! I wait around for another 10 minutes before the cafe opens. Good job I'm not in a hurry.

I climb down the zig-zag steps to reach the ferry boathouse on the bank of the River Gannel. I climb aboard the ferry and we putter across the river to reach Crantock Beach. The fare is £1.20.

The path through the dunes can be a bit fiddly so I head out on to the beach instead to enjoy the fine, golden sand.

murky crantock beach

I head across the beach below the Bowgie Inn, surely one of the best placed pubs ever, and perfect for thirsty walkers wanting a pint with a fine view. 

The tide is a long way in so I exit the beach through the dune system to rejoin the coast path and continue on grassy slopes around Pentire Point West. It's pretty murky now and has started to drizzle.

leaving crantock beach

I drop down to reach the beautiful and secluded beach at Porth Joke, sometimes known as Polly Joke. I had no idea why so I had to look it up. The name Polly Joke is thought to be derived from the Corhish Pol-Lejouack meaning Jackdaw Cove. Makes sense now as there are an awful lot of jackdaws about.

Despite its seclusion there are quite a few people either on the beach or heading to the beach. I head down to the sea before heading back up the beach to cross a footbridge over the stream here and climb onto the grassy Kelsey Head.

porth joke

I round Kelsey Head and have beautiful, but very murky views over Holywell Bay which ranks right up there with Constantine Bay.

overlooking murky holywell bay

The coast path ambles gently downhill to the sand dunes and a boardwalk and steps take me down to the beach. And what a beautiful beach it is. The last time I was here it was blowing a gale and I couldn't get on to the beach but today conditions are much calmer if wet and grey and I amble along the beach. It's still pretty windy though. Whatever happened to the forecast for light breezes?

holywell beach

Holywell is a tiny place but is served by two pubs, the Treguth Inn (@thetreguthinn) and St Pirans Inn.

I head back into the dune system where a footbridge takes me over the river. A sign warns me that adders may be basking on sunny days but there's no chance of that today.


A now overgrown big, red sign warns me about the dangers of entering Penhale Army Training Area. Odd because Penhale Camp was closed by the Ministry of Defence in April 2010 and partially sold off in September of the same year.

penhale army training area

I round Penhale Point, taking one last glance back over Holywell.

leaving holywell

I avoid the mine shafts and the leftover army junk and continue along the cliffs above Hobblyn's Cove.

Penhale Camp is now the home to the Penhale Military Adventure Training Centre and offers a broad range of military adventurous training.

I round Ligger Point and have magnificent, but very, very, murky views along Perran Bay. I can't make out anything ahead so I've no idea whether I can make it all the way along the beach to Perranporth. I know there's an exit point about a mile down the beach but I can't make this out in the murk. I'll just have to take my chances and hope that I don't have to retrace my steps.

murky perran bay

I wander down the path to reach Perran Beach and I now hopefully have at least a one mile trudge along fine, golden sands before clambering back onto the sand dunes to reach Perranporth.

Behind the beach is Penhale Sands, the most extensive system of sand dunes in Cornwall.

About a mile down the beach I come to the exit point next to the lifeguard station but it looks like I can continue along the beach all the way to Perranporth so I do.

There's one section where the sea almost reaches the cliffs but I can get through quite easily so I continue along the beach to reach Perranporth. It is looking rather murky.

murky perranporth

And that's the end of the walk. A short and sweet walk today if rather grey, murky and damp.


Flora and fauna encountered on the walk today includes :-

  • a song thrush

  • spiders

  • heather

  • birds-foot trefoil

  • knapweed

  • ribbed melilot

  • sea holly

  • snails

It was a rather murky day for looking out for flora and fauna!

podcast logo small.png


The podcast of today's walk is now available. You can subscribe via the iTunes store or listen using the player below.

8 out of 10.png


According to my phone I've walked 12.6 miles today which amounts to 27921 steps. It has been a murky and damp day today and my shoes are coated in sand from the various beaches. A pleasant walk nonetheless along a lovely stretch of the coast. Eight out of ten!

My Ordnance Survey app has worked for the first time this week but I'm not convinced that it's correct.

My other elevation chart is far from perfect but I suspect the gps chip is giving occasional false readings.


murky fistral beach

murky crantock beach

murky porth joke

murky holywell

murky perranporth

beach collection

porthcothan to newquay

south west coast path

sunday, 2nd september 2018

The weather forecast for the day hasn't looked very good for a few days now but suddenly overnight it has improved. It might not be very warm but it looks like I might escape rain.

Newquay high tide 10:02

Newquay low tide 16:26

weather forecast.jpg
tide times.jpg

I start the day back on the beach at Porthcothan. Unfortunately, it's going to be another day of walking along fine, sandy beaches!


I wander around the empty beach before heading back towards Portchcothan Bay Stores and take the path between houses and the low cliff edge.

I wander round the headland and admire the views out over the stacks that make up Trescore Islands.

trescore islands

I come across Porth Mear, a shingly and stoney beach in stark contrast to the usual golden, sandy beaches around here and it's full of rockpools waiting to be explored.

porth mear

At Porth Mear I cross a footbridge and then pass a series of crumbling headlands and coves.

At Pentire Steps I should drop down to the lovely, golden sandy beach but the tide is in so I don't think there will be any beach down there.

The tide is too far in for me to even consider walking along the beaches so I follow the path over the cliffs to Bedruthan Steps.

After a murky start the sun is starting to come out and the day is warming up.

bedruthan steps

There are an awful lot of steps down to the beach here and the tide is in so it's a long way down for very little beach. Instead, I continue along the cliffs admiring the rugged slate outcrops from above. First up is Diggory's Island, then Queen Bess Rock, Samaritan Island, Redcove Island, Pendarves Island and Carnewas Island. The stacks were put here by a giant called Bedruthan and used as stepping stones. Or they could have been formed by natural wave erosion!

I climb steps up the cliff where a National Trust information centre and cafe can be found.

Carnewas was a hive of industrial activity in the 19th century although not much is known of the mining that took place there. It is supposed that miners tunnelled into the cliffs from the beach in search of iron, copper and lead. Mining stopped many years ago, but the buildings are a reminder of this industry. The National Trust shop was once the count house or mine office and the café was also converted from mine buildings.

Carnewas at Bedruthan has been recognised as a Dark Skies Discovery Site and has gained a Milky Way Plus Events class, meaning that the Milky Way is visible to the naked eye. 

I head off around Trenance Point and then drop down to the beach at Mawgan Porth, which, once again, is golden and sandy. I walk along the beach before heading back towards the village and the road which takes me out of Mawgan Porth.

the view over mawgan porth

mawgan porth

Besides the beach here can be found the Merrymoor Inn (@Merrymoor), which once again has fantastic views for thirsty walkers.

merrymoor inn

leaving mawgan porth

The coast path continues around Berryl's Point and around Beacon Cove which you can get to but only by negotiating a rough, steep track. I continue around Griffin's Point where an Iron Age fort can be found.

I now have lovely views over Watergate Bay but I'm not spying much beach down there. The path gets closer and closer to the coast road before joining the B3276 briefly, next to the Watergate Bay Hotel (@WatergateBay). 

overlooking watergate bay

I pass the hotel and head on to the beach, which once again is a fine, golden sandy beach, two miles long at low tide. Unfortunately it's not low tide. The beach is heaving with people and there are a lot of surfers enjoying the surf.

I retrace my steps and head through the car park where I come across Jamie Oliver's Fifteen (@fifteencornwall) restaurant. 


I continue along the coast path over the cliffs. I pass Horse Rock, Sweden Rock and then Zacry's Island, where Watergate Beach at low tide leads directly onto Whipsiderry Beach, which gets its name from mining terms 'Whips' and 'Derrick'.

whipsiderry beach

I head around Trevelgue Head, site of an Iron Age promontory fort. A footbridge can take you out on to the head itself, if you so wish.

The coast path then swings back on itself to join the road leading down to Porth Beach, where I have to endure more of that pesky fine, golden sand. I head towards the Mermaid Inn and then head out across the beach.

porth beach

I'm now really in the suburbs of stinky Newquay and I head out of Porth Beach and back on to the tops of the cliffs. It is properly warm now which I wasn't expecting. I pass over Lusty Glaze Beach. It is a 200 feet drop down to the beach and so is quite a hike.

lusty glaze beach

The tide is in too far for me to walk across the beach to Tolcarne Beach so I continue on a grassy track which joins Cliff Road and heads all the way in to Newquay.

I'd normally head down to Tolcarne Beach by following an access road and so avoid much of Newquay. Unfortunately the tide is in too far for me to do that so I head instead across the top of the beach.

tolcarne beach

I head above Great Western Beach and then follow a tram track which takes me to Towan Beach. From here I follow a fiddly path which takes me through the far end of stinky Newquay and to the car park next to the Atlantic Hotel where my lift awaits.


Flora and fauna encountered on the walk today includes :-

  • red campion

  • roses

  • crocosmia

  • hemp agrimony

  • toadflax

  • a painted lady butterfly

  • dunnocks

  • knapweed

  • honeysuckle

  • stonechats

  • small copper butterflies

  • watermint

podcast logo small.png


The podcast of today's walk is now available. You can subscribe via the iTunes store or listen using the player below.

8 out of 10.png


According to my phone I've walked 12.9 miles today which amounts to 28443 steps. Apart from the end at stinky Newquay it has been a lovely day's walking and surprisingly warm at times. Eight out of ten!

This elevation chart is far from perfect but I suspect the gps chip is giving occasional false readings.


bedruthan steps

mawgan porth

watergate bay

watergate bay

lusty glaze beach

beach collection



padstow to porthcothan

south west coast path

saturday, 1st september 2018

It is an overcast start to September and I might possibly get rain today. I'll have golden, sandy beaches all day long though so I can't really complain. The weather forecast for the week looks great but it keeps changing so my normally reliable weather app seems to be a bit useless this week. 

Padstow high tide 09:32

Padstow low tide 15:55

weather forecast.jpg
tide times.jpg

I start the new walking week at the harbour in Padstow. I grab a croissant from the Chough Bakery which is open very early.


I expect Padstow will be heaving later on but I'll be long gone by then. It's early though and there's hardly anyone about.

I wander around the harbour passing the The Old Custom House (@ochpadstow), The Harbour Inn and The Shipwrights (@theshipwrights).


I climb steadily out of Padstow at the other side of the harbour, walk through a gate and then follow grassy slopes up to the granite war memorial overlooking Daymer Bay and the Camel estuary. The war memorial always signals the end of any crowds (not that there were any) and I should just have dog walkers, runners and surfers for company for the rest of today.

war memorial

Normally I'd deviate from the coast path slightly and clamber over rocks to visit St George's Cove. The tide is too far in though for me to get very far. If the tide is out you can walk from St George's Cove straight to Harbour Cove.

I reach Harbour Cove and the coast path meanders behind the beach but the sand is far too enticing so I head out across the beach instead. I have the whole beach to myself except for one dog walker. Out at the mouth of the estuary can usually be seen The Doom Bar, named after a rather tasty beer from Sharp's Brewery! It's covered in water today.

harbour cove

On the way to Hawker's Cove I pass wildflowers clinging on to the end of the season, including some large flowered evening primroses, ragwort, red campion, herb robert, hydrangeas, hemp agrimony, honeysuckle and water mint.

I have some final views back over Harbour Cove before I continue along the coast path.

At Hawker's Cove I come across a small group of buildings and head along a road before passing between two rows of cottages. The Padstow lifeboat was stationed here until 1967, before being relocated to Mother Ivey's Bay due to river silting. I'll pass the newer lifeboat station a bit later on today.

old padstow lifeboat

lifeboat cottages

I have lovely views back over the Camel estuary which is looking rather nice if a little murky.

I head towards Stepper Point and walk below the coastguard station here and then pass a daymark, which served as a navigation beacon for seafarers during daylight hours.

coastguard station


I amble along the cliffs and pass Pepper Hole and Butter Hole and head along the grassy slopes to Gunver Head, passing Fox Hole. A sign tells me that the fields around here are full of corn buntings and skylarks but I don't see any. It's very unusual to go on a coastal walk without hearing skylarks but it's the wrong time of year.

corn buntings

I pass a blow-hole, Round Hole, at Roundhole Point, an 80 feet deep hole in the cliffs formed from a collapsed cave. Somehow, a man managed to fall down it recently. I now have lovely views over Trevone Bay.

round hole

trevone bay

I walk down towards the beach car park and then head out on to the beach and enjoy the fine sand. I head across the beach and climb up steps out of Trevone Bay.

trevone bay

The path continues above a rocky beach towards Harlyn Bay. At Harlyn Bay I climb down steps to reach the fine, sandy beach. The Harlyn Inn can be found handily placed next to the beach for thirsty walkers.

harlyn bay

This beach walking is becoming a bit monotonous now, but I make my way down to the sea and walk along the beach, dodging the waves. The beach is usually covered in surfers but the surf is pretty pathetic today.

harlyn bay

As you walk along the beach it doesn't look obvious that there's an exit off the beach at the far end, but there is one near to a stone house. There is also another exit a bit further along using a slipway. 

I've only got my walking shoes on today rather than the usual boots and I don't want to risk getting them wet so I exit the beach early. I'm pretty certain the tide is too far in for me to make the other exits further down the beach.

I take one last look back over Harlyn Bay and then climb gently up onto Cataclews Point.

leaving harlyn bay

The coast path continues along the cliffs around Mother Ivey's Bay. I climb down onto the fine, sandy beach using a steep beach access road. It's surprisingly quiet so I do some exploration before climbing back onto the cliffs where I have views across to the lifeboat station, clinging to the bottom of the cliffs.

mother ivey's bay

lifeboat station

The path heads inland before reaching the access road to the lifeboat station. The coast path continues through fields towards Trevose Head and rounds the headland, passing behind the lighthouse here.

trevose head lighthouse

I cross the lighthouse access road and complete the traversal of Trevose Head by passing the tumulus on Dinas Head.

dinas head

I now have magnificent views across Constantine Bay, one of my favourite places on the coast path.

view over constantine bay

I amble down the slopes to reach Booby's Bay (snigger!!). There's not much of the beach showing today so I continue on my way.

booby's bay

A short walk along the path takes me down on to Constantine Bay, one of the best surfing beaches in Cornwall. The surf's a bit better here so the surfers are out in numbers and should you want to join them, you can get supplies from the Constantine Bay Surf Store (@Constantinesurf) in the village behind the beach.

I continue my walk along this beautiful, sandy beach before reluctantly coming ashore at a slipway. I'd normally walk down by the sea but I've only got shoes on and there are numerous rivulets running down the beach so I keep to the upper beach.

I take one last, admiring glance back over Constantine Bay and then follow a narrow road and track towards Treyarnon Point. I round Treyarnon Point and descend down to Treyarnon Bay, yet another sandy beach, passing the youth hostel and cafe. 

treyarnon bay

There can't be many more beaches like this, can there? It's rather busier here than I like but I wander down the sandy beach to the sea before retracing my steps. I climb out of the bay next to a pink ice cream caravan, home to Rosie's Ice Cream, and behind a clifftop cottage.

leaving treyarnon bay

A grassy path rounds several headlands and coves and, dare I say it, the path almost takes on a rugged nature. Out at sea can be found the Minnows Islands.

The coast path suddenly reveals Porthcothan Bay and I climb down the scrubby slopes to reach the road and village of Porthcothan. 

porthcothan bay

I wander out onto the final sandy beach of the day, and another of my favourite places. I head down to the sea and then retrace my steps.

I head through the dune system and pass the Porthcothan Bay Stores, a small store with a big heart! It was closed the last time I passed it so it's lovely to see it open again, with new owners. I head to the car park behind the beach where my lift awaits.

porthcothan bay stores


Flora and fauna encountered on the walk today includes :-

  • rosebay willow herb
  • large flowered evening primrose
  • red and white valerian
  • herb robert
  • red campion
  • ragwort
  • water mint
  • hemp agrimony
  • ribwort plantain
  • hydrangeas
  • buddleja
  • fennel
  • honeysuckle
  • field scabious
  • birds-foot trefoil
  • swallows
  • toadflax
  • a sparrowhawk
  • oystercatchers


The podcast of today's walk is now available. You can subscribe via the iTunes store or listen using the player below.

9 out of 10.png


According to my phone I've walked 16.3 miles today which amounts to 35406 steps. This is a good 3 miles further than my book tells me it should be. It has been magnificent walking today in not the greatest weather. Nine out of ten!

This elevation chart is far from perfect but I suspect the gps chip is giving occasional false readings.





harlyn bay

porthcothan bay

beach collection

kew bridge to putney bridge

thames path

friday, 6th July 2018

Phew! What a scorcher!!.

Kew Bridge high tide 08:28

Kew Bridge low tide 16:22

weather forecast.jpg
tide times.jpg

I start the day at our apartment in Acton, West London, where I've barely left the apartment before being greeted by the lovely shrieking of swifts enjoying the glorious sunshine. It is going to be a baking day today.

I wander an uneventful three or so miles down to Kew Bridge on the north bank of the River Thames. I take to quiet-ish streets attempting to avoid as many of the busy A roads as possible.

As I approach Kew I enter Gunnersbury Park and I'm immediately surprised by the loud squawking of parakeets. I know that parakeets are quite common across London now but even so, it feels rather unexpected.

I wander through Gunnersbury Park which is a rather lovely, quiet oasis before getting dumped out onto the busy roads around the beginning of the M4.

I make my way down to Key Bridge through what is the construction site for Brentford Football Club's new stadium, due to be completed in July 2019.

Kew Bridge was opened in 1903 as King Edward VII Bridge by King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra and was designed by John Wolfe-Barry and Cuthbert A Brereton.

The granite bridge has shields bearing the arms of Middlesex and Surrey which were the two counties occupying the two sides of the river at the time of the opening.

kew bridge

I've reached the River Thames and I come across my first Thames Path sign before continuing along Strand on the Green where I pass through a garden with benches looking out on to the river.

I pass by the Bell and Crown pub. The path here can be entirely coved by the river at high tide but I'm OK today so I carry on next to the river.

the bell and crown pub

I pass a row of riverside houses, including Prospect House. It's all rather posh around here! I pass a rather large house with a blue plaque commemorating the painter Johan Zoffany, a founding member of the Royal Academy, who lived here between 1790 and 1810. Unfortunately I'm still getting used to the sun so completely fail to see this blue plaque.

I continue along the path and pass the Dutch House where the film director John Guillermin lived (nope, I've not heard of him either! but he directed The Towering Inferno and Death on the Nile).

I pass a modern development of houses and then pass Tunnel Cottage before passing by the City Barge pub which claims to date back to the 14th century making it one of the oldest pubs in London.

the city barge pub

I now have views over to Kew Railway Bridge.

kew railway bridge

I pass under Kew Railway Bridge, opened in 1869 and designed by William Robert Galbraith, consisting of five green wrought iron lattice girder spans of 35 metres each.

underneath kew railway bridge



The Dalek Invasion of Earth was filmed here in 1964 where the TARDIS materialises under the bridge.



kew railway bridge

On the other side of the bridge I pass by the grade II listed 18th century Bulls Head pub. Legend has it that Oliver Cromwell, after whom Oliver's Island opposite is named, once used the inn but the story seems to be a load of old nonsense.

bulls head pub

I pass by 18th century houses and then a pink granite drinking fountain built in 1880 before I leave the river and head along Grove Park Road.

pink granite drinking fountain

I pass a sign for Redcliffe Gardens Riverside Walk which seems to be open to the public so I head down it. It turns out to be a dead end so I retrace my steps.

I walk past the University of London Boathouse which seems to be a rather scruffy affair compared to everything else around here.

university of london boathouse

I wander past Redcliffe Gardens and then pass Hartington Court, an Art Deco block built in 1938 and designed by John E Adams.

I wander inland of the river for a while before returning to the river at Chiswick Quay where I can see Putney Town Rowing Club over the other side of the river.

 I walk over the top of the lock at Chiswick Quay Marina and head up Ibis Lane, passing the rather scruffy Mortlake Anglian & Alpha Boat Club and Quintin Boat Club.

Over the other side of the river I can see Stag Brewery, now presumably converted to residential properties, but at the end of its brewing life brewed Budweiser beer.

I pass under Chiswick Bridge, a rather ugly reinforced concrete bridge opened in 1933.

chiswick bridge

I pass through Tideway Scullers School, a rowing club founded in 1957, and I'm now back on the river where I enter Duke's Meadow.

duke's meadow

It is now baking so I start munching on first peas followed by cherries, strawberries and a nectarine.

I pass by the golf course, driving range and tennis courts. Just before Barnes Bridge I pass behind Chiswick Boathouse (rather scruffy again) and pass Chiswick Rugby Football Club (currently an eyesore) which seems to be undergoing some kind of development. I detour into Dukes Hollow Local Nature Reserve which turns out to be a stinky, nettle infested dump.

I rejoin the path and pass Chiswick Horticultural & Allotment Society. The allotment looks like it might be quite nice inside but it's surrounded by a high fence. I pass through an arch under the Barnes Railway.

I turn right to head back towards the river passing the Riverside Club to rejoin the river where I can look back towards Barnes Railway Bridge.

barnes railway bridge

I think I can now smell beer being brewed. I pass Emanuel School Boat Club and then amble along the river path passing bandstands and a wooded section.


It is now time to leave Duke's Meadow.

I enter the rather posh looking Thames Crescent where I pass Chiswick Sea Cadets.

thames crescent


A paved promenade takes me to Chiswick Pier.

chiswick pier

I pass St Nicholas church, dating largely from the 1880s. The tomb of William Hogarth, celebrated painter, engraver and caricaturist, can be found on the south side of the church.

st nicholas church

tomb of william hogarth

The smell of beer becomes stronger. I follow a road parallel to the river passing 18th century houses, including Bedford House, before passing Fuller's Griffin Brewery, built in 1845 but on a much older beer brewing site.

griffin brewery

I pass by Chiswick Eyot, an uninhabited river island, and then Walpole House.

The earliest records relating to Walpole House date from the beginning of the eighteenth century when it was the home of Barbara Villiers, Duchess of Cleveland and former mistress of Charles II. After her death it passed to the Honourable Thomas Walpole, nephew of Sir Robert Walpole (Prime Minister 1721 to 1742), who gave the house its name.

walpole house

I leave the river and wander along Chiswick Mall where I pass a blue plaque commemorating Sir Alan Herbert, an English humorist, novelist, playwright and law reform activist. The plaque is almost hidden from view as the building is covered in scaffolding.

I pass the Black Lion pub where I return to the river again.

black lion pub

I pass a row of arches which are the remains of Hammersmith Pumping Station, built by the Metropolitan Water Board in 1909 but decommissioned in 1997.

I'm now on the Hammersmith Mall Riverside Walk. I pass the Old Ship pub and then Linden House, home of the London Corinthian Sailing Club and the Sons Of The Thames Rowing Club.

old ship pub

linden house

I pass by Kelmscott House Museum, a Georgian brick mansion now home to the William Morris Society. It was the London home of English textile designer, artist, writer and socialist William Morris from October 1878 until his death in October 1896.

kelmscott house

A sign on the house is partially obscured by wisteria but tells me that the first electric telegraph was built here in 1816 by Francis Ronalds, consisting of an 8 mile long overhead telegraph.

I pass The Dove pub and turn into Furnivall Gardens, created in 1951 on the site of a Quaker meeting house which was destroyed by a flying bomb in 1944 and I then pass the Rutland Arms and The Blue Anchor.

the dove pub

rutland arms pub

the blue anchor pub

I now have views over Hammersmith Bridge.

hammersmith bridge

I continue along the river to reach Hammersmith Bridge. I pass under the bridge and pass beside Riverside Studios, an arts complex which is in the middle of redevelopment and should fully open in 2019, although the Thames Path which runs outside is fully open.

riverside studios

looking back to hammersmith bridge

I pass by a statue of Lancelot 'Capability' Brown (some would say 'Incapability'!), next to Fulham Reach Boat Club and The Blue Boat, who lived not far away from here for 13 years.

capability brown

the blue boat pub

I pass by a sculpture called 'Figurehead', created by Rick Kirby in 2014.


Over the river I can see the old Harrods Furniture Depository, built in 1894 as a storage centre for large items which couldn't be housed in the main store but now a residential estate.

I pass Thames Wharf Studios, once an industrial site containing the Duckham's oil facility. It was acquired by the Richard Rogers Partnership in 1983, which converted the industrial complex of redundant 20th century warehouses into offices, workshops, housing and the River Cafe restaurant.

thames wharf

Out in the river on the remains of presumably a pier are a load of gulls and a couple of cormorants. I pass The Crabtree pub.

crabtree pub

I continue ambling along the path by the river passing endless blocks of flats before coming across rusty pumps at Rowberry Mead. I can't find out any information about them.


Formally known as Roseberry Meade, this was an old homestead dating from 1638, which used to be attached to a cherry orchard, reputed to be the finest in England. They'd have to be pretty fine cherries to beat the ones I've just eaten!

I now come across Craven Cottage, home to Fulham Football Club which I have to detour behind. Even the football stadiums are posh around here! 

craven cottage

craven cottage

I pass by Bishops Park, formally the site of the Bishop of London's summer residence where you can find Fulham Palace.

fulham palace

I'm now nearly at the end of my walk and I can see my destination, Putney Bridge, just in front of me. I stroll past the park through a formal garden where I find a memorial to people from Hammersmith and Fulham who fought in the International Brigade against Spanish fascism, 1936 to 1939.

international brigade

In honour of the volunteers who left Hammersmith and Fulham to fight in the International Brigade, Spain 1936 – 1939. They fought alongsidethe Spanish people to stop fascism and save liberty and peace for all. They went because their open eyes could see no other way. “No pasaran!”

formal garden

I enter Pryor's Bank. The four sculptures at the corners of the lawn here - Leda, Adoration, Grief and Protection - were donated to mark the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. The fountain, of best Sicilian marble was installed in 1901 but was never sprayed properly.

Just before the bridge I pass All Saints Fulham and then my walking is done. I walk along the underpass under Putney Bridge and head towards the railway bridge where I pass The Eight Bells, before turning left to head towards Putney Bridge tube station which will take me back to Acton.

putney bridge

the eight bells pub


Flora and fauna encountered on the walk today includes :-

  • swifts
  • parakeets
  • common oak
  • sweet chestnuts
  • red admirals
  • canada geese
  • a heron
  • gulls
  • cormorants
  • ragwort
  • wisteria
  • lavender
  • agapanthus
  • acanthus
  • day lillies
  • crocosmia
  • london plane trees
podcast logo small.png


The podcast of today's walk is now available. You can subscribe via the iTunes store or listen using the player below.

9 out of 10.png


According to my phone I've walked 11.8 miles today which amounts to 24079 steps. It has been another beautiful day's walking today in sweltering conditions. Nine out of ten!


kew bridge

kew railway bridge

chiswick bridge

hammersmith bridge

putney bridge




bridport to cogden

partially along the SOUTH WEST COAST PATH

in search of bee orchids

saturday, 9TH june 2018

Today's weather forecast looks to be pretty good, and I should have sun with cloud all day long. There shouldn't be much wind but it is blowing in the wrong direction which it has done for most of this year.

Bridport low tide 08:29

Bridport high tide 15:25

weather forecast.jpg
tide times.jpg

The aim of today is to find bee orchids in the fields above Cogden Beach. I've been here quite regularly over the years so I should have a very good chance of finding them.

It's farmers' market day in Bridport today which is held on the second Saturday of each month.

We leave our apartment, conveniently located in the heart of Bridport, at just after nine 'o' clock and amble around all of the market stalls while stopping off in the various bookshops. I manage to add to my Roald Dahl collection, start my Paddington collection with five books and add to my nephew's growing Ladybird collection.

It is now time to head for the National Trust car park at Cogden. I head down West Street and then follow the River Brit as it heads out of Bridport.

There are some rather nice roses clinging to the fences surrounding the allotments next to the playground.

I head behind St Mary's and then pass next to the grounds of Bridport Football Club.

st mary's

I pass behind Palmers Brewery and amble along the river bank enjoying the wild flowers.

I head across fields towards West Bay where I come across a herd of cattle. Even though there are quite a few calves with their mums they aren't in the slightest bit bothered by me.

The grass in the fields has been cut recently. We saw an awful lot of tractors making their way through Bridport yesterday loaded up with hay.

I head through West Bay Holiday Park where I take photographs of the various flowers.

west bay holiday park

The early morning grey clouds have started to lift and it's starting to get rather warm. I amble though West Bay and head through The Customs House emporium.

I head out on to West Bay Beach where there are loads of people enjoying the sunshine and warmth.

west bay beach

west bay beach

I amble along the sandy beach below the iconic, and very crumbling, West Cliff.

west cliff

At Freshwater Beach Holiday Park I have to head inland in order to cross the River Bride over a wooden bridge. I head back to the coast again and head along the sandy beach towards Burton Bradstock.

I head along Hive Beach at Burton Bradstock which turns into Cogden Beach where the coast path heads inland. I walk along a rutted and baked dry path where I come across my first bee orchid all on its own.

bee orchid

I continue along the baked path and come across a lovely patch of flag irises.

flag iris

Next to the irises I come across a large clump of southern marsh orchids. This is turning into a rather successful orchid hunt!

I pass a National Trust sign for Cogden and head inland across fields. It is a properly warm day now and the skylarks are making a racket above the fields.

I amble along the flower strewn fields keeping a beady eye out for bee orchids but instead I spot a pyramidal orchid, just coming into flower. This is swiftly joined by loads of other pyramidal orchids. This is now my third orchid species of the day.

pyramidal orchid

I should be seeing bee orchids by now but instead spot another orchid species which I don't initially recognize but turns out to be a greater butterfly orchid (it could be a lesser butterfly orchid but I haven't a clue how to tell the difference between the two) which I haven't seen for years and I don't recall seeing them in this field before.

greater butterfly orchid

This greater butterfly orchid is all on its own but further along the field I find a small clump of some more.

My orchid field guide tells me that I can tell the difference between the greater and lesser butterfly orchid because the two pollinia are set wide apart on the greater. I guess they must be greater butterfly orchids then.

greater butterfly orchid 6.jpg

This has turned into a fantastic day for orchids. Four species in one day! Bee orchids are turning out to be elusive though. However, finally I spot another bee orchid.

 a second bee orchid

a second bee orchid

And then I start to see more bee orchids - not as many as I was expecting - but on a day like this I'm not complaining.

I pass behind Orthona, a spiritual and community retreat, and then continue along the fields until I reach the National Trust car park at Cogden. My orchid hunting is over for the day.

I head back down towards Cogden Beach where I enjoy the sea thrift, sea poppies and the sea cabbage.

It's time to head up onto the cliffs. I head through Old Coastguard Holiday Park and then drop down towards Hive Beach again.

view over hive beach

I head behind Hive Beach Cafe before climbing back onto the cliffs at Burton Cliff and then clamber down the cliff at Freshwater Beach Holiday Park.

freshwater beach holiday park

I head inland to cross the river again before walking through the holiday park and clamber back onto the cliffs at East Cliff. I walk past Bridport and West Dorset Golf Club and then have magnificent views over West Bay.

view over west bay

I head through West Bay and then back towards Bridport where I pass Palmers Brewery again.

palmers brewery

I head through Bridport Community Orchard and pass behind St Mary's.

bridport community orchard

I head past the market stalls which are now packing up for the day and my walking is over. It has been a fantastic orchid hunting day.


Flora and fauna encountered on the walk today includes :-

  • swifts
  • rabbits
  • cows
  • roses
  • cow parsley
  • hogweed
  • wild carrot
  • elderflower
  • geums
  • agapanthus
  • aquilegia
  • ribwort plantain
  • bee orchids
  • flag iris
  • southern marsh orchids
  • pyramidal orchids
  • greater butterfly orchids
  • birds-foot trefoil
  • sea thrift
  • sea poppy
  • sea cabbage
podcast logo small.png


The podcast of today's walk is now available. You can subscribe via the iTunes store or listen using the player below.

10 out of 10.png


According to my phone I've walked 16.5 miles today which amounts to 35583 steps. It has been another beautiful day's walking today with some great orchid success. Ten out of ten!

Hmmm. My Ordnance Survey app failed me again. My other app I use to track elevation worked but it's showing a decidedly dodgy graph!


west cliff

southern marsh orchids

pyramidal orchids

bee orchid

greater butterfly orchid

view over west bay

beach collection