Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Exploring the South West Coast Path: North Cliffs, Godrevy, Gwithian, Hayle and Carbis Bay.

Crumbs, has it really been that long since an update? Apologies...

I do make up for it here, though, with highlights from a real magical mystery tour. The plan was to head down to the Coast Path at Portreath, then run it all the way round to St. Ives (or until I hit my four-hour curfew).

It couldn't be that difficult, could it? After all, the South West Coast Path is one of Cornwall's most important tourist attractions. Surely, it's just follow the signs, isn't it? Or, failing that, just "find the sea, turn right, keep going"?

Illogan to Portreath; Portreath to North Cliffs; North Cliffs to Hell's Mouth; Hell's Mouth to Godrevy; Godrevy to Gwithian; Gwithian to the Towans, Towans to Hayle; Hayle to Lelant; Lelant to Carbis Bay... easy, right?

Unfortunately, it wasn't quite as simple as all that...

Here's the mapping for this run, all the way from Illogan. As you can see, I got lost more than a few times (wading across to Lelant is a particular high point), but at least you can get a feel for where the path is supposed to go. Sort of.
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Friday, 12 November 2010

Running the Camel Trail! (from Wenford Bridge to Bodmin to Wadebridge to Padstow)

This run's a bit of a departure... and not just because I've headed off to East Cornwall for a change.

All the video - and much of the commentary - is provided by my roving, cycling parents, convinced to come along for the trip by the promise of the UK's most beautiful cycle trail. Embarrassing comments aside, I think they do a pretty good job for a first attempt.

By dropping a car off at each end, we managed to do the whole 17.5 miles of the trail... although big chunks of it aren't captured here, as I lost my parents around Wadebridge (and/or Dad forgot to do any filming!).

Nonetheless, you do get many of the highlights... plus a sense of how the character of the river and surrounding valley changes so dramatically along the course of the trail.

One further note: if you're not going to do the whole thing, my advice is to head for the section upstream of Bodmin. These wooded valley areas are far prettier than the later bit... and, judging by the comparative lack of tourists, something of a hidden gem.

Here's the route - mostly traffic-free, and fairly faithful to the Trail itself... although there's some jiggery-pokery around Wadebridge, where the official trail signs leave the riverside, which seems a shame, so I improvised a bit.

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Sunday, 7 November 2010

Carn Brea and the Great Flat Lode Trail

This run includes some of the areas I run most often - and I hope the video will show why.

Barely a week goes by when I don't spend at least forty minutes or so mucking about with the dog on the various paths and trails that climb and circle Carn Brea. It's the perfect antidote after a stressful or tiring day.

Carn Brea is a fascinating place with an amazing, colourful history - I won't recount it all here because it's easy enough to find on Wikipedia and Google. The view from the top (on a snowy day) was actually one of the main reasons I started making these videos.

Incidentally, the little castle on Carn Brea is now a Jordanian restaurant - yummy food, thoroughly atmospheric, and generally full of character (and that's just the owner!). Not everyone's cup of tea, admittedly, but we love it and if you're in the area and haven't at least tried it, you should give it a go. There aren't many tables, so booking in advance is recommended.

Sometimes, if I want to add a few miles to my usual run, I'll carry on through Carnkie and take in some of the long views and historic mining buildings on the Great Flat Lode trail... and that's sort of what you see on this 6.2-mile, figure-of-eight jaunt.

(There's a bit of a twist in the tail on this one, which is really just an illustration of the perils of exploring interesting new footpaths when you run. I never said this stuff was easy!)

Oh, and I'm sorry about not being too talkative on this one... and the... er... heavy breathing...

Here's the map for the run - although, as you can see by the end of the video, you may not want to follow it too exactly. Look out, too, for the main road crossing by Higher Carnkie - it's a fast, steep, twisty rat-run, and drivers won't expect to see pedestrians there.

Oh, and by the way... if you have any questions about this blog (or if you're just wondering why I don't run very much in the videos), there's now a page for that.

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Friday, 29 October 2010

Porthtowan to Chapel Porth and back - circular beach run

In truth, this is more or less a second installment, after the last run with Martyn - another brief video from the same week, in excellent company and with spectacular scenery.

We were joined this time by the incomparable Clare (you might know her online as Pestomum), who had "Bob" tagging along for the ride - meaning we took things at a relaxed and enjoyable bimble.

The route itself was actually shown from above in the "birthday run" part two - the bit after Chapel Porth where I point down from the cliffs and say "You can run down there when the tide is out" (or something like that)... Well, it was, and we did. Porthtowan to Chapel Porth. And back.

Lots of mucking about, lots of fun... but, sadly, we failed to deliver the promised ice cream (Chapel Porth's speciality) - and even though this was rectified later, I still don't think I'm really forgiven, even now.

Nonetheless, amazing weather, great views, brilliant friends... a really fantastic run:

The round-trip was nominally 2.3 miles or so... but this did include a fair bit of jiggery pokery.

After all, what are wide open expanses of beach for, if not to write stupid messages to the world with your Garmin trace?

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Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Portreath to Godrevy - running along North Cliffs

A very short video (with the wrong date on it - 'twas June, not July - d'oh!) showing just a few of the sights from a 7.2 mile run along perhaps my favourite stretch of the SW Coast Path: the North Cliffs between Portreath and Godrevy lighthouse.

The run was in the company of Martyn - known online as 2 Flat Feet - and all the better for it, I might add.

I'm sure to revisit this clifftop path in more detail in future - in the meantime, here's a two-minute taster. Enjoy!

Unlike some of the routes on this site, I do wholeheartedly endorse this route in its entirety: it's a lovely run.

Please, please be careful of the clifftops, though - they're not the most stable... and note a few stern ups and downs which mean it's not all that runnable in places:

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Illogan, Portreath and Wheal Peevor

This was a nice, summertime run, taking one of my favourite paths through Illogan Woods, before following the Coast to Coast trail inland to Wheal Peevor, near Radnor - a particularly rare surviving arrangement of historic mine buildings... and a jewel in the crown of Cornwall's World Heritage site status.

This map takes in the full 9.3 miles of the run... back from Wheal Peevor and back up to Redruth (note that this extra bit includes some running along a main road):

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Perranporth to Porthtowan (birthday special run)

Much of the credit for this one must go to my good friend Sam... who, having spotted that my running plans were being curtailed in the weekend after my birthday, encouraged me to push the boat out, and treat myself to a truly special run.

The result was, for me, one my all-time favourite runs - 8 glorious miles of coastal and clifftop trail from Perranporth to Porthtowan, so hot and hilly it took me over two hours to complete.

Of course, some of that slowness might also have been down to getting my new camera out every couple of hundred yards, to shoot the latest stunning view!

This run was so amazing I ended up with masses of footage - enough for TWO videos. The first one goes as far as Trevaunance Cove, St Agnes:

...While the second video picks up where that leaves off, following the run from St Agnes to the finish in Porthtowan.

If you'd like to try this one yourself, this stretch of coast path is fairly well marked - but the cliffs aren't the most stable, so be careful. If it helps, my GPS readout from the run is here:

First things first

For me, the best part of running is the ability to explore - to pull on a pair of trail shoes and ask "Where does THAT path go?!"

As a result, I've seen some pretty amazing things while out running... from clifftop views and snowy hilltops to snacking seals and birds of prey.

I wanted to share those experiences, so started carrying a small video camera around with me - and this site was born.

This Vlog chronicles runs in some interesting places - along with interactive mapping wherever possible so you can see exactly WHERE each view is in the real world.

Most of these will be in Cornwall, simply because that's where I live and do most of my running.

A couple more things: this isn't a manicured, professional production, fronted by models and skinny athletes. This is me, an overweight guy in his thirties, out for a run - with all the sweat, snot and everything else that entails.

In other words, I *KNOW* I'm not pretty - especially not when I'm running - and I don't need you to tell me, thanks.

(If I'm on camera a lot, it's because the microphone works better that way round).

And I *KNOW* I'm not running in many of the clips. If I was, you wouldn't see ANYTHING! I do run in between, though. I promise.


IMPORTANT!!! - These are not usually planned runs, or recommended routes, but a record of where I actually went.

If you're inspired to visit some of these places, and the maps help you, that's brilliant, but do be aware there are clifftops, major roads, etc... so just be sensible, OK?

Monday, 5 July 2010

New blog coming soon

Stay tuned for videos of runs in interesting places, with interactive route maps of each.

I've done the first few runs - now just have to edit the footage!

Thanks for your patience.