Philip Goddard
www.philipgoddard.com
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An Additional Photo Gallery


 
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Philip Goddard near Cape Cornwall, UK, April 2004
For a selection of great hiking routes that have given me a tremendous buzz, go to my Selected Hiking Routes page...

In this photo gallery section I want to share just a tiny little something of the revitalizing and uplifting experience of my regular hiking in South-West England. Up to October 2006 (when an arthritic right knee stopped me in my tracks) I aimed to go on a single-day solo hike every week, weather and other circumstances permitting, and my chosen routes were normally strenuous ones, typically of some 19 - 21 miles (say 29 - 34 km) with some 1,000 metres of ascent. On strenuous coast path routes, the mileage tended to be a bit less and the ascent anything up to 1,500 metres because of all the steep-sided valleys that are crossed.

There is only one way for you to get anything more than a faint hint of it - and that is to do it yourself! I add to the sense of freedom and adventure of my outings by hitch-hiking to and from my walking routes, thus enabling myself to choose satisfying linear routes, without being limited by the times of particular buses or trains. As the bus services to most of my hiking routes are minimal and trains more or less nonexistent, this is just as well. This can make for extremely long days, however, and requires considerable mental and physical stamina!

Despite the uncertainties, trials and tribulations of the hitch-hiking, I actually preferred doing it rather than having the predictability of arranged transport - quite apart from my not having the money to spend on fares or sharing petrol costs with anyone. I met many wonderful and interesting people through hitch-hiking, and since I became a healer I found that as many as some 50% of people who picked me up had received some apparent 'guidance' to do so because of particular benefit that they were likely to gain from the encounter; occasionally I even ended up giving a mini hands-on healing session before being dropped off.

 

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South-West peninsula (Devon & Cornwall) --

North coast

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image Between Bude and Widemouth Bay, the latter off to the left. Looking approximately SSW. The pink clusters of small flowers are Thrift (Armeria maritima), also known as Sea Pink. (May 2001)

This and many parts along this coastline is a surfers' paradise, usually with large swells coming in from the Atlantic.

image Bude: the vicinity of the mouth of the canal, and part of Summerleaze Beach. Bude is a holiday resort, but it retains a remarkable sense of wildness along its coastline.
(May 2001)
image Looking south along the coastline to Bude and beyond. This shows again how remarkably unspoiled this part of coastline is, considering that Bude is a quite busy holiday resort. The town itself is just off to the left. With (usually) a considerable swell coming in from the Atlantic, this is a very popular area for surfing, Bude and Widemouth Bay being really busy surfing centres.
(May 2001)
image On the coast path, looking more or less north over Speke's Mill Mouth to St Catherine's Tor, with the white buildings at Hartland Quay just showing beyond against the sea, from behind the hillside and outcrops left of centre. St Catherine's Tor is one of a number of prominent mini-mountain-like prominences along the coast path in this area. Hazy sunlight at about 5.45 p.m.
(late September 2001)
image Just north of Speke's Mill Mouth, near Hartland Quay, looking more or less north. The distant island is Lundy, which is featured in an unusual way in my organ-&-tuba composition The Unknown. The purple-flowered plant in the foreground is just a little bit of Bell Heather (Erica Cinerea).
(August 2001)

Land's End peninsula (Cornwall)


My 60th birthday falling in August 2002, I felt that summer 2002 was time to get a bit more adventurous with some of my weekly hikes, so I've added to my repertoire of single-day outings some hikes right at the south-west tip of England. This involves a very early rise and setting out from my flat in central Exeter at about 6.50 a.m.; I then hitch-hike to Penzance, St Ives or elsewhere in that area (a journey of over 100 miles), then walk some 13-19 miles on what is the most hard-going coast path terrain that I've walked on anywhere, and then I hitch-hike back to Exeter that evening. A long and hard day indeed - but worth every bit of the effort!

Roughly speaking, this area lies west of a north-east / south-west line from St Ives to Penzance. Its rugged character is largely determined by the granite rock there. This granite is part of the same underground mass of granite that breaks the surface to create Dartmoor, Bodmin Moor, the St Austell granite and the Scilly Isles (but not Lundy, which has been produced from a more recent granite system). On the north coast of this area the rock is granite in places, while in other parts it is 'metamorphic aureole' rock - sedimentary rocks that have been heat-metamorphosed by their proximity to the granite when it was still liquid magma deep down inside the root of the mountain chain that was once here.

The following 4 photos are from my hike on 1st September 2002 from St Ives on the north coast to Cape Cornwall, which is part of the little west-facing bit of coastline that also includes Land's End.

image Gurnard's Head, from the south-west. It is a joy to go out onto that rugged headland and scramble about on its very secure rock outcrops. Gurnard's Head is just a little south-west from Zennor.
image Pendeen Watch and The Enys (the nearby little island left-of-centre) seen from the south-west. Approaching from the St Ives direction (i.e., walking south-westwards), the last two miles to Pendeen Watch are relatively easy walking but scenically rather commonplace, so a walk finishing there has a feeling of anticlimax about it. But as soon as you go beyond, the coastline becomes much more rugged and exciting again.
image Just past the fascinating old Levant (disused) and Geevor tin mines I lost patience with the official coast path that appeared to boringly follow a motor track slightly inland from the real excitement, and I followed this lower-level track that led here into the most rugged and exciting bit of coast path I've been on anywhere, with something of the feel of a narrow and rugged mountain summit ridge traverse. Although the track was secure, it rounded a whole series of craggy cliff buttresses, so that at times there were exposed turns with a delicious drop at my feet, and here and there were very minor scrambles up and down. When I first walked this stretch, it seemed a bit scary because I didn't know what I was letting myself in for, but it turned out to be truly secure.
image Approaching the end of my hike: in the glare of the early evening sun - Cape Cornwall, the next most south-westerly point on the British mainland after Land's End, which latter is a very few miles off to the left. This view is from just below the ruin of Kenidjack Castle.
(Incidentally, the most westerly point on the British mainland isn't in these parts at all but on the Ardnamurchan peninsula in the Scottish Highlands.)

Dartmoor area (Devon)


Dartmoor is part of a system of granite that, hundreds of millions of years ago, was molten rock in the root of a mountain chain probably similar to the Alps. The mountains have long ago been eroded away and the rocks that were in their root uplifted to form lower hills. On the high moor itself the scenery is austere and spacious, and the terrain in the remotest parts is peaty and often boggy and very fatiguing to walk on.
  Dartmoor in trouble -- See here...

image In the Dartmoor fringe area: the Teign Valley from the Hunters' Path, with Dartmoor in the distance, faint in the haze. The area just a little further along this track is known as Piddledown Common; I'm not aware that it gets more rainfall than anywhere else in the immediate area!
(May 2001)
image Also above the Teign Valley, on the path connecting the high-level Hunters' path with Fingle Bridge. Prestonbury Castle, an Iron Age hill fort, is on the top part of the prominent hill seen through the trees.
(May 2001)
image High Dartmoor: Broad Amicombe Hole - not a hole but a pass - with High Willhays beyond (the highest point in Southern England - all of 621 metres above sea level).
(September 2001)
image From on top of the largest (granite) outcrop at Fur Tor, in remotest Dartmoor. Looking more or less north towards High Willhays.
(September 2001)
image From on top of the largest outcrop at Fur Tor, looking more or less west, to Hare Tor and the distant countryside of Cornwall, with Bodmin Moor forming the skyline (not really discernible in this photo).
  (September 2001)

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One of many beautifully Nature-adorned clifftop crags on the Lizard peninsula, Cornwall, UK.
These photos are great for computer desktop wallpaper or wall pictures in your living space,
and also tremendous for posters and calendars.