Yes folks I have finally managed to complete the whole stretch without using any public transport – no matter how short a distance, to get me and my blistered feet home.
I set off at 10:13 – no I wasn’t deliberately going for an off-the-wall time, it just panned out that way. My plan was to go straight up Queens Road/Cambridge Road/Preston New Road then onto Marine Drive until the green path to Hesketh Drive via Hesketh Golf Course appeared. I would then follow the coast into Southport town centre – but this time on the pavement as my trainers really don’t cope well with sand (and my feet don’t cope at all with walking boots on pavements). From the town centre I took the same road Marine Drive / Coastal Road all the way to just outside Woodford where I turned left onto the A565 Liverpool Road until Segars Lane where I took the turn-off and onto Mill Road then followed this road all the way to Benthams Way and up to Tesco at Meols Cop. From here it was an hair-raising crossing of Scarisbrick New Road onto Norwood Road then Norwood Avenue up to Roe Lane. Finally Roe Lane onto my street and home at…
The total walk including stoppages for ice cream (so essential yesterday) and road crossings and little rest-bites was six hours and ten minutes. As I was sat down for five minutes or so at Norwood Road I thought to myself ‘If I can get home for 4.30 I’ll be happy’. Suffice to say that I was ecstatic to shave seven minutes off that optimistic deadline.
I have to admit that by taking the green path via the Marshside Path and the Hesketh Golf Course I did shave around a mile off the old route – if I had stayed on the road then I think the final mileage would have come in at a round twenty miles as opposed to the 18.6 miles that I did. All the same, it’s still the furthest that I’ve ever walked and don’t my feet know it! The weather yesterday was pretty much the warmest February day that I can remember – it looks at though Global Warming isn’t a load of gibberish after all!
At no point did I see a sign indicating “Coastal Path this direction” so it looks like I will have to stick to my plan of ‘doing’ the Sefton Coastal Path from South to North, Crosby to Southport, no biggie it would have just added an extra layer of certainty when the time of the walk comes. That being said, I have walked the Coastal Road four times now so if I was lost whilst doing the full blown Sefton Coastal Path then I’d need my head banging!
For me the whole year’s walking will be a (hopefully) straight line gradual improvement to gear me up for the Anglezarke Amble next February – I am going to have a go at the Yorkshire Three Peaks with a view to just finishing it in under twelve hours…watch this space folks. Until my next post, here are some pictures of the day: