My Plan

2017

I am very happy with a time I have to prepare and possibly completely reinvent myself as a person before England Coast Path is completed. Most of my preparations will be put into action throughout late spring and summertime. So far, what I came up with for this summer is exploring several paths in Kent and East Sussex, and possibly looking for some trails in Scotland.

Of course, the South West Coast Path is now delayed until the whole of England Coast Path is complete, and the only stretch of this path I’m going to complete before it’s finished is Ramsgate to Camber, as it's a part of the coast I am already very familiar with (I live in Rye, which is 4 miles away from Camber). I have also already walked from Rye to Pett Level (another small part of what is soon to become part of England Coast Path) quite a few times last summer.

Ramsgate to Camber amounts to approximately 65 mile stretch – I’m not sure exactly, but the National Trails website does not seem to provide the mileage for this route, but it is one of the stretches of the England Coast Path that is already complete and in use.

I’m planning to complete it in two days, camping somewhere near Folkestone for a night. Funny enough, me, Andy and his kids have already camped in one of the campsites there a few years ago in our little camper-van. 

I have not yet decided on the date, but I’m hoping to do this stretch as soon as the weather warms up, most likely the end of April or first half of May.

The next one will be South Downs Way – National Trail leading from the old capital of England – Winchester, to Eastbourne (not a part of England Coast Path). This will be a hundred mile stretch. 

I will be very happy if I could manage to incorporate the North Downs Way, another National Trail that stretches from Farnham to Canterbury and the White Cliffs of Dover through a beautiful landscape rich in cultural heritage.

This might be all for this summer, depending on all my free time that I can afford to spend away. However, if I’m really lucky, and my activities generate sufficient interest, I will definitely push for more, adding beautiful Scotland to my list.

In addition to that, I am also going to be very strict on my daily walks. Since mid-December (before I discovered England Coast Path) I started walking longer distances at least five times a week. I’m going to continue these exercises completing at least two 8-mile walks a week, most of them will be to Mary Stanford boat house in Rye Harbour nature reserve and back. I log all my walks as well as some photos of my route and updates on my latest activities on Sense of Journey Facebook page, and also on Twitter. Don't forget to "like" and "follow"!

2018

For the summer of 2018 the only path I currently have in mind is El Camino de Santiago de Compostela… taking the French Way it would measure nearly 500 miles or 780 kilometres. This is a big one for me, as it’s away from home, and it’s one long way to go, opposed to multiple shorter routes I’m going to hike in 2017. 

Most popular route starts in France and all of them lead to the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Spain. It’s not just a normal trail, it’s a pilgrimage – and no, I’m not religious. Pilgrim ways in Europe are really old, surrounded by our incredible history, myths and legends, it greatly compliments the new born England Coast Path – a brand new path, yet still covering a great deal of history and cultural heritage.

History of the Way of St James’s begins all the way back to 9th century AD, year 814. Legend has it as time of discovery of the remains of the apostle St  James, who was one of the 12 apostles of Jesus, and is said to be one of the first apostles who died for his religion. St James is often credited for bringing Christianity over to Iberian Peninsula (today's Spain and Portugal). St James was later beheaded in Jerusalem and his body was returned back to Galicia, Spain.

In 3rd century AD his tomb was abandoned due to continuous prosecutions of followers of Christianity, and in 814 rediscovered by a pilgrim who followed lights in the sky, which was then passed on to the king Alfonso II, who then ordered construction of a chapel on this site, and in 829 the first church.

After the original church burned down in 997, construction of current cathedral started in 1075 with later improvements added in 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.

 At that time, the Way was defined by networks of roman routes, with final destination being the chapel, later church and current cathedral holding the tomb of St James. Nowadays it’s still a popular pilgrimage or spiritual path and an increasingly popular hiking route. 

This is the path that I have in mind for now, however considering how spontaneously I have put this little plan together, this might change as I’m still eyeing up GR20 in Corsica, Italy (only 112 miles, 180km, but it’s meant to be tough) and Scottish National Trail (537 miles or 864 kilometres) which would then leave Santiago for the summer of 2019, for which I don’t yet have any plans.

This is my plan so far, and it’s still very abstract, but I am pretty positive that this coming summer will prove to be very productive! I will update my progress on this blog, also posting a lot of live updates and pictures on Sense of Journey Facebook page and also on Twitter - once again, don't forget to "like" and "follow"!

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