Drewin Farm to Llanymynech

Sunday 7th June

9m miles, 698 calories used, 9.00 to 2.00

Another morning of pouring rain, too wet to see, too wet to stop, we just slogged on through the rain, water bouncing off the roads, swelling the paths with puddles, too wet to stop for our ten minute rests. The whole world was streaming with water and that included me, right down to my underwear.

We found a tumbledown shelter for our lunch, a brick shed with an old tin roof with a hole in it. We sat on some logs just out of reach of the splash of the rain through the gash in the roof and ate our sandwiches and changed our socks again. There was nothing to do but walk and to walk at speed so we arrived at Heath Cottage near Forden way too early to a warm and easy welcome. There was a boiler room to hang our sodden clothing in and newspaper with which to stuff our boots. There was a warm lemon cake and tea and, after a shower, a fire in the living room and newspapers to read and a chat. Bliss.

Monday 8th June

Forden to Llanymynech

14 miles, 1144 calories used, 9.30 to 5.00

This looked like a hard day on paper but proved easy enough, the climb and descent restricted to the first hour or so and then much of the walking on flat land by the Severn or along the Montgomery canal. Before we left we were shown the chickens and chicks and the ducks with their ducklings, tiny balls of perfect fluff which look just like a children's toy. We also had the most marvellous breakfast with fruit and homemade preserves along with the now familiar but fabulous cooked breakfast. Can we eat that much and move? Yes we can.

We tried to stop for lunch on the path by a scenic smallholding with beautiful Light Sussex cockerel and hens scratching and pottering and gently grazing sheep. Unfortunately the sheep might well have been hand reared as they showed none of the usual reserve faced by humans but came charging over, intent on sharing our cheese and ham sandwiches as soon as we sat down and would not be shooed. Red faced, hungry and cross, we decamped.

I have heard this described as the boring bit of the walk but we didn't find it so. It was quite flat after the long slow climb out of Forden but the stretch by the canal was quite new, full of water birds and water lilies and a deep green calm.

At one point we skirted a farmyard where a collie was guarding eleven pups, all bouncing with wriggle and curiosity.

They came rushing across to inspect us as we walked through.

The Golden Lion in Four Crosses was clean and pleasant with exceptionally good pub food. It felt good to be more than halfway now, with the rhythm established, the rain gone and another rest day ahead. The landlord here was clearly more interested in music than in the pub and there were live music evenings every night. We listened happily to someone sawing a violin while eating yet more chips and chatting to a fellow walker from The Netherlands.

Tuesday 9 June

Four Crosses and Trelystan

no miles walked, much tea drunk and fine lunch consumed, washing done: tons

We had been looking forward to our only day off in the second week since the very beginning of the walk. We were to spend the day with mountainear and the idea of a house, not a B & B, and a day where we might be looked after had kept us going through the rain and the mud.

She picked us up from the pub where we were staying and gave us a day of luxury and total freedom, freedom from walking and from any kind of decision making. We were ferried about by car - leather seats, speed, purring engine - what a fantastic invention. We ate quiche and strawberries, drank tea and listened to the hum of the tumble drier delivering warm, dry clothes and a measure of respectability. We wandered her beautiful garden, inspected her chickens, were driven to Montgomery and admired its castle and perfect town centre and finished the day with a meal with her and snailbeachshepherdess and their husbands. It was lovely to engage with the world again, to catch up and to share stories and to be sent on our way replete and clean.


  1. I have just caught up with your whole trip Elizabeth. You have logged it so well. It was an amazing thing to do, and no doubt you will have wonderful lasting memories. Well done to you both,and I enjoyed it so much.Thank you. Its great you can meet up with other Coos.

  2. Amazing journaling. I bet you felt moldy and mildewy a few times. Blessing

  3. Gosh, how lovely that you were able to spend some time with fellow Purplecoos.
    I'm enjoying every step, as I sit in temperatures too hot to contemplate such hours of walking.

  4. Ducklings, sheep, collie pups - you had it all in this segment! How nice for you to have the break in the the Kingdom of Trelystann and to be pampered a bit by Mountainear and SBS - you surely deserved it by that point!

  5. Elizabeth, I am so enjoying the posts about your walk - you are bringing it alive and I am full of admiration of you both.

  6. The journey looks interesting with lovely photos no matter WHERE you are. Don't think any of it is boring.
    All those little collies! How sweet!
    What a great experience.

  7. All those pictures are gorgeous. I especially like the one of those pups. Adorable.

    What a lovely walk you had.

  8. I'm delighting in your adventure. Well done -- both the walking and the posting.

    But why didn't you bring one of the adorable pups home with you?

  9. Well done to Mountaineer for pampering you. And well done to you for keeping to schedule.

  10. Really enjoying following your journey -especially now you have reached familiar territory. What a treasure Mountainear is too - I bet you felt like royalty in that little kingdom of hers!

  11. Oh, that last bit sounds to me like heaven. Dry, warm clothes, no decision-making, a lovely place and fine company, especially after all that squidgy dampness. It does sound as though you're walking an awfully long way (and tell me, is the calorie-count each, or between the two of you?) Fabulous photos, too, Elizabeth - how could you resist picking up one of those puppies and smuggling it home inside your cagoule?

    Really enjoying this - let's face it - walking Offa's Dyke vicariously is realistically the only way I'm ever going to do it.

  12. Additional calories used is supposed to be each, although the pedometer might not be entirely reliable. Should be there or thereabouts we hope.
    And yes, we did feel like kings in Trelystan!

  13. Like Tiggy I have just caught up. Suspect it hasn't taken us as long to read as it did for you to write or walk! Amazing writing of what seems to be an amazing journey. Looking forward to the next bit. What gorgeous puppies with their beautiful mum, bet if there had been room you'd have taken one with you in your pack!

  14. I would so much like to be there. Another gorgeous episode of this marathon walk

  15. adorable pups! aggressive sheep! torrential rains!

    what adventures you have had. and yet, what detail sticks with me? lemon cake.

  16. That's it! Now you have pushed me over the edge, staying with Mountainear and catching up with SBS. Now very envious!

  17. I would so much like to be there. Another gorgeous episode of this marathon walk

  18. I was just about to write the same thing as Laurie! LOL we must have the same mindset. Love those curious puppies :-)

  19. The best bit about getting a soaking, or doing something extreme, is when you get the payback - the warm fire, the dry clothes, the good food, the soft bed, the friends, the welcome. In short, a re-appreciation of some of the good things in life!

    Well done you!

  20. What an amazing time you had - I bet you are still basking in the glory. Love those eleven pups!

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