Wednesday, 27 July 2011

What hills?

They're just a distant memory; no hills of any note for a couple of days. But there will be more, I know, especially Beachy Head on Friday.

What I love about the British coast is its sheer diversity. Where else could you go and experience, within relatively short distances, the different landscapes that Britain has to offer? Of course, it's not all good - remember Mablethorpe and Brean - but those are more than balanced by such places as the west coast of Scotland, Pembrokeshire, Cornwall and Devon. I have been very lucky to experience all these places in a single sweep. It has given me a real appreciation of the richness of Britain's coastline.

Today was another winding tour through towns and countryside. Into Portsmouth along a poorly signposted cycle route and across Langstone Harbour on the passenger ferry to Hayling Island. There I was able to renew acquaintances with Nigel Jardine, the Harbour Master, stopping for half an hour for a coffee. Then it was through Emsworth to Bosham, where I met Geograph-er Matt Eyre for a beer and a baguette. At Itchenor I also met the new head of Chichester Harbour Conservancy, who wants me to return to give a talk about the ride.

A few more quays later I reached the outskirts of Littlehampton and took advantage of a campsite at Ford where there was a pub next door. It had been another disappointing mainly overcast day; I'm looking forward to seeing the sun again.

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