August 22nd 2020

From Cornwall to the South Downs

We never grow tired of walking in England. The variety of land and shore-scape is truly incredible and our two most southerly English Walks – in Cornwall and along the South Downs Way - are perfect examples.

From rocky coastlines and sandy beaches to rolling hills, moorland and those quintessentially English villages rich with history, not to mention relics of the earliest human existence; it all unfolds before us.

We are so looking forward to showing off these lovely southern counties in 2021 – and these Walks sit back-to-back. Book them both together for a wonderful experience and we’ll stand you the night’s accommodation in between.

Meanwhile, please do enjoy our “Dream now… Visit later” selection of ways to bring Cornwall, Sussex and Hampshire right into your living rooms before you set out on the trail!

South Downs Way - Arundel Castle

South Downs Way

The full 100 miles of the South Downs Way National Trail follows ancient routes and droveways along the lofty chalk escarpment and ridges of the South Downs from the Sussex coast to Hampshire and England’s former capital, the lovely historic city of Winchester.

With its breath-taking views and stunning scenery, it seems a world away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Hard to believe, but we’re only 60 or so miles away from London!

Centuries of human habitation have shaped this National Park, defined by a landscape where people have chosen to live and work the land.

And it has been a place of worship for centuries, nurturing a spiritual and emotional connection in those who spend time here.

Bignor Roman Villa Site

Along the way we'll see iron age forts and marvel at Roman antiquities and find more modern-day treasures, stopping off at some of the famous castles and country estates.

“The Downs… too much for one pair of eyes, enough to float a whole population in happiness, if only they would look.”

Virginia Woolf

Amberley Castle

If you can’t wait for next summer, here are our suggestions to Dream now… Visit later.

Take a virtual walk along the South Downs Trail here. We’re only sorry we can’t guarantee a friendly Labrador to carry our daypacks!

Virtual Tour along the South Downs Trail

This Walk is all about old England and our first night is spent in a castle! Take a virtual tour of Amberley – now a stunning hotel.

And we visit another castle, Arundel, which featured in The Young Victoria movie (2009) and, believe it or not in the 2017 version of Wonder Woman, when it was the “New York” castle!

Here’s a great downloadable guide from the National Park with plenty of information about the ancient yew forest at Kingley Vale. Using a laser light survey, the Secrets of the High Woods project has revealed the mysterious features and landscapes beneath the trees.

guide from the National Park with plenty of information about the ancient yew forest at Kingley Vale

During the flashback scenes in The Da Vinci Code (2006) director Ron Howard had the Knights meet the Pope in the Vatican, but the backdrop for this scene was actually Winchester Cathedral.

The mighty cathedral is also the burial site of author Jane Austen. How she came to be a writer is depicted in Becoming Jane (2007) Starring Anne Hathaway, James McAvoy and Julie Walters.

Becoming Jane (2007)

Winchester College, the famous public school which has existed in the same location for 600 years, has featured in many a movie. In Les Misérables (2012) starring Hugh Jackman, when we see Javert chasing Valjean and Cosette, College Street in Winchester is used as the filming location, intended to represent Paris. Another little-known fact is that Jane Austen lived in one of the houses in that street and also died there.

Les Misérables (2012)

For readers:

Tracy Chevalier - A Single Thread

Tracy Chevalier’s A Single Thread is set in the Winchester of the 1930s where Violet Speedwell is drawn into a society of broderers--women who embroider kneelers for the Cathedral, carrying on a centuries-long tradition of bringing comfort to worshippers.

Alone on the South Downs Way: A Tale of Two Journeys from Winchester to Eastbourne by Holly Worton. In 2015, the author decided to embark on a 100-mile journey walking along one of England's National Trails. An avid walker, she thought she was up for the challenge of an eight-day hike, and happily set off to explore the South Downs. It did not go quite as planned. Undaunted, and after walking various other long-distance trails in the following years, she returned to the South Downs in 2019 for a second go.

The South Downs Way: Winchester to Eastbourne, described in both directions. Author Kev Reynolds includes step-by-step route descriptions illustrated with extracts from maps for every stage, and a separate, conveniently sized booklet with 1:25,000 maps for the entire route is included. The guide provides detailed practical information on getting to the trail, and facilities and accommodation en route.

Look out for the black swan on the site of the former Black Swan Hotel in Winchester which was visited by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous sleuth and his partner Dr Watson in The Adventure of the Copper Beeches. There is now a plaque marking the location on the corner of Southgate Street and the High Street.

South Downs Way - Walk Level 3

6-12 June 2021

19-25 September 2021

The Best of Cornwall

The Best of Cornwall

We have been Wayfaring in Cornwall for so many years and we love to go back again and again. And so do movie-makers and TV directors, it seems!

As varied as it is beautiful, they make full use of the county’s cobalt seas, turquoise coves, sweeping moorland and characterful towns and villages.

Doc Martin

Since 2004, the gorgeous white-washed cottages, winding lanes and stunning waters of Port Isaac have been gracing our screens in Doc Martin. Fictionally dubbed Portwenn, the series starring Martin Clunes has been filmed on location in Port Isaac and is the go-to place for fans from around the world.

Poldark (2015-2019)

Both the original and latest series of Poldark, filmed 40 years apart, have undeniably helped to put Cornwall on the map. Gaining a loyal following over several generations, the series has famously featured Charlestown, Kynance Cove, Botallack and Bodmin Moor, along with many more jaw-dropping Cornish locations.

Its star, Aidan Turner, was also in the special BBC adaptation of the Agatha Christie novel And Then There Were None, made on location in Cornwall.

Agatha Christie - And then there were none

Hitting the big screens in 2019, the Fisherman’s Friends movie tells the based-on-fact story of ten fishermen from Cornwall being signed by Universal Records and hitting a coveted top-ten spot with their debut album of Sea Shanties. Filmed in Port Isaac, it is another star-studded credit to add to the village’s growing list.

Enjoy the movie and then listen to the real-life Friends’ singing here.

The real-life Fisherman's Friends

Charlestown is a delightfully charming little harbor that sits on the south coast of Cornwall. It’s a unique place as you really feel as though you’re walking around in a different time. The harbour is full of traditional sailing ships, and you really get the feeling that this is a proper old-school 19th Century port. As a result, it’s been a regular in Poldark, and was also used in the smash hit Pirates of the Caribbean series.

Charlestown - Cornwall

For a gentle, star-studded treat watch Ladies in Lavender (2004), a British drama written and directed by Charles Dance, starring Dames Maggie Smith and Judi Dench. It was filmed in various Cornish locations including Cadgwith, Helston, St Ives and the beautiful Prussia Cove.

Ladies in Lavender

Daphne du Maurier captured Cornwall in all its moods in her writing and Rebecca, the ultimate Gothic thriller translates brilliantly to the screen. Charles Dance, Diana Rigg and Emilia Fox led the cast in the 2017 version for Masterpiece Theater

For readers:

Raynor Winn - The Salt. Path

Jamaica Inn, Daphne du Maurier’s swashbuckling tale about pirates and smugglers is set in an inn that still exists today. Located on windswept Bodmin Moor in the east of the region, the famous establishment dates back to 1750 and was renowned for its associations with smuggling. If you enjoy it, try her Frenchman’s Creek, too.

The Salt Path by Raynor Winn is an engrossing memoir about starting all over again. When author Raynor Winn’s husband Moth faced the cruellest of diagnoses followed by the collapse of their business, the pair were led on a journey of inner courage and nature’s ability to heal as they walk the 630 miles of the South West Coast Path.

A Cornish House by Liz Fenwick is the first of seven novel by the US-born author who first visited Cornwall in 1989, and after a number of international moves, now lives there. The plot follows artist Maddie who inherits a property in Cornwall following the death of her husband.

Cornish Folk Tales of Place: Traditional Stories from North and East Cornwall by Anna Chorlton features powerful mermaids, spiteful witches, crafty smugglers, and woeful ghosts. Up on the moors are mischievous creatures, huge giants and elusive beasts. Let the piskies lead you astray across the windy tors and sandy shorelines…

The Best of Cornwall - Walk Level 3

13-19 June 2021

26 September – 2 October 2021

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