The Coleridge Way Guide Story

15.07.22 Front CoverThe Coleridge Way Companion Guide has arrived from the printers! So here’s the Coleridge Way Guide story…

Twenty-one months in the making, 40,000 words in the typing, 642 hours in the writing, 162 miles in the walking, 18 pubs in the sampling, 17 titanium screws in the arm… and one book.

In November 2013 I met with the Coleridge Way Steering Group to pitch an idea I had to write a guide to the Coleridge Way – not a step by step one – but a travelogue to bring the path, people and stories along it to life. The Committee agreed and supported the plan – all I needed to do was to walk the route and put pen to paper.

I spent five months planning, researching, booking accommodation and getting fit for my first walk along the newly extended Coleridge Way at the beginning of June 2014…

Then on the way to the AONB offices to visit Georgie Grant one mid- May morning I toppled off my bike and broke my arm and wrist in more places than I care to remember. The surgeon said that I would be unable to walk the path. What he did not say was that I could not bus, hitch or otherwise blag rides along the route to meet all those people I’d promised to walk with – and I did.

A month later, with a semi-functioning arm (getting a rucksack on and off was a challenge), I started the route again AND walked back along the South West Coastal and West Somerset Coast paths back to Nether Stowey.

In April of this year I walked the route again with Ozy, my 12 year old black Labrador in order to edit the book and add directions.

The result?

A 120 page guide to all that IS the Coleridge Way, full of stories, interviews and anecdotes; from the story of the Louisa lifeboat, dragged from Lynmouth over Exmoor to save lives in Porlock, to the ancient tradition of stoning red squirrels on Good Friday.

It’s been a fantastic journey both physically and mentally and I’ve loved every minute of it.

The book is officially launched on 2 September.