Looking back at 2022 and on to 2023

Love this photo of the boys walking the ridge to Hopegill Head, this was a blisteringly hot August day, with temperatures over 30 degrees, thankfully we were walking back along the valley bottom and by a stream by midday.

Well 2022 has passed into the annals of history and we all start to make plans for 2023, I will mention some of my plans for this year lower down but for now lets look back at 2022. It started with lots of coastal walks, in fact I’d only done one walk on Dartmoor by the time March came around, but I’d made up for that by year’s end. In total I did 66 walks this year, the same as the last 2 years weirdly (I still have one to write up from Boxing Day), these were split with 30 done on Dartmoor, 20 coastal, 14 in the Lakes, a National Trust property and a tank museum. As with every year I could have done more walking or gone to somewhere new, but things pan out as you want them to, and this year it was perfect. You’ll have seen this year, on my site, walks with the boys cropping up and also with my partner, Linda, who is accompanying me on most of my walks now.

The Mouls and St Isaac’s Bay from Rumps Point on a stunning walk to Polzeath

Again, as with previous years, I extended my South West Coastal Path completed sections, making it up to around 275 miles, which I’m really pleased with. I’m nearing half way distance now having completed a long section from Chesil Beach to Plymouth and another long section on the north coast from near Hartland Point to Polzeath (all the walks on the coastal path are here). As for my efforts to complete the Wainwrights, I was able to visit the Lake District three times in 2022, managing to bag another 18 Wainwrights. This has pushed me to 194 now and just 20 left to do, plus it has meant I have completed the Central and North Western fells now, alongside that of the Far Eastern fells previously (all the Lakes walks can be found here). I still have a lot of Southern Fells (8) on my list, so I really need to make an effort around Wasdale and Eskdale (see plans for the year below). I also have 5 Eastern, 4 Western and 3 in the north to do as well. I feel that I’m on the home straight now though, with 2 or maybe 3 more visits needed to the district, to complete them.

Linda descending the path down to Combe Gill after we had left Bessyboot summit. Fleetwith Pike in the distance

As for Dartmoor, this year I managed to complete the Dartmoor 365 list, I have really enjoyed these walks and I have already started them again with Linda, so you will no doubt be reading the words ‘Dartmoor 365 square’ lots more times on my site. The Dartmoor 365 list is probably the best way to see the whole moor and all it has (here). As for 2022 on the website, the number of views was exactly 83,000 and about 41,000 people visiting. A huge thank you from me to everyone of you that have clicked here and I hope you have found a walk, tor or map that was useful to yourself. My most popular pages/walks this year are the obvious tors lists, alongside individual pages for Shilley and Sharrah Pools (classic wild swimming spots), Kes Tor and Kitty Tor both featured highly from the tors point of view. The most popular walk last year was one from Steps Bridge to Clifford Bridge (here), plus a walk to Cornwall’s highest spot (here) and finally my Yoke, Ill Bell and Froswick walk in the Lakes (here). My list of favourite walks in 2022 is lower down.

A River Dart swim

With all this eulogising about great walks, views and things to do, there were some down points. One walk from Par to Porthpean (here) along the coastal path had one section which was closed due to a landslip, the plans had the path reopening in Summer 2022, on searching it looks like it is still the case and the detour remains in place. One other coastal walk from Lyme Regis to Stonebarrow Hill (here) was very similar, in the fact that the official coastal path takes you well inland behind Timber Hill, involving a pointless steep climb alongside a main road, when the coastal path should offer the possibility of crossing the beach like dozens do every day. Finally there was my July walk to Erme Pound, a falling rock and a trapped leg almost had me calling for the mountain rescue, luckily I managed to lever the rock away (here). All these mishaps are balanced nicely by some lovely moments, finding an ammonite fossil on Lyme Regis beach, another reaching the top of Golden Cap (the south coasts highest point) plus a lovely swim in the River Dart with the boys (here).

My favourite walks of the year:

Whiteside and Hopegill Head – Despite the heat this was my favourite walk of the year, the ridge between the two fells is superb and our early start meant we headed into Gasgale Gill at midday and plenty of soaking in the stream as we walked out. The dip at the end was very welcome

Stonebarrow Hill, Golden Cap and Seatown – I mentioned this walk above, Golden Cap is the high point of the south coast of England, so its always a thrill to get to these places. The weather was perfect and I said at the time that it would be a contender for best walk of the year.

Wanson and Bude to Northcott Mouth – A brilliant bit of coastal walking here, the beach at Widecombe Bay was glorious to walk across, a walk with a beach, cliffs and along a canal. A fabulous 12 miles.

Yewbarrow, Scoat Fell and Steeple – A second entry for the Lakes and this is one that I was wary of, Yewbarrow is a fearsome climb for lots of people, I loved it and also including the airy walk out to Steeple in the same walk was a real treat. The return along Nether Beck was a brilliant decision.

Port Quin to Polzeath – Probably the best coastal walk of the year, it had us stopping regularly to gawp at the views. A fantastic bit of coastline

Last of the Dartmoor 365 Walla Brook – Finally a Dartmoor walk in this list, the walk out along the Walla Brook was brilliant and visiting Watern Tor is always a lovely spot to visit. the fact that it was last of the dartmoor 365 was a superb way to finish this list off.

Wetherlam – Having driven for nearly 7 hours most people wouldn’t think of walking up a 763 metre fell. Well we did and its a cracker. The route up Steel Edge and down Wetherlam Edge was tough in places, but a very rewarding walk. And Linda’s first Wainwright for over 20 years

Buckfast Abbey – Probably the most surprising post of the year. Taking the boys to Buckland Abbey was done just to tick off the D365 square for me, but they loved the acoustics of the choir inside and the architecture. I was stunned how much they enjoyed it.

The view along Ennerdale from Steeple
Wet but happy on Lonscale Fell

So what next you might ask? As for last year I would always assume that Dartmoor and the South West Coastal path will feature heavily. I have started a second round of the Dartmoor 365 squares with Linda looking to complete her first, and we’ve completed 40 squares already with the boys on 67 squares. As for the tors I’m getting close to completing a second round of my ‘500 list’ with only 72 left to do, so its possible I might finish in 2023 but maybe not. Linda has completed 109 tors and the boys 126 tors as of the end of 2022, so we will look to push those numbers up considerably this year. I have a visit to the Lakes booked in May, staying in Wasdale, which should mean I get to pick off lots of missing Wainwrights in that area. Linda has done around 16 or 17 Wainwrights so we will add to that as well. We also have a week in Snowdonia booked for the summer so that will be some new walking for all four of us there. As for the coastal path, I should easily get past half way and will be looking to hit the areas from The Lizard around Lands End to Padstow, also South Haven Point to Chesil Beach and finally the section from Hartland Point to Minehead. Maybe a multi-day walk would help to complete some of this, but I’m not sure yet. Finally I’ve been looking at maybe doing some of the Dartmoor Way, which is a path around the edges of Dartmoor in a kind of loop (there’s also a section across the centre which splits it in half). This could help with completing the Dartmoor 365 squares as it passes through lots of them. So lots to think about and lots of new places to go and see, hopefully through this website you’ll come with me and enjoy it all as much as I do. Hope you all have a happy and healthy 2023.

Steve, treksandtors

9 thoughts on “Looking back at 2022 and on to 2023

    • I’m loving doing it the way I have. Day walks, out along a coastal path and back inland, that way I see two different sides, and none of it seems to be the same. Its a fantastic path, and for me, as good as any other long distance path in the UK

      Liked by 1 person

    • And to you Andy and your family, have to say I managed to get in a posting groove over the Christmas period and caught up a bit, just a Boxing Day walk to finish off 2022 (not mentioning the 3 from 2023 already walked 🙂 )

      Liked by 1 person

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