A couple of years ago I walked the Pennine Way as a wandering poet, giving poetry readings every night in return for bed, breakfast and a round of butties, and Walking Home - Travels with a Troubadour was the published record of that journey. This year I'm writing the follow-up to that book, the imaginatively entitled Walking Away, a journey on foot from Minehead in Somerset along the north coast of the South West Coast Path to Land's End and beyond ...
Once again I'll be bartering my way from start to finish, giving readings and passing the hat around, inviting the audience to put in whatever they think I'm worth.
I want to see if I can pay my way with poetry alone, but this time away from my home ground, and getting further distant every day, towards where the country narrows to a point and the Atlantic begins...
Here's my planned itinerary for 2013:
W A L K I N G A W A Y
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Pre-walk reading: 8.00 pm, Garden Room, Coleridge Cottage, 35 Lime Street, Nether Stowey, Bridgwater, Somerset TA5 1NQ
Hosted by The National Trust
Wednesday, August 28
Minehead launches the walk ahead!
Dinner & evening reading: 6.30pm, The Combe Restaurant at The West Somerset College, Bircham Road, Minehead, Somerset TA24 6AY
Hosted by The Combe Restaurant at The West Somerset College
Dinner is complimentary and the reading is free entry, but booking is essential.
For further information, please click here.
Thursday, August 29
Minehead to Porlock Weir
Reading: 8.00pm, Porlock Village Hall (New Rd), Porlock, Somerset TA24 8QD
In association with Porlock Arts Festival
Tickets are free from Porlock Visitor Centre, West End, Porlock, TA24 8QD.
Doors and bar open 7.30
Telephone 01643 863150 or Email email@example.com.
Friday, August 30
Porlock Weir to Lynton
Reading: 8.00pm, Barbrook Village Hall, Barbrook, Lynton, Devon EX35 6PD
Hosted by Barbrook Village Hall Trust
Refreshments for sale from 7.30pm
Tickets are free but should be reserved in advance.
To book: contact Carolynn Gold, 01598 753921
Saturday, August 31
Lynton to Combe Martin
Reading, 7.30 for 8.00pm, Combe Martin Museum, Cross Street, Combe Martin, Devon EX34 0DH
Hosted by Combe Martin Museum and North Devon Coast AONB
Wine, refreshments on sale during the evening.
Free entry but booking is essential: ring the Museum 01271 889031 or Mellstock House 01271 882592
Sunday, September 1
Combe Martin to Woolacombe
Reading: 8.00pm, Georgeham Village Hall, Hill Park, Georgeham, Devon EX33 1JL
Hosted by Paul Trueman (and helpful friends) plus North Devon Coast AONB
Tickets are free but should be reserved in advance.
To book, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07921 999677
Monday, September 2
Woolacombe to Braunton
Reading: 8.00pm, Heavenly House, Barnstaple Hill, Swimbridge, Devon EX32 0PQ
Hosted by the Everett-Brown family
Free entry, but booking is essential. Please email email@example.com or call 01271 831389
Access: Heavenly House is a converted chapel with several steep steps up the door. Free parking is available in the Village Hall car park opposite.
Tuesday, September 3
Braunton to Instow
Reading: 8.00pm, The Plough Arts Centre, 9-11 Fore Street, Great Torrington, Devon EX38 8HQ
Hosted by The Plough Arts Centre
Booking essential: Tickets: Full £10, Conc £8, Supporters/Groups £7
Box Office 01805 624624. Pre-show meals call The Plough cafe 01805 625925
Please note: For practical reasons this is a pre-paid ticketed event, unlike Simon's readings elsewhere en route where he will pass a hat around after the reading and ask people to give him what they think he's worth. The Plough Arts Centre welcomes school parties.
Wednesday, September 4
Instow to Westward Ho!
Reading: 8.00pm, Walter Henry's bookshop, 12 High St, Bideford, Devon EX39 2AA
Hosted by Walter Henry's bookshop
Free entry, but booking is essential: Tel: 01237 425 727 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, September 5
Westward Ho! to Clovelly
Reading: 8.00pm, Harbour bar, Red Lion Hotel, The Quay, Clovelly, nr. Bideford, Devon EX39 5TF.
Hosted by The Clovelly Estate and North Devon Coast AONB
Free entry, but please book in advance: To book, email: email@example.com or tel: 01237 431237.
Please note: Visitors need to park their cars at the Clovelly Visitor Centre car park and walk the steep slope down and back up. There is no entrance fee to Clovelly after 6.30pm.
Friday, September 6
Clovelly to Hartland Quay
From 7.00pm, wine/soft drinks and cheese will be available for a suggested donation of £6.50.
Reading: 8.00pm, Victorian Drawing Room, Hartland Abbey, Hartland, Bideford, North Devon EX39 6DT
Hosted by Hartland Abbey and North Devon Coast AONB
Seats are free, but must be reserved in advance.
To book your seats and any pre-reading refreshments: Email Hartland Poetry Reading or Tel: 07824 849759
Please note: places are limited and offered on a first come first served basis upon reservation. Unfortunately the Victorian Drawing Room venue is not suitable for school parties or group bookings. Free parking available.
Saturday, September 7
Hartland Quay to Morwenstow
Reading: 8.00 pm, Calstock Arts, The Old Chapel, Sand Lane, Calstock, Cornwall PL18 9QX
Hosted by Calstock Arts
Free entry, but booking is essential: please click here.
[N.B. Simon is detouring south to the Tamar Valley for this event.]
Sunday, September 8
Morwenstow to Widemouth Bay
Reading: 8.00pm, Poughill Mill, Bush, Bude, North Cornwall, EX23 9JY
Hosted by the Barratt family
Monday, September 9
Widemouth Bay to Boscastle
Reading: 8.00pm, The Barn, Wooda Farm, Crackington Haven, North Cornwall, EX23 0LF
Hosted by Just Desserts and North Cornwall Poetry Stanza
Tea, coffee and beer will be available in return for a donation. Complimentary puddings will be served after the reading.
Free entry, but booking is essential. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that parking is limited at Wooda Farm so please share transport if you can.
Tuesday, September 10
Boscastle to Port Isaac
Reading: 8.00pm, Daniell Room, The Poly, 24 Church Street, Falmouth, Cornwall TR1 3EG
Hosted by Falmouth Poetry Group
Free entry, but booking is essential: call 01326 319461 or book online
[N.B. Once again, Simon is detouring to the south coast for this event.]
Wednesday, September 11
Port Isaac to Padstow
Reading: 8.00pm, Wadebridge Library, Southern Way, Wadebridge, Conrwall PL27 7BX
Hosted by Wadebridge Library
Free entry, but booking is essential (opens July 15): please email email@example.com
or ring 0300 1234 111 (this goes through our contact centre so it is easier to email).
Thursday, September 12
Padstow to Constantine Bay
Reading: 8.00pm, Treisaac Farm, Treisaac, Cornwall TR8 4DX
Hosted by Atlantic Brewery
Friday, September 13
Constantine Bay to Newquay
Reading: 8.00pm, Cafe Irie, 38 Fore Street, Newquay, Cornwall TR7 1LP
Hosted by Jon & Gary, Cafe Irie
Tickets are free. Please call in to Cafe Irie to book your seat.
Saturday, September 14
Newquay to St. Agnes
Reading: 8.00pm, upstairs at Schooners Bistro, Trevaunance Cove, St Agnes, Cornwall TR5 0RY
Hosted by Ben Job, Schooners Bistro
The reading is free entry, but booking is essential - please call Ben at Schooners on 01872 553149.
Any pre-reading meals, please call as Schooners as above.
Sunday, September 15
St Agnes to Gwithian
Ceramic Pit Firing: 6.00 pm on Porthmeor Beach, St Ives.
Free, no need to book.
Reading: 8.00 pm, Porthminster Gallery, Westcott's Quay, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 2DY
Hosted by Porthminster Gallery in association with St Ives September Festival
Reading free entry, limited numbers so booking essential.
Tel: 01736 795888 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, September 16
Gwithian to Zennor
Reading: 8.00 pm, The Roundhouse, Bodrifty Farm, Newmill, Cornwall TR20 8XT
Hosted by Hidden Hideaways
Tuesday, September 17
Zennor to Land's End
Reading: 8.00 pm Newlyn School of Art, Old Board School, Chywoone Hill, Newlyn, Cornwall TR18 5AN
Hosted by Newlyn School of Art
Free entry, but booking is essential. For further information, please click here.
Wednesday, September 18
Isles of Scilly
Afternoon reading for students: Five Islands School, St. Mary's, TR21 0NA
Hosted by Five Islands School
Public evening reading: 6.00 - 7.00pm, New Inn, Tresco, TR24 0QQ
Hosted by Tresco Estate
The public evening reading is free entry. No need to book.
STOP PRESS: given the big spring tides, Simon's public reading on Tresco is now 6.00 - 7.00 pm so that people can reach the New Inn from St. Mary's and Bryher. If you wish to cross, please contact Association Boats 01720 423999 or Bryher Boats 01720 422886.
Thursday, September 19
Tresco to Bryher and possibly Samson
on foot at low tide ...
Or if you want to walk with me, just turn up on the day and say hello. I'm fairly approachable, though by the end I might look a little bedraggled, especially if I misread the tide-table between those final islands ...