If you fancy a challenge in a different area why not consider the
‘Sidmouth Saunter’ next October?
It is organised by the Long Distance Walkers Association but, as on most
of their events, runners are welcome. Louise and I did the 25 mile
route; there were also 13 and 17 mile options. As it was in Devon there
were plenty of hills, some with very steep descents. The recent dry
weather meant that the potentially muddy patches were only soft and the
paths through the woods were deep with crunchy leaves to kick through.
The route description was mainly good, only necessitating a bit of
map-reading and head-scratching. There were check-points about every 6
miles, with ample refreshments (‘Tea and cake’ rating for the event is
The route started from Sidmouth and went east along the coast for about
4 miles, giving wonderful views as far as Portland, before turning
inland. It then took an anti-clockwise loop through villages, farmland,
heath and woods as well as a long stretch along the River Otter, before
reaching the coast again 4 miles west of Sidmouth, with a vicious ‘sting
in the tail’ of a final hill before returning to Sidmouth.
The first runner was Jenny Mills in 5hrs 37mins.
Louise and I walked it in 9 hrs, which considering the terrain (not to
mention the prolonged check-point stops sampling the food) we were