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Hiking Alternatives

August 06, 1995

In "Rambling in Land of King Arthur," (Hiking, June 18), John McKinney mentions only two ways to hike England's Southwest Coastal Trail: joining a guided walking tour or renting a car and driving, stopping occasionally to hike. The third way, and, in my opinion, the most fun and adventurous, is to take an independent hike along a section of the trail. Last summer, I and four women friends hiked a 57-mile section and had a marvelous time.

We made arrangements through the English Wanderer for lodging, meals and daily transport of our luggage. Armed with 13 pages of typed directions, we managed to arrive safely at our destinations each night, although the first day--13 miles of "ups and downs"--almost did us in! It was one of the most memorable vacations of my life. Since we didn't use (or need) a guide, or car, it also was relatively inexpensive.

SUE BRATT

Encinitas

My husband and I have hiked the Southwest Coastal Trail in many different sections, all on day trips. The Lynton-Lynmouth section is, to my mind, the most dramatically scenic coastal section in England and it merits two or three days. Travelers can stay in one of the many guest houses and hotels right on the cliffs of Lynton. The Valley of the Rocks walk right out of Lynton is one of the wonders of the British Isles. Following it west you come to gorgeous Lee Bay. Riding the funicular down the sheer cliff you get to Lynmouth, absolutely priceless in its attractiveness, and from there the lovely Waters-meet walk along the Hoar Oak. I could go on and on.

KATHARINE McCORMACK

Tarzana

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