May 15th – Golden Cap

We took our first short (4.3 mile) hike in the Lyme Regis area to Golden Cap, “arguably the highest point on the south coast of Great Britain.” The views were breathtaking and I’m not sure these pictures really capture the feeling of being there. Click any image to see them all at full size.

Public Footpath

South Downs Way, Farnham

A recent article in the NY Times discussed the millions of acres of public land in the US that are inaccessible to the public because they’re entirely surrounded by private property, which is sacrosanct. In the UK, by contrast, there is custom going back centuries, that protects the people’s access to the commons. Everywhere you go you find public footpaths that cross private land, allowing one walking and rambling access to extensive swathes of the countryside. Of course, this is not wholly uncontested even here but the notion of public goods is much more widely recognized.

Cliff Cows

Cliffs of Moher, County Clare, Ireland

There’s a very narrow pathway laid out along the Cliffs, bounded by a steep drop to the ocean below and an electrified fence on the other, protecting, I guess, these cows.