Prelude: Arrival in Minehead
In which Emily boards the Great Western Rail at Paddington Station, having just purchased an emergency supply of cold-weather clothing on the Kensington High Street; Emily agrees to meet Barbara in Taunton for the journey onward; Barbara fears that their itinerary has been compromised before it has begun and endeavors to take an earlier bus from Taunton to Minehead; Barbara is misdirected to the town center instead of the pick-up location at the train depot; Barbara boards the same bus that Emily is scheduled to board several minutes later at the train depot; Emily's train is delayed; the bus that Barbara has already boarded arrives at the train depot but refuses to accept any new passengers because the luggage racks are full; Emily then arrives and learns that she has missed the bus but so too have the other intended passengers and so a replacement bus has been dispatched; a polite and charming young man volunteers information that this is an unusual stuff-up for such buses and expresses interest in Emily's concern about the cool and cloudy weather; the replacement bus arrives and Emily and the young man board along with the other passengers, including several local louts; another passenger chats with Emily about Brexit and the cool and cloudy weather; the local louts remain vocal; Emily and the polite and charming young man begin another conversation in which he volunteers that he is a member of the Royal Navy recently stationed off the coast of Syria; Emily disembarks in Minehead; Barbara and Emily meet; the itinerary begins on schedule.
Day 1: Minehead to Porlock
In which Barbara has jet lag; Emily receives three messages from her significant other reading "This is a Test," "I miss you xx," and "This is a test again"; Barbara and Emily begin the day with a full English breakfast following an evening at the family pub; they depart on time at 9:30 for the first leg of the South West Coast Path; Emily is glad for the cold-weather clothing; the sun comes out; Emily loses her hat; Emily removes the cold-weather clothing; all flowers are purple, all English people have dogs, and all points are two miles from Bossington; Emily and Barbara are unintentionally diverted to the alternate route by a man with a dog who does not know the way to Bossington; Barbara is overcome with awe by the view of the Bristol Channel from the alternate route; Emily experiments with the Ordinance Survey map app; the young man from the bus, who introduces himself as Dan, appears on the alternate route and volunteers directions to Bossington; Emily and Barbara arrive at the tea room in Bossington and find many English dogs and roses in the garden; Emily encounters Dan and his father elsewhere in the garden and learns that they are from Bossington; Emily concludes that the tea service is delightful and Barbara feels the same way about her mackerel salad; Barbara and Emily divert from the Coast Path to the footpath to Porlock and later walk across the rocky beach to attend the Weir Beer Fest where the sun does not set until nearly 10pm.
Day 2: Porlock to Lynmouth
In which more British politicians quit; two liters of water leak out of Emily's water pouch, soaking all of the bedding beneath it as well as the exterior of her backpack while the contents in the interior of the pack remain remarkably dry; Barbara and Emily are repeatedly told that the whortleberry is an acquired taste while they find that the taste to be acquired very much resembles that of the blueberry; Emily purchases a new hat from a mad hatter; the sun stays out; Barbara blends in to the purple flowers; a rhododendron estate fails to deliver; a baby horse greets Emily in the affectionate manner that she ordinarily associates with her cat, Malcolm; en route to Lynmouth, Barbara and Emily meet the owner of the shop adjacent to their hotel and are escorted to the location; Emily can walk no further; Barbara is reluctant about Sunday Roast; Barbara and Emily encounter two American men who announce that they have seen the Beast of Exmoor along with seventy ticks and two black adders.
Day 3: Lynmouth to Combe Martin
In which there are kippers for breakfast; Americans celebrate independence; there are no sandwiches to be had before 10 in Lynmouth; nor does the funicular leading up the hill to Lynton open before 10; Emily encounters a trio of walkers from Bristol also in search of sandwiches and the funicular; Barbara, who has assembled a sandwich using the morning's toast, butter, and English bacon, proposes walking to Lynton and carrying on with the day; flowers are now purple and yellow; Barbara and Emily walk through the Valley of the Rocks, as well as the Valley of the Ferns, and the Valley of the Oaks; Emily trails behind Barbara and the trio of walkers, all several decades her senior, discovering that she is a slow hiker; the four miles accounting for the ascent to and the decent from the Great Hangman are endless and entirely outside of time; Barbara and Emily arrive at a musty B&B unaware that Damien Hirst is their neighbor.
Day 4: Combe Martin to Woolacombe
In which Barbara lodges a complaint about the rollaway bed in the musty B&B; the downtrodden lady with her dog in the breakfast room unfortunately resembles the stock TV character of the downtrodden English lady with a dog; Emily concedes that making bacon sandwiches in the morning is the most practical approach to lunch; some of the flowers are now red; some of the trail is on the road; Barbara and Emily learn that Ilfracombe is "distinctive"; Barbara and Emily fail to recognize Verity as the work of Damien Hirst; Barbara and Emily round Morte Point; The path to Woolacombe is diverted because of a land slip; an English couple with a dog escort Barbara and Emily to their B&B, where they are upgraded to a room with a view.
Day 5: Woolacombe to Braunton
In which Barbara and Emily begin the day by walking across the beach of which they had a splendid view; they ascend to Baggy Point where they encounter a colony of black sheep; they descend on Croyde where Barbara advocates for a walk over the dunes and a diversion for ice cream; Emily enjoys her chocolate ice cream with chocolate sprinkles; Barbara and Emily neglect to walk through the golf course at Saunton and encounter more dunes; they arrive at a military zone, which they exit with the help of an officer, the Ordinance Survey app, and a couple with a dog; they decline an offer for a ride to Braunton from the couple with the dog; Barbara appears reluctant to stop; Emily eats her bacon sandwich while traveling a road also traveled by tractors and combat-ready tanks on exercises; the road gives way to the Braunton marshes; Barbara calculates that they have walked 17.5 miles; Barbara and Emily question the verity that a certain establishment sells the best fish and chips in the South West; the inn keeper washes and folds Barbara and Emily's laundry.
Day 6: Braunton to Instow
In which Barbara and Emily present the inn keeper with flowers at breakfast; more British politicians quit; a lynx escapes from a Devon zoo and roams the woods afraid of human contact, a shy beast; Barbara and Emily roam the asphalt of the Tarka trail, bypassing Barnstaple; they again encounter the trio of walkers from Bristol, now reduced to two and on bicycles; Barbara and Emily find a certain trail-side tea room to be satisfactory but neither heavenly nor divine as advertised; placards on lawns encourage them to "vote leave"; Barbara and Emily arrive in Instow just as the seafood shack shuts, Barbara, having recently tried her first Cornish pasty, now drinks her first scrumpy; Barbara and Emily learn that fresh seafood appears only on specials boards in Instow and not on advertised menus; Emily speaks to her significant other on the phone while sitting on the stairway outside their room at the pub.
Day 7: Instow to Westward Ho!
In which more Americans are shot; Barbara and Emily encounter a local couple both skeptical of Brexit; in Bideford, Barbara repairs her camera while Emily buys a cake from the Souperman at the Pannier market; Emily concludes that the cake is heavenly and the Souperman may indeed be divine; after six miles of walking, they arrive on the other side of the narrow estuary from the place where they started and at another branch of the same deli from which they had carried their lunch; they fail to sample the ice cream from Appledore's famous trucks; Barbara and Emily purchase a guide to the ongoing marshes and correctly track the golf course; they encounter another local couple in favor of Brexit and skeptical about immigration; they are unaware of the arrival of transatlantic telephone line.
Day 8: Westward Ho! to Clovelly
In which the inn keeper greets Barbara and Emily in full chef's whites; Scotland's first minister pursues new allies in Europe; Barbara and Emily find a cave that may be the birthplace of Merlin the Magician, as well as the dwelling places of several hermits; there are faces in the oaks; Barbara and Emily observe the same ship from different angles throughout the day; in Clovelly, the flowers are made of yarn and the people are Stepford Wives.
Day 9: Clovelly to Hartland Quay
In which there are no newspapers in Clovelly; the wind picks up; the trail disappears; a radar station rises like a mushroom cloud; there are cream teas in a shed; the lighthouse is off limits; the hotel is just around the bend; the wifi doesn't work.
Day 10: Hartland Quay to Bude
In which, such as there are mountains in England, Barbara and Emily scale ten of them.