Volume 30, Issue 2 p. 234-247

A single day's walking: narrating self and landscape on the South West Coast Path

John Wylie

John Wylie

Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN email: [email protected]

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First published: 01 July 2005
Citations: 452


This paper tells the story of a single day's walking, alone, along the South West Coast Path in North Devon, England. Forms of narrative and descriptive writing are used here as creative and critical means of discussing the varied affinities and distanciations of self and landscape emergent within the affective and performative milieu of coastal walking. Discussion of these further enables critical engagement with current conceptualizations of self–landscape and subject–world relations within cultural geography and spatial-cultural theory more generally. Through attending to a sequence of incidents and experiences, the paper focuses upon the distinctive ways in which coast walking patterns into refracting orderings of subjectivity and spatiality – into for example, sensations of anxiety and immensity, haptic enfolding and attenuation, encounters with others and with the elements, and moments of visual exhilaration and epiphany.