The Lazy Journalist on the best time of year for a seafront stomp

As Gollum may or may not have said while yomping through the less pleasant parts of Middle Earth - ‘My poor feetses’!

Friday, 15th November 2019, 9:22 am
Steve Holloway. Photo by Paul Jenkins

In the past two weeks I’ve supplemented a fairly regular gym routine with rather a lot of walking.

The fitness app on my phone (I’m far too stingy to invest in a fitness tracker) shows that I’ve clocked up thousands upon thousands of steps in the past month.

Largely through the ongoing flat-hunting process (Brexit, the problems in the Middle East, and football’s controversial new VAR system are all likely to be sorted out before I’m ensconced in a new pad) and also through the odd weekend walk slightly further afield.

An autum seafront vista

And at this time of year the seafront is always a good place for a determined stroll because there are far fewer people clogging up the prom and the pavements, in either direction, and also because the backdrop is, arguably, at its best in autumn.

You can’t beat a walk to Rottingdean because it’s a fair distance from Brighton, and has the advantage of a route which is as flat as a board,

A recent foray to the one-time home of Kipling and more recently the inspiration behind the interloper-fearing homicidal shopkeepers in The League of Gentleman, was mostly bathed in sunshine and jolly pleasant.

That was until I took my shoes off and felt the beginnings of a blister the size of Western Australia.

It wasn’t as if I was wearing inappropriate footwear (pub trainers, cowboy boots, see-through high-heel stilettos), I was wearing sensible, breathable, and less-than-attractive walking shoes.

You know the type – chunky, mostly suede and never seen on anyone under the age of 30.

Until now I’ve found them absurdly comfortable. They even have an extra cushioned heel and I have ignored numerous slights from young folk (I’m not joking, I can think of three sprogs of varying ages who have openly laughed at them).

Unfortunately, they are one-and-a-half years old (I’d been too stingy to replace them) and apparently past their best for walking.

The blister was a monster and caused me to postpone the gym the next day (any excuse), and then reflect on how I’d cope if I had to do a day’s hard graft on my feet, rather than just writing about my greedy and largely sedentary life.

Away from the considerably less than mean streets of Brighton and Ovingdean I’ve been trudging semi-regularly, to the Prince Regent and back, puffing, gritting my teeth a bit, and lifting a few weights along the way.

Most of the time it rains and I’m left ruminating inside a big parka, wishing I’d gone to the gym more in the summer.

To find out more about Freedom Leisure’s gyms visit