Back in July I was so smug with our progress along the South West Coast Path, but the timings didn’t work out in August and then Septmeber was busy and we got no furhter. However, we started to get back on track (literally as well as figuritively) during the October half term.
First up, Ilfracombe to Woolacombe, and this time with No Support Crew. Rather we utilised trains and buses and did the whole thing in a day, getting back home about 13 hours after we left.
We started round the back of the two upturned flower pots that are the Landmark Theatre, but not until after we popped in to use the facilities and I spied this rather amazing tapestry on the wall.
Pretty much straight away we were walking alongside some pretty impressive geology and we realised just how big Ilfracombe was with it all spread out in the view alongside this rather ornate house
After the path took a dogleg through what felt like someones garden, we were soon out of Ilfracombe. I was immediately struck by the contrast between the now brown ferns and those first shoots ready to unfurl on our first walk back in May. We preferred the cooler temperatures to walk in to some of the heat we had to endure ealier in the year too! Sadly we didn’t have time to go and investigate the steps we saw cut into the cliff, I think they probably lead down tot he old lime kiln we saw mention of on an information board.
Apparently the hole in the rock that The Boy is clinging onto was made by a giants fingernail as he scrambled up the cliff, recreated here by the storyteller.
Yup, that looks like the coast path alright.
They sure have some impressive walls in this part of Devon, both new built and long overgrown, as well as patched up.
As we approached this rather ornate sign from the wrong side we mused on what it said. I couldn’t resist standing a few feet off the path to get a good shot of it and the coast we’d just come from in the background.
Soon after the sign we stopped to watch what we think was a kestrel hovering above a headgerow and then before we knew it we were descening into Lee, passing this rather lovely looking tiny house, complete with what apeared to be a bicycle having a cup of coffee whilst enjoying the view inside!
We detoured slightly from the path in Lee, heading into the village to have a bite to eat in the Grampus Inn, which took us past a beautiful gate with a gate watching a mouse on an apple, and another at the same property with an owl watching another little rodent. We spoke to a friendly woman in the garden after lunch who told us that they were both carved by her husband, but we forgot to ask about the Orca or Grampus on that was nearby.
After food, it was back to the bay in Lee with its impressive rocks, past a door with the strangest shaped hinges I have ever seen, and on to the more strenuous second half of the walk. We weren’t sure what the National Trust Half Way sign was showing half way for!
After such a long break and without the support crew around, I was a little concerned how strenous it would be, but we managed just fine, in fact The Boy kept sprinting up steps when we came across them!
It didn’t seem long before we reached Bull Point, which the start of turning the coast turning the corner and us heading south not east. We could just make out Wales in the distance and waved goodbye, then we admired a HUGE mushroom near the lighthouse, where the assistant was mowing the lawn.
The stretch to Morte Point also passed fairly easily, despite more ups and downs, maybe finding a box of ducks disguised by a bit of log helped morale!
Morte point was very impressive and pointy and there seemed to be a lot of people walking to here and back from Woolacombe.
From this point the coast path is definitely going south and it wasn’t far on to Woolacombe. We admired the beach from up high, but decided to use up the remainder of our time before the bus having a little snack in a cafe instead.
Whilst The Boy was disappointed that we missed the sunset (we were waiting for the burrito’s we’d ordered to take to the station and eat on the train back), Barnstaple looked very pretty by moonlight when viewed from the bridge and I was just happy that all the public transport times I’d found online turned out to work in real life!