south west coast path
11th may 2014
Today's weather forecast looks to be pretty good with maybe the odd shower but mostly sun all day and it looks like the wind has died down a bit.
Dartmouth high tide 16:42
Dartmouth low tide 09:59
The beginning of the day sees me back in Outer Hope next to the Hope and Anchor Inn, where I follow the road and a path through the village to reach Inner Hope. I climb some steps out of Inner Hope and follow a woodland path out on to the open slopes leading to Bolt Tail where I enjoy the views across Hope Cove.
I walk around the headland and then climb Bolberry Down at 395 feet. The path continues before dropping steeply from Cathole Cliff into a valley where a footbridge crosses Soar Mill Cove.
I walk along The Warren where I enjoy the views back to Bolt Tail. Last time I was here it was covered in thick fog and I could barely see anything but today the weather is sunny so I reach Bolt Head without any mishaps. I pause to admire the views here before continuing along the path.
I cross a stream using a stone slab to reach Starehole Bay and climb a steep slope followed by some stone steps to reach Sharp Tor with some fine views towards Salcombe.
The path continues through woods before reaching a dirt road. It's a lovely walk here and there are wildflowers everywhere.
A proper road continues to the beach at South Sands. I continue on the road, first rising uphill and then down to North Sands Beach, where I pass some red hot pokers, before rising up and down again to reach Salcombe.
I walk on towards Gara Rock. There are bluebells everywhere!
I cross a footbridge by a crumbling ruin and the path eventually leads to Gammon Head, given to the National Trust by the Rose family on the 5th of January 1965. The path zig zags to reach Prawle Point National Coastwatch Station but is poorly signposted so I get lost. Eventually I find my way to the car park at East Prawle.
The path passes in front of Maelcombe House before reaching Lannacombe Beach. I avoid falling down the crumbling cliff at The Narrows where I find my one and only orchid of the day. I'm clearly not looking out for them properly!
I head round Start Point and pass the Start Point Lighthouse.
The path continues to Greenstraight Beach and then on to Tinsey Head before dropping down to Beesands. I walk along the road at Beesands to reach the Cricket Inn (@TheCricketInn), birthplace of the Rolling Stones, where I stop for a pint of Otter Brewery's (@otterbrewery) Otter Bitter and then continue on my way past St Andrew's Church.
I inspect the storm damaged beach at Beesands before heading off towards Torcross.
Torcross and Slapton Sands also took a battering in this winter's storms, although most of the damage has been cleared now
In 1943, Torcross and the surrounding area was evacuated so that Slapton Sands could be used as a training area in preparation for the D-Day landings. This video tells the story of the evacuation all those years ago in the words of seven local residents who were children at the time.
FLORA AND FAUNA
Flora and fauna encountered on the walk today includes :-
- wild garlic
- red campion
- red hot pokers
- little egret
- one orchid
- dead nettles
MARKS OUT OF TEN?
Phew! What a trek!! According to my phone I've walked 26.2 miles today which amounts to 46914 steps. Although it has been a blustery day (nothing like yesterday though) the weather has been fantastic, the rain stayed away and the walking has been great. 9 out of 10.
View outer hope to toreros in a larger map