South West Coast Path 3/9

Walked from: Clovelly, Devon

Walked to: Appledore, Devon 

Date: 22 February 2016

Distance: 16 miles 

Weather: Alright. You know – for February…

Home for the night: One End House

Today was classic South West Coast Path territory: a steep up, followed by a steep down, and repeat… and repeat again… and again. If I don’t have legs of steel by the end of this holiday, I want my money back!

Despite the bumpiness of the terrain, I got lucky on the weather: the forecast was for heavy rain, but I was walking in the woods that dominate the coastline between Clovelly and Peppercombe Castle when the precipitation was doing its thing, and by time time I emerged on to the rolling green cliff tops and stone beaches (huge stones – practically boulders) of Westacott, Green, Abbotsham and Cornborough Cliffs, it was dry. Well, the sky was dry. The ground was another matter: wet, muddy and slippery, so there was a bit of shrieking at times as I narrowly avoided going flat on my arse, but as I didn’t see a soul on the footpath for about 13 miles so there was no one to hear me… save for a few sheep and some lambs that were already looking pretty sturdy, bearing in mind it’s only 22 February. They start them early in the West Country…

Westward Ho! has crazy golf, badly painted beach huts and a large number of holiday camps / communities, one of which makes a big play on dogs being welcome (whilst its neighbour has a clear ban on our four-legged friends). I can’t quite work out why it’s such a popular holiday resort, as the foreshore is covered in rocks and the empty bathing pool had a look of long term abandonment about it, but it had a wonderfully dilapidated old house on the way into town and a very odd ‘country park’ / golf course Northam Burrows on the way out (which the South West Coast Path makes you negotiate in order to get to the pretty village of Appledore) – the place definitely has personality!

Staying the night as the only guest in an amazing old house (all nooks and carnies and oddly shaped rooms) on the corner of one of Appledore’s tiny lanes, just a stones throw from a really quite good chippy – where I dined on a feast of cod, chips and mushy peas. Had steak and ale pie last night. Chille con carne the night before that – essentially, I’m on a culinary tour of British pub classics from the 1980s 🙂 

Photos: leaving the Hobby Drive, near Clovelly / Peppercombe/ Green Cliff / Abbotsham Cliff and it’s wonderfully bouncy grass path / bit of a do-e-up-er in Westward Ho!


About silkakt

I love to explore countries on foot or by bicycle. An English woman, I moved to the south of Spain in September 2020 and I have dreams of encouraging more people to discover this amazing country by walking its various Camino routes. To date, I've walked the French Camino from St Jean in France, the Portuguese Camino from Lisbon (interior route, not coastal) and the Camino Primitivo from Oviedo. I have also walked a fair few long distance trails in the UK, including all of the National Trails in England and Wales, and a couple of long walks in beautiful Scotland.
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