After a healthy breakfast we had hoped to use the Lynmouth Cliff Railway to get up to Lynton, sadly it didn’t open until 10 and as we had what was described as a strenuous 13 miles, we had to set off before 9.00
We climbed up to Lynton and then took the coastal path towards the Valley of The Rocks where we saw some mountain goats and spectacular views of where we were headed and the Welsh coast. A good path along this part of the route meant we made good progress to our first target of Lea Abbey. The Abbey has significant grounds and is now used as a Christian Retreat and youth activity centre.
The path continued to hug the coast and gave us a few hills to climb as we headed for Heddon’s Mouth. We passed a waterfall along the way and then turned inland along the inlet toward the bridge crossing. A busy path here as people were out for the day and lunch at the Hunters Inn which we saw from the signs was just a half mile detour (each way) but it seemed a shame to not take the chance to review our plans over excellent baguettes and refreshment!
After lunch we walked back to join the path and the strenuous part of the journey starting with a steep climb up the valley to Peter Rock and then down and up to East Cleave and on to round Holdstone Hill and then taking the Tarka Trail to Great Hangman Cairn for more views including a glimpse of our destination of Combe Martin.
We followed the path to Little Hangman and the final descent to Combe Martin where we were lucky enough to find an open establishment serving refreshments and showing the United City derby. We left Tommy to drown his sorrows and Dave to celebrate along with Brian. The landlord of the B&B John is a United fan so I think Dave is sleeping in the shed tonight. We are eating in at John & Pennys tonight and then onto Woolacombe tomorrow.
We started the day with a 1.5 mile warm up as we walked from Porlock to Porlock Weir to rejoin the pathway. We set off by climbing through a valley with ancient where the path ran along the top of the vally through woods for most of the morning. When we got to Worthy Combe Toll Lodge we walked through some arched grottoes built by the original landowner before we continued to zig zag along the side of the valley.
We took a slight detour to descend to see Culbone Church which is the smallest complete parish church in England.
We continued through Culbone Woods with its ancient oak and holly trees before emerging on to cliff top paths.
We came to the National Trust site at Glenthome Cliffs and we split into two groups, one following the path along the cliffs to Lynmouth and the other taking a detour to see the lighthouse at Foreland Point and then a steep path up scree and rocks until it rejoined the path to Lynmouth. We were hoping to see Lynmouth from the cliff tops but we went through some sea mist but did get the odd glimpse as we slowly descended into the town to find our B&B and the rest of the group.
A total of 14 miles and a total climb of 3064 feet and no cream teas or planning meetings in a pub – talk about hard work!
Dave and Mollie the dog picked us all up in the Scout minibus and we left Sidmouth at about 9.00 and arrived on Minehead seafront just before 11.00.
After posing for a couple of team photos at the start we set off for an easy less than 8 miles to Porlock for our first stop. Weather has been cloudy but warm and we made good progress along the wooded pathway up to Bossington Hill a total ascent of 2290 feet before a fairly step descent to Bossington where we found enough time to check out the local tea shop
After tea we only had about a mile and a half along Porlock Bay when we turned inland to the village for our stay at Myrtle Cottage overnight. Just a “planning”meeting at the Pub to get through tonight and then we are set for tomorrow
Ever eager for a challenge we decided to do another long distance path. This time it’s the South West Coastal Path (SWC). As the whole path takes around six weeks we are doing the first phase – a two week walk from Minehead to Porthcothorn some 180 miles.
The team this time is missing Dave Hedges and Mollie the dog who have other committments, so it’s really Six Men No Dog, but I’m sure they will be with us in spirit (or beer in Dave’s case!)