Sunday, 15 June 2014

Hot and Sunny - Westward from Westward Ho!

Day Seven - Westwood Ho! to Exmansworthy 24.5km (15.2 miles).
Time on route 7:15hrs, walking time 6:45hrs.

Sunday 14 June 2014

Day 7 map
Today my husband, Rog, joined me for a stage. We parked at Clovelly and took the bus to Abbotsham from where we walked to Westward Ho! to pick up the route. Due to the vagaries of the bus timetable we didn't start walking until 1155, which was a couple of hours later than I'd have preferred. But hey ho. Or, rather, hey ho! as they'd say in Westward Ho! It was a beautifully sunny day and we enjoyed the views of the beach which I'd totally missed last week. Approaching Westward Ho! from the north east the coast path follows the golf course edge and the dunes hide the sea views.
14 06 14 Day 7 -  1 Leaving Westward Ho! (1)
Once again, a footprint to find. Shame I'd somehow knocked the camera dial to black and white mode. And, yes, I really must think about replacing my aged walking boots...
14 06 14 Day 7 -  1 Leaving Westward Ho! (2)
The path initially follows the old Westward Ho! to Bideford railway. Not quite sure why the railway to Bideford is west of Westward Ho! (scratches head). After strolling past a set of creatively designed beach huts - my favourite one named "Jabba the" - we started climbing. It is quite wonderful looking back across Bideford Bay knowing that you've walked every metre of that coastline.
14 06 14 Day 7 -  1 Leaving Westward Ho! (4)
The majority of the day was spent on paths like this, twisting and turning, ascending and descending through woodlands.
14 06 14 Day 7 -  2 Woodland (1)
The first day I've walked in a tshirt and skort.
14 06 14 Day 7 -  2 Woodland (2)
It was a hot day and the climbing/descending in the heat was hard work. But it doesn't matter when you have such picturesque views, such as this one down into Bucks Mills.
14 06 14 Day 7 -  3 Bucks Mills
For the last few km into Clovelly the path is easy, following Hobby Drive. As we neared the viewpoint we bumped into a couple of fellow walkers. But not just any fellow walkers, I had previously met this couple on Day 2, from Porlock Weir to Lynmouth in March. What a bizarre coincidence! Considering that we were both walking the route on a very adhoc basis, the chances of meeting them again was pretty small. I wonder if we'll ever meet again?
14 06 14 Day 7 -  4 Clovelly (2)
Clovelly from the viewpoint.
14 06 14 Day 7 -  4 Clovelly (1)
We contemplated walking down into Clovelly for a cup of tea. However it was 1700 (tea shop closing hour?) and it was a 15 min walk off the coast path and back up. We decided to come back and explore Clovelly some other day. It is, by all accounts, a memorable village although I wonder if it will blow my 'this is too quaint/toursity' barometer? Particularly the donkey ride thing. Vehicles are banned from the village so residents have to sledge their shopping up and down the steep slope. Not sure that'd be my idea of fun in a rainstorm.
14 06 14 Day 7 -  4 Clovelly (3)
At this juncture Rog split off to get the car and I ploughed on westwards. It was already 1715 but as it was still light I wanted to bag another few km.

Just west of Clovelly the woods host a few follies. This one, with carved wooden angel's wings, dates from 1826.
14 06 14 Day 7 -  5 Clovelly to Windbury Head (1)
14 06 14 Day 7 -  5 Clovelly to Windbury Head (2)
Once up onto the cliff tops the views back to Westward Ho! (yes, that little dot on the edge of the bay) were fantastic and reminded me that, indeed, I was making progress.
14 06 14 Day 7 -  5 Clovelly to Windbury Head (3)
The path continued to wind up and down. Coming down into Mouth Mill, Lundy is directy ahead.
14 06 14 Day 7 -  5 Clovelly to Windbury Head (4)
I had my first cow encounter for a few stages, and my first ever alone. I was pleased not to break for cover and managed to get past not just one but two fields of cows. Isn't it sad that I consider this an achievement?!
14 06 14 Day 7 -  5 Clovelly to Windbury Head (6)
It was quite a slog in places under the glare of the sun. Even more so when the path is verdantly overgrown, so much so that you have to push your way through the ferns to proceed.
14 06 14 Day 7 -  5 Clovelly to Windbury Head (8)
Looking back towards Mouth Mill and the Blackchurch Rock and arches.  Amazing geology around here.
14 06 14 Day 7 -  6 Blackchurch Road and Mouth Mill (2)
It's a lonely old path out there at times. But I am totally adoring it. I'm hooked.
14 06 14 Day 7 -  8 To Exmansworthy (1)

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