With October rains fast approaching and the last weekend spent driving up and down the motorway in preparation for a house move, Emily and I were keen to make the most of this past weekend’s beautiful weather. Fancying another stretch of the coastal path we rose early to be out to Mothecombe in the crisp morning air shortly after the sun rose. It was cold but glorious, and we had the place almost to ourselves for 20 minutes before setting off along the cliffs to Bigbury-on-Sea.
An empty Mothecombe – as beautiful and as cold and crisp as it looks!
Like something out of a medieval ritual an old man wandered out to sea chanting as we left; his voice echoed over the crashing waves and carried over the cliffs. And what cliffs they were. They wound for 6 miles, up and down to private coves and beaches. There was no other soul in sight other than sheep and one passing solitary walker. It was total rugged isolation until we reached Challoborough, the small caravan holiday beach just before Bigbury.
Rugged, lonely cliff paths
We reached Bigbury and met up with my parents who were enjoying the sunshine and a beach day themselves, before heading off out to the end of our walk – the Cockleridge. Looking out across the Avon to Bantham and Ham’s End was pretty special and Emily was excited at just how beautiful this part of Devon was. The ferryman offered to take us across the river, but we declined. Batham to Hope Cove is our mission for another day.
Looking back across to Burgh Island
We headed back to Bigbury-on-Sea, stopping off at Mount Folly Farm for some fresh organic produce – leeks and broccoli that made a soup to die for – and made a beeline for Burgh Island. With the tide now coming in we crossed the sandbar, wading through the sea in the promise of a well earned pint. Catching up with mum and dad again we enjoyed a drink, followed by a picnic in the sunshine, before soaking up the coastal views from the island’s high point.
The famous Burgh Island “Sea Tractor” – which, as Emily says, is possibly the most Devon thing ever!
It really was a perfect day, and while the weather is now, to be frank, awful, I actually couldn’t be any happier that we made such good use of this summer. 2020 has been weird, but the South West Coast Path has been as glorious as ever. 70 miles done, 560 to go!
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Cliff views from on the island