SWCP – Mothecombe to Noss Mayo
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The next stage of the South West Coast Path runs from Mothecombe to Noss Mayo.
Regular readers will know we were only in Devon for a week, trying to make good progress in my quest to complete the route by the end of 2015.
Friends will tell you I’m not big on long term planning so it was quite a pleasant surprise to discover access to “today’s stage is limited to just three days a week.
Incredibly I’d picked a Wednesday, which meant we could park near the start of this stage.
After a sinuous trip down some incredible narrow lanes we rocked up at private field where we were relieved of £4.00, and allowed to make our way to mouth of the Erme Estuary.
My research indicated that crossing this point was best done an hour either side of low tide.
The photo makes passage look straight forward, but it was taken after I’d waded through, and in reality any attempt would by this stage have been foolhardy (or just plain dangerous).
My walk started in overcast conditions. My wellies weren’t quite high enough for the occasion.
What surprised me was the warmth of the water, and element of risk made feel like I was achieving something special.
Here I’m on the Kingston side of the bay.
After taking a few pictures I waded back, with the tide rising. No sooner had I got back to Roz than I noticed a serious looking couple striding across the sand.
As they got closer I realised that it wasn’t a couple at all, but a family.
They come to england to walk the entire South West Coast Path whilst on Paternity/Maternity leave. The ltitle girl in the pouch was just 6 months old, and had been spent nearly half her life on the coast of Somerset, Devon, and Cornwall.
What an adventure! To cap it all they were carrying all their camping gear as well. 430 miles in less than 3 months, amazing.
Once they were safely across we waved goodbye and headed off towards Noss Mayo.
The sun came out, but there was a decent breeze to keep us from getting too hot.
Much of the route was devoid of habitation, and people. Although we came across plenty of cattle.
There were a few steep climbs.
Although we were carrying a packed lunch what we both wanted was a hot drink. The little (holiday) village of Stoke was getting closer, so surely we’d be sorted?
We walked down an access road, but the gruff farmer seemed delighted to spoil our day. No, there wasn’t a coffee shop, and he was evidently pleased to deliver this disappointing information.
Despite the setback we really enjoyed our sandwiches sitting on a lofty bank, looking down on the sundry park home owners who walked below us as they lapped up the sunshine.
Much to my surprise the latter stages of the Coast Path proper were incredibly easy. What I guess was a warm-time access road afforded rapid progress for around about 3 miles.
Before long we were getting lost as the Coast Path acorn was pointing the wrong way.
Walking through the woods we eventually made it to the Yealm estuary slipway.
Ten minutes later we are the acclaimed Ship Inn, enjoying, coffee, and dessert.
An hour later we hopped into the Village Cab, and took the easy way back to Mothecombe. £10 well spent.