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A photographic record of my attempt to cover the whole of the South West Coast Path. But not all at once! This is the very first stage I attempted.
- Exmouth lifeboat station
Only built a few years ago, this replaces the old station which is much further back, along the esplanade (the esplanade gives way to Queen's Drive which takes the walker all the way to Foxholes, where it is necessary to gain some height in order to continue)
- Sandy Bay
Descending into Sandy Bay. Very pretty but oh, that caravan park!
- Starcross ferry
Just beyond these buildings is the ferry point to Starcross, for those walking westwards. The only other realistic course is a bus or train up to Exeter and then back down the other side towards Dawlish.
It really is sunny in the early mornings. But this is the end of the sea-level walking, at Foxholes. That's the High Land at Orcombe straight ahead and the path continues atop it.
- Exe villages
Exmouth to the left, Topsham and Lympstone (amongst others) as the view heads right, with Exeter still further upriver.
- Exe estuary
Starcross to the right and Dawlish (and the overpopulated Dawlish Warren) to the left.
As the morning drifts by, the skies start to cloud over. Time to put some effort in.
- Civilised walking
A very few parts of the walk are very easy, just like a standard paved footpath in the town. But it's pretty rugged in other places, albeit never difficult.
Marking the beginning (or the end!) of the Jurassic Coast the Ge-needle is a distinctive and attractive marker. I was particularly pleased with the ay the sun flared off the shiny silver top. Maybe cheap cameras do have their uses!
- River Exe mouth
OK, so it's not as pretty as the creeks around Falmouth, but when you've been starved of sea views for several years by being stuck in the middle of France, this is a stunning sight.
- Twopenny Loaf Rock
Heading towards Ladram Bay, this rock may or may not be Twopenny Loaf Rock. Whatever it is, it is an impressive sight.
- Millais' House
John Millais (he of the Pear's Soap boy fame) lived here. Dunno if any of the other Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood ever came to visit. It's in Budleigh Salterton by the way.
- Budleigh Salterton
View from the Otter estuary back to Budleigh Salterton The red cliffs beyond mark the route of the Coast Path back towards Exmouth.
After Budleigh Salterton, the path takes on a more rugged aspect with many hills to ascend and descend. And again, sometimes taking the walker plenty close enough t the cliff edge.
- Ladram Bay
A beautiful cove with a pebbly beach, totally overwhelmed by the far-too-large caravan park. Still, it takes all sorts.
- Exmouth Esplanade
Looking along the esplanade in Exmouth, back towards the estuary. Starcross is visible on the other side of the estuary.
- River Otter estuary
Adjoining Budleigh Salterton, the River Otter forces a detour inland a bit before it can be crossed. But it doesn't matter as it' a pretty estuary well known for its wealth of birdlife.
- Main Hill
The highest of the many hills on my route, Main Hill is well forested at the top. This is good, it provides a welcome bit of shade and some short-range scenery for a change.
- Upwards and onwards
At Foxholes it is possible to climb up the cliffs using steps reached by crossing the beach at low tide and scrambling around the cliff base. But it's easier to climb these steps.
The end of Victoria Road, where I start my walk to Sidmouth along the South West Coast Path.
- Straight Point and Sandy Bay
Even with my primitive camera, this picture captures the beauty of the Coast Path. It's not cloudy because it's early morning. It'll invariably cloud over later in the day.
- Getting a bit close...
The Coast Path does get a bit close to the cliff edge in places.
- Straight Point
A firing range used by the Royal Marines. Sandy Bay is just beyond here. And to the right is a well-known and very large caravan park.
- Sidmouth esplanade
The esplanade in Sidmouth is nowhere near as long as Exmouth's but is equally as good a place to take the sea air.
- River Sid
Well, it would be, wouldn't it? It's why Sidmouth is Sidmouth.
- Sidmouth sea-front
The silly little camera built into my mobile is making a bit of a hash of these pictures. Sidmouth is a pretty place, no don't small to those who know such things, but compared to a tiny village in France, it feels like a big town to me.
- Sidmouth Jacob's Ladder
Leading to the seafront of Sidmouth. I have a vague memory of seeing this zig-zag as a boy on holiday with my parents.
- Descent into Sidmouth
The final descending, leg into Sidmouth. Thi shill was also being used as the finish line by local running clubs for some event or other. One of the stewards tried to make me walk along the road which I thought was a bit of a weak attempt at dominating behaviour - there were no more than a few tail-enders about and it IS a public footpath.
One of the prettier counties of Britain. Can't say I think highly of the inhabitants, but there you go.
- Oh no!
I thought I'd left all this stuff behind me in France! This is in Exeter. I didn't bother going in.