Almost there! One day to go until we complete the circumference of mainland Britain. Today we will continue along the north Devon coastline and into Somerset.
Photo of the day
White Lady in the Valley of Rocks near Lynton.
We made our first stop of the day at Westward Ho! Beach, still looking a little sleepy. 😉 The unusual village name came from the local author Charles Kingsley’s book Westward Ho!
We don’t normally photograph pebbles, but these were lovely pebbles…. if you can call pebbles ‘lovely’?!
Overlooking the River Toridge at Appledore. We briefly parked up on the Churchfields Slipway, but there was a parking attendant lurking around, so we moved on…
Fishing boats moored at Bideford.
The medieval Bideford Long Bridge reflecting in the calm River Torridge. The stone bridge is one of the longest of its age in the country.
More reflections, this time on the River Caen at Velator Quay near Braunton Burrows.
Skirting around the flat fields and marshlands of Braunton Great Fields. The area is Britian’s first Biosphere Reserve, designated by UNESCO.
Jarno busy with a little more sand-graffiti at Saunton Sands.
There were plenty of surfers taking the day off from work….
…and as we left and drove around the headland to Croyde Bay we had a magnificent aerial view of all the surfers at Saunton Sands.
Around the headland Croyde Bay and views to Baggy Point. A lovely crisp and fresh November morning.
Yet more surfers in Croyde Bay, looking back from Baggy Point.
Looking through some house gates at Baggy Point, this was their driveway and view – pretty cool!
After several country lane diversions which lead us on a long journey inland, we finally ended up back at the coast on the north side of Baggy Point at Woolacombe. The beautiful wide open sands of Woolacombe Beach in Morte Bay. The beach is considered one of the best in the world, often winning prizes.
Then looking north from Woolacombe Beach, past Barricane Beach and Grunta Beach to Morte Point.
The unusual double conical design of Ilfracombe’s Landmark Theatre, also know by locals as Madonna’s Bra ; -)!
Ilfracombe was full of surprises, including Damien Hirst’s Verity bronze sculpture on the harbour front.
To be honest the picture doesn’t do justice to how huge and impressive the Verity statue really was. We loved that a small town had embraced art like this.
The more expected and traditional view of Ilfracombe Harbour.
Some dodgy looking character caught in Watermouth Castle’s stocks.
Yachts below the castle in Watermouth Harbour.
Coombe Martin Beach nestled in a narrow valley. Random fact of the day – the village holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s longest street party!
As we continued our journey east, we drove slightly inland stopping in the tiny village of Parracombe. Winding our way through some of the smallest village lanes on our road-trip we finally found St Petrock’s Church up a muddy dirt track.
The calm and quaint church originally dated back 13th century. In the late 19th century the poet John Ruskin helped save the church from demolition with a £10 donation.
As we arrived in Lynton we first made a little detour through the Valley of Rocks. Glorious views west from the Valley of Rocks past the White Lady towards Wringcliff Bay and Woody Bay….
…. and north across the Bristol Channel from the South West Coast Path.
The West Lyn River gushing through Glen Lyn Gorge. In 1890 Lynton & Lynmouth were one of the first places in the country to be powered by hydro-electric power (from the East Lyn River).
The local thatched-roofed pub built down Lynmouth’s steep hillside.
Foreland Point across from Lynmouth’s seafront.
Looking down on Foreland Point as we drove up Countisbury Hill.
Views south across the rolling green Exmoor National Park from the National Trust’s Foreland Point.
Crossing from Devon into Somerset, we took another detour from the main road. We winded down through the picturesque Porlock Manor Estate Toll Road overlooking Porlock Weir and Hurlstone Point.
Another thatched-roofed pub as we reached Porlock.
Horner Water tumbling through woodland to Bossington Beach.
Tall chimneyed cottages lining the narrow lane from Bossington to Allerford on the Holnicote Estate.
The warm glow of the late afternoon sun illuminated the All Saints’ Church in the tiny village of Selworthy.
Wow, this is how we imagined Somerset… and we were bang on. Selworthy’s cream thatched cottages on the National Trust’s Holnicote Estate.
Selworthy Green, and so so quiet, again we were the only visitors as we wandered around.
If you say Minehead to us, we think of Butlins (for the non-Brits – a holiday camp), but the view at dusk from the harbour couldn’t be more different…
The sculpture on Minehead’s seafront by Sarah Ward, marking the end (or start!) of the 630-mile South West Coast Path.
The view across Blue Anchor Bay back to Minehead.
After passing Dunster Castle, we made our final stop of the day at Watchet, where we found the harbour car-park surround by interesting street-art murals. We then continued our journey via the National Trust’s Coleridge Cottage (which was closed) to Bridgwater for the night. Just one day to go until we complete our 49-day British Coastal Road Trip!!!
It’s just three days to go before we complete our entire coastal road trip! Today we are finishing off north Cornwall, driving alongside its famous golden sandy beaches, before we re-enter Devon as we drive towards Bideford.
Photo of the day
The sun setting as we headed down to Hartland Quay.
Long shadows in the early morning sun. We made our first stop of the day looping back from Newquay to the National Trust’s Holywell Beach.
Walking past the sand dunes towards Carter’s Rocks (AKA Gull Rocks) off Penhale Point.
Shells and their shadows scattered across Holywell Beach.
The Gannel Estuary at Crantock Beach, beside Rushy Green.
So it was a morning full of beaches… next stop the famous Fistral Beach, a surfers paradise, but none out this morning – yet.
Views back across Newquay Bay from the cliffs above the curiously named Lusty Glaze Beach (The Times Beach of the Year 2017)…
…and the view north towards Bedruthan Steps and beyond to Trevose Head.
The wide open sands of Watergate Bay, as we headed along the scenic B3276 coastal road.
A small plane flying overhead into nearby Newquay Airport.
The River Menalhyl streaming down Mawgan Porth Beach.
Peering over the Carnewas cliffs at Bedruthan.
Dramatic views north past Pendarves Island, Queen Bess Rock, Diggory’s Island and Park Head. In the distance you can just about make-out Trevose Head Lighthouse.
Another beautiful empty beach west of Padstow at Treyarnon Bay.
The South West Coastal Path along Chair Cove, behind some rather expensive looking houses at Constantine Bay. Some locals walking a dog stopped to talk to us, and asked if we were bankers!?… it seemed many locals were!
We seemed to be the only people on Cornwall’s beaches this morning not walking a dog 😉
A little alley in Padstow, AKA ‘Padstein’ after its famous local celebrity chef – Rick Stein.
Small fishing boats lining the quay. Quiet at this time of year, but heaving with tourists in the summer.
The coastal village of Rock, beyond the sandbank in the River Camel. We will drive past Rock as we continue northeast, but as we had been last year, we won’t stop this time.
Looping all the way around the River Camel, we made a brief stop to watch the surfers on Polzeath’s Beach.
Driving past The Rumps we stopped at the cosy Port Quin inlet, taken care of by the National Trust.
Driving to Port Isaac we realised we were going to end up driving right through the tiny village. We had remembered the lanes were really narrow from our trip here last year, so re-routed to park at the top of the village and walk down.
The TV series Doc Martin is filmed in Port Isaac. To be honest we have never watched Doc Martin so weren’t as excited as some visitors….
Choppy waters at the mouth of Port Isaac looking towards Varley Head.
Port Isaac Bay, with views northeast to Treknow.
Catching another glimpse of Port Isaac Bay over the fields near St Teath.
Wow, what a perfect day to visit. Tintagel Castle is normally packed with tourists, today it was just us and a few seagulls. So if you want to avoid the crowds come on a Monday afternoon in November 😉
The remains of the 13th century castle perched on the jagged slate cliffs.
The castle had been built here by Earl Richard of Cornwall, believing it to be the birthplace of King Arthur.
Boscastle had been devastated by the flooding of the River Valency in 2002, but has since been lovingly restored.
Fishing cottages down the cobbled Valency Row in Boscastle.
Widemouth Beach, popular with surfers, with Dizzard Point in the distance.
The clouds were parting like a zip to reveal the blue sky above Widemouth Bay.
At last!…. beach huts again on Summerleaze Beach at Bude, we had been missing beach huts on this stretch of coast.
The entrance to the Bude Canal. Started in the 1820s with the idea to link the English and Bristol Channels… however it didn’t get very far with the arrival of the railway later in the 19th century.
Leaving Bude and heading along the Hartland Cornwall Heritage Coast towards Morwenstow, the view was dominated by the satellite dishes at GCHQ Bude.
Before leaving Cornwall we stopped at Morwenstow, Cornwall’s northernmost point. We had intended to walk to the Hawker’s Hut along the cliffs. But a very muddy field was slowing our progress, we weren’t exactly sure we were on the right track, and light was fading fast. So we made do with the Church of St Morwenna and St John the Baptist across the fields.
On the way to Bideford, we made our final stop of the day at Hartland Quay. As we drove down the coastal track the sunset reflected beautifully off the car bonnet. Originally we had planned to also stop further along the coast at Clovelly, but it seems it was probably closed, and it would have been dark by then anyway. Oh well, we will leave Clovelly for another trip!