Woolacombe – Braunton.
It was going to be hot today but as I left, rather late, spots of rain were falling and people were coming off the beach. Somehow I managed to get onto the sand dunes which were heavy going, Herb Elliot comes to mind. I retreated to the firmer sand on the beach as the tide went out. It’s a long beach. Climbing out on a lane I looked back at Woolacombe.
At the far end of the bay was Putsborough Sands which seemed popular with surfing groups under instruction. Now onto open land I began the traverse to Baggy Point high above the beach. I was looking forward to this renowned climbing area which I’d never visited. Lots of people were walking out from Croyde Bay. At the point I could look down onto the loose slabs on which there are some classic climbs , always fancied Kinky Boots. There was no climbing today as a bird ban was still in progress. I examined the metal belay stakes and imagined the exploratory abseil down into the abyss.
A made up path, popular today. took me directly into Croyde and a cafe primarily for surfers. Tea and panini. People were setting off excitedly on surfing and coasteering [a new ugly term for an unusual pastime thought up by commercial organisations]. Again I extricated myself from soft dunes and arrived back on the coastal road by a monstrosity of a building project, don’t they have planning controls down here?
A path above and parallel to the road proved really pleasant with lots of flowers and views. a seat provided the perfect lunch spot. It came to an end on the main road above Saunton beach and its busy car parks but I found a path back up onto the open heath populated with sheep. This super highway eventually brought me back down to earth near a little chapel and I walked along the road as a short cut into Braunton, it was very hot and I had no desire to do the longer route.
Fish and chips at the famous Squires sufficed me before reaching my B and B. This latter turned out to be interesting in that it is run by a garden nursery, or rather propagator, man. Long discussions ensued on horticultural topics. The accommodation was first class. www.escallonia.co.uk