Bude – Crackington Haven.
The bus services between some of these Cornish villages is fairly regular which may explain the number of people enjoying this stretch of the path today, the weather was good too. First thing this morning I was drawn by the aroma of freshly baked bread into a bakery for a coffee and pasty. I was not impressed with Bude last night but this morning as I wandered out through the old town and past the canal area things improved. I passed The Bude Light, which is illustrated on the OS 190 Map cover, a millennium project to commemorate an early oil lamp invented by Sir Goldsworthy Gurney in the mid 1800’s. Apparently this multicoloured monument is lit internally at night, shame I didn’t realise. After a long chat to a sprightly Octogenarian I began the climb up to the prominent Storm Tower on Compass Point. This gave a view back over Bude Bay to yesterday’s walk and views ahead to more and more headlands.
To be honest the walking this morning to Widemouth Bay was easy, more Downlike than rugged Cornwall. A road ran alongside and I was soon walking through car parks in the bay. there wasn’t much activity in the sea but plenty of dog walkers out. They all seemed to head for the cafe I took morning coffee in, the result was chaos with constant barking and unruly dogs knocking over tables and drinks. The walk now changed character with some of the steepest sections I’d come across, unrelenting all the way to the end. There wasn’t much happening in sleepy Wanson where I took to a steep road for awhile. A couple of blondes in an open top Merc stopped for a chat to pass the time. Back on the headland path I met a man walking the whole LEJG route, he was taking short cuts and diversions away from the coast to make his journey easier. Up here a couple of parapenters were making the most of the thermals. They had views back over Widemouth Bay and even distant Dartmoor. The only place to sit for lunch was on a stile and this prompted a steady stream of walkers to disturb me. Several were staying in Bude and having forays each day onto the coastal path using buses to link up. A family were making slow progress because of the father’s knee problems, the steep ups and more so the downs are not knee friendly and this section had some really steep climbs. There was a green interlude at Dizzard in oak woods, this is NT land as are many sections of the coast which I had forgotten to mention. Then three more headlands and valleys to negotiate, I lost count of the number of steps.From the last high point, Pencannow, Crackington Haven eventually came into view and a lovely rake took me down to holiday cottages and my hotel for the night. The tide was out and people were enjoying teas in the cafes before departing. That is the good thing about this path and finding accommodation on it – in the evenings the places revert back to their quiet existences.
I’ve met some lovely couples today all enthusing about this coast. It is good to see so many people out walking and appreciating our national heritage. The stairs up to my room, the final steps of the day, in the Coombe Barton Inn were creaky and my room a bit lopsided. I’m looking forward to some good Cornish beer and food.