On a bright late summer's day in August, we had the pleasure of joining Teresa Horscroft on the first Devon leg of her UK coastal tour, from Sidmouth and Exmouth. She started in Studland and plans to complete the entire British coast line in her own time, joined by various friends and family at various points on her pilgrimage.
Our eleven (I think!) mile walk was exhilarating, spectacular and occasionally challenging, though we were helped by generally benign weather, very different from Teresa's previous day, when she had encountered the tail end of Storm Ellen on her leg from Seaton to Sidmouth.
Starting off from west Sidmouth just after Jacob's Ladder our initiation was a rather steep climb to Peak Hill then onwards to Ladram Bay, a beautiful classic smugglers beach marred only by the nearby sprawling holiday park, then another hill climb to the majestic views offered both to east and west where we stopped for our picnic lunch just before Chiselbury Bay. By mid afternoon we had reached the River Otter and a slight inland detour before the sedate and nicely ramshackle Budleigh Salterton and a very welcome cup of tea at the beach shack 50 Degrees North. A short walk along the beach front, then the indulgence of proper ice cream at The Creamery, before ascending high above the town for the last leg which gave us views as far as the tup of South Hams to the south west beyond Torbay.
The ugly and unsightly conglomeration of holiday parks at Littleham Cove was a timely reminder than we all need to oppose these planning aberrations - one section of the coastal path has even been closed off by the owners / managers, which forced us to walk through to walk through this vast, sprawling holiday 'camp' to get to the wide expanses of Sandy Bay. It was a temporary irritation and did little to distract from our eventual path - the rather fine Exmouth Beach, by which time the early evening sun was beating down on us as we began to discover assorted aches and pains from our six hour walk.
Exercise, inspired conversation and no shortage of amazing views of our glorious coast. I can't wait to join Teresa on another adventure soon.