South West Coast Path 2 – Hartland Quay To Clovelly
We spent a great week in early October in Devon and Cornwall walking parts of the South West Coast Path 2. The weather couldn’t have been better at this time of year with just a short shower one day.
Unfortunately, due to knee problems I could only manage the first section of the weeks walk, this was from Hartland Quay to Clovelly, a distance of 11 miles. The ascents for the day were 3,200 ft/700 metres and some of them were extremely steep.
Clovelly is famous for being the place Charles Kingsley, the author of The Water Babies and Westward Ho, grew up. Clovelly is definitely unique with it’s lack of traffic and steep cobbled street leading down to the harbour.
While my colleagues pushed on each day on the South West Coast Path 2, I had to be satisfied with a few shorter walks on the trail. On day 2 I walked from Westward Ho to Cornborough Cliff, a reasonably flat walk of around 3 miles. I met my companions in Westward Ho and we enjoyed a couple of beers before catching the bus back to our base in Barnstaple.
Day 3, a Sunday, saw us all walk from Bude to Widemouth Bay, have a few beers there and walk back to Bude, a distance of 6 miles. On day 4 my companions were walking the 15 miles from Hartland Quay to Bude while I had to be content walking the cliff top 3 mile return trip from Bude to Menachurch Point.
Day 5 was a day off for me although I did walk a couple of miles on the cliff tops near Bude. On day 6 the others were walking the 15 miles from Port Gavern to Boscastle Harbour. The walk passed Tintagel, the place of Arthurian legend, where I met them and we all walked the 5 miles to Boscastle Harbour. This involved many steep ascents and descents not a thing to mix with bad knees. I was relieved when we arrived in Boscastle Harbour, the scene of another flood in August 2004, fortunately this time with no loss of life.
We saw indicators on buildings where the flood level had reached that day and it must have been a terrifying experience for those caught up in it.
On day 7, the final day, the 13 mile walk from Port Gavern to Rock was planned. I travelled by bus to Polzeath, which was on the path of the South West Coast Path 2 and walked the 3 miles along the coast and sand to Rock. This was a delightful walk with excellent views all around.
With my companions not due in Rock for another 2 hours I caught the ferry over to Padstow and enjoyed a freshly caught plaice before the trip back.
The only downside to a great week on the South West Coast Path 2 was the trip back home in heavy traffic which took us over 8 hours.
South West Coast Path