South West Coast Path 2

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.

South West Coast Path 2

The Steep Cobbled Street In Clovelly

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.

South West Coast Path

Padstow Harbour With Rock In The Distance

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.

Related Content:
South West Coast Path


South West Coast Path 2 — 12 Comments

  1. And it can be so difficult to live with, my dear. Please understand I am NOT a doctor. Just a concerned friend. I also don’t know all the difficulties of your particular situation. Maybe with some research and speaking with doctors whose patients have had success in recovery and then speaking to others who have had successful knee replacements might help.

    Perhaps some of the failures were because the patients didn’t adhere to physical therapy. Or perhaps they tried too soon after surgery to return to their usual schedule. Things take time. Please don’t give up on hiking just yet. I’m still praying for you. I enjoy your treks with your friends here on your blog. All the best, Bill!

    • When the pain gets too much I guess I will have it done but in the meantime I find cycling is an easier way to get around.

  2. Sorry to hear this, Bill. I thought you had the knee replacement. My husband finally had a knee replacement, he had his knee worked on twice before doing so. Then arthritis set in. It was time to replace it. Give yourself time. Slowly build up strength. Heal. Then decide about the total knee replacement. You seem the type who won’t be happy unless you’re on a trail. I’m praying for you.

    • Hi Victoria Marie, I am beginning to think that total knee replacement might be the answer but I have reservations. I know quite a few who have had the operation, some worked others didn’t. So at the moment I am living with the problem.

  3. Bill, wait! Eight miles only four weeks into the use of your new knee? Darling, patience please. As a hiker you remember that you build up stamina slowly. I’m sure you didn’t start hiking 8 miles on your first trek. However, Bill, I know I would be impatient, too. Believe me I would. Glad the surgery went well. Now take your time. Spring’s not here yet! Happy New Year! I hope your holidays went well.

    • Unfortunately, the surgery didn’t succeed. I am out walking again but only short distances and to be truthful it’s hard work and painful. It’s looking as though my long distance walking days are over. Maybe knee replacement surgery is the answer. Happy New Year to you and yours Victoria Marie.

  4. Good to see you are under way at last! This walk is very addictive and I hope that the knee surgery is successful enough that you can return.

    • From what little I have done on the South West Coast Path, I agree with you Paul. It is very addictive with constant great views and fabulous scenery. Unfortunately the surgery wasn’t successful and I now have to decide whether knee replacement is the answer.

  5. Knowing you, Bill, and all you do through your blog, you will be up and hiking by spring. Here’s praying that your surgery goes well and that you are up and around in no time.

  6. No kidding, Bill, you did an awful lot of walking for someone who has bad knees. Bravo to you! WOW, that flood’s scary–really scary. You all were very fortunate that no one was harmed. The steep cobbled street in Clovelly reminds me of St. Johns in Newfoundland. We stayed in a small apartment where you stepped outside and the roadway went straight down to the harbor. I mean they had a few places where they even put in steps down to the harbor. A beautiful place, St. Johns, and so it seems is your Clovelly. Thanks for sharing your trip with your readers.

    • Yes Victoria Marie, Clovelly was a lovely place and what our England used to be like until the low life’s took over. I am due for knee surgery early next year so hopefully will be back to normal for next Spring.