Clovelly to Hartland Quay

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CLOVELLY to HARTLAND QUAY Stage 14 (14th March 2008)

We were driven from Bradworthy to Clovelly by Peter Frewin, setting off on the path at 9.30. Light rain at the start did not make for poor visibility, with Lundy clearly visible and with long views back up the coast. The walk starts through woods with many primroses, violets, gorse (of course) and bladder campion. The path emerges into more open country (where we saw two white-rumped deer). After a slithery descent into Mouth Mill with its former limekiln we crossed the stream and climbed steeply, with views back at the natural arches of Blackchurch Rock. Next the path stays high, just inside the field boundary, all the way to the mushroom shaped radar tower. The snack stall at Hartland Point was open so we filled up before pressing on through windy sea mist. Turning south the scenery changes to rugged pinnacles and spooky hanging valleys. In addition a thick sea mist moved in so we could see little except the looming dark sides of the Smoothlands valley and we could only hear the sound of the sea and the breakers. There are lots more ascents and descents, including one to Blackpool Mill (and the cottage featuring in Sense & Sensibility). The next steep climb is followed by a pleasant hill-top walk past a ‘ruined tower’ folly before descending past the Rocket House to Hartland Quay.

Total distance 10.0 miles (16.0km). Ascent 773m

The South West Coast Path is the longest of the official UK National Trails, running from Minehead in Somerset round the English south west peninsula coast to Poole in Dorset. The total length is just over 1000 kilometres or, more precisely, 630 miles. Only very dedicated walkers could contemplate completing the whole walk in one go, although plenty of people have done just this. Received opinion is that it would take around 6 weeks, even for the most dedicated.

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Leaving Clovelly

Hartland Point