The forecast was for rain in the afternoon so we decided on an even earlier start since we also needed to catch the bus in by 14.00. Taking the foot ferry to , we were able to start on the path in bright sunshine by 8.30. The temperature warmed up a lot as we walked the strenuous stretches before the Beaches. Whole hillsides of this rugged section were covered in bluebells. A few fritillary butterflies ventured out in the warmer air. We saw a bright yellow headed bird (I think it must have been a male yellowhammer) with two chaffinches as we walked out towards . Birds foot trefoil, wild strawberries and herb robert were added to the flower count. The sea was flat calm as far as we could see, to the and to in the east. Soon after this the small tower of church appears, about 1km inland, the only settlement close to this section of the path. There are some seriously long stepped climbs on this section but the stunning craggy bluebell-clad scenery and sweeping sea views more than compensate. As we approached more people appeared on the path (as well as a risk-taking slow worm, apparently shedding its skin). We reached the village at 12.15, in time for a cream tea before the walk up to where the #573 bus to stops. We were there at the train station in good time for the 15.32 Paddington train which meant we were home by 20.30.
Total walking time 3h45m, distance 8 miles, ascent 740m
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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