Friday, 28 September 2012

Sidmouth to Buddleigh Salterton (SW Coast Path 24)

The east end of Sidmouth beach

The start of another three-day assault on the Coast Path and we pick up the route at the east end of Sidmouth beach, in front of the terrace of early Victorian hotels. We walked along the promenade and
followed the Millenium walkway around the headland.

On the other side was another fine beach with characteristic red sandstone cliffs.

We began the long climb to Peak Hill and looked back to see the curious structure known as Jacobs Ladder which leads up to the Connaught Gardens, dating back to 1820.

Further up the steep grassy slope, there was a fine view back over Sidmouth and the coast to the east.

Once we reached Peak Hill, after a reasonably steep climb, the path levelled out and ahead lay the sea stacks known as Big Picket Rock and - yes!- Little Picket Rock.

Inland there were lovely views across open country.

Soon there was an even more impressive view back to Sidmouth.

The sea stacks at Ladram Bay reminded us of Old Harry rocks as we approached.

And after we had skirted the seemingly inevitable holiday park, there were even more wonderful sights, which I found very difficult to satisfactorily photograph. This was the best I could manage.

The route the cliff tops until we began the descent beside and then across fields into Buddleigh Salterton. A fine stand of pine trees marked the end of forward progress along the coast.

We now followed the River Otter inland for about a kilometre, crossed a little bridge and followed the other bank through the Otter Estuary Nature Reserve. It was beginning to get dark and our energy was fading too, but we did spot a couple of Little Egrets in the wide river mouth.

We walked along the promenade and into Buddleigh to the Feathers pub where we were staying. On the way we passed the Fairlynch Museum, housed in a lovely thatched house of 1811.

It is apparently one of the few thatched museums in the country.

Conditions: cloudy with a threat of rain.

Distance: 7 miles. Distance now covered 110 miles.

Map: Explorer 115 (Exmouth and Sidmouth).

Rating: four stars. Mainly for Ladram Bay.

Flower of the day

We spotted this lovely flower alone by the side of the Otter. Again, what is it?

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