Monday, 5 June 2017

Bude to Duckpool (South West Coast Path 84)

View of Bude on a nice sunny day

The weather forecast for today's short stage of the Coast Path was pretty dire and we set out from Bude under heavy grey skies, hence the picture above from when we were last here. We started from the famous sea lock and walked across the sand towards the Bude Sea Pool.

It was created in the 1930s as a semi-natural pool, measuring 91m long by 45m wide, fitted under the curve of the cliffs. There were a few brave souls in there this morning, although three out of four of them were wearing wet suits.

We climbed the steps at the back and enjoyed the view back towards the Storm Tower on the opposite cliff.

We soon climbed up to Maer Down and the start of the long run of cliff, broken only by a series of narrow river valleys which extends all the way to Hartland Quay. The tide was out revealing small patches of sand interspersed with large areas of rock. The first headland in the photo is Menachurch Point.

The next section undulates along the grassy cliff top with the same sand and rock combination on the beach. It is beginning to look as though we might be spared the forecast rain.

As we continued along here we saw activity just in front of the two pointed rocks. Two people in red were moving flags on the beach. What were they up to?

As we got closer we realised that they were lifeguards who were demarcating a narrow safe area on the beach at Sandy Mouth. This photo shows the twisting route of the small stream as it makes its way to the sea.

There was a decent climb up from Sandy Mouth and then we were high enough to get our first proper view of the GCHQ operation on the plateau above Steeple Point.

Soon there was another sharp descent and ascent.

And this led to the final slippery descent down to the car park at Duckpool.

Conditions: Grey, with a constant threat of rain. I left my camera behind and used my iPhone for today's pictures.

Distance: 3.7 miles.

Map: Explorer 126 (Clovelly & Hartland)

Grading: Severe. 

Rating: four stars.

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