Thursday, 3 August 2017

County Gate to Porlock Weir (South West Coast Path 102)

 View inland from County Gate

Just two more stages to go and we will have completed the South West Coast Path! We start out from County Gate, the car park on the Devon-Somerset border, and head downhill towards the coast. Soon there is a very pleasing view over the purple heather down to the blue sea.

We carry on downhill into woodland and reach a combe with a lovely stream falling down the hillside.

Gradually we realise that this walk is an extension of the second half of last one we did (from Lynton to County Gate) – a reasonably level path about two-thirds of the way up the cliff. It is very green, but there is not much sign of life (although there were clearly loads of bluebells here earlier in the year).  There are no views because the trees are quick thick and the coastline is fairly straight. There are no boats or ships in sight either.

This continued until we reached a sign telling us the path ahead was closed because of a landslide. A steep climb followed to a new path on a higher contour.

Soon afterwards there was a repeat to an even higher point. After this we turned inland and arrived at the hamlet of Culbone, with its lovely church nestling at the back of the combe.

Another mile or so, including a gradual descent, brought us to the wonderful entrance to the Worthy Toll Road.

We carried on down to Porlock Weir and snatched this view of the small harbour. There are three pubs and not much else. The rocky beach is not too brilliant either.

Conditions: Mild, but quite a lot of drizzle.
Distance: 6.2 miles.
Map: Explorer OL 9 (Exmoor).
Grading:  Moderate.
Rating: three stars. Rather underwhelming.

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