Monday 16 May 2016
Woolacombe to Ilfracombe (going clockwise)
Keith and Cilla cooked me a nice breakfast to set me on my way. The sun was still shining and I wasn’t in a hurry as I didn’t have a long walk today. I wanted to visit Lundy Island and the ferry only goes 3 times a week from Ilfracombe (and sometimes Bideford), so it made sense to walk back there in time for tomorrow’s ferry.
I walked through Woolacombe town, past the beach and set off along the headland to Morte Point.
At Morte Point the sea was bubbling as though two opposing tides were meeting. This phenomenon seemed to go out in a line, which was in line with the jagged vertical slates embedded in the cliff at the point. It was such a striking formation.
I rounded Morte Point and headed into Rockham Bay. The sea was a spectacular deep blue and so clear that I could see the rocks underneath the water. This was perfect and reminded me of the sunny days in Scotland. I was very hot and could have done with a swim but I saved that thought for later.
Past the lighthouse at Bull Point and the path wound down into Lee Bay.
I stopped at the Smuggler’s Cottage tea room for a homemade burger, a cake and a coffee. The food here was excellent and the building used to be Hannibal Richard’s cottage (infamous smuggler). There is rumoured to be a tunnel from the cellar to the little cove where the smugglers brought their loot ashore. Apparently, in the 18th Century, all the villagers of Lee used to work together to encourage shops to their doom on the rocks and then plunder them. (A light on the headland here might be confused for the safety of Ilfracombe harbour.)
One more big hill and then I was in Torrs Park and heading down to Ilfracombe. I checked into my cheap, but very clean, hotel on the old Fore Street. The tide was high but I couldn’t resist another swim at Tunnels Beach, even though the pool was submerged under the sea. It was wonderful. After half an hour I had to get out and spent the next half an hour with my teeth chattering.
I couldn’t be bothered to go out so had a picnic in my room.