Day 332 Sea Cliffs around Salcombe and Prawle Point

Saturday 2 July 2016

Bigbury-on-Sea to East Prawle

19 miles

Camping in Mr Tripp’s field

Burgh Island
I survived a very windy night (which I later found out from the Prawle Point Lookout Station was a ‘nearly gale’). The sun was shining as I packed away so I washed a couple of bits and hung them off my rucksack. I was hungry so decided to walk the long, steep road to the beach to get some breakfast when the cafe opened at 9am. I had to wait until 10am for the ferry across the River Avon anyway. This one passed without incident.

the Avon Estuary
on the ferry to Bantham
There were lots of cars arriving at Bantham Beach as the Outdoor Swimming Society were hosting a swim down the river to the sea. The beach looked nice but I carried on over the cliffs and around to Thurlestone Beach. I stopped to watch a kestrel hovering just beside me and got a great view of him diving to catch a small mammal and then eating his prey on the cliff. 

Burgh Island from across the Avon Estuary

The beaches here were nice, although I noticed there were lots of menacing-looking rocks underwater that restricted entering the water. It was really windy again and there were plenty of kite surfers taking advantage. 

kite surfers off Thurlestone Beach, Bolt Tail in the distance
I passed through Outer- and Inner- Hope, skirting behind their shared beach, Hope Cove. Both had some lovely cottages. 

Hope Cove
Hope Cove and Bolt Tail
Bolt Tail signified the end of Bigbury Bay, and claimed to offer views back to Dodman Point on a clear day. I could see a huge black cloud over Rame Head and it was coming my way. 

looking back on Hope Cove
The cliffs between Bolt Tail and Bolt Head were very rugged, reminding me of North Cornwall and also a bit of the Quairing on Skye. The views inland were almost as good as the views of the sea. 

walking from Bolt Tail to Bolt Head
beautiful scenery around Soar Mill Cove
The monsoon-like rain caught me just before I reached Bolt Head. It was horizontal thanks to the strong wind so I was soaked to the skin at the back and dry-ish at the front. I didn’t walk all the way out to Bolt Head but cut off the end and clambered around Sharp Tor just as the rain eased. I could see up the entrance to the Kingsbridge Estuary to Salcombe. 

the jagged rocks of Sharp Tor through the heavy rain
Salcombe, along the Kingsbridge Estuary
I think there were more boats around Salcombe than I saw in either Falmouth or Plymouth. They were crammed in. This place had serious money as there were enormous houses dotted all over the cliffs. 

lots of boats and posh houses around Salcombe
approaching South Sands Beach
There were several little beaches, on both sides of the estuary. The water looked a lovely bottle-green, and with the palm trees that were dotted around (and the glorious sunshine that was now overhead) I felt like I might be in the Caribbean. 

beachy coves across the Kingsbridge Estuary
Mill Bay, Salcombe across the estuary
Salcombe is not designed for walking; narrow lanes spell disaster, particularly when filled with rich youths in big cars driving too fast. I had one lucky escape and thought I should have got the ferry from South Sands to the town centre. 

the view down the estuary from Salcombe
The town centre was packed. I managed to buy a lovely sandwich from a deli and sit on the waterfront watching people heading to and from boats. I avoided all the posh shops. 

beautiful green colour of the water around Mill Bay
After an hour’s break I caught the ferry across the estuary and walked past all the posh houses tucked around Mill Bay. 

walking to Prawle Point, the sea crashing against the cliffs
stunning scenery and tough walking
The walk to Prawle Point was wonderful. The terrain was rugged and the sea was pounding the cliffs in a white froth, making the sea look minty fresh. Yet more up and down; very tiring at the end of a long walk. 

rough seas on a windy day
Gammon Head from Prawle Point
I had reached the Southernmost point in Devon.

steep cliffs, no room for error!
I popped into the Lookout Station at Prawle Point and discovered an old man had just fallen off the cliff ahead of me. Fortunately he was only walking wounded. The coastguard has been very busy until 2 minutes before I arrived. 

Prawle Point Lookout Station
looking at Langerstone Point from Prawle Point
I walked up the hill to East Prawle (all the campsites seem to be at the top of a hill). There were 2 campsites and I chose the better one. This one was a cow field; the cows had been removed but it was full of cow pats. The grass was knee high and there was a toilet block that I didn’t find (it was a dirty old shed and you needed to provide your own loo roll). I didn’t find a water tap either (I stole into a caravan site and used theirs). And this was the better site! I spent a while picking grass and covering the fresher cow pats so at least I wouldn’t be rolling in one overnight. Then I headed to the pub, The Pig’s Nose Inn, for a shower. They have a shower room in the cellar with 4 shower heads in it. Very weird, but I was desperate. 

inside The Pig’s Nose Inn, East Prawle
The Pig’s Nose had been recommended to me as a quirky pub and it was definitely that. It was owned by an ex-roadie who still gets his mates to play in the hall next door. They were playing tonight and the pub was full. I managed to walk in without paying for a ticket, which was fortunate because I left after one song. I returned to the bar and the raucous music that was being played. I was being led astray by Mark, Mark and Churchie, who were camping for the weekend to come to this pub. I didn’t leave until well after midnight. 

knitting art, Salcombe

11 thoughts on “Day 332 Sea Cliffs around Salcombe and Prawle Point

  1. Chris F July 6, 2016 / 7:44 pm

    Gorgeous scenery, azurri blue sea and warm sunshine to dry your Bridget’s hanging off your ruck sack. I am surprised the well heeled yoofffs in Salcombe let you in although most hail from the South East only venturing down at the weekend like they do in Rocke. Well done to Mark, Mark and Churchie for looking after you! I hope you had your whistle! On on Juice it’s all up hill now!


  2. vaanessa July 6, 2016 / 9:14 pm

    You are inspiring me, I wanna walk these trails, they are picture perfect… Not keen on the cow field tho’…. Hope u didn’t roll in one! Xx


    • Lucy July 27, 2016 / 5:49 pm

      No I didn’t. Can’t believe I kept the bottom of my tent cow pat-free! Very glad I did though


  3. Val K July 7, 2016 / 8:57 am

    I’m sorry to say I love Salcombe. It’s so pretty, so posh and so full of expensive shops, there is
    so much money there you can taste it. As ever the photos are fabulous,and the two Marks and
    Churchie sound fun! Val x


  4. jstumm July 7, 2016 / 6:16 pm

    I have to agree with Val. I loved the poshness of Salcombe when I was there, even if I did get stranded as there was only 1 bus a week and my boyfriend had just dumped me! Good times?! Heehee. Evelyn came 3rd in her rugby tournament and sang well in the church! Speak soon. Love jodie


  5. Spike Martin July 8, 2016 / 2:26 pm

    Juice, I can’t believe you are at Salcombe already, I love the place and very lucky to have a place down there. You would have walked straight past it when you left North Sands. I hope you stopped at The Ferry Inn before crossing over to Mill Bay? I used to go there as a very naughty 14 year old to drink pints of Purple Nasty (snakebit abd black……yuck!!!!!). Keep those little legs going. Spike XxX


    • Lucy July 27, 2016 / 5:47 pm

      Can’t believe I never knew you had a place in Salcombe! It was stunning when I went past. I did take a peek in the Ferry Inn. You are a dark horse Spike. Xxx


  6. jstumm July 8, 2016 / 5:26 pm

    Please write some more about birds – we are full in bird watching fever. The farmer cut the grass and we have a buzzard, a red kite, a black kite, a kestrel and a marsh harrier!


    • Lucy July 27, 2016 / 5:48 pm

      I’ll put a few more birds in my posts. Check the one coming up soon about Lymington. Lots of waders x


  7. Debra Payton July 12, 2016 / 8:20 pm

    Hi Lucy, What a great blog. The pictures are fantastic. I didn’t realise how beautiful Devon is considering we live here. Keep going. Deb Payton x


    • Lucy July 27, 2016 / 5:45 pm

      Devon is very beautiful! Try the North coast as well – it’s all stunning!


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