South West Coast Path 2019

2018’s section of the South West Coast Path never happened, the year being taken up with a combination of art exhibitions and the asthma-y aftermath of the TGO Challenge. So it was 2 years, almost to the day, that Dad and I returned to Bude for the 60 mile (or so) section to Barnstaple.

What didn’t look terribly inspiring on the map, turned out, scenically at least, to be superb. The walk itself seemed to involve a lot of up and down, as usual, but this year it felt like a meandering sort of up and down, with the path wandering aimlessly in the vague vicinity of the cliff edges, but at the same time content to wander off in land a bit to lose you in bracken and trees. Feeling reasonably fit (for me) after walking across Scotland just over a month before, I made relatively short work of the undulations, but I was more conscious this year of having to wait for Dad to catch-up. With the need to get this project done, we’re now balancing finishing while he still can and wants to do it, with not overdoing it.

The north Cornwall coast so far has been largely about cliffs, but this year scenic interest focused more on the exposed rock washed by the tide. Always a sucker for interesting rock patterns, I may have taken quite a lot of photos of tidal rock formations, and I may or may not have built an entire collection of artworks around them (they’ll be shown, and hopefully a few of them sold, at upcoming art fairs).

Anyway, enough words from me, just enjoy a selection of pictures from the Bude to Barnstaple stretch.

We broke the 60 or so miles down as follows:

  • Day 1: Bude to Morwenstow (9 miles) – accommodation at pub in Morwenstow
  • Day 2: Morwenstow to Hartland (10 miles) – accommodation B&B in Stoke (best of the trip)
  • Day 3: Hartland to Clovelly (11 miles) – accommodation at New Inn in Clovelly (worst of the trip)
  • Day 4: Clovelly to Abbotsham (11.5 miles) – accommodation at a B&B in Winsford
  • Day 5: Abbotsham to Bideford (14 miles) – accommodation again at the B&B in Winsford (a day with light packs!)
  • Day 6: Bideford to Barnstaple (12 miles) – joined by Paul (Moorland Walker).

2 thoughts on “South West Coast Path 2019

  1. I enjoyed your photos…we just finished at Land’s End; we began three weeks before in Minehead. Great trek, but we wished we knew about some accommodations (like where you stayed) to shorten some stages, such as Hartland Quay to Bude. Just wondering: Why didn’t the New Inn work for you?

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    1. New Inn was actually ok, and was voted worst mainly because of how good all the other places were. Nothing huge wrong with it, but room was a little tired, and the standard at a pub never seems to quite match an independent B&B anyway. We were trying to keep costs down as neither my Dad or I are prepared to pay for unnecessary fripperies – I still shudder at the £110 we had to pay at Branscombe for a room, the standard of which was way more than we needed or wanted. Based on over 500 miles of the coast path, my view is accommodation should be sought in the following hierarchy: farmhouse then any B&B which offers tea and cake on arrival (a good yardstick for overall experience), then budget B&B, then pub. But if I was doing the path solo, I’d be camping anyway.

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