Recently it seems as though heading to a beach, national park, moorland, lake, reservoir or beauty spot for a walk/sit/picnic has been the thing that gets people’s blood boiling. The fact that it is now allowed in England after the lockdown lift a couple of weeks ago seems to have not changed some opinions. I can understand those heading to an outdoor spot, it is the only outdoor thing that anyone can do currently, at the time of writing. You can’t go to a pub, theatre, cinema, leisure park, gym, sports centre, bowling alley, cafe, restaurant, amusement park, funfairs, friends house, shopping centre, most shops, hairdresser and the list goes on. All these places would normally have a large amount of people at them, yet some instead have chosen to go outdoors to places. And people are then surprised and scream at their tv when then see photos of busy beaches and national parks. Where did you expect them to go? They can’t do anything else, and for 8 or 9 weeks most haven’t done anything. Anyhoo, for us that have walked before and know where to go on a busy bank holiday weekend, we find these situations easy to navigate. For me I chose a walk around Prawle Point, a great area of coastal path walking with the odd beach to pass and check out the crowding (I saw none!!). Once round Prawle Point the path drops to sea level and you walk between rocky outcrops, fields of crops and the stony beaches, which is a lovely part of the path. This was wasn’t as hard as my previous walk around Bigbury. The terrain didn’t rise and fall as much as that walk and it was nice to walk for a few miles without the need to stop and catch ones breath!! I’m getting the hang of this coastal walking.
|Start – East Prawle
|Route – West Prawle – East Portlemouth – South West Coastal Path – Gara Rock – Gammon Head – Prawle Point – Langerstone Point – Lannacombe Beach – Higher Borough – East Prawle
|Distance – 11 miles Start time – 10.20am Time taken – 5hr 40mins Highest Point – Higher Borough 133metres
|Weather – Blue skies, sunshine and warm. Breeze on east facing coast
© Crown copyright 2020 Ordnance Survey FL 2020 SF
The village I started in, East Prawle. There’s a pub and a village cafe which would have done a decent trade today if they had been open. There is a small area for about 10 cars by the toilets (also shut currently), and if you carry on towards Prawle Point there’s another National Trust car park down there
The area inland from Prawle Point is farmland and lots of it, lots of lanes like this leading to farms. I’m heading to West Prawle and then down to East Portlecombe
Red Admiral. I’m pretty rubbish at photographing wildlife as I tend to be on top of it before I notice it. And therefore it flies off, I’m also not great at creeping up on the ones I do see. This one however landed next to me as I was taking the previous photo!!
This made me giggle, the tractor/digger thing went past and then I saw the dog stood up on the back
East Portlecombe church
There is a car park here, which was full (about 8 cars) but the views towards Kingsbridge across the estuary are glorious. Kingsbridge is away in the distance and that is Salcombe down there on the left
This is Mill Bay. Its a National Turst car Park behind me, which is apparently closed because of a landslip, but was pretty full with cars but even then the beach is hardly rammed. Its about 11.30am at this point and the temperature is rising a bit. I’ll be glad to get out on the coast where there is a breeze
Picture postcard view, Salcombe left and Mill Bay right
Looking back to Salcombe as I head out of the estuary. For those wanting to do a full coastal path walk in one, you will need the ferry from East Portlecombe to Salcombe to carry on otherwise its a walk inland to Kingsbridge
Salcombe Castle on the point opposite or Fort Charles as it is sometimes called. Built during Henry VIIIs time, to defend against the spanish and french, it was also (like Plymouth) one of the last strongholds against Oliver Cromwell in the English Civil War
Sharp Tor with Bolt Head behind, the razor sharp stacks sticking upwards. A fantastic walk can be had from Bolt Head to Bolt Tail
Turning east now, the coastal path stays at around this altitude for the duration to Prawle Point. Some rise and fall but nothing too lung busting
Bolt Head across the bay. This section of coastal path is littered with small beaches. On a day like today they looked gorgeous as did the water. All the beaches had a small number of people on them, all nicely distanced.
Gara Rock, the hut above is part of the hotel behind the high ground
A cove, a beach and Decklers Cliff beyond
And looking back, there were a few down on the beach, and others heading down. Bolt Head again on the left
Gammon Head ahead. There’s also Pig’s Nose and Ham Rock along there as well. Love the names. The Pigs Nose is the name of the pub in East Prawle which is a great pub to visit.
Cove after cove after stunning beach, amazing walking. The path down to the beach is on the left and the beach had about 10 people on it, that was good for me, so down I went for lunch, shoes/socks/tshirt/trousers off and in. Luckily I had planned for this and wore swimming shorts underneath, it was cold but refreshing.
After the swim the tricky part was getting changed out of the wet shorts. Back up to the coastal path and a perfect large rocky outcrop did the job. Refreshed, fed, watered, changed and carry on. This is Gammon Head
Over Gammon Head and this view to Prawle Point
The toothy outcrops on Gammon Head. Again another beach down to my right
The profile of Gammon Head with Bolt Head in the distance
Prawle Point lookout station, this is the most southerly part of Devon
Two guys doing their duty inside, socially distanced obviously
The route ahead drops down to pretty much sea level. I was making good time so chose to walk further along this section before looping back to East Prawle
Looking back to Prawle Point. Down here you have narrow fields of grain sandwiched between the sea and rocky outcrops on the right. Farmers making the most of the land
Horse’s Head arch at Prawle Point
There was a nice breeze along here which was drying my shorts hung on my bag nicely. And enough to make a few waves crash against the rocks
A lovely bit of coastal path towards Maelcombe House
That’s Ballsaddle Rock out to sea off the point, another giggle from me.
Lannacombe Beach, again the parking was full but only about 15-20 on the beach. I turn inland here to pick up the lanes and fields back to East Prawle
I could have done with another dip in the sea at this point. I climbed up from the trees down there, no breeze and sweat dripping off my nose
Lannacombe Beach is down there in the dip
Finally back to the fields and farms of this part of the world. Blue skies throughout and a great way to spend a day.