Dartmouth and round to Little Dartmouth

The weather for the weekend wasn’t looking too good, I ummed and arred about going out. Looking closer at the weather there was a window, not too long but a few hours before 2pm on Sunday, where the odd passing shower was forecast but the main rain would be at 2pm. Well they got the forecast bang on, literally. The rain did arrive about 1.30pm and it stayed raining until it was dark. The showers were indeed quickly passing, driven by a stiff wind, however the first of them shook me like nothing I’ve ever heard before. I had reached the high point of my walk, nothing too high (160metres) and the lane was about to start dropping down towards Dartmouth. I noticed the clouds behind me looked menacing, I stopped to look at them and gauge which way they were going, it was definitely rain and it was heading my way. As I walked I stopped to get my jacket out from my bag, before the rain started more heavily. As I took my jacket out a few drops had started, then a bit of hail, then BANG CRASH.

The crackle of lightning was directly above me, followed immediately by an ear popping thunder clap, sheet lightning I think, but to be honest I didn’t check. My heart jumped out of my throat and started running off down the lane, my eyes looked left and I saw a water tower, with those metal poles sticking up all over it. I took off, carrying my coat and camera as the hail got heavier and then turned to rain. Another crackle, the air hissed and then another bang. I saw a house, a shell of a house, half built but with a roof, I darted in, put my coat on along with my bag cover and waited for the storm to pass which it did after a couple of minutes. And like that the sun came out. I now know my fight or flight response and it is definitely flight!! I walked further down the lane and could hear alarms going off in Dartmouth, I checked my pockets at the next junction and realised I’d dropped my GPS somewhere. Back up the lane I went, and met two ladies walking with their children, their boy had found my GPS and hung it on a gatepost. They looked as shocked at the brief storm as I was. I thanked them and climbed back up to retrieve it. Too be honest I was still a little shaken, walking through Dartmouth, alarms were going off on at least 4 or 5 houses that I passed (probably second homes so no one would be in). All around the coastal path my eyes kept looking at the clouds, another brief rain shower passed, but to be honest I didn’t want to push on. I reached the car park and sat in the car and ate my lunch, binning the idea of the loop to Stoke Fleming that I was going to do. I’ve been out with thunder in the distance before, but nothing like that. Stupid weather

Start – Little Dartmouth National Trust Car Park

Route – Swannaton – Dartmouth – South West Coastal Path – Warfleet – Dartmouth Castle – Blackstone Point – Combe Point – Little Dartmouth

Distance – 5 miles    Start time – 10am    Time taken – 2hrs 30mins Highest Point – By the Water Tower 160metres

Weather – Sunshine, hail, heavy cloud, wind, rain, blue skies, mud, lightning and thunder

© Crown copyright 2020 Ordnance Survey FL 2020 SF
National Trust sign. From here there is a fantastic 5 mile loop which takes in the Diamond Jubilee Way most of the way around, and then a small extra section along the coastal path back to the car park. This was my plan for today, its 10am and it should get me back here just after midday.
The weather well it looks bright in places with dark clouds scudding across backed by the strong wind
Blue skies in the direction of Dartmouth as I join the Jubilee Way
Down a slippery path which means there will be a climb up the other side
Llama in the sun
This is the first sight of rain, the main darker section of cloud is just to the right of this. I walked a little further then stopped to put my jacket on as the first drops of rain started to fall. I’m at the high point of the walk here.
Down at Dartmouth, with my heart pounding. Probably 30 seconds after taking the last photo the thunder and lightning happened. I probably ran the few hundred metres to the half built house in a time Usian Bolt would have been proud of. I eventually made it here to this view of Dartmouth and realised I dropped my GPS.
That’s the beast that had left alarms ringing in Dartmouth and my ears ringing from thunder.
Up and down in 10 minutes and its a different day. The Kingswear ferry is just leaving on the right to come across to Dartmouth.
House alarms still going off as I drop into Dartmouth to start the coastal path section which is also part of the Jubilee Way. Back left you can see the Royal Naval Academy.
All calm as the River Dart heads out to sea
Heading around Warfleet Creek and cove. A lime kiln is centre left of photo
This board tells of the history here
St Petrox church within the grounds of Dartmouth Castle
Dartmouth Castle
I’m heading around towards Blackstone Point now
Through a short section of woodland, another shower passed overhead at this point, no thunder thankfully
Froward Point and the Mew Stone I walked that section back in the early summer (here)
Dartmouth Castle on the left and the castle on the eastern side of the Dart estuary is opposite.
Rocks off Blackstone Point
Looking to Combe Point
And looking back, the Daymark can be seen sticking up on Froward Point
Another shower had raced through again edged with hail. I’m nearly back at the car now and to be honest I’m looking forward to getting in it.
The back edge of the last shower leaves Start Point which is across Start Bay as I near Combe Point
Combe Point
Meg Rocks are nearest to me, the unnamed rocks off Blackstone Point are left and the Mew Stone off Froward Point at the back
Again the sun comes out and the bay clears across to Start Point. The tower on the right is the church in Stoke Fleming. I was planning on an out and back to that village as part of this walk. But I decided to bin that idea in favour of lunch in the car
A beautiful view showing what a lovely place this is in nice weather
A seat to enjoy the view
I would have sat on the seat and ate however I could see the next shower arriving. 5 minutes after arriving at the car the shower started and then as a drove away the rain started again and didn’t go away. The timing was good except for being at the high point of the walk during the lightning storm

4 thoughts on “Dartmouth and round to Little Dartmouth

  1. A little excitement on the walk. I’m guessing this was last Sunday. No storms here but plenty of heavy showers. I definitely need a South Devon weekend for some coastal exploration especially this stretch which looks superb from your posts through this year.


    • Yes this was last Sunday, more than a bit of a shock that one. There’s not really a bad part of the coastal path from Brixham to Plymouth but the section from Bolt Tail to Start Point is really good

      Liked by 1 person

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