Day 14: 06 Apr 2014; Woolacombe to Combe Martin

Day 14: 06 Apr 2014; Woolacombe to Combe Martin
Walk descriptor LEJOG2014 Day 14
Date Sun 06 Apr 2014 Start to end time 06h 51m
Start point Woolacombe End point Combe Martin
Miles today 14.14 Cu miles 264.80
Ft today 3,393 Cu ft 45,521
Route miles left 1,200.78 Route ft left 147,557
Today’s weather Started dull and drizzly. Turned to heavy rain by 11 am which continued all afternoon. Moderate South Westerly wind. About 10 C
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Today’s location
(the red cross in a circle shows where I am at the moment)
GPX based track of today’s walk
(click here to access to access downloadable file)

“I was excellently and kindly put up by friends in Woolacombe last night, and a decent home-made meal in the evening made an extremely welcome change from pub food. So I started the day clean and refreshed.

I followed the coast path north from Woolacombe to Morte Point. This is a significant landmark both for shipping and for my walk. At this point, the coast bends round to the east, so rather than heading North with the Atlantic on my left, I am now heading East with the Bristol Channel taking the place of the Atlantic. The point where the Atlantic and Bristol Channel meet is notorious for shipping – the swirling currents caused by the conflicting tides cause massive eddies which can dash unsuspecting vessels onto the unwelcoming rocky headland of Morte Point itself.

I followed the coast path pretty much all the way to Ilfracombe. It was an extremely enjoyable walk, despite the rain which had become torrential by about 11 am. The going was easy underfoot, which made the strenuous ups and downs much more manageable. The route passed through interesting villages like Mortehoe and Lee and which I imagine are swarming with tourists in the summer.

Ilfracombe itself was pleasant enough – if Newquay and Padstow are at opposite ends of a spectrum, I’d say that Ilfracombe is somewhere in the middle. The Landmark Theatre is built in disused lime-kilns, which look somewhat like power station cooling towers. There is a good cafe there where I had an unconventional lunch of cheese scone, bacon roll, tea and porridge.

I abandoned the coast path for the second part of the walk, given the fierceness of the cliffs and the teeming rain. I followed quite country lanes over the hills to Combe Martin, which was a bit anticlimactic after the spectacular coastal walk round Morte Point in the morning. Overnight in the very up-market Newberry Valley Park campsite.”

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)
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Struggling to stand upright in the fierce gale tearing round Morte Point, just North of Woolacombe Next time I go camping I want one of these
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Horticulturalists’ Heaven – a verdant colony of Gunnera, growing in the village of Lee, complete with comprehensive information sign Ilfracombe. The Emmanuel Church is made of Aberdonian granite and cost £5000 when it was built in 1898
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Lime kilns in Ilfracombe. Now converted to a theatre with excellent café The MS Oldenburg in Ilfracombe harbour. Passenger ferry to Lundy. Requires strong stomach, apparently. To left is Damien Hirst’s “Verity” – a statue of which seems to raise very mixed reactions
Panorama of shop fronts in Ilfracombe.
The previous day’s blog follows below the blue line
Solid line blue