Sunday, 13 June 2010

Lyme Regis to Paignton

Sadly for this section of the route I lost my camera so I`ve no photographs to show you.

Again we were up early for the train to Axminster followed by the bus to Lyme Regis.
From Lyme Regis we continued the steep climb and sometimes re-routed walk towards the undercliffs, passing monmouth beach.
Again we were blessed with the sunshine, but now had quite severe sunburn on my upper arms, so to combat the strong sun, I got a pair of socks and cut the toes out and wore them over the elbows! It worked.
This part of the walk also has a history all of its own.
The Downland Cliffs suffered a huge landslip on Christmas Day 1839, burrying cottages below, though thankfully no lives were lost as it had been evacuated 2 days before.
The area though is chalk in appearance, but it is rich in plant and fossil life and it is not long before you reach Seaton.
Seaton itself has a beach of shingle and pebbles and the town is mainly old victorian and it still boasts an electric tramway that runs inland with open upper decks.
It also lies at the mouth of the River Axe which has some torrentially dangerous currents.
Going west past Seaton is Seaton Hole and Beer Head, along With Branscombe mouth and then eventually arriving in Sidmouth and I was somewhat taken aback with its soaring cliffs and Georgian and Regency Architecture.
Sidmouth lost its days as a port when silt and shingle made it impossible to navigate it, but small fishing boats still do navigate the small stretch.
It is also known that the Duke and Duchess of Kent moved here in the 19th century to evade creditors (even royalty can`t escape the debt collection agencies!).
We concluded the walk here overnight before going from Sidmouth to Exmouth.

From Sidmouth we carried on up and down the cliffs to Ladram Bay which houses several secluded coves and wonderfully shaped cliffs before the several mile walk that would take us to Budleigh Salterton and then Sandy Bay, home to a huge Devon Cliffs holiday camp.
You can walk through the holiday camp and even stop for a meal or cream teas with strawberry jam, which simply melts in the mouth!
All too soon we are in Exmouth which was used as a base by Sir Walter Raleigh, the Elizabethan explorer.
Exmouth goes back to around the 16th century as it was a busy maritime port and the River Exe also meets the open waters of the sea here.
A small ferry would take us across the bay and onto Dawlish, but not today. We would end here and go back to the hotel tonight.

The next day and still with bright sunshine, I would have breakfast with the other diners and order an evening meal, which at 8am I was looking forward to!
This morning though, we caught the train to Exeter (which I was mightly impressed with. Its University large and majestic and I have thought about doing an archaeological course here as it is probably in one of the best areas to do the courses and they look really good courses to do here) before catching the bus to Exmouth and finally the ferry to Dawlish Warren Nature Reserve.
From here, the route was `flattish` and with the train and part of the South West Coast Path going side by side, you can see how people have lost their lives on this section.
The railway line is 3ft away from you as you walk along the wall to Dawlish. It is safe to do so when the tide is out, but is precarious when in and not recommended.
Only last week, (a gentleman informed me) a woman was killed by the train, trying to rescue her dog that had strayed onto the railway and got stuck.
Dawlish was a place that seemed quite a "rough area" indeed it doesn`t look like other areas of fine old buildings and colourful history, but I was proved (and gladly too) very wrong in that it was a place of friendly people and a beautiful park that was lush in green and seats and areas for picnics, though there were parts where gates were put up to prevent walking through, though I did find out it was due to erosion and not hoodlum prevention!
Once out of Dawlish, the uphill climb began yet again and into wooded areas, where I found an old oak tree with a huge girth and carvings of peoples names dating back to 1865.
Who were these people?
I often find that when delving into the past, I like to find out as much as i can and as accurately as I can, but it is with enjoyment that I do it and it has taken me to some fascinating places and We have met some wonderful people along the way.
The wooded walk was ever climbing and then we heard a rumble underfoot. Had we just experienced the tremblings of a landslip? yes, we had, but we carried on as we could not see it, but your always on the lookout, as you never know what may happen.
Soon we arrived in Teignmouth, which dates back to Saxon times although it didn`t really amount to much until the early 19th century when it was developed as a port and holiday resort.
Dartmoor granite was shipped out from here and onto London to build what was the old London Bridge, which now resides in the U.S.
From here it is time to catch yet another ferry to take us to Ness cove in Babbacombe Bay.
Following the Coast has been quite an adventure, each turn seemingly different, not sure what your going find, but it appeared lined with golden beauty and then with rough dangerous drops that sometimes you feel you have to cling on and then other times you have to pinch yourself to check the reality of the places that we have visited.
If it wasn`t for the modern cars I sometimes believe that we could see horse and cart and gentlemen in their flat caps with weather beaten faces and eyes of seeing everything, casting nets or preparing their boats for daily catches. An era that has diminshed but one you can easily envisage.
Babbacombe Beach used to be a popular resort with royal visits, before Torquay took off as an affluent area, the place to be.
The beach also used to be a favourite amongst smugglers until a raid in 1853 put a virtual stop to it.
From Babbacombe Beach we passed by Anstey`s Cove and Hope`s nose that jutts out with its red cliffs before heading to Torquay and its huge detached houses and large harbour and is now a family favourite for holiday makers, it is quoted as being the English Riviera.
I found Torquay vast and beautiful with old buildings everywhere, but got lost a little when the signposts for the walk disappeared to the floor! through seemingly a housing estate, but was easily picked up again further down the drive.
Palm trees grew very well here, I could see why with hot sunshine though I didn`t like the smell of the sea too much, very smelly, probably to do with the amount of seaweed that has encroached around the whole of the South West Coast and no one seems to know why.
Apart from that, the walk was very pleasant and it was to get back to Paignton where both Willow and myself were looking forward to being fed and watered!


  1. lost my camera,in a waterproof housing off roundham head, if found

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