Saturday, 12 June 2010

Paignton to Dartmouth Via Kingswear

After a couple of days rest, it was time to say goodbye to the hotel staff and holidaymakers and put the rucksack with new tent on my back and off on a journey that would be one of our toughest.
The weather would also prove a factor - yet again.
The blue skies had since disappeared and were replaced by now dark clouds and light rain, but it soon turned into a downpour as we headed towards Brixham.Soaking wet and no one about I was somewhat bemused when walking along the coastal path, we passed a coastguard station, when a bearded chap asked if the dog was mine, she was I replied, can I put her on a lead? I couldn`t understand why, I know if the sun was out and loads of people were about, that was different, but in pouring rain, no-one about apart from him supping a cup of tea in his dry office. I duly obliged then after 100metres let her off again, I think she was more bemused than me and obviously the chap wanted to feel he had authority and I had to bolster his ego.
The weather was so bad though, that I ended up having to camp at Churston for the night until the bad weather abated.
All night it lashed it down, but we were warm and dry and by morning, the seemingly relentless downpour had disappeared and replaced by warm sunshine. Only the puddle outside the tent a clue to what weather we had had.
We retraced our steps back to where we left and headed uphill to Brixham, its Old buildings running steeply down the hill to the harbour.

Brixham has been prominent since the Middle Ages, with it being a major fishing port for about 300 years.
Don`t be surprised if you see a full sized replica of the Golden Hinde, it is here!
William of Orange also landed here.
Passing through Brixham and onto Berry Head which has huge fortifications that were built when Britain was at war with France.

The lighthouse here is said to be the highest and lowest in Britain. It is only 15ft tall, but the light is 200ft above sea level. From here follow the route passed St. Mary`s Bay and Man Sands, but this section of the coast is very rugged with steep uphills and jutting coastal line, that when you step down to Kingswear, you are grateful of a rest.You also pass some stunning scenery on the way down and some signposts that remind you that creatures lurk in unsuspecting walkways!

There are also weird and wonderful styles to climb over!

Then the ever popular painted lady was everywhere!

She looked exquisite, just sitting there letting the sun warm her wings.
She did not fly of and was not disturbed by our presence.
She is not local, but has travelled from afar,
She is the painted lady.

Once at Kingswear, we found a good campsite and settled for the night.
The next day I decided that we would take a trip on esteemed steam train and watched the last boat ferry to make its journey from here to Dartmouth, a sad occassion.

The end of an era....

Kingswear proved a delightful place to visit and our visit did not end there, we went to Greenway House, where Agatha Christie used it as a holiday home.
During the second world war, the Americans moved in and panelled the rooms of to preserve its history, but the walls were painted with stories from the war and aafter the war the Americans restored it back to before they moved in.
The buildingwas the birthplace of Sir Humphrey Gilbert, who claimed Newfoundland for Queen Elizabeth in 1539.
Dogs are not permitted in the house, but they can be tethered at thegarden wall where water is provided and those with dogs that howl (Willow!) a good fuss and cuddle is provided at no extra cost!
Enjoy a good walk around the grounds, all in all, we spent 5 hours here, an hour and a half in the house alone, but it is well worth a visit.

The next day it was time to leave Kingswear and cross on the ferry to Dartmouth, where we would again pick up the signs and continue along the South West Coast Path.

In Dartmouth itself signs are everywhere telling you about its history from the castle to important people and what was done in Dartmouth.

No comments:

Post a Comment