Apr. 5th, 2017

sawyl: (A self portrait)
Another early start to make it down to Hope Cove in time to walk the cliff path from Bolt Tail to the admiralty tower, linking up with yesterday's walk and covering the whole coast bolt coastline.

Hard as it may be to believe, Hope Cove really did look quite this beautiful this April morning.

We left the car in Inner Hope, walked a short way to Outer Hope and started climbing the hill leading west out of town.

A sign reassuring us that we really were heading in the right direction.

Once out of town and heading towards Bolt Tail, the landscape opens up offering a spectacular view of the bay to the north.

Looking north towards the village of Thurlestone, the arch of rock that gives the place its name is clearly visible in the mid-ground.

Up on Bolt Tail, my dad looking north-west towards the Rame Peninsula.

Looking directly north, Bigbury-on-Sea was hidden by the rocky outcrop of Burgh Island with its hotel so beloved of Agatha Christie fans...

And finally, looking back at Hope, our point of origin, in enough detail — just — to pick out our car in the car park!

Once we'd taken in the view and I'd finished taking photos, it was time to get down to the serious business of walking the path. We set off along the coast, pausing occasionally to watch a couple of yachts who seemed to have the dual misfortunes of being both headed and caught by the tide, and consequently were making very little progress.

In around an hour and half, we descended into Soar Mill Cove — something we'd avoided doing yesterday because we didn't fancy having to walk back up to get to the road. The bay looked absolutely beautiful by this time, with the sun on the water making it appear positively idyllic.

Although, as my dad remarked rather snarkily, the beach is not nearly as big as it seems in the publicity photos!

Once back out of the bay, it was short walk to the admiralty tower and time to turn in land.

The tower stands alone in the middle of a field of wheat. It was built in the 1790s as a signal station and recently restored. The house that stood with it has long since disappeared.

Once passed the tower, we followed the same route through Soar as yesterday until we reached the main road. At which point, instead of turning right to go to Rew, we bore left following a footpath, and skirted a vast field of oilseed rape that seemed to stretch to the horizon.

I've cheated slightly with this one and turned up the colour saturation to emphasize the blue of the sky and the yellow of the flowers. But there's no denying the apparent endlessness of the field.

We then followed an old track called Jacob's Lane which led us to Bolberry.

Blossom in Jacob's Lane. Sadly, I have no idea what it might be... ETA: I was being stupid: it's clearly blackthorn blossom.

Once through Bolberry, where we saw someone rather optimistically trying to drive a vast, American Dodge pickup truck down the tiny winding lanes, we simply followed the road until we reached a footpath which ran parallel to the stream which finally led us back to Hope.

We had lunch at the excellent Cove cafe where I had a lovely feta and warm bean salad with plenty of pumpkin seeds and greens and a big chunk of bread. Suitably restored, we got back in the car and had an uneventful journey back to Exeter where my parents dropped me off and headed up to Bristol for supper with friends.


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