Wet and windy Devon
For New Year I simply swapped a wet and windy North West for a wet and windy South West! I spent a few days in Hope Cove celebrating the changing of years and, yes, walking! Sadly the sky was not blue and the weather not quite as balmy as it has been on previous Devon holidays. It rained rather a lot. But the coast is still beautiful and the ups and downs of the coves and headlands gradually reveal foliage and forest tracks which are worth seeing in the wettest weather.
We managed two walks, one from Kingston, and the other from Hope Cove. Follow the links for details.
Kingston is not much more than a pub and a church and the track followed crosses downs and woodlands to the coast at Erme Bay. Wrinkle Wood is as old as its names suggest and there were plants reminiscent of the ancient temperate rainforests I have been to in British Columbia. Tree ferns and air moss. Trees which had fallen were left to naturally regenerate giving the floor a more ‘lived in’ natural look than managed forests.
The warm weather had confused the plants and there were a few summer wild flowers in bloom. Was it really December?
The coastal track from Erme bay to Westcombe beach is ‘undulating’ and surprisingly strenuous. I had been under the misapprehension that we would be walking across cliff tops but actually the track went up and down several coves. Still it was a good work out in preparation for the seven course New Years dinner which was to follow. As we left the coast in a ‘down’, the road back to Kingston was most definitely up. If there had been clear blue skies the views would have been fantastic.
Hope Cove to Bolbury Down is another circular trail which takes in part of the coast. The ‘endless coastal views’ were just about visible when the rain periodically stopped. Even on the 1st of January the village of Hope Cove was busy with people walking off the excesses of the previous evening. The beach and stormy seas providing a playground to wet dogs and wellie clad children. Once off the beach and up on to the coastal trail the population diminished to a few hardened walkers brave enough to face squally showers and strong wind blowing landwards. After a couple of hours of being buffeted by the wind a warm house and hot shower were very welcome!
Devon had not lost any popularity in mid winter and there was some form of entertainment for our whole group of 23, even the non-walkers. For ideas take a look at the complex where I stayed.
Happy New Year