Today we are at Minehead, the very beginning of the South West Coast Path. This walk is mostly flat across the tops, with huge hikes up and painfully slow hikes back down. Fantastic views; we’ve never walked in this kind of environment. Sheep and scary cows that look like buffalo, a wicked wind that was with us all day, and clouds that threatened but kindly skirted around us.
We bus from Barnstaple to Lynton, squeaking through the narrowest lanes you can imagine. This photo was taken just before we had to back up to let three cars through. I’m assuming there are rules of the road as to who backs up, but everyone is cheerful about it.
We take a taxi to Porlock as the buses no longer run there, and check in at our hotel.
Quintessential English villages all around here.
We drop off luggage and take the short bus trip to Minehead, which we plan to explore later.
This cute little house is tucked in between two bigger places, and expanded their living space up the hill.
The statue at the official start of the South West Coast Path.
And we’re off! Up, up, up.
Lunchtime: sandwich, chips (crisps), and cookies.
Storm clouds threaten all day.
Can’t ignore that ominous cloud to the west. Rain pants DO fit over boots in a pinch!
I tiptoed by this guy, sure he was going to charge me.
“The hills are alive!”
This. Hill. Was. A. Bitch. Probably took a good thirty minutes to bumble down.
We finally reach the bottom and follow the path through Bossington, where we hear there’s a wonderful place to stop for a cream tea. Unfortunately, we have three miles to Porlock Weir, where the last bus of the day leaves in 50 minutes.
This submerged forest is 5000-6000 years old, and was first observed in 1890. It Is slightly foreboding, like you might expect to see dinosaurs. The surrounding area is marshland; even parts of the path run through squishy areas.
Rough walking but this rocky beach too has a fascinating history. It looks manmade, but was actually formed about 8000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age, when rising sea levels piled up the rock and shingle that fell from nearby cliffs.
Across the bay is that wretched hill we bumbled down about 2 hours ago.
Porlock Weir. We have 15 minutes until the bus comes so we stop here to have a cider and ale.