Abbotsbury to West Bay (9.5 miles)
Sadly, our final walk this trip. We bus to Abbotsbury and walk through the village down to the coast. It's a perfect English day!
We were thrilled to see that the path goes right along the beach for quite a bit. I picture us kicking off our boots and meandering gently across warm, soft sand, the sea on our left, the sun beaming overhead. But nope.
It's a pebble beach that goes on until the end of the earth. They call it shingle and it's like trudging through snow.
But then this.
Well, it’s too windy to walk so we bailed and visited the shops and cafes and pubs in a couple of small towns. Winds are at 40mph and there were times during that one long mile when we could barely stand up. Up on the cliffs would have been much worse! First time wind has stopped us from walking.
Those are the cliffs we should be walking today.
Seaton to Lyme Regis (7.5 miles)
We almost didn't walk today. It poured down rain all night, and the howling window woke us up several times. During one of those times I googled "what wind speed is too dangerous to hike?" and learned all about the Beaufort Scale, which I never knew existed. Bottom line: near gale force winds were expected today, which means we'd be crazy to hike on exposed cliff tops.
After studying the guidebook and Google Earth, we determined that we would mostly be in tree shelter on today's hike and except for getting wet, we'd be OK. So we caught the 9:25 bus to Seaton.
The undercliffs were formed by landslides, resulting in a section of land between back cliffs and cliffs closer to the sea. Constant movement (a bit like a glacier) means that between the back cliff and the sea, deep fissures open up. There are warnings posted all over advising you to not to wander off the path. We heed those warnings.
The ancient Norman St Nicholas Priory is only open on Mondays, which is why we went to Exeter today.
St Nicholas Priory
Today the Priory is a museum, reflecting an Elizabethan town house. It's the oldest standing building in Exeter. The cellar (above) dates from early Norman. How cool is that?!