Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Coastwalk , South West Coast Path

Morwenstow → Bude

warren-little-beach.png Distance: 7.59 miles
Ascent: 463 metres
Duration: 3 hours 31 minutes

« Hartland Quay | Crackington Haven »

The South West Coast Path Association describe the section from Hartland Quay to Bude as the hardest day in their suggested itinerary. With continued poor weather forecast we were in no mood for that so split the section at Morwenstow, approximately halfway.

hawkers-hut.pngThe reduced distance gave us time to explore a little more, and we were glad to do so since we would otherwise not have stopped off at Hawker's Hut, a shabby looking wooden shelter just off the path which was used by Rev Hawker as a mini retreat.

We have Rev Hawker to thank for the Harvest Festival, first introduced here in the late 19th century, and now held in pretty much every church in the land. We can also thank him for the most eccentric vicarage I've ever seen: the chimneys of what is now Morwenstow's Old Vicarage are modelled on church towers that featured earlier in his life.

North of Hawker's Hut, half a dozen steep ascents and descents followed, and as we approached the top of each just one thing loomed large on the horizon ahead of us: the myriad of satellite dishes and antennae at the GCHQ site just north of Bude.

bude-dishes.pngThe path runs very close to the site fence, and I was so distracted by the huge dishes that we missed the point where the path turns right to descend through the scrub. (For those walking this way in the future, it's just by the corner where you first meet the fence; if you find yourself on the remnant of a concrete road you've gone too far).

crooklets-beach.pngIt's been a surprisingly hot day today so we were glad to reach Bude without too much exertion. Bude is an interesting town, reminiscent of Southwold in the way that it keeps its bustle away from the sea front. I was expecting it to be heaving with surfers but instead found a genteel charm. I suspect in a month's time when the season is in full swing that will all change.

Posted by pab at 18:38 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!