Shall we venture North or South? An often difficult decision to make in Bude – as both directions present such tantalising opportunities for exploration, fine views and refreshment! The South West Coast path literally leaves you on a cliff edge of suspense and excitement as to what is round the next corner in terms of spectacular and diverse views – we have yet to be disappointed!
As we couldn’t decide on one way rather than another on the weekend, we decided to go both ways and double the enjoyment factor. So Saturday saw us head off from Crooklets Beach over the public bridleway to Northcott and then on up and over to Sandymouth. The heady smell of ripening gorse greeted us for much of the way and made a great backdrop for photos. Sandymouth welcomed us with two cascading waterfalls and a smooth grey-pebbled slipway to the smooth sands, as well as a cafe offering far reaching views across the bay.
The tide being at its low point, we strolled back to Bude along the sands with the sun periodically appearing to brush the rock and sand pools with reflection and sparkle. We laughed at each other’s attempts to scissor-jump across the pools making a splash and a half in the process. We stumbled upon one of the old shipwrecks and explored the rusted ironwork complete with sea snails and barnacles in abundance.
Once back on dry land at Summerleaze, we found Pengenna pasties and Olive Tree ice cream a very acceptable way to complete a delightful and satisfying three hour jaunt.
Sunday dawned bright and cloudless and once more we packed snacks and essentials for a trip, this time ‘down south’. 45 minutes and 25 miles later saw us parked in the National Trust car park at Port Quin with a super long view into a very quaint cove. After being reprimanded by daughter for not bringing savoury sandwiches (and dealing with it with a sigh of ‘never can win’ exasperation) we set off with gay abandon on the coast path to Port Isaac.
Our hopes of it being a pretty and scenic walk were surpassed and we made frequent breaks to simply absorb the scenery and exclaim ‘Ohh how lovely!’ The sun drew out a real azure blue sea and was offset brilliantly by the vivid yellow of the gorse and sandy cragginess of the path. We met various fellow walkers along the way and exchanged our experiences of the route (all complimentary including the achievement of scaling the various ‘staircases’). Not to say we weren’t relieved and pleased to see the white houses of Port Isaac standing ready to welcome us to rest and refreshment.
We wended our way down into the village passing ‘Doc Martin’s house’ and the ‘Fisherman’s Friends’ guest house, both clinging stoically to the steep hillside. At this point I would like to add that being tardy in setting out did mean we missed a pasty opportunity as all ‘sold out’. However, the Co-Op did come to our rescue and enabled us to picnic happily on the harbour side. The public loos were also popular.
We headed back to Port Quin across the meadows and some of our party then indulged in a spot of well-earned foot-cooling paddling. Great memories to go home with, and to finally put our feet up with.
If you would like to experience either (and more) of these walks, do consider coming to stay at Boots Cottage – situated next door to us at Hillside (2 miles along the canal from Bude). We can offer a very warm welcome to you (and your dog should you have one) as well as recommend various other walks of interest- both inland and coastal – easily accessible from the cottage. Boots Cottage (comfortably accommodating 2/3 people) is also a great base for general sightseeing and enjoying the many village and canal treats of the immediate locale.