A patch of blue sky and an optimistic forecast. We leave Bideford and carry on northwards up the west bank of the River Torridge. The shore is littered with derelict vessels of all shapes and sizes but at one point we climb up into a lovely stretch of woodland with a photo opportunity.
Just south of a village called Appledore is a large ship building yard. The area is hermetically sealed from prying eyes and the coastal path diverted away from the estuary. Obviously there is/have been projects here deemed not for the public eye and I later find out that, in 2007, important elements of the two Queen Elisabeth class aircraft carriers were constructed here – maybe why.
Appledore is delightful little fishing village – home to Hocking’s ice cream, which is only sold in North Devon. Pity we didn’t know that when we were there. The streets are lined with pastel coloured cottages and we walk past one of the narrowest houses I have ever seen.
A little further down the street two terracotta figures lean out from an upstairs window.
…and further on, another homage to the village
From Appledore we continue up and around the Northam Burrows Country Park and down into Westward Ho! which must surely be the only place in the whole world to have an exclamation mark after its name. The town has attracted its fair share of holiday makers on this sunny bank holiday weekend and we find it difficult to find a nice place for a cup of tea and a sandwich.
Setting off again we follow a tribute to Rudyard Kipling set into the pavement of the promenade with small granite cobbles. Apparently he spent a few years of his childhood life in the town.
Further on down there is a concrete swimming set into the rocks. It looks enticing but we don’t really have the time and no swimsuits.
The path leading out of the town now follows the base of the cliffs for a while but then twists upwards and we soon start to see the lovely red sandstone that I associate with Devon.
Eventually we reach Pebbercombe which is our turn off.
The track that leads up to the main road seems endless as we are pretty tired by now but as always a pint of cold beer at the end makes it all worthwhile. In the bar a couple of girls are setting up a drum set and testing microphones. They are due to start in a hour which is a bit long to wait. Pity.
Distance: 10 miles