Woolacombe and Mortehoe

We have one less day this week as Nik is covering for the head chef for the weekend, so we decided to book a site at Woolacombe with a view to paying a visit to Mortehoe whilst there. For a change we arrived nice and early but the weather was over cast and looking like rain. Also Nik had been up all night with a tummy bug so we were all pretty tired. That in mind we decided to have a nice relaxing afternoon in our field.

Footpath through the sand dunes at Woolacombe Warren heading towards Woolacombe, Devon, UK
Footpath through the sand dunes at Woolacombe Warren heading towards Woolacombe, Devon, UK

When we arrived our site owner told us of a nice circular walk that would be good for the dogs so in the evening we set off with the intention of only doing a little of the walk. We started from the end point which took us along a permissive path through some farm land down into a conifer wood. We assume there must be some stock animals living in the wood as there were many signs all over asking that dogs be kept on leads. We came out by some holiday cottages and as it was a pretty nice evening we decided to keep going along a small road that over looked a pretty valley. We were looking for the path that would lead us back to our start point and had the choice of several that could have been it, but no surprise the path we picked was the wrong one so we ended up quite a way from our site on a road. It was a nice walk though so we didn’t mind.

Thursday

Today we went to Woolacombe, the sun was out in full glory but because we were on the coast it wasn’t unbearable. As it does tend to be difficult to find parking for a 24 foot motorhome at times we were more than pleased to spot a large field filling with cars as we approached Woolacombe, so we headed in this direction. We were a little disappointed to discover that we would be paying £6 for the day but when we discovered that the Parkin Estate, the company that has the car park also pays to keep the beach clean, looks after the bins and pays for the lifeguards that safeguard swimmers we decided that this was pretty fair, (if only town councils would do this, seaside resorts would all be so much better).

Common Moon Jellyfish, Aurelia aurita Thousands washed up on Woolacombe beach, Devon, UK July 2015
Common Moon Jellyfish, Thousands washed up on Woolacombe beach, Devon, UK July 2015

So we started our day with a walk through the sand dunes then onto the beach for a splash in the sea. The beaches around Bude are pretty much closed off for dogs during the summer season so we hadn’t been on many over the past few months. All of us had a really good time just walking and splashing along the waters edge. Ella isn’t too sure about the sea so she did take a bit of encouraging, but we did eventually manage to get her to join me and Oscar in the water by putting her lead on and only going in when the waves were going out. That is progress though so we’re happy. There were hundreds of jelly fish washed up along the high tide line, which although sad for the jellies it was rather pretty, so Nik spent ages photographing them. When we eventually reached the main part of the beach we had to keep both dogs on a lead, this we didn’t mind as there was such a large area they were aloud to run free on. Here you can also see how the Parkin Estate work well for the tourist. There are big bins dotted along the main parts of the beach, ice-cream, hot food and drinks kiosks also dotted around the beach. Everything was clean and well looked after. As a result Nik and I are pretty sure that Woolacombe Sands is the best beach we’ve been on for years.

We went back to Daisy for lunch and as it was so cool in the motorhome we left the dogs here for the afternoon while we went for a look around the town. The town as you would expect is mostly full of tourist type shops but it was nice to have a wander around them before going for a walk along the promenade. There are some very interesting houses and hotels along this street, such a variety of sizes and shapes. Nik found so much to photograph.

Just behind the beach is Potter’s Hill which looked like it needed climbing, so when we finished having our wander we went to collected the dogs and headed off to scale it’s not so lofty heights. The path to the summit is s gentle walk upwards around the edge, which I was quite pleased about. Near the top the hill splits in two directions so if you want you can make it a much longer walk. Today we were interested in getting to the top of this hill so onwards and upwards we went. As we hadn’t set off until 5pm the view had got a bit hazy by the time we’d reach the top, this didn’t stop us from enjoying the uninterrupted view across the beach, coast and countryside.

Aerial view of Woolacombe from Potter's Hill, Devon, UK
Aerial view of Woolacombe from Potter’s Hill, Devon, UK

Friday

Today was the day we had set aside for a visit to Mortehoe. We knew it wasn’t going to be big village and with that in mind we decided that parking probably wouldn’t be that good either, so we decided to park at Marine Drive car park which over looks Woolacombe Sands and walk in along the coast path.

We started our walk on the beach, the hope being that the dogs have a good run about before we have to put them on leads and drag them around a village. While we were on the beach Nik managed to get some pictures of the beach huts before there were too many people surrounding them. We then set off along the promenade towards Mortehoe. When we got to the coast path it had been blocked up so we assume there had been a cliff fall making it unsafe so we ended up walking along the road. The road was quite wide in most places so it wasn’t too bad. We were also expecting a harder climb up the hill but it was quite gentle in most places, so that was another bonus.

St Mary's Church, Mortehoe, Woolacombe, UK
St Mary’s Church, Mortehoe, Woolacombe, UK

We really only wanted to go to Mortehoe because whilst looking for somewhere to stay I’d seen some beautiful pictures of the old building there and read that it was the prettiest village in Britain and I thought “there’s as good a place as any to visit then.” We weren’t disappointed, the older part of the village is very pretty and made it worth the walk. While there we saw two very nice looking pubs, a fish and chip shop, a national trust tea room (where we stopped for lunch), a spar type shop and a post office all in the little main part of the village. There is also a museum somewhere but we didn’t bother looking for it as we had the dogs. We did go and visit the TOWN HALL? where there was a small craft fair and bought Nik a jar of home made chutney. We were thinking about taking a walk to the towns light house but it was starting to get very hot again and we had already visited it last year from the other direction so in the end we decided to slowly make our way back to Woolacombe.

RAF Air Sea rescue helicopter, Woolacombe, Devon, UK
RAF Air Sea rescue helicopter, Woolacombe, Devon, UK

The Air Sea Rescue where practicing quite close to the shore when we got back, so Nik had a good half, at least, photographing them. We didn’t mind as it gave myself and the dogs a chance to sit in the shade for a while.

We had a lovely couple of days here and will definitely be back as we spotted quite a few hills where begging to be climbed but we just didn’t have time.

For more blogs about our adventures, click HERE

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