Ilfracombe to Combe Martin

21/8/14 The local pensioners were running a coach to Ilfracombe for the day, so that seemed too good an opportunity to miss as there was a chance of a few pubs. We arrived on the front just after eleven and made our way to the harbour where we had finished previously. The Sandpiper Inn was not open.

So we started off around the harbour opposite Verity in the light rain. We ascended through some parklands and then kept on climbing.

Once at the top, it was straight down again into Hele Bay. It was two minutes before twelve, but this pub wasn't open yet either. A sausage roll later, it was.

The Hele Bay was a pleasant enough family pub. Pints of Tribute (4.2%) and Liquid Sunshine (3.9%) for £5.90 set us up for the rest of this short walk. It doesn't stray too far from the coast road, but still managed some short, steep, wet sections before entering Watermouth Bay. Here, the path goes through the camp site and is soon heading into Combe Martin.

The Dolphin Inn looks like a terraced house and feels slightly like one inside, but does have a large beer garden. Pints of Doom (4%) and Proper Job (4.5%) for £6.30 were consumed whilst we played a few games of pool. A couple of doors further on is the closed Royal Marine. Opposite here, the path follows the road away from the beach and the Fo'c's'le Inn. Combe Martin has better than average path signs for a town. We had a pint in the Focsle Inn anyway and a tasty pasty as we waited for the bus back.

In Ilfracombe, we went back to the Sandpipers for two pints of Doom (4%) for £6.40. We chatted with some holidaymakers that we had met on the path earlier. There was even a skittle alley in the bar. We must be getting near home.

Putsborough to Ilfracombe

9/8/14 We parked at Barnstaple Park and Ride. Ample free parking and £3.60 bus ticket for travel around North Devon. As we arrived in Croyde, it poured down. Sid wanted to press on anyway, but that was the only time I needed my coat. It was off by the time we climbed the hill towards Putsborough. We joined the path above the beach and headed along the bridleway towards Woolacombe. Halfway along it, we were directed down some steps onto the dunes below. The sand made the walking more difficult so a pub in Woolacombe would have been nice. But it wasn't to be.

I couldn't resist this shot of Woolacombe Bay. We were heading out towards Morte Point now and the scenery became more bleak.

This is the path itself as it rounds the point. The scenery feels more remote than it's been for a while after this, but you can see civilisation up the valleys and there were several people around. We also started to see some hills.

We eventually came out on a road into Lee Bay. There were a few people on the beach here, but still no refreshments. The road out is a steep one, but easier than steps. The sign said three miles to Ilfracombe. The first one and a half were uphill. As you start to descend the other side, Ilfracombe does come into view, but the path veers off and seems to zig-zag around a lot before coming out onto the backstreets. Then you are directed through a park and even though you can see pubs, there isn't one on the path until you come The Boat House.

We had pints of Devon Maid (4%) and Autumn Devon Scrumpy (7.5%) for £6.40. The cider wasn't as bad as the beer, but neither glasses were clean. There was still time to go around Capstone Point before heading towards the harbour.

The Royal Britannia Inn was better than it looks from the outside. Two pints of Lord Nelson (4.5%) for £5.90 were had. That left just enough time for a pasty and the bus back to Barnstaple.