29. Plymouth to Wembury

My last walking day in South Devon and a walk I was looking forward to as this would be my time I had ever visited Plymouth. It was a another beautiful and hot summer day, with not a cloud in the sky.

I parked in Wembury and caught the bus into Plymouth. Although the journey was not long the bus was packed with school children on their way to school in Plymouth. I go off the bus in the centre of Plymouth and made for the Cremyll Ferry terminal in Stonehouse. It is 10 miles to walk through Plymouth around Plymouth Sound, which is not surprising as the path follows many inlets along its way. I head for the old Royal William Yard, a collection of navy Buildings, now opened up to accommodation and shops. The path skirts the buildings with good views across the Narrows to Cremyll and Cornwall.

The Cremyll ferry pier
Looking towards mount Edgecumbe from Royal William Yard
Plymouth Hoe
Looking to Mount Edgcumbe with Drake Island on the left
Some SWCP signpost!
Royal Navy Border patrol vessel
Looking across to Plymouth Hoe from Mount Batten
Looking back to Plymouth
German Navy Frigate No. F216 Schleswig-Holstein

I follow the well signposted SWCP markers to Plymouth Hoe with its beautiful vista across The Sound. Drakes Island in the middle of the Sound catches the eye. There is an amazing amount of history involved in and around Plymouth, far more than be described here! I pass the wharf where the Pilgrim fathers set sail from in 1620. I passed on through the marina and then on through the industrial part of the city to Cattedown. from here I headed for and crossed over the River Plym at the Laira Bridge. I was now heading south for a while passing through the suburb of Oreston and circling around Hooe Lake. I eventually arrived at Mount Batten point and walked around the large fort. From the fort I head south-east again and began to move out of the suburbs and into open country.

I lost my way for a very short time at Staddon Heights around the golf course, but found my way onwards to Fort Bovisand. The next few miles on to Wembury was along low cliffs and very easy walking. Soon Wembury church came into view and I knew my walk would end there. A lovely days walk through a lovely city and shoreline.

Approaching Wembury

Distance today = 13.5 miles
Total distance =   459.5 miles





28. Wembury to Bigbury-on-Sea

Today would turn out to be a very complicated day. My original plan was to drive to Bigbury-on-Sea in my Fiat Doblo, which was also carrying my 50cc moped. I would dump my moped there and then drive around to Wembury. This I did without any hiccups; that is until after a mile from setting off from Wembury I had to cross the River Yealm by means of a ferry. Unfortunately, I could see no sign of the boat or ferryman on the far side. I hung around for about 30 minutes but no joy.

Looking for the ferry across The Yealm

To complicate matters my moped was safely parked up at the end of the walk and to make matters worse about two-thirds along the walk I had to cross the River Erme. Fortunately, the River Erme is fordable at low tide, but I had a time-window to consider now!

Looking across the River Erme at Mothecombe
Crossing the River Erme
Looking back across The Erme at Mothecombe
Above Westcombe Beach
Burgh Island near Bigbury-on-Sea

Ok, my cunning plan was to walk back to the car and drive to a car park at Mothecombe, which sits very close to the River Erme. I would then walk across the Erme and onto Bigbury-on-Sea. I took my boots off to cross the river, which only came just above my ankles in one or two spots. The walk onto to Bigbury was only about 4 miles and quite a pleasant walk in the sunshine. At Bigbury I was able to jump on my moped and then drive it to Noss Mayo, a small hamlet on the River Yealm and about a mile from the ferry landing stage.

So, I parked the moped in Noss Mayo and walked about 8 miles to Mothecombe. The walking was along a well defined and engineered track called the Revelstoke Drive, built by Lord Revelstoke to impress his guests and providing an excellent viewpoint. At Beacon Hill, the Drive turns inland and the SWCP returns to being a footpath, with a few steep up and downs! It is late in the afternoon and when I arrive back at Mothecombe and the River Erme estuary is now at high tide and full of water.

Looking back to the Wembury side of The Yealm, where I had looked for the ferry this morning
On Revelstoke Drive
Back at Mothecombe on the side of the River Erme, now at full tide

It has been quite a challenging day and I am quite pleased how things have turned out. However, at the car I must now change my clothes and head back to Noss Mayo to pick my moped up.


Distance today = 15.5 miles
Total distance =   446 miles