Nestled in the South of Devon is the South Hams. A beautiful area that includes many tourists Mecca’s such as Dartmouth and Salcombe, the latter of which is now reported to be more than 70% second homes but that’s another story.
On a blustery and grey February Sunday, a type of day where the colour has been completed sucked out of the landscape, we chose to blow the cobwebs away by walking the coastal path around Ringmore.
Ringmore is just up the road from the tidal island which is Burgh Island, famous for its Art Deco Hotel and its association with Agatha Christie as it is reputed to have inspired her to set her novels ‘And Then There Were None’ and the Hercule Poirot mystery ‘Evil Under the Sun’ there.
We followed the footpath SW out of Ringmore to the coast at Ayrmer Bay. A bay with some quite unexpected spectacular cliff structures and beautiful rocks polished by the sea’s tide.
Over the hill to Challaborough, dominated by static caravans that are the Parkdean Holiday Park, and towards Bigbury-on-Sea just across the sand from Burgh Island. Fortunately today we timed the walk perfectly to hit the beach at low tide and hence could walk to the tidal island rather than having to rely on the sea tractor.
A walk to the ruined chapel on the top of the island to shelter from the wind and then it was back past The Pilchard Inn and to the mainland as we walked up the River Avon Estuary and then west inland back to Ringmore.
Of course a stop was required in The 13th Century Inn at Ringmore, ‘The Journeys End’, for a cuppa before heading home. Its been a number of years since I last visited Burgh Island, the scene of my first sea dive in the late 1980’s, I’d forgotten how beautiful it is, even on a grey day.
Wikipedia entry for Burgh Island: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burgh_Island