This was the first section of the path that we walked. We are taking our sections from the book “The South West Coast Path” by Paddy Dillon. We walked this part 08/08/18 and it was 13.5 miles.

We had the taxi drop us into Lynmouth from our camp site in Combe Martin (Newberry Valley; very nice, good facilities, safe for children, tractor rides, pizza nights).


Unfortunately smiley it was too early for the Lynmouth – Lynton Rail which runs up and down the very steep hill which connects the two. The very steep hill we have to walk up; not aptly named Walker though, he gets to ride in the back pack. In fact, as soon as he sees a hill he intimates to Daddy “Back Pack”.


Lymouth / Lynton Rail – Opens approx 10.30 am…definitely not 8.30 am though smiley

Now, I’m not going to lie……once up the steep hill (the lads working at Lynmouth rail station thought we were bonkers; walking to Combe Martin, obviously not a regular local thing to do) the path coming out of Lynmouth was an absolute knee trembler. What was I thinking??? Since having children I have developed quite an intense fear of heights. We love long distance walking but I really hadn’t thought this through…cliffs…..edges….big drops….sea below…. NO FENCE……oooops.


The path was of good quality though…. I would come to appreciate this fact at further points along the walk.

Anyway, keep the fear in Kelly, don’t show the girls how scared you are… focus, focus, focus. “Are you ok mum?”, “yes yes of course, keep to your left Lily, watch where you are going, focus on your feet”…… This was to become a familiar mantra. But; WOW WOW WOW, those views! Once I could actually look up; were astounding. I felt calmer once away from the imminent danger (in my mind) of the cliff edge and into the valley of the rocks.


Through the valley of the rocks and heading to the Lee Valley estate, we came across some lovely goats;


and got caught in a heavy down pour! Little did we realise when sheltering under this tree that there were toilets open just to our right. Once realised, we all went and sat inside for a coffee smiley


Look at that face! Love her smiley.

Sun Came out again and all happy, walking through the woods alongside Woody Bay towards Heddons Mouth:

Lots of gorgeous little waterfalls, helped by the big downpour. Being so coastal, the weather was really changeable and we experienced everything from brilliant sun to sheet rain throughout the day.

Our path into Heddons Mouth:


John does an epic job of carrying Walker but the climb up out of Heddons Mouth he found the hardest (even more so than Great Hangman he tells me):


But, we made it out….now heading for the highest point on the entire South West Coast Path; Great Hangman:


Just Stunning walking:


Across rugged moorland:




To reach to Great Hangman we first had to descend into the Valley of Sherrycombe:


A quick rest at the bottom:


Before the big hike back out:


And up onto Great Hangman – the highest point of the entire path at 1043 ft (318 m).


Such an epic achievement! So so proud of them all. The girls walk beautifully. Just ensure you have enough sweeties to pick them up when they start to flag. Its awesome starting the descent into Combe Martin but boy does it go on longer than you think. The Great Hangman really was a long way up smiley


The book estimated 6.5 hrs and we completed in 8 hrs and 15 mins….Not too shabby with all the erberts smiley LOVED IT! You should definitely do it smiley.

Summary:
Miles: 13.5
Ascent: 1330m (4365ft)
Duration: 8 1/4 Hrs
Weather: Ranging from Sheet Rain to Brilliant Sun
☀️
Great Hangman; Highest point of whole path. Some big knee trembling cliff drops, particularly past Lynmouth and into Valley of the rocks (heights: scared of). Fantastic colours through the moor National Park. No moaning from the girls. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed. John did epic job of carrying Walker. Some very steep climbs in places. Loved it!!