In which: the rain ceases after almost 48 hours ● blue plaques tell incomplete tales ● a landlocked island tells stories of the past ● I explore the verdant Undercliffs ● trees almost block my way to a sea view
Date: 4 October 2020 Time of walk: 1410 to 1650 Today’s walking: 10.6 km Progress along SWCP: 5.3 km Estimated ascent: 440 metres
In my geographical presentation of the South West Coast Path, today’s out-and-back walk covers the first half of the Axmouth to Lyme Regis Undercliffs National Nature Reserve, though chronologically I walked the other half two days earlier on this out-of-order holiday.
After a morning in the Premier Inn at Honiton, watching the elite-only version of the London Marathon, waiting for the rain to stop and recovering from a bad night’s sleep after being dragged out into the cold and rainy car-park at midnight when the fire alarm went off, I drove to Seaton, parked the car and headed east.
The land which was once productive is now wilderness, but there is occasional evidence of past occupation. Here a sheepwash is now marooned in the woodland, kept cleared immediately around it.One of two trees I had to make my way around in each direction. As I approach my turn-around point, I’m briefly overlapping Friday’s walk, so I know that this one has fallen in the last 48 hours.The view by the bench just past the fallen tree is the first good view of the sea since entering the Undercliffs, and shows it is time to turn around and head back to Seaton.