South West Coast Path: Budleigh Salterton to Sidmouth

In which: The River Otter comes first ● the Triassic is on display ● a high peak can’t be ignored ● Jacob makes himself useful ● the path squeezes its way to ice-cream

Date: 8 August 2021
Time of walk: 1255 to 1540
Today’s walking: 11.0 km
Progress along SWCP: 10.7 km
Estimated ascent: 340 metres

Starting from the car park at the eastern end of the prom at Budleigh Salterton, the first step is to turn away from the shingle bank of the beach (seen from behind on the right of photo) and follow the River Otter upstream for about a kilometre.
Some 2.4km into the walk and we’ve made about 400 metres of progress along the coast, having walked up and then back down the River Otter, and look back here to Budleigh Salterton.
From here it is along the top of low cliffs as far as Otterton
Lottie and Brindley are my companions for the afternoon.
Sidmouth in view in the centre of picture, but a little way to go yet.
The rocks of Ladram Bay (and the large caravan park), with High Peak beyond them.
The Otter Sandstone that makes up the sea stacks is about 220 million years old, mostly soft but with some harder sandstone at their base which constrains erosion somewhat. The sandstone is one of the most important sources of Triassic reptile fossils in the world.
The route to the summit of High Peak was a bit of a diversion off the South West Coast Path, but one I couldn’t resist – and the dogs came too!
The route up and down High Peak from the SWCP
From High Peak there was some more cliff-top walking, and then a gradual descent into Sidmouth. The steps of Jacobs Ladder lead down to the beach from Connaught Gardens, overlooked by the Clock Tower.
The route then squeezes around the base of the Clock Tower and beneath the sandstone cliffs to reach the prom, where Lucy was waiting for us – parked conveniently close to an excellent ice-cream.


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