This follows on from Plymouth to Exmouth (Part 1)
13th July 2017 – Noss Mayo to Mothecombe (11 miles)
Today we had some tricky logistics to deal with. We needed a bus to get us to Noss Mayo (a tiny place on the River Yealm estuary) from Mothercombe, which is an even smaller place, on the River Erme estuary.
If you’ve read my previous blog the second walk finished with us at the River Yealm estuary – looking across the water towards Noss Mayo. These estuaries do run small ferry services for walkers but as mentioned previously we don’t like the pressure of getting to these by a set time.
After quite a bit of online investigation we found an estate called ‘Flete’ which had a car park for visitors at Mothecombe. The only problem was
1. They didn’t officially open until 9:00
2. The bus stop was a mile away from the car park
3. The bus we needed was due at 9:21.
Buses in some parts are so infrequent it was important to get this one – infact it was the only bus of the day!
We got up ultra early to make sure we could park (somewhere) and get to the stop on time. Thankfully the Flete Estate had their gates open at 8:30 which gave us enough time to make our way to the bus stop.
The only thing that passed us was this tiny buggy vehicle.
After hanging around in a tiny hamlet of Battisborough Cross ‘our bus’ arrived. I say our bus as we were the only passengers and it was ‘ours’ all the way to Noss Mayo. It really made me wonder how long bus services will continue with so few passengers in this part of the world.
Off we went, stopping no where and picking up no one. After about 20 minutes or so we arrived at Noss Mayo. Now on foot we made our way through this very picturesque village on the River Yealm estuary. Very typical of villages in such places – the houses are staggered steeply up either side of the estuaries.
Actually this is Noss Creek to be precise.
We eventually found the ferry slipway and as this is the continuation of the coastal path we knew we were on our way again.
There’s an old Ferrymans Cottage right where the tarmac finishes and woodland track starts. It must have seen some comings and goings over the years. The toll sign on the wall of the Toll Cottage really gives you a picture of how it used to be.
Into the woodland we went, gradually climbing uphill. It was a beautiful morning and we enjoyed the cool of the trees with occasional glimpses of boats on the blue/green water.
Once out of the wood we stopped to admire the views at the entrance of the estuary and turned left along a very good, broad high level track. The rocky coast, including many coves, looked quite spectacular and we were able to admire them as we made our way along the track.
The temperature was starting to rise but we had a breeze over our shoulders which was lovely. Around the headland we passed through a small wood which lead to the entrance of a static caravan park.
We thought we could, perhaps, pop into a shop on the site for extra drinks but a lady at the gate said (in a very posh voice) ‘no sorry, there’s a pub up the road though’. On an 11 mile walk the last thing you really want to do is add on an extra mile so we continued on our way….slightly disbelieving this slightly snooty lady. I have, since returning from holiday, checked out Revelstoke Park caravan park and Church Cove and there are no facilities so this lady was actually telling the truth. Remember to take your own if you’re ever exploring this area!
It actually was a very quiet, remote spot – we paused a couple of times to look down onto the cove and the caravan park we had passed.
Now we needed to stop for lunch and just around the corner was a very convenient stone (could have been marble) bench at Beacon Hill. These benches often have inscriptions on ‘In memory of …. who loved this spot’ or similar. This one, rather sadly, had the name of a young man who was only 19 when he died.
Onward after lunch we descended over grass then ascended on a track to another path which lead around to fields with crops. Always a pleasure to walk through ‘fields of gold’.
There followed several more miles and several more edges of fields.
We reached a very impressive rocky cove called Bugle. After this the headland took us around so that we could see the estuary of the river Erme. Nearly back then? Not quite.
Down onto Mothecombe Beach we went.
In today’s sunshine it was an idyllic spot and hardly another person in sight.
Then we had to climb up another path through trees then down and onto the sands of Coastguards Beach and the slipway to the end of the path. From here, at low tide, other South West Coastal Walkers can wade across to the otherside. Not us, we took a few minutes to admire the view then made our way back to the car park and our car – 15 minutes uphill!
It cost £4 to park the car which we paid on exiting the car park.