Monday, 26 September 2011


Sidmouth → Seaton

pab-undercliff.png Distance: 10.1 miles
Ascent: 642 metres
Duration: 4 hours 16 minutes

The End of the Book
« Budleigh Salterton | Lyme Regis »

Here's a small landmark: after this walk, Emma had completed one book in the four volume series of guides to the South West Coast Path. Cause for a small celebration. Small because tomorrow's landmark will be greater: she will have caught up with me on the trail.

The path from Seaton to Sidmouth is an absolute delight. It starts with three steep ascents: out of the town, and then across two deep valleys. After a plateau and a hill fort, it descends to Branscombe Mouth on an ancient wooded track.


It was here that cargo from the abandoned MSC Napoli was washed ashore in early 2007. The ship's misfortune may not had been an intended wrecking, but the frenzied treasure-hunting that ensued on the beach showed the pirate spirit is still alive on our shores. The ship's fourteen tonne anchor stands at the head of the beach as a monument to this moment of madness.

Between Branscombe and Beer Head there are two path options, but by far the most interesting is the lower path which meanders through the Hooken Undercliff, twisting, turning, ducking and diving more than any roller coaster. Although not as extensive as the under cliff between Seaton and Lyme, the Hooken is to my mind more impressive as it is less overgrown and grants clearer views of the towering, then slumping chalk cliffs.

Originally walked on 22 April 2002.

Posted by pab at 18:12 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!