What an energy filled day we had. Fortified with breakfast in our Manor House apartment we drove into Bude to begin our hike along the Coastal Trail. This is an amazing trail skirting the entire UK coast. Our plan was to walk for an hour and a half to Widemouth Bay (Wydmuth for those following the local dialect), have our lunch and head back. The local architecture captures my attention at the head of the trail. The famous Pink House of Bude appears with a well manicured garden and stone fence tastefully set to show off the house which dates back many centuries. This is quite a juxtaposition with the colorful beach houses posed higher up the beach and used for daily rental.
The coast is absolutely stunning as your eyes start at the formidable flower encrusted cliffs and sweep out to sea searching for Newfoundland in the distance. Gulls sweep up into the never ending air currents and float as if by magic. Kissing gates define areas where sheep are confined and dog walkers enjoy some of the most desirable off leash areas imaginable.
We enjoy our bagged lunch and a cup of coffee at the local shop in Widemouth Bay and then head back to Bude reversing our walk along the same cliffs. The wind is relentless and adds a realistic touch to the idea of setting out on a walk around this whole Island.
The next adventure for the day is to explore the quaint little village of Clovelly a 30 minute drive north of Bude. This town is unique in many ways. It has been owned as an estate by three families for over 800 years. The cobblestone streets are steep and only suitable for foot and donkey traffic. We exit our car, leave it in the parking lot at the top of the town, pay an entry fee and begin our walk down to the beach. We pass a field with a Ring-necked Pheasant posing for a picture.
The steps are exquisite with row after row of beach pebbles arranged to form a cobblestone network that has been present for centuries.
The locals have devised a type of sled using an array of wooden runners with various plastic or metal cages to carry their goods up and down the stairs. My educated guess is the trip is much easier going down than pulling that sled up the hill. You can see one of these sleds leaning against the wall in the next picture.
Here is a view of the harbour from one of the streets at the top of the town.
Many of the shops were closed but we were able to get a sense of the town. I don’t think I would want to visit at the height of tourist season.