Day 2: Exmouth to Sidmouth: 12.5 miles, 2,075
feet, 6 hours
Leaving the hotel at 9.15am we headed out along the promenade to make our way to Sidmouth where we would catch a local bus back to Exmouth at 5pm. Despite the news of snow in various parts of the country it looked like it was going to be a cold but sunny day. Reaching the High Land of Orcombe we found the Geoneedle which marks the start of the Jurassic Coast. Our arrival at Sandy Bay was preceded by the noises from the military firing range and the site of a huge caravan park built into the sloping terrain. On reaching Budleigh Salterton we were amazed at the number of benches provided for people to relax and enjoy the scenery. We took advantage of one to enjoy our 'morning cuppa'. Heading out of Budleigh Salterton we were fascinated by the number and proximity of a wide variety of birds at the Otter Estuary Nature Reserve. In contrast we were soon to pass a huge piggery where a few of the residents were searching for their morning refreshments. Marie was keen to reach Ladram Bay, where her brother had camped many (many) years ago - just a few tents at that time and now a huge holiday park! He may remember the impressive cliffs and stacks with their vibrant red colour, due to iron minerals that have weathered over time. These are Triassic rocks and at between 250 and 200 million years old are the oldest rocks along the World Heritage Coast. Continuing on the 'undulating' path we eventually reached Sidmouth in time to enjoy a Devonshire Cream Tea before catching the bus back to Exmouth.
The tide is in as we leave the hotel . . .
to walk past the clock tower, built in 1897 to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.
Much of the water in the boating lake is frozen
Looking back down to the esplanade as we start to climb . . .
and back to Exmouth as we walk along the cliffs . . .
again, zooming in - note the snow-covered fields in the distance.
The Geoneedle . . .
marking the beginning of the Jurassic Coast
Looks like caravan holidays are really popular as we approach Sandy Bay . . .
and right next door is the Royal Marines firing range
Park, range and beach - what a combination!
The colour of the cliffs is really impressive, looking backwards . . .
Entering Sidmouth we have a wide selection of benches to choose from . . .
and decided on one in the sun - for elevenses
From the beach the cliffs are still impressive . . .
and looking over the boats we can see the direction of our route in the distance
In the Otter Estuary Nature Reserve we spot a Brent Goose . . .
and some Shelducks . . .
This could be a spotted redshank - but I am not certain
Looking back across the Otter estuary to Budleigh Salterton
Sidmouth comes into view but their is still a lot of walking to do . . .
past a huge piggery . . .
with its local residents . . .
and a piglet . . .
The stacks are evidence that we are approaching Ladram Bay . . .
with its huge caravan park
On the beach Marie reminisces about her brother's visit here . . .
and we admire the impressive stacks . . .
which feature on the information board
Climbing the cliffs again gives us another view of the bay . . .
in both directions . . .
and find yet more views . . .
of the stacks
Looking back at the caravan park shows its full extent . . .
and its proximity to the bay - the white flecks are a brief hail shower
Leaving the cliffs behind we make our way through High Peak Woods . . .
and as we emerge our next view of Sidmouth shows the change in the cliffs to white chalk . . .
whilst looking inland we admire . . .
the rolling countryside
Beginning our descent to Sidmouth . . .
we spot a clump of snowdrops just opening their buds
After descending Jacob's Ladder . . .
we head along the esplanade . . .
where we spot an oyster catcher
Returning to Exmouth by local transport the hotel is floodlit as we arrive back after 6pm
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