Following ‘Storm Callum’ the previous night it was a wet and windy start to the day for the 9 walkers who convened on Exmouth Sea Front today. The promise of a dryer afternoon inspired us to walk on and Mike led the group away from the front, inland along pathways and field tracks to Littleham initially, where we took tea in the Lych Gate for shelter. We carried on then to the old railway line.
The original railway ran from Exmouth, through Littleham to Budleigh and was opened in 1903, closing in March 1967, following the publication of the report ‘Reshaping our British Railways’, which did indeed change the face of railways, in the South West particularly.
Damp but not downhearted we followed this line to reach Budleigh Salterton, above the town, taking a right hand turn eventually through the high street, to the sea-side, where we had lunch on the seats where we have often enjoyed the views and sunshine, but today it was not to be. A rather empty Exmouth Ferry passed us, otherwise it was mainly waterproofed dog walkers and well-wrapped children enjoying the area today.
We then took the well know coast path back to Exmouth as the sun made an appearance, passing through Sandy Bay and the rapidly eroding cliff edges as the coast path moves further inland, the soft sandy soil being rain-battered again this weekend and more cracks appearing in the path already. Only a matter of time we all agreed, giving it a wide berth.
After just over 10 miles we arrived back at the cars on Exmouth Sea Front where it seemed the world had come out to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air on the large expanse of sand today, as the tide was so low. Tea and cakes were enjoyed at the cafe on the front. A very enjoyable walk on a fresh and breezy afternoon.