Ilfracombe is a small coastal town, rather than a village, so the south west coast path cuts right through town to capstone point. As it was a leisurely day, it seemed appropriate to walk around the town, which included a small hike up the hill past the harbour to Nicholas Chapel – it is still used – but mainly by the rotary club these days. The chapel had also been used as a lighthouse and a home – but still remains a chapel The view wasn’t bad of the harbour, but the other way was just a clear to Capstone….
The harbour itself is a haven for fishermen – their were loads of fishermen on the pier, I was even warned to duck as the cast their line. It was a pier with no amusements or roller coasters, just a pier for docking boats and fishing. Quite a nice change really.
After a short diversion to buy an ice cream, (excuse was the hill that I just walked up and then back down from the chapel!) the walk took me through town and then to Capstone. The coastal path just goes around the cliff but instead of going around the hill I decided to climb it. Although I did hesitate with the falling warning of fall rocks (not very stable then…) The hill was much steeper than the chapel and proved a little tough on the legs – well this is the first real hike for at least 2 weeks!
At the top, there is a flagpole, but there is absolutely no information as to why it was there or anything. Suppose it just looked good. As it was so windy the flag was making a racket – it seemed much noisier than listening to rain hitting my tent! You have a clear view of the jubilee gardens, the bandstand, the landmark theatre (which looks very strangely and looks more like water cooling towers than a theatre if you ask me) Unfortunately you couldn’t see the tunnel beaches (which I sadly missed this trip – oh well I suppose that means another trip 🙂 ) You could also see the little museum – which I since learned used to be a laundry for the Ilfracombe Hotel in C19th.
I think going down seemed just a tough going up, may be I should have taken a leaf out of other peoples book and rolled down the hill, looked far more fun than just walking it. When you reach the bottom of the hill you come to the coast path – the rocks are quite dangerous and I can imagine in winter this part of the path being shut – particularly if the waves batter them quite hard. (the falling rocks warning made sense now!)
Coming back round it was time to sit and rest by the bandstand, unfortunately I had picked a day when there was no band to listen to – oh well.
|2009 – 12.07.2009 – South West Coast Path – Ilfracombe|