It hardly ever happens but we have come down to Devon in the South West of England to housesit and have no pets to look after! Yes you heard it right, no dogs or cats or anything. A very rare occurrence but one that we are desperately trying to make the most of. Very odd not to have to get up to let a dog out or to have to get wrapped up for wet and windy walks.
So what’s the story?
Well it’s not a sit booked through our normal housesitting site, TrustedHouseSitters, we are actually looking after Jo’s younger brothers house down in Georgeham whilst he’s away skiing in the Alps. We’ve been down a couple of times in our JWalking years (How we got blown away by Devon and 100 Years – A Visit to Remember) so know the ropes and where everything is. It’s a lovely house set in the beautiful Devon countryside with views on all sides so very quiet and very restful after our busy Christmastime.
We are here for just under three weeks so lots of time to relax and catch up with a whole bunch of online work plus get out and about exploring a few of the wild and wonderful places that Devon has to offer.
Putsborough walk to Woolacombe
After a long travel day from London followed by a day of chores like shopping, washing, and sorting backpacks we headed off to the local Putsborough Sands for a bit of a walk. With the weather taking a break from wind and rain it was absolutely glorious. Still cold though so we were well wrapped up for the 5 mile round trip to Woolacombe and back.
Putsborough is actually the southern part of Woolacombe Sands on Morte Bay and is a beautiful sandy beach protected from those south westerly winds by Baggy Point. As we wandered north towards Woolacombe there was activity all around with families and couples enjoying the blue skies and pre-New Year holiday. Lots of people walking dogs, reasonably well-behaved, and a whole host of very brave surfers in wetsuits launching themselves into the sea in the hope of catching that elusive wave.
I don’t think many people live in the hamlet of Putsborough but it’s been there since the 14th century and is now a North Devon Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which I assume is an NDCAONB which just runs off the tongue doesn’t it?
We love these winter beach walks so much and stopped in Woolcoombe for a couple of cappuccinos at the Beachcomber Cafe before the walk back to Putsborough car park.
Braving the wind around Baggy Point
The following day we woke determined to head out again and make the most of the decent dry weather so once again parked at Putsborough but this time headed south up onto Baggy Point for a circular walk around to Croyde and back. The walk is part of the South West Coastal Path and is a National Trust site so great footpaths and lots of amazing views.
We saw quite a few people walking the other way around the point some of whom were in shorts and flip-flops pretending it was summer. Crazy! Still really cold but absolutely stunning views and a brilliant walk.
New Year’s Eve at Crow Point
Keeping up our relentless schedule of daily walks we headed out on New Years Eve to Saunton Burrows with the aim to get out to Crow Point on the edge of the estuary. The burrows are a huge expanse of sand dunes that are great to explore but easy to get lost in. Walking via Crow Point we headed north and then inland in an attempt to find the most historic location in the area.
Right in the middle of Saunton Burrows is the site of WWII replica landing craft that were used by the Americans to train for the D-Day landing on Omaha Beach. Three concrete landing craft remain in the dunes. We found it fascinating especially as we’d visited Omaha and the Normandy beaches recently (Operation Normandy and The Unforgettable beaches of Normandy).
So three wonderful walks on the North Devon coast and a wonderful way to spend the last few days of 2019. Massive thanks to Jon and Julie, Jo’s brother and sister-in-law, for asking us to stay in their lovely house. Looking forward to another week or so of walks and exploring and just making the most of the South West.
27/12 – 31/12/2019