Post-Christmas walk to Lee Bay

We have lived in North Devon for exactly 33 years and during that time walked hundreds of miles of the North Devon coast and moorland with our daughters, family and friends yet until now we have never walked the small section of the South West Coast path ( from Ilfracombe to Lee Bay.

So, with daughter Hannah and her husband Josh we set forth from a National Trust car park in Torrs Park following fingerposts to the coast path. There are other start points….for example you could set off from Ilfracombe itself.

We were particularly lucky with this post-Christmas exercise as the sky was blue - yes blue! After constant glum greyness for so many weeks we had wall-to-wall sun for the day. OK it was a bit muddy underfoot in a few parts but the landscape and view was stunning as we made our way westwards. In the distance we could see two ships converging on each other and using a phone app we found out the name, departure and arrival ports of each, making their way to/from Bristol.

As we approached Lee Bay, the walk took us down a fairly steep descent to the Grampus Inn. The word Grampus is apparently a West Country name for a whale or dolphin. The pub was busy but we found four seats around a wood burning stove to enjoy our drinks in a pub that oozed atmosphere. We had eaten there years ago and remember the food was good.

And so we set off for the return trip, not looking forward to the steep walk out of the village up to the coast path, but it was fine and we completed our walk pleased that we had finally completed the missing section and what a lovely walk it was. And it took just over 1 hour each way so it makes a nice short circular walk that you can incorporate a lunch and extend further by walking down into Ilfracombe harbour.

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