27a. East Portlemouth to Salcombe

After a comfortable night in my AirBnB I decided to make an early start. Fortunately, todays walk was not going to be as tough as yesterday’s was, both in distance and amount of ascent. After clearing the overnight frost off my car I set out on the 12 miles to Kingsbridge, at the end of the Kingsbridge Estuary. I parked in the long stay car park, which only cost £2 for the whole day.

The first three miles were along quiet lanes and I did not meet a single car on my walk into Salcombe. It was very cold though and it took some time for me to warm up. An immediate descent and ascent from the car park, reminded of yesterdays walk. I was aiming for the first ferry of the day, which was at 08:00; unfortunately I arrived at the ferry quay at 08:05. However, I could see that there had been no 08:00 ferry with the boat tied up and covered in condensation and thin ice. The official time for the next boat was 08:30. The sun was now burning off some of the freezing fog. A fellow passenger appeared at the jetty and shortly afterwards the ferryman. With two people on board we set off across the Estuary for the short journey to East Portlemouth.

I set off along the small lane running alongside the estuary and heading for the hamlet of Goodshelter. Here I used stepping-stones to cross over Waterhead Creek and then begin the long steep climb up a unmetalled road over an 84m unnamed hill towards South Pool . The small village of South Pool boasted a number of signs indicating when and how many times it had been awarded Best Kept Village in the district. It was certainly very well-kept. I stayed on the road for a few more miles and had to deal with the occasional traffic on the really tight width lanes. I reached Frogmore and the A379, here I had a decision to make. I could stay on the main road for the remaining 3 miles into Kingsbridge or I could follow a unmetalled road also into Kingsbridge taking a slightly longer, but quieter route. The decision really was made for me, as there were no pavements even in the village and the road was quite busy. I opted for the higher and slightly longer route. The unmetalled road rose to a height of 104m and provided an excellent viewpoint south to Salcombe and the early morning walk. In no time I was descending to a small river flowing into the estaury, however, it also meant a very steep climb back up to 70m and a final descent down into Kingsbridge.

Quit an enjoyable walk particularly the latter stages and even though there was over 900m of ascent I was still pretty fresh when I had finished.

Misty morning lanes heading towards Salcombe
Looking across to East Portlemouth from the ferry jetty in Salcombe
The ferry returning to Salcombe
Stepping stones across Waterhead Creek
Excellent use of a K6
At Frogmore Creek
Looking south towards Salcombe
Arriving at Kingsbridge

Distance today =  13 miles
Total distance = 4,684 miles

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