Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wading the Erme! Oct 7th

...or Noss Mayo to Bigbury!
Over breakfast, Tim and I decided that we wished we could stay longer with Jane and Roger.

We had already booked the next couple of nights, but decided we would come back on the Saturday and stay the Sunday as well. What a lovely decision that was.

We set off happily at about 9am, deciding to head straight up the coast on Revelstoke Drive,

Revelstoke Drive
leaving the headland behind us to do on the day we returned.
The headland, Gara Point, for Sunday - you can see the Drive winding its way along.

The book told us that this carriage drive was built in the C19 to encircle Lord Revelstoke's property and impress his guests! It certainly impressed us and made for lovely speedy walking at the start of the day.

We took a little detour to see the church of St Peter the Poor Fisherman. A wonderful little church, Tim knows the details - I can never remember - but the link will tell you more :-)
Church of St Peter the Poor Fisherman.
The views along the coast were lovely...

I even found some trees for Jac :-)

St Anchorite's Rock came into view which was very impressive from a distance, less so close up!

We had been careful about choosing the dates for this part of the walk and Tim has to take all the credit for it for forward planning! We had to reach the River Erme at low tide because the only way to cross it is to get your feet wet! There is an alternative - a 9 mile walk inland! So, Tim had carefully timed it for us to arrive at low tide, and also at the time of some of the lowest tides of the year!
It was a big challenge in our minds as we didn't know how deep it would be and because of all the warnings about taking care.
As it turned out it was rather fun! We took our boots and socks off and rolled up our trousers, tucking in or tieing everything to the backpacks.

We set off with a little trepidation across the sand between the two slipways... that is as detailed as the directions go! Our feet got used to the cool sand so by the time we reached the river water our feet were acclimatised. We decided the I should lead the way through the river as I had some walking poles (which we then shared) and they were so helpful. The river bed was pebbled and the water flowing fairly fast so you had to concentrate fully, but it wasn't as cold as we expected and it didn't come above our knees.
Once we were across, we took some time to dry off and re-boot.
We did get cold doing this and were glad to stop soon after in a sunny spot for lunch with a lovely view of the estuary we had just crossed and a feeling of success/relief... the unknown was over. This estuary is supposedly on of the most unspoilt in the country - it certainly is beautiful.

From here on the walk was strenuous with several steep ascents and descents. This beach I loved - how amazing the rock formations were - they look like a painting and not real!
Sorry...I can't choose the best...
here's another...
just stunning! More steep paths took us along to Bigbury where Burgh Island sits.

Here we called Val who came to collect us and take us to her house where we were staying. Long baths awaited and a lovely meal out at the local pub!


  1. Wonderful pictures once again. The river crossing, not sure I could manage it, it looks a long way to wade even at low water.

    Jeannie xx

  2. I don't think I'd even >heard< of the River Erme, but thanks to Google Maps I know now. It looks lovely. I like a good estuary.

  3. (Argh!! I just lost my entire comment in a moment of stupidity!!)

    You guys are so brave!! Well done on the planning Tim! How long does it take the tide to turn and swamp that area?

    I knew exactly which photo you meant as I was scanning down; aren't they beautiful!

    Those rock formations are pretty awesome too. Amazing what a slight change in the light can do to an entire landscape.

    Having trouble getting going this Monday. Think I need one of those breakfasts :)

  4. That coastline is astounding, thanks for including all the photos, each one had subtle differences that I enjoyed!
    You really do take wonderful photos.
    Miss you,
    Love us