Devon Day 3 – Ilfracombe and Woolacombe

Being in training for another marathon meant an early start this day – I got up at 05:00 and once ready set off, running north in the general direction of Bideford. As I wasn’t too sure on directions, or where I could go I decided to stay on the same road for as long as possible and to then turn back once I reached approximately 5.5 miles. For almost 5 miles I actually managed to stay on this same road until I came across a T-junction where the River Yeo met the River Torridge. If followed this for a while before heading back to the cottage.

The route wasn’t too bad, certainly scenic, and it have me chance to get an idea of distances to different places around where we were staying. The hills weren’t as bad as they could have been either, but then I had noticed that the steep hills were the ones that diverted away from this main road. Not long after getting back to the cottage, whilst eating breakfast, it started to rain – something which had been forecast for the whole day.

We weren’t going to let the rain stop us though, we were still going to explore the surrounding area. For our first stop of the day we drove to Ilfracombe, a town north of us, along the coast. As we arrived in a car park along the harbour the rain got worse, so much worse in fact that a heavy thunderstorm rolled passed us – each blot of lightning could be felt from the car.

The storm started to pass, but the rain continued – after having sat there for about 30 minutes we decided we’d have a look around the town despite the rain. As I didn’t have a coat with me I darted from cover to cover to try and avoid getting too wet too soon. One of these stops was in a fudge shop where we bought some apple and mango fudge before moving on to a tea room. It was only £1.50 for a mug of tea and a biscuit so we sat and drank tea, and as we did so the rain finally came to an end.

Walking around the town and the bay the weather started to improve, and by the time we got back to the car park the sun was out and illuminating the statue of Verity in the harbour. This bronze statue overlooking the harbour was created by Damien Hirst. It is on loan to the town for 20 years starting from 2012, and is of a pregnant woman – you can see the unborn baby inside the stomach though, with it’s skin also peeled away to reveal the skeleton inside.

Ilfracombe

With the sunshine and the going out of the tide, it revealed a walkway underneath the statue that had been previously submerged completely underneath the waves. The weather had completely turned and was now looking promising that it would be a nice day.

Our next stop was in another seaside town called Woolacombe, this one however had expensive car parks – presumably because they expect visitors to stay all day – as we didn’t have all day we had our lunch there and then carried on – heading back to the cottage.

Woolacombe

For some of the afternoon I sat around in the cottage’s garden, trying to photograph some of the wildlife but not really succeeding, After dinner I went for a walk along the path behind the garden but still didn’t really see anything close enough to photograph.

Comma butterfly

We then headed back out, to Appledore. Although listed as a historic port there didn’t seem to be a great deal there (and not much of a port), so we drove on and back to Westward Ho! where we stood watching the waves for a time. As the tide came in the waves crashed higher and higher against the rocks. With the waves like this, and for a second night running, it looked like this place was probably pretty good for people to surf.

Appledore

Waves crashing in Westward Ho!

To finish the evening we sat and watched Shanghai Noon, a Jackie Chan movie.

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