Cycling to Salcombe (Part 4): Journey’s End

Waking up in Brixham – on a beautiful day and with church bells ringing out across the harbour – was magical. Rather than being wracked with guilt at ‘cheating’, I felt quite liberated, and ready to continue my new, more relaxed approach to our adventure!

Cycling to Salcombe (Part 4):  Journey’s End

If you remember, I had packed our swimming trunks/costume in the hope of taking a soothing swim. When we found that the Shoalstone outdoor seawater swimming pool was only a short stroll from our bed-and-breakfast, and would be open at 10 o’clock, it was too good an opportunity to miss. It was a spectacular setting and we had a wonderful time.

Resuming our cycle ride – and grateful that for once we would be cycling 37 miles which was the kind of distance I’d originally had in mind for each day of the trip – I decided we would take a detour via Berry Head. Marked as a viewpoint on the Ordnance Survey map, it looks interesting; it also has Napoleonic War fortifications, and the award-winning Guardhouse Café. Any one of these things would have been enough to spark my interest but, after a swim, I found the idea of a café particularly appealing. Soon, we were sitting down at a clifftop picnic table and enjoyed a marvellous lunch followed by ice cream.

It was just as well that we had a good lunch, because the climb up to the aptly-named Hillhead was hard work. The descent to the Higher Dartmouth Ferry was probably the fastest two miles of the trip, and was followed by the slowest two miles of the trip as we panted up the punishing A379 beside Britannia Royal Naval College.

By now, we were in the final straits. We enjoyed the countryside with its idyllic villages, green valleys, and humpbacked bridges. It was with some regret that we arrived at our final destination in Salcombe, having covered 160 miles in four days.

We had had a great trip, and it had been a perfect example of how the things that make something special and memorable are not always the things you plan, but the extra, spontaneous things that you do without really planning them at all.

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About the Author

Helen & Ian

Helen & Ian

About Me & Mine

Hi there! Helen and Ian here from the Oxfordshire-Wiltshire border! We have two boys who love everything in the Great Outdoors (especially sticks), and a border collie who also loves everything in the Great Outdoors (especially tennis balls). We also have a toddler daughter who is fiercely independent and proving to be just as intrepid as her brothers.

Favourite place in the world:

A difficult one... There are so many wonderful places to choose from... But it has to be Sandwood Bay in the far north-west of Scotland which can only be reached by a 4-mile walk. Last time we went it was a full-on winter mountaineering experience (with ice axe and crampons!) just to get there. Wild and windswept, it's totally unspoilt.

Favourite things to do outdoors:

Enjoy beaches, woods, and coastal paths; explore waterways in our open canoe; go for a big day out on a small hill; go rock climbing; collect sticks, conkers, and acorns; investigate puddles and rockpools; ride our tandem; fly a kite against a clear blue sky.

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