Why do I love Beesands and Start Bay? It could be the wonderful food at the Cricket and Britannia , a cold pint or gin and tonic listening to the soothing sound of the waves, always finding someone to chat to but probably the thing I love most is the coast path.
Each season has its own special beauty for me especially the early summer when the majestic Foxgloves lining the path with its intense purple splendour take control.
I would love to share with you the 7.5 mile run I did last week which of course you can walk if you prefer!
Turning right out of number 1 along the high street without stopping at the Cricket take the path up over the cliff to Hallsands. After the initial challenge of rocks underfoot the path evens out and is lined with ferns,foxgloves ,gorse and other low growing plants enabling you to constantly admire the views of Start Point and its lighthouse. The vegetation making an ideal environment for many birds and wildlife such as Cetti’s Warblers with its loud distinguishable song , Cirl Bunting and Black Cap. You will frequently share this part of the walk with cattle so you must remember the country code and close all the gates you will pass through. As you descend into the hamlet of North Hallsands you will see how the crystal clear water made this an ideal spot for divers and many holidays were spent by enthusiastic divers in the now forgotten Hallsands Hotel replaced by a row of smart newly built fisherman’s cottages.
The coast path now continues up a flight of steep steps where you will see the old coach house. This is now holiday accommodation and offers at this time of year an unforgettable display of House Martins either building their nests or feeding young . There are also many bats here at dusk. A ruined chapel from the old village of Hallsands is the next point of interest as you drop down to South Hallsands and then the very smart New England style apartment block which was originally Trouts Hotel. The amazing history of this can be read in the must read ‘Sisters against the Sea’ by Ruth and Frank Milton .
One of the must challenging climbs takes you to the car park at Start Point but the view from the top is arguably the best in Britain and one I will never tire of.
You have two choices her- walk down the road and take a trip up the lighthouse but please look at opening times so as not to be disappointed or continue down to the beautiful sandy beach at Great Mattiscombe .This path is rocky underfoot and again you may come across a odd cow or two but the beach is superb and ideal for a picnic or a touch of wild swimming around some of its more remote rocks. I continue around a flatter section to Lannacombe beach and then turn inland along a quiet tarmac lane. At the T junction I turn right up what can only be described as a monstrous hill , my goal is the run all the way even if i could walk faster!
At the top of the hill you continue straight over the crossroads towards Lamacraft Farm – all the effort of getting to the top is wasted as you now go down an equally steep section. On reaching the initial buildings there is a small footpath as the drive turns to the right on your left take this through a wooded area with the scent of wild garlic and again a very rocky underfoot section. You will then cross a small stream in the Hamlet of Bickerton and follow a tarmac lane on your left down to another farm. From here my route gets slightly more difficult to describe so for your ease turn right down the lane back to North Hallsands and trace your steps back over the coast path for a cool refreshing drink at the Cricket .
A prefect way to spend a couple of hours!