There were just three intrepid paddlers for this trip – Pam and Ian Downing, and Annette Colbourn accompanied by Brian Colbourn hoping to have a good walk. On arrival at Meadfoot Sea Road in Torquay, we discovered that the Slipway was severely storm damaged and closed off. The winds were very strong and blowing directly onto Meadfoot Beach, with waves crashing over the sea wall onto unsuspecting car drivers and walkers. It was bitterly cold too, so a brief discussion resulted in everyone agreeing to cancel any plans to paddle and to enjoy the day as tourists instead.
Brian and I retired to Visto Lounge on Torquay Seafront (similar to Teatro and Impero Lounge) for hot drinks and breakfast. We discussed various options, exploring Torquay, moving on to Totnes or Salcombe, but finally decided on a trip to Bigbury on Sea.
On arrival the tide was out and the causeway from Bigbury to Burgh Island was fully exposed. Burgh Island Hotel was restored during the early nineties and is now a Grade II Listed Building. It is linked to the crime novelist Agatha Christie as it inspired the setting for both And Then There Were None and the Hercule Poirot mystery Evil Under The Sun. When the causeway is covered by the tide though, it is also possible to ride across the causeway on the Sea Tractor.
The photos show that Bigbury on Sea is lapped by shallow waters and is dotted with rock pools so after visiting Burgh Island we enjoyed a long walk along the beaches. Don’t be fooled by that sunshine though, I was very glad that I kept my merino thermals on.
One of our club members swam around Burgh Island in 2017 and plans to organise a trip on 9th June to paddle from Aveton Gifford (the head of the estuary of the River Avon) down to the Bantham Swoosh. A combination of tidal flow and a narrow estuary mouth creates an increasingly fast moving body of water that carries you towards the sea, ending at Bantham Beach (alongside Bigbury on Sea).
Whether you’re joining us in the future to enjoy a paddle, or whether you’re interested in accompanying a family member to enjoy a good walk or day out, there is a lot of choice on this coastline.