As an undergraduate geologist, my favourite subject was igneous and metamorphic petrology, so visiting the South Devon coast is always interesting, and this stretch is no exception. Pink, grey, mottled and black slates of the Meadfoot Group are striped and slashed with quartz veins. They make for all sorts of fascinating patterns, especially when worn smooth by the sea.
We parked in Ringmore in the NT carpark (£2 for the day). The first walk down the smuggler’s path to Ayrmer was a blowy but interesting journey, rewarded by the lovely rockscapes and sand patterns when we arrived. It was half tide so not many rockpools to explore, but that’s a good excuse to visit again.
We walked up the grassy slope to look over at Westcombe Beach, but decided it was a bit steep to do without a stick to steady us on the descent – a fabulous view though and lots of wildflowers to admire.
After returning for a cup of tea in the car, we ventured out the second time, this time taking the path to Toby’s Point and down to Challaborough. Talk about “in the teeth of the wind” – I could hardly stand up at Toby’s Point! More nice flora to see, and eventually after some stinging dry sand in the face, onto the sandy beach to watch the waves. Then time for the long road back up to Ringmore and the drive home. But I’ll be back, I’m sure!