Gammon Head and Prawle Point.

Start. East Prawle.

Route. East Prawle - Higher Farm - Hamstone Cove - Gammon Head - Elder Cove - Black Cove - Prawle Point - Coastguard Cottages - East Prawle.

Notes. A short but fairly strenuous walk around Prawle Devon's most southerly point, named from an Anglo-Saxon word meaning 'lookout'. People have been keeping watch over the English Channel from here for several centuries, looking out for enemy vessels as well as sailors in trouble at sea. People have been farming and fishing here for thousands of years, the ancient paths they trod between the village, the fields and the shoreline are the ones still in use today. We wandered these ancient tracks in the stifling heat of mid summer, a late afternoon ramble that took far longer than expected, the heat and severity of the terrain getting the better of us.

After parking on the edge of the village green at East Prawle, handy for the Pigs Nose Inn, we wandered back through the village, turned left at Higher Farm, then let the tarmac lane guide us passed Welle House. Between hedge rows guarding crop fields we wandered, when the lane swung sharp right we continued straight on descending one of Devon's ancient tracks, this sunken lane deposited us at the head of a vast combe. After initially going the wrong way we re-traced our steps to the head of the combe, after scratching around we found an overgrown path that safely guided us down to the coast depositing us on the South West Coastal Path amidst spectacular scenery above Hamstone Cove.

Now all we had to do was follow the coastal path south to Prawle Point then east and hope our exit point wasn't as elusive as our access point. This we did stopping many times to re-hydrate and drink in magnificent coastal scenery, rocky headlands guarding deserted beaches, dizzy views from hands on scrambles, silvery seascapes disturbed by the odd yacht heading into hidden coves. Above Hamstone Cove and Elender Cove and Black Cove we wandered, across Gammon Head we picked our way, the polished rock was dry but when wet I guess will be quite slippery. The ups and downs in the summer heat took it's toll, on reaching the National Coast-watch Lookout on Prawle Point we sat ages, our bodies cooling in the sea breeze, we scanned the coastline our route ahead could clearly be traced, winding it's way along the stunning shoreline.

Trouble with sitting resting it gives you time to think, another mile and a bit of coastal walking should carry us to Horseley Cove and Gorah Rocks between which lay our exit point. Out of water, short of time, it was now early evening, we sat a little longer before deciding to ascend the lane leading to the Coastguard's Cottages, I think it was the fact that bovine lawnmowers were amassing on the path further along our chosen route that swung the balance. So after passing the cottages we ascended the lane and made straight for the bar of the Pigs Nose Inn.

view route map.


A right of way for hundreds, possibly thousands of years, this sunken lane ushered us towards the coast....

....depositing us at the head of this combe.

Scratching around looking for an elusive route down, the view Bolt Head seen over the Kingsbridge Estuary.

Hamstone Cove and Hamstone Rocks seen from the coastal path above Pig's Nose.

Sue's looking for a comfy perch to sit a while, it wasn't long before the ridge got narrower and the views considerably dizzier, she beat a hasty exit and I saved myself a short walk.

Venerick's Cove a wonderful white beach backed by spectacular rock scenery, and not a soul to spoil the scene.

View taken along the South West Coastal Path from the approach to Gammon Head.

Seen from Gammon Head Signalhouse Point over Elender Cove.

Gullies and crags rise from the salt water of Elender Cove, it's an impressive place Gammon Head.

Dizzy views to the sandy beach at Elender Cove.

Wonderful views across Elender Cove to fearsome Gammon Head.

Natures rock architecture and seascapes are absolutely stunning along this stretch of coast.

Approaching the Lookout Station on Prawle Point.

Cross Prawle Point between ancient field boundaries, these are protected scheduled monuments hundreds possibly thousands of years old.

Sitting cooling in the sea breeze, drinking in fantastic views over a friendlier coastline to the one we've just traversed.

Viewing the Lookout Station from near the Coastguard Cottages.

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