Walking Sandy Mouth to Stanbury Mouth
Distance 2.7 miles (4.3 km).
Duration: 1hr 15min.
Grid reference SS201099 to SS200134.
Park your car at the NT Sandy Mouth car park. There may be refreshments and toilets available if it is 'in season'. If it is low tide look behind you to see the sands stretching southwards to Bude. On our visits we have seen the summer sands replaced by winter boulders, this making the beach totally change character. Surfers are almost always in evidence and there is some fine tilted rock strata for budding geologists. Note the parallel 'reefs' running out to sea - very much a feature of this area.
Walk up behind the cafe following the path marked 'Footpath to Duckpool'. Head along the grassy path to a footbridge. Cross the bridge and climb the path as indicated at the waymark post and bench. Climb the path through the gorse bushes up onto Stowe Cliffs, heading away from the sea up the narrow path. Crest the rise into a field with another waymarker, pausing to look back at the beaches running south to Bude. Walk on the flat grassy path for a short while, passing yet another waymarker pointing down the slope to a stile. The wide path inviting you to climb further. Below left lies Warren Long Beach. Buzzards often frequent these cliffs circling above the numerous rabbit warrens to seaward. Their unmistakeable cry is quite distinctive.
Progress is good on the springy grass and you top this particular rise in no time. Take care at the top however as the cliff edge is not all that far away. Pause for photographs above Warren Gutter. The satellite dishes of Cleave Camp filling your view as you descend the narrow path. Once again, take care if the path is muddy although your descent is aided in sections by steps. Look below left to see the dramatic pinnacles and jagged rocks standing vertically from the middle of the beach. Drop down the steep hillside by steps to a footbridge over a small stream. Cross the cliff to another footbridge and then climb to the stile at Warren Point.
Crest the rise to another wide grassy path, the wide dishes at Morwenstow looming ever larger. The path narrows as it descends to a stile, with Duckpool Beach and car park below. The steep path requires a little concentration to avoid 'turning an ankle'. Wend your way down to the footbridge over the stream and over to the car park - grid reference SX201115. Climb the stile to meet the road or follow the next waymark post the 1.5 miles to Stanbury Mouth. The scenery at Duckpool is spectacular and the beach is outstanding at low tide. Amateur naturalists may also get something out of their stop here as land-based and marine wildlife is varied and plentiful.
Refreshed, climb steeply on the coast path out of Duckpool onto Steeple Point some 91m (300 ft.) above sea level. Take extreme care where the coast path runs close to the cliff edge. Inland lies the steeply sided Coombe Valley with its meandering stream and the tower of Kilkhampton Church on the skyline. Your route continues north climbing gradually up to Lower Sharpnose Point. Just south of Rane Point and Rane Beach the path runs to the seaward side of Morwenstow Satellite Tracking Station better known locally as Cleave Camp. Now simply drop down carefully into Stanbury Mouth to complete this stage and take a well earned rest. The nearby hamlet of Woodford may offer a convenient pick-up point or parking for your second vehicle.
THE CLIFFS BETWEEN BUDE AND MARSLAND MOUTH ARE EXTREMELY FRACTURED AND CRUMBLING. DO NOT LEAVE THE PATHS OR SIT BELOW THE CLIFFS IF YOU ARE VISITING THE BEACHES AS ROCKFALLS CAN OCCUR AT ANY TIME. KEEP CHILDREN AND ANIMALS UNDER CLOSE SUPERVISION.
Stay at a nearby Holiday Park and keep the kids amused all day! Parks in the vicinity include those at:
Plenty of hotels are available locally. Consider those in the local towns: