The redoubtable Kate, the owner, was a character straight out of The Vicar of Dibley. Chairwoman of the local parish council she shared with us some of the history of the local parish and the challenges they face, including the washing out of the main Slapton Road, and sharing with us a container of home-made 'Pasteis-de-nata', left over from a council meeting. The only negative on the night was that it became very chilly when the sun went down and we struggled to warm up in the tent.
After lunch, it was through to Beesands and on to the short rise At Tinsey Head, then the drop down to the hamlet of (North) Hallsand. To the south of the existing village are the remains of the vanished village of (South) Hallsands, at the back of which we had another sharp, steep incline to negotiate. (South) Hallsands village, established sometime in the 15 / 16thC, was a thriving fishing community until permission was granted to extract gravel /shingle from Start Bay in the 1890's for the expansion of the naval dockyard at Keyham, outside Plymouth. Over the years from 1897 to 1917, as a consequence of the changes to the profile of the beach, caused by the extraction of the gravel, much of the village was lost to the sea. During a storm on 26 January 1917, high winds and seas breached the seawall and all but one house could be lived in. As well as the ruins of the chapel, only two house from the original village now survive, both rentred out as holiday accommodation. The two house can be seen sitting on a rock shelf just above the beach, on the first photograph below.
At the end of the Narrows the route drops down to Lannacombe Beach before rising up again to Woodcombe, which also entails a short move inland to cross over the gully and then back out to the mid-cliff. There are some places on this section of the route where you are walking on a narrow path, near to the edge and a long fall, and you need to be careful not to trip over half-buried stones and rocks. This final section, approaching East Prawle, walking just below the high hills of The Torrs on the inside, blue sea to the left and a green expanse of flat plain in front of you, you feel like you want to walk all day.