Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

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Exeter trip: Day 1 walk from Paignton to Galmpton

After breakfast in the apartment, we walked into the centre of Exeter and found Exeter central station where we caught the train to Paignton. From Paignton we walked along the coastal path to Broadsands Road car park before turning inland to Galmpton.

I was somewhat disappointed by the Devon coast, to be honest. It is so built up and the cliffs are of the soft crumbly rock that is so soft that if you try to take a sample home, you end up with just a bag of sand. However, though not as scenic as I had imagined Devon to be, we had a very pleasant walk. These donkeys greeted us as we left the town centre and headed for the coastal path. I have no idea why one of them is in quarantine. They both look as though they have been freshly painted, but that doesn't explain why one has been corralled behind orange tape while the other is looking on, apparently slightly puzzled.

Seaside donkeys

Just past the donkeys, there were lots of beach huts.

Beach huts

And occasional glimpses of a steam train!

Steam train near Paignton

See what I mean about being rather built up? But then we're spoilt with our wonderful Welsh coastline, so much of which is within a day trip.

Coast path near Paignton

Another glimpse of the steam train, heading back in the other direction. Note that the engine is running backwards. The line didn't have a turntable, so the engines always have to point the same way.

Steam train

We stopped at a beachside cafe for a hot pasty (G) and bacon bap (me) for lunch before reaching Galmpton about 1 pm. The sign says "No dogs allowed on the beach". This patient dog waited and watched while his humans played French cricket on the sand. We saw dog and his humans again a little while later, enjoying a picnic.

Patient dog

There is a preserved steam railway running from through Galmpton, and there was a train in the station as we arrived. We couldn't see a ticket office, so hopped straight on and when the ticket collector came round, he admitted that the ticket office wasn't open on Fridays and that we should just buy tickets off him.

I can remember when these carriages were the latest thing! I'm old enough to remember corridor trains and so these through coaches seemed terribly modern when they first appeared on British Rail.

Railway carriage interior

The engine taking on water at the Dartmouth Steam Railway and Riverboat Company station in Paignton.

Steam engine

Back in Paignton, we crossed to the mainline railways station only to find a train to Newton Abbot about to leave. We caught that and then in Newton Abbot simply crossed from Platform 1 to Platform 3 where an Edinburgh train was waiting. That took us swiftly to Exter St Davids where another quick platform change took us to a waiting London train, first stop Exeter Central. So that took us back to our starting point.

I have never before done a train journey involving 4 trains and simply stepped from one train to the next with no waiting!

From there, having located the historic underground passages (our plan for Sunday, though in the end we didn't end up seeing them) and also tracking down the maths department when the conference was taking place the following day, we walked back to the apartment, stopping off for some Waitrose ready meals en route.

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