I don’t know how the weather was with you on New Years Day 2017, but here in the usually sunny Torquay it was absolutely pitiful. It rained relentlessly, was freezing cold and the sky a delightful deep shade of grey. So unless you are one of my mates in Australia (thanks Facebook), I suspect you were cooped up inside for the 1st as well; Happy New Year!
Desperate to get outside and see some daylight we optimistically consulted the BBC 5 day weather forecast. Things were looking good for the Monday and incredibly we woke to perfect blue skies. We packed up and had hit the road by 10.30am, (not bad with Huey) headed for the beaches of Bantham or Bigbury.
This route to the South Hams takes you invariably via Totnes and back in the summer had taken us about 3 days to get there. I can tell you with great joy that off-season the same journey took us under an hour. We breezed by Totnes and in no time, (Huey still asleep!) arrived at the decided Bantham.
On arrival it turns out that the obvious access and parking for Bantham Beach is privately owned. Being off-season however it turns out to be free to park up (or at least it was on this day). The money we save we instantly spend on hot chocolate at the fancy drinks van that’s in attendance.
This was not a bad shout, as whilst the sky was a perfect blue it was bitterly cold. I don’t know what temperature the wind chill was making things, but Becs looked frozen within two minutes of leaving the car. We necked the drinks, loaded Huey to the sling and set off at double time to try to warm up.
From the car park you can’t see the sea but it turns out to be a 2 minute walk through soft sand dunes to get there. Then there it is. Unlike much of the pebble beaches we’ve found to date Bantham is perfect, soft, golden sands. The cloud free blue skies make for fantastic views and looking out I realise the other destination we considered today (Bigbury), is just out across the bay. You can see Burgh Island and just make out the path of sand that connects it to the mainland at low tide.
We walked along the length of the beach heading towards Bigbury. Joining us were a few dozen others; dogs, kids, kite flyers…all taking in this bitter but lovely January day.
For the first time we try out the baby sling with Huey on my back. Having slept in the car on the way down he was getting a little grumpy not being able to see the action and this worked out pretty well. He spots the colourful kite flying low over the beach, the soft sound and colour of which had him transfixed.
After about an hour we’re back at the car mindful of Huey and the wind chill. We’re refreshed though; it’s been lovely and the cooped up feelings of the day before have been blown away.
I’m tempted to finish this post right here. Leave you with a sickening perfect tale of our perfect winter day, but that would not be telling the whole story. With Huey on board some little drama always seems to play itself out and today was no exception, so I will share with you todays’.
Before we hit the road we decided to stop in Bantham to eat. You’re limited here to the pub or the village store / cafe and that’s where we end up as the pub’s packed. We settle at a nice quiet window seat and we’re just perusing the menu when our noses indicate an unavoidable fact, Huey needs to be changed.
The toilet is outdoors but no matter, the two of us are pitching in to change him so this should be over in seconds. Except it’s not. Huey has picked today to have a bad belly and his poo has jettisoned from the nappy and all down inside his trousers. There’s no getting around it, the whole lot needs to be changed.
We strip poor Huey off, he struggles and in a flash we have baby crap everywhere. It takes less than a minute to get him cleaned up, but even in that time the cold has had its effect, he’s started to shake and shiver, something I’ve never seen him do before. My bodies reaction is to dump a healthy dose of adrenaline into my system, which is rapidly followed by an angry, loud, string of expletives.
The beauty of Bantham Beach is long gone. We’re now stuck in an outdoor Carsey with a potentially hypothermic baby and shit up to our elbows.
Dressed, I literally run him back into the cafe to get into that sunny window seat…piece of cake! Where’s that menu??
Is Bantham Beach suitable for a baby?
Bantham is an entirely family friendly Beach. We walked Huey down in a sling but in the summer months especially you could eemanage a buggy. Even with the sling though this beach is about as easy as it gets.
Free parking Bantham Beach?
Parking was free out of season but it looked to us like you’d certainly pay for it during the summer.
Postcode for Bantham Beach TQ7 3An