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Sunday Smugglers Lee...
...Discover the Smugglers path cut through the rocks to a hidden sandy cove
Lee was home to a known rough smuggler and suspected wrecker, Hannibal Richards, tall dark and swarthy. In 1789 he'd come here from North Cornwall where he'd been part of "Cruel Copingers" gang, he lived at Gwythers which was then a Farm. He and some of his relatives are buried in a graveyard in Ilfracombe.
Cooke from Ilfracombe
Park at the car park on the sea front, it is very basic but there are toilets a short walk inland on the footpath adjascent to the car park. Meet outside the Smugglers cottage at the entrance to the car park overlooking the bay.We'll start walking inland following one of the old smugglers footpaths that follow the stream inland under the cover of the trees and dense undergrowth deep in the bottom of a ravine like valley. After 3/4 mile we will have to ascend slowly up a very steep section of the footpath through six acre wood emerging to cross the lane to Higher Warcombe, one of the Smugglers homes.
We'll walk to Damage Barton another estate that had wrecking rights, as they owned the land between Bull point and Lee. They most likely stored smuggled goods that were landed at Bennetts Bay and could be secretly transported up the hidden stream in Kinevor (conniver) valley that connects the beach dirrectly to the Barton!
As we return along the coast path we'll see the smugglers hidden sandy cove and follow their path that cuts through the rocks back to Lee. (Assuming the tide is low enough!)
Cool down mindful stretches on the beach to finish. The Pub in Lee is a great stop for refreshments, if you are interested pre booking is essential.
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