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Stop 9: (880 m) Watwick Bay – SM 816 040
The suffix ‘-wick’ is Norse for a bay.
Notice the dense growth of shrubs, ferns and other plants either side of the path down to the bay. This area is still sheltered from the prevailing south-westerly winds, and plant growth is encouraged by the still, humid conditions. A small stream runs down the bottom of the valley. Around the outfall of the stream on the beach, marsh plants such as irises are able to grow.
The cliffs on either side of the bay are again made of Old Red Sandstone. Look at the strata of the rocks – on the north side they slope (dip) to the south, as at Dale Fort. But on the south side they dip to the north. In other words, on either side of the bay the angle of dip is towards the middle. The rocks have been folded downwards into a trough-like shape, which geologists call a syncline. The axis of the fold runs down the centre of the bay.
In fact the whole of the Dale peninsula is a syncline, with its axis running across the peninsula, from to Watwick Bay in the east to Kete in the west (Stop 14).
Make your way back up the path to re-join the Coast Path at the top of the valley. The walk continues along towards West Blockhouse Point on the next promontory.