Tag Archive | coast

A different bit of coastline

Today I had to drop my husband and friend off at the heliport at Hartland. Sounds very posh, doesn’t it….not!




This is the heliport; a few buildings in a sheep field (with sheep, you will notice), a muddy car park, shared with the coast path walkers, and catering facilities in the green shed in the car park. Mind you, it is better than it used to be, as the check in lounge is now a warm building with toilets, where it was once just a container. And the cafe usually does a nice bacon butty, if there are enough people booked on the flight. Needless to say, today was not one of those days…

The heliport only runs flights to Lundy, a small island twelve miles off the coast. The men are spending a few days there doing a bird survey of all the birds using the inter-tidal areas. It is a national survey, done by volunteers. It can be quite pleasant, sauntering along counting the odd oystercatcher, if the weather is kind. Unfortunately it is not going to be kind, so I suspect they will be cold, tired, and bedraggled by Friday.

I took the opportunity to potter along the coast path while they waited for the helicopter. It was a tad breezy, and quite dull, so the pictures are not spectacular, sorry.








Finally the helicopter left, and having waved them off, I then drove a bit further South to Hartland Quay, fully intending to walk a bit more.




As you can see, by now the brief glimpses of sun had ceased, the drizzle had set in, and the wind was even stronger. As I struggled across the car park to admire the spectacular rock formations, I decided that enough was enough, and being blown off a cliff path was not how I intended to start this week.





Definitely somewhere to revisit on a slightly nicer day!

Gushing rivers, rock scrambling, and cider in the sun

In other words, a walk down the Heddon Valley, in the Exmoor National Park. It is a lovely steep-sided, wooded valley, which runs from the Hunter’s Inn northwards to the North Devon coast.



On such a sunny day, we weren’t the only people enjoying the walk, but it wasn’t unbearably busy.




The river was very full as we have had rather a lot of rain, and it was mesmerising to watch.




The valley stays narrow right up to the coastline, where the river tumbles down the rounded boulders on the beach.




The tide was low, so there was a fair expanse of rocky beach, and we explored our side, clambering around the rocks to the newly exposed bits as the tide dropped. In the summer, you can happily hop across the shallow stream to the far side of the beach, but the water was flowing fast and deep today.




We then returned via a bridge over the river, and took the path up the far side of the valley




The Hunters Inn is perfectly placed for post-walk refreshments, and we even ate outside in the weak December sun. What a super winter walk!



This is what it is all about!

Today the sun shone between scudding clouds, and we took some time off from ‘moving in’, and had some fun. My husband is a bird ringer, and has been hoping to be able to catch and ring birds in the garden, as his own little study site. But we couldn’t know how many birds there would be until we got here. Answer – plenty! We put up bird feeders yesterday, and within a couple of hours there were birds zipping everywhere. So this morning he set up his nets and caught over 40 birds in two hours, which is excellent. Our garden study site is up and running.

Our daughter is visiting, and the two of us went out to see some of the local scenery. A ten minute drive from our house brought us to Woolacombe beach. In summer it is busy with families and surfers, but today it was bare and beautiful.




Watching and listening to the waves crashing onto the rocks is extremely therapeutic.




We then walked out onto the headland to the North of the beach – Morte Point. It was a bit blustery, but perfect for a first walk along the coast. There will be many more.










To finish off our lovely day, we picked up some clotted cream in the local shop, and I whipped up a batch of scones. Our first Devon cream tea. Perfect.