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hedgerows landscapes pathways the sea the seaside the shore Wales wildlife

Pembrokeshire coast and gardens – a week away in June – Part2 – A Coastal Walk

After enjoying our coastal walk in Cornwall last year we looked forward to exploring part of the Pembrokeshire coastal path. We spent much of the walk looking at the wildflowers growing close to the track and out to sea watching black and white plumaged Oyster Catchers flying in formation quickly flirting with the waves. In every bay gulls of many different sorts called from their nesting ledges to their partners bringing in food. The noise level and excitement level rose sharply whenever Peregrines or Sparrow Hawk flew close by. All along the walk we were accompanied by Kestrel hovering and eyeing up the short grasses below them in search of small mammals. In the scrubland along the clifftops on both sides of the paths small songbirds entertained us every moment of our walk, Wren, Dunnock, Linnet, Pippets, Blackbirds and Goldfinches.

Aberporth was the starting point for our coastal trek, and this little coastal village was a very colourful place. It took us a while to find the beginning of the path and we seemed to make a few false starts before finally getting going.

The local planners were not averse to letting architects design modern homes to contrast well with the cottage style prevalent throughout the village.

Once on the path proper we caught site of the headland we decided to aim for. It looked so far away. The path took us along the cliff tops and we spotted so many interesting beautiful wildflowers along the way and also this brightly coloured beetle on a dandelion flower. When we reached our destination the path dropped down steeply and we were able to walk on the beach for a while.

Here steep cliffs towered above us, in places green with algae.

The wooden footpath sign directed us back to Aberporth and as usual the return journey took us half the time of the way out. But we discovered just as many interesting wildflowers as we did on the way there.

   

We still have not decided where our next coastal holiday will be but it will definitely be where there are accessible walks close to the sea.

Categories
sculpture the seaside the South townscapes

A Week in Cornwall – Part 3 -St Ives

When holidaying in Cornwall in the summer of 2018 we planned to visit St Ives as we had enjoyed it so much when we visited decades ago. We loved the seafront, quayside, the quaint streets full of art galleries some being working galleries and the garden and workshop of our best female sculptor of all time, Barbara Hepworth. And of course we mustn’t forget the wonderful Tate St Ives, a wonderful piece of architecture housing incredible artworks.

        

These photos were taken in a way to avoid the crowds. St Ives had become a busy crowded little seaside town and we were greatly disappointed. But at least the Barbara Hepworth Gallery and Garden did live up to our expectations and match our memories.

 

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architecture buildings the sea the seaside the shore Wales

Anglesey – Part 1 – A day out in Beaumaris

We love Anglesey and our favourite seaside place must be Beaumaris with its castle and its little pier. It is a seaside town in miniature. In the early autumn of 2017 Jude, the Undergardener and I spent a short break on Anglesey with our son Jamie, daughter-in-law Sam and granddaughter Arabella, and we just had to share our love of the place with them. We had taken Jamie there as a child but Sam, having lived her childhood in France and then moving to Leicester had never been before and baby Arabella was too young to have visited yet in her short life.

We took a wander along the sea front and to the end of the pier and back.

 

Having arrived at the little town mid-morning we needed to find a refreshment place prior to exploring the castle, and discovered this friendly cafe close to the castle alongside the bowling green. It looked very bright with its cerise and green coloured furniture.

From there we passed this old cottage with its typical cottage styled garden before arriving at the castle itself.

It must be one of the most photogenic castles in the UK, as well as being of great historic importance and significance. Jude has given me this information concerning the castle as I am no historian.

The construction of Beaumaris Castle began in 1295 and was built by Edward 1st, the last in a programme of castle building in Wales by the English to subjugate the Welsh. The castle was never finished however as money ran out! It is unusual in that it has a set of walls within walls for extra fortification. A surprising feature is its gateway to the sea, a tidal dock which allowed ships direct access to the castle to deliver supplies.

   

   

We had last visited the castle many years ago and had forgotten just how beautiful it was. Jude, being an historian looked at it from a different perspective from my aesthetic viewpoint, but we both absolutely love it.

 

 

Categories
architecture buildings landscapes light light quality photography the sea the seaside the shore Wales

New Year Day at the Seaside

We try to spend New Year’s Day at the seaside for a coast walk unless the weather stops us. Sadly for the last few years the weather has done just that by throwing strong winds and heavy rains at us.

But this year, 2018, we decided we would go passing through the promised rain and under the heavy clouds and planned to reach the seaside just as the weather was forecast to clear. But we were lucky, really lucky. The rain stopped as we left home and we enjoyed a dry drive through the mid-Wales hills to the coastal university town of Aberwystywth.

I will share my photos of the day as a gallery – enjoy. We walked from the pier to the end of the promenade and back again watching the sea and sky change with every step.

So we can now carry on with the journey that 2018 will take us on. We hope that the first day of 2019 will be fine and bright just right for our next annual New Year seaside walk!

 

Categories
architecture buildings landscapes reflections the sea the seaside the shore

Oh we do like to be beside the seaside! – Burnham-on-Sea

We do love to be beside the seaside, beside the sea, as followers of my blog have probably realised already. Is is great when we discover another seaside town as we did recently on a visit to countryside along the Somerset and Devon border. We were looking at a few gardens down there and fancied some time beside the sea so made our way to Burnham-on-Sea to see what we would find there.

We are always delighted and excited if we learn that the seaside town we are visiting has a pier so Burnham was onto a winner where we were concerned. We also like to see a sense of humour wherever we go and to see B-on-S boasting that it has the smallest pier in the UK rather than the more usual longest, oldest etc. So that was our first port of call, off in search of the tiny pier. We soon spotted its white roof glaring in the sunshine in strong contrast to the deep blue sky.

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Walking along the promenade we could look down onto the beach to sea what the sandy beach lovers were getting up to. As usual people at the seaside become creative as they discover their creative streak even if it is for just one day.

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Play leaders were busy providing entertainment for families of young children with games all things pirate and even had a pirate ship mock up on the sands. The ice cream man realised the potential business opportunity of parking on the sand nearby.

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Come for a walk along the promenade with us now and see what was happening through the lens of my trusty Nikon.

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We walked back along the sands rather than retracing our steps along the prom. This gave a very different perspective and afforded the opportunity to take a close look at the sand and the patterns in it.

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The most amazing and surprising discovery on the sands was the colourful wooden lighthouse. In my next post I will share my photos of this incredible construction. Burnham-on-Sea was a surprising place and provided us with a most enjoyable day out with added surprises!

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Categories
architecture buildings community gardening the sea the seaside the shore the South

Southwold – a seaside town with added flair!

Southwold has been recommended to us as a seaside place worth a visit a few times so when we found ourselves just 20 or so miles away we simply had to go and see what made Southwold so special.

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We parked the car right in front of the pier as a suitable parking space presented itself and on opening the doors we were greeted by the sound of the song “The Good Ship Lollipop” being broadcast rather too loudly! This was to be the first of several surprises to come!

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The pier was full of such surprises none more impressive than the metalwork pieces along its length beginning appropriately with the gateway. To follow were seat arms of metal eels, two rather “Heath Robinsonesque” creations, a clock and a telescope.

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On the back wall of the main entrance building this huge mural is a tribute to writer George Orwell to whom Southwold was home during various periods of his life. Liz Ewing describes Southwold as “…… a place he returned to time and time again,to study, to work, to write, to paint, to fall in love and to convalesce”.

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Walking the promenade afforded wide sweeping views of long sandy beaches and looking out to sea the rather beautiful sculptural village of wind turbines.

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From the end of the pier we spotted another favourite seaside feature, a row of beach huts, for which Southwold is famous, but this is the subject of another post all about the seaside at Southwold (published 22\11\2016) . Here are a couple to whet your appetite!

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Back to search for other aspects of this interesting little seaside town that is Southwold, we wandered very slowly away from the pier towards the old town itself.

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Leaving the bright plastic of beach toys behind us we discovered these interesting little garden cameos with nautical hints, and also an inland lighthouse of all things. This strange and extremely tall building was hundreds of yards from the sea itself and hidden in the back gardens of the village cottages. Strange! You will spot it snuggled into the town centre in one of my pics below.

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After being surprised by the beauty of the pier and the beach huts were then delighted to find an equally beautiful little town.

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It appears that at one time in the past Southwold was a busy productive little settlement with its own brewery, distillery and cottage industries. Today the brewery remains integrated into the village with its premises nestled among the shops and cottages.

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There was obvious pride in this lovely little place with community spirit riding high and a very warm welcome for its visitors.

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We left the inland secrets of Southwold behind and ambled back along the promenade looking out over the beach and the sea itself, a perfect end to a day of finding a new favourite place. A great discovery!

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Categories
architecture buildings Church architecture the sea the seaside the shore townscapes

Hampshire Seaside – Lymington

Here is another post to remind us of warmer sunnier days. It is the story of the second seaside town we visited while in Hampshire earlier this year.

Holidaying in the New Forest gave us access to beautiful countryside, trees aplenty to give us autumn colours and just to please Jude, the Undergardener, proximity to the sea. We spent two afternoons at the seaside, the first at Lymington and the second at Milford on Sea. In this post we will share our day at Lymington.

We got lost getting to the car park  in the town centre but after skirting the coast we went all around Lymington and by luck ended up parking right next to the quay.It was a better place to enjoy the town from than where we had intended to park and to make it even more convenient as we got out of the car our noses caught the aroma of fresh coffee! Brilliant car park! The coffee house was a converted boat house with views across the quay.

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Once suitably refreshed and loaded with caffeine we wandered the old narrow streets close to the quay. We were taken by the amusing and original shop names and their signage.

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We left the old town and wandered along Quay Road which ran parallel to the estuary. The many old boathouses have been converted into homes, business premises and holiday accommodation.

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We passed several boat repair yards, marinas and boat builders. We were attracted to the sign of this boat builder, with its two letter B’s depicting yachts with wind-filled sails.

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Jude the Undergardener could not resist playing in this old fashioned seaside entertainment.

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Our walk took us away from the waterfront and back to the town’s main street, where we found buildings of different ages, old shops, churches and cinemas.

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After a stop for coffee and cakes we walked back through the old village with its cobbled streets and tiny shops.

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We had enjoyed our day by the sea even though we found no sandy beach to walk on or even shingle to crunch through.

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buildings colours photography the sea the seaside the shore

Hampshire Seaside – part two – Milford

To bring some sunshine to a very dull January let us turn the clock back and enjoy a visit to the Hampshire coast.

While in Hampshire we drove down through the New forest avoiding cattle, donkeys, pigs and ponies on the road and down to Milford on Sea.

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Just like Lymington this small seaside town overlooked the famous stretch of water, the Solent and beyond the Solent we had views of the Isle of Wight. Frequent ferries trundled passengers and vehicles over to the island and back. The Solent as expected was busy with yachts and launches.

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The cliffs here defied any sense of scale. In the photos below the cliffs look as tall as any along the south coast, but in reality were merely 12 ft or so in height.

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Whenever we visit the sea we look out for beach huts as they are so colourful, so full of character and a close look reveals interesting details of colour and texture. So we were delighted to come cross a small street of them at the end of our beach promenade.

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As usual when we find them my camera worked hard to capture their spirit. I hope you enjoy my little gallery dedicated to them. As usual click on the first pic and then navigate with the arrows.

 

 

Categories
light light quality the sea the seaside the shore Wales

Seaside Textures

Every time we visit the seaside and take a walk along the sands we start collecting shells to decorate our Seaside Garden at home, and once we start looking we notice the amazing patterns and textures created on the sand as the tides retreat.

We recently drove over to Anglesey and after leaving the main road as it crossed over from the Welsh mainland we drove down lanes which got narrower and more secretive until we arrived at our favourite beach. On opening the car doors all we heard was silence occasionally broken by birdsong and the raucous calls of gulls. That is why it our favourite beach for a quiet walk. Come with us as we wander heads down seeking shells and finding the shapes and textures etched into the sand.

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Please enjoy this gallery of photos to help you share our wanderings.

The strangest shape and texture of all belonged to these beached jelly fish, their star like shape and jelly texture sitting lifeless on the sands. It looked as if the sun had fallen from the sky and was resting on the sand.

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We stopped part way home to watch the sun set over the sea. What a great day out!

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Categories
architecture buildings colours landscapes light light quality the sea the seaside the shore townscapes Wales

Oh we do like to be beside the seaside! – Part One – Newquay

I thought as we are now in early spring and the weather is improving a little it would be a good time to look back to the early autumn when the sky was still blue and the temperatures more comfortable. So let us reminisce and celebrate two days at the seaside.

It was the week of Jude the Undergardener’s birthday so as she loves to be beside the sea, two visits to the coast of Wales were the order of the day.

So for our first seaside day we headed off over the mid-Wales mountains towards Aberystwyth and then when we got near the coast we headed southwards to Newquay. Neither of us could ever remember visiting before even though we both holidayed in this part of Wales as children. We were surprised how colourful the village looked when we first saw it. We soon discovered Newquay to have a great sense of pride and a community feel to it.

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After a quick look around the village we wandered down the quay and on the beach.

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We were mesmerised by this amazing land form, with its domed strata, peeled away in places like the layers of an onion by the powerful erosion forces of the sea.

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Whenever we are at the coast we get involved looking at the geology and geomorphology of the cliff, wave cut platforms and all sorts of patterns and forms.

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Enjoy sharing our wander with my camera back around the quayside and back through the village with us.

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Blue was definitely the colour of the day! What a great day it was too!

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