What could be nicer for a winter treat than to get outside for some fresh air and (with a little luck) clear, blue skies like today? The Southwest Coast Path is less than a mile from Southclay and The Annex and inspires us to get out and walk whenever we have a chance. This is the first of a few blogs remembering some highlights from the coast path we have enjoyed over the last few weeks. Of course, Number 1 is at our local patch, Abbotsham Cliffs. Is it muddy in the winter months? Yes, and can be spectacularly slippery in some places BUT the winter light is beautiful, with wonderful reflections and long shadows and often you can get away from the crowds and have the path, the cliffs and the beaches to yourself.
The Southwest Coast Path is England's longest way-marked, long-distance footpath and a National Trail. It stretches for 630 miles, running from Minehead in Somerset, along the coasts of Devon and Cornwall, to Poole Harbour in Dorset. Our little piece of paradise (Green Cliff and Abbotsham Cliffs) is part of the longer section from Westward Ho! to Clovelly. It is an easy walk from the village along country lanes and paths to meet up with the Southwest Coast Path at Green Cliff, where the remains of the limekiln stand guard like a little fortress over the path down to the rocky beach, or at Abbotsham Cliffs where the cliff sweeps low towards the pebble ridge half a mile to the East.
Today (mid-January) and even on Christmas morning Steve and I couldn't wait to get out of the back door and down to the beach as it was such a beautiful day... With the turkey in the oven a few weeks ago, and the table laid for the crowds arriving later, we escaped for a couple of hours and met some friends from the village on the cliffs. Fortified with a healthy dose of fresh air, sunshine and exercise (and Christmas chocolate and sloe gin + a "quick one" in the Thatched Inn on the way home) Christmas Day could not have been more idyllic. Timed to perfection, the family started arriving as we walked home, the last few meters home back up the hill. The turkey was ready to rest.... though we didn't get a chance to!