Sunday, 22 February 2009

A trip to Shaldon

Although the weather looked a bit grey when we first got up, by the time we`d had breakfast and several mugs of tea, the clouds had parted and blue was beginning to show through, `Enough to make a sailors collar` as they say, so we headed out to Shaldon, a lovely little village on the Teign estuary.
At the head of the estuary is `The Ness` a huge red sandstone headland, covered in a sprawling wood. At the foot of it is a rather sedate hotel named after this headland, and on one wall is this lovely verse from John keats `Sea fever` which is perfect for this village
Shaldon has narrow winding streets flanked by lovely Georgian houses, painted in pastel colours of cream, pink and lemon. Across the water Teignmouth basked in the early morning sun
The wind was strong in our faces, but suprisingly not cold, it ruffled and pleated the water
The village was beginning to wake up, a woman was opening a little gallery in an ice cream pink house, she`d hung the tiny water colours on the branches of a tree...
When the tide goes out, it leaves a large sand bank which is called `The Salty` lots of waders gather here, and we could hear the oyster catchers fluting and calling as they dug for shellfish
We walked past St. Peters church, and across the road where you get great views down the river to distant Dartmoor
Theres some delightful little cottages overlooking the river beach, and certainly some curious ones
We walked back through the village, down to the Ness which has a smugglers tunnel..

The passage is cool and damp and echos..
It leads down to Ness Cove beach, which is a small red sanded beach, hemmed in by the red cliffs
It made me think of a poem I learnt at school about smuggling by Rudyard Kipling, the last verse
Five and twenty ponies trotting through the dark,
Brandy for the parson, `Baccy for the clerk,
Laces for a lady, letters for a spy,
So watch the wall my darling while the gentlemen go by.
We walked through the wood to the top of the headland afterwards, I loved this tree trunk covered in navelwort.
From the top of the Ness, you get fabulous views right down the coast to Dorset, where you can the Jurassic coastline.

1 comment:

Pieceful Afternoon said...

Ahhh another wonderful jaunt. Thanks, I really enjoyed it.