It’s another deep blue sky day as we set off from Little Haven, a village which definitely lives up to its name. Damian spots a little shop selling fresh lobster brioche but that will be tomorrow’s lunch – we have just had a hearty breakfast.
The path follows the road for a while up a steep hill and then branches off to the right, up onto the cliff top. We walk and walk and at some point this stone arrangement appears – what does it mean? There is a bare path in the grass in front of it and I wonder whether this was where the stone with the hole used to lie. Anyway, we stop to catch our breath and drink some water – that’s the trouble with cooked English breakfasts, they are very salty.
We now follow the coast path over the cliffs, beautiful wild flowers on both sides, red campion, fox gloves, heather and in places ox daises – this flower catches my eye, no idea what it’s called but I love the delicate threads of the bud it has sprung from.
Our next breather is St.Brides, a small village presided over by its castle, which you can just about see on the skyline. It was built in 1833 and is apparently a well preserved example of Scottish baronial architecture. It is set in 99 acres of parkland and the coast path runs parallel to the stone walls which mark its boundaries. From the internet I discover that the building has been renovated to an extremely high standard “providing the discerning holiday maker with a choice of stylish and comfortable apartments and cottages” .
Leaving the village behind we climb once more up onto the cliffs where we come across these beauties. Edible? I don’t think so somehow.
The day seems to be getting hotter and hotter and once more I berate myself for not researching some summer walking shoes. It really is too sticky for heavy leather boots.
Another beautiful beach then appears – the bright blue water so inviting.
Around the next corner we find an unorthodox way of getting onto the beach as there doesn’t seem to be any alternative. I make my way trepidatiously down what the OS map calls the Black Cliff – the steps carved into the rock make it easier but it is a bit of a scramble half way down
The water is gloriously cold and refreshing and there is plenty of time for a spot of sunbathing. Or so we think…………….
Lifting an eyelid I suddenly notice that the tide seems to be coming in quite quickly but when I mention this to Damian he tells me to stop worrying. Ten minutes later I believe i have reason to be worried so I head off left to the other end of the beach where the water is further out and plenty of people are still lying on the sand. I then scan the cliffs for another way up but no – we will have to go up the same way we came down. Walking quickly back to base I explain the situation to Damian who still does not seem worried even though the water is now gently lapping his walking boots. Now convinced that we will soon be trapped I grab my things, paddle through the shallow water around the rocks and leap up on to the boulders leading up to the path. Every man for himself!
Reaching the top of the cliffs I look back and see quite a lot of people now hurrying to reach dry land and eventually Damian appears with his boots in his hands. What I can’t understand is that the people on the other part of the beach are making no move to leave – do they intend to stay there until the tide turns? Who knows?
After all that excitement I sit down to wait for Damian and take a picture looking back on the beach – the map tells me this is Musselwick Sands so we don’t have such a long way to go before we are reunited with the car.
…..and here we are, the beach at Martins Haven again.
This has been a hot but wonderful walk.
Distance: 10 miles