I spent an enjoyable afternoon walking from Hele Bay to Broadsands Beach along a magnificent stretch of the South West Coast Path. This is probably the last of the warm Summer days to be had before the Autumn chill hits the coast. I had a chat with a lady and she mentioned that the above view was voted the happiest view in Britain. Sadly this used to be a quiet, secret beach, now it is annoyingly buzzed with swarms of noisy jet skis and coastal sea safaris. Surely this must have an impact of the wildlife here, it certainly has an impact on people who want a peaceful experience!
We spent an enjoyable day visiting the Somerset side of the Exmoor National Park spotting deer and searching out cream tea rooms. We visited Selworthy, it’s Beacon and the Periwinkle Tearooms, then travelled on to the The Horner Tea Gardens for more indulgence. Full of cream and jam we decided to visit the Culbone Stone on our return home.
Just off the A39 between Oare and Porlock there is a small junction which leads to a permissive path leading to the Culbone Stone. This mediaeval stone which has a Christian wheeled ring cross carved into it by and early Christian community about 1,200 years ago. It is approximately 3′ high and 20″ wide, and it’s style suggests it dates from perhaps the 6th or 7th century. This stone was discovered on it’s side at about 1939 and then placed upright where it was found, it is thought to be part of a long Neolithic stone row erected 3000 years ago which resides close by in the same wood. The earie wood, it’s ghostly trees and hanging moss suggests magical and mystical properties and has been suggested that St Beuno may have preached there.
We searched for the stone row for some time but sadly gave up stumbling around through brambles, tics and dense bracken. Below the exmoorher.co.uk link gives a much better location for this row.
Whilst looking through one of my hard drives I came across this image of an old, and rather large watercolour of mine. It is of Wringcliff Beach at the bottom of The Valley Of Rocks in North Devon, painted about 1980. I recall placing this on ebay for sale with no reserve, some lucky person in Lynton picked this up for £10, well you live and learn. Al
A warmish Bank Holiday Sunday so we drove to the carpark just above the Watersmeet Tearooms which are managed by the National Trust. Not too many people here because of Covid so we sat in the sun and each imbibed in a rather nice cream tea. The birds here are quite tame and at times you can hand feed the sparrows and chaffinches. After tea we walked down from the Tearooms to Lynmouth along the Lyn Valley. Finally we arrived at our destination and found a warm spot by the river out of the cold wind to relax in. I must say though that Lynmouth was heaving with tourists. Al
ps The first two pictures of the Tearooms were taken a few years ago when Covid hadn’t been invented yet and leaves were on the trees!
A small acrylic on panel of a section of the South West Coast Path between Heddon’s Mouth and Lee Abbey, 370 x 610mm acrylic on panel. You can see the dot of the Abbey in the distance of this painting in the sunshine. I’ve tried to portray the cool shadows against the warm Spring sunshine and am trying to simplify my brushwork somewhat. We’re looking forward to visiting Hunter’s Inn again when it opens for a few drinks. Al
An enjoyable circular 10 mile walk from County Gate to the village of Culbone. It was wonderful to be out walking again along the South West Coast Path. A scenic cliff path walk through densely wooded walkways with tripping streams and open fields dotted with sheep and newly born lambs. We arrived at the village of Culbone and enjoyed a picnic sitting on an old bench in the graveyard of St Beuno Church.
St Beuno Church is reported to be the smallest church in England and dates back to the 13 Century a delightful place set within an aged wood, the sunlit graveyard was a delightful way to spend time in the sun.
We returned back to County Gate via a higher footpath through farmland disturbing herds of sheep and lambs on the way. Finally we made our way back over the high moor through the County Gate Stones back to our car. Below are a couple of links with regard to this walk. Al
A beautiful walk from Hunter’s Inn down to Heddon’s Mouth and then on to Woody Bay. A quiet walk in the Spring sunshine with breath taking views out over the North Devon Coast. One direction out to Combe Martin and on to Lundy Island in the far distance, the other to Lee Bay and on to Lynmouth and the Valley of Rocks. More inspiration for future paintings.
A completed painting 900 x 600mm acrylic on canvas. Woody Bay in North Devon. I’m trying to create an atmosphere of shadowy warmth created by the oak covered cliffs around this beach. Al
An acrylic on 16 x 20″ canvas of the wonderful Woody Bay on the North Devon Coast. I haven’t visited this location for many years and was delighted to find it as impressive as I remembered. A rocky beach with a Victorian swimming pool and remains of an old pier. Well worth a visit if you’re in the location. This is situated in the Exmoor National Park.
The completion of a large 48 x 20″ panorama on gesso primed panel. An acrylic of Castle Rock at The Valley of Rocks near Lynton in North Devon. Love the rugged coastline and rocks here. Climbed here too! The Devil’s Cheesewring is a rock outcrop which stands on a slope leading to the famous Castle Rock. Al