DevonEnglandUnited Kingdom

A Cove in North Devon


Walking the South West Coast Path is a chance to discover some beautiful and soul-stirring scenery. I explored the coast path in North Devon, and I loved the rocky cliffs, crashing surf, and the pink thrift flowering everywhere.

The coastline here is often strewn with fallen boulders that have dropped into the sea from the cliff face.

Rounding a headland I came across a picturesque little cove. I couldn’t miss out on seeing this up close, so descended the steps in the cliff, down into the sand of the cove.

The cove is backed by dark cliffs, and one large cave. Inside the cave it was damp, with dripping walls. The cavity went back interminably, growing too narrow to explore.

Emerging into daylight I explored this amazing feature: a cleft in the cliff that used to be a sea cave until the roof fell through. There was a climber scaling the wall here, above a channel of sea that flowed into the fissure.

cave in devon

I love the colour of the clear shallow water here, as the sea slides in over rich, thick white sand. This faint shimmering green was striking even though it was quite a cloudy day, without much of the sunlight that is usually needed to bring out striking colours.

The channel between the rocks felt very peaceful: blocked from the sea by boulders, the tide gently ebbed in and out, rippling the soft white sand like it was on a tropical shore.

Climbing back up to the clifftop path, I passed a length of dry stone wall. I’m always impressed by how these walls are constructed (common in Devon and Cornwall), by filling up gaps between large blocks of stone with smaller pieces of stone.

These small gaps are perfect for plants to take root in and grow in the wall. The soil that collects and the roots of the plants then help to hold the dry stone wall together. I really like the way this bundle of green thrift is sitting in the middle of the grey stones, the rough texture and pattern of the stone complementing the soft pale pink flowers of the sea thrift.

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