Tuesday, 18 August 2015


After our holiday away we needed a couple of days to wind down and relax into everyday life at home again. I always forget just how happy it makes me to walk through the door into our house after being away somewhere. I really relish that moment, no matter how good my holiday has been. Putting the kettle on, seeing Clover again, just being at home makes me feel very content.
However, P still had another week off work, so after we'd recharged our batteries (and several laundry-loads later) we decided to head down to the south coast for the day and headed west into Devon.

We arrived at the coastal town of Dawlish just in time for lunch and headed down to the seafront to eat and admire the views. You walk under the railway line to get to the little beach and looking west you can see how the line runs along a sea wall which winds around these stunning red sandstone cliffs. A very dramatic rail journey indeed.

Duly fed and watered, we wandered into the town along a river which flows down through a sweet little park. There were wonderful seaside flower beds full of blooms like this agapanthus which I always associate with Cornish seaside towns,

and this fabulous fiery kniphofia (I've only just noticed the alliteration in that phrase!).

There were pretty grasses too which you can see below, just in front of a row of little shops. Municipal planting really has come a long way in recent years.

We also saw the black swans which Dawlish is famous for. I found them rather striking and a nice change from the usual white, and remembered another place we had recently visited which is also famous for its swans.

After lunch we headed west along the coast to Babbacombe and parked high on the clifftops on a green lined with hotels known as Babbacombe Downs. Close to Torquay, this is part of the 'English Riviera'. From the clifftop the view was giddyingly high and the sea below a deep shade of turquoise blue.

We followed the steps past the white agapanthus and I tried to look at the ground rather than the tiny 'toy' boats bobbing on the sea 250 ft far below.

The path zig-zags down the cliff through woods and is precipitous in places - as you know, I'm not great with heights and was put to shame when an elderly man and his little dog went galloping past us on his way up. We emerged from the cool darkness of the trees onto a little rocky beach and took a huge gulp of wonderful sea air.

Following the seafront to the right of us enormous cliffs and piles of boulders lay scattered, left, no doubt, as they were since the last storm.

The redness of the rock is very apparent on a bright day.

I loved all the bright seaside colours around me.

And pretty plants growing from stone walls.

It was a hot day and P, J and D were all hoping for a swim. As this beach was too rocky, we headed east along a footpath to the next little beach looking back at Babbacombe beach as we went.

As we walked I revelled in the wildflowers and plants along the way.

We arrived at Oddicombe beach quite quickly and found it to be different in character to Babbacombe with a pebbly beach backed by concrete terraces and sweet beach huts. There were a couple of little cafes too and a place to hire kayaks and pedalos.

After changing into swimsuits J and D hired a pedalo and pootled around for half an hour while P swam and I relaxed and wrote in my seaside journal. I so like to capture the character of all the coastal places we visit and my thoughts and feelings on being there. It's a nice record to look back at in the depths of winter, a little reminder of summer.

We whiled away a couple of hours there, and all too soon it was time to head home. No walking up high paths this time, though, as we had a more novel way of reaching the top of the cliff.

A cliff railway, built in the 1920s and still doing a great job of carrying weary holiday makers up and down the steep incline every day.

As we climbed into the carriage I noticed that the beach had cleared now that the sun was lower in the sky and it had been plunged into shade.

We pulled away from the lower station and began our ascent.

As we passed the carriage which was descending the beach completely disappeared from view.

We've been on these funicular railways before in Lynton and Bournemouth, and I'm always pleased that such an old piece of technology is still doing its job and working so well today.

We arrived at the top in no time and watched our carriage as it started its journey back to the beach.

Back on Babbecombe Downs we decided to finish off the day with ice-creams. I selected a delicious sea-salt caramel one - yum.

I mentioned municipal planting at the start of this post and noticed some more again in the form of very zingy marigolds - oranges and lemons as I used to call them when I was little.

One last look down at Oddicombe beach - funny to think we were down there just a few moments before.

Time to go home. We had a wonderful time in South Devon, a day full of sea air, exercise and amazing views. Perhaps you might join me again for another of our jaunts?

See you again x


  1. We rented a cottage in Babbacombe many years ago - E was about 6 months old and L was 4. I remember the cliff railway fondly and L discovered a love of Roald Dahl books after we found a copy of The BFG on the cottage bookshelf. Glad you had such a lovely time. xx

  2. Oh my goodness, your post brings back childhood memories of days out.

  3. Oh yes - please! I'd love to come along to your next jaunt, this one was most enjoyable!! Lovely photos :) thanks for sharing, it has been a long while since I visited Devon (used to live there) and sitting in front of the fire as I type this, your sunny beach jolly seems a very long way away :)

  4. It looks as though you had a wonderful time away!!! A beautiful place to visit and relax. Always good as you say though to return home! I do enjoy going away, but I love coming home!! xx

  5. What a gorgeous spot, I love those cliff top railways as well. Beautiful wild flowers, it looks like you had a wonderful day. I really love the idea of a holiday journal, brilliant, something to treasure. I shall definitely join you for another excursion. CJ xx

  6. What a glorious day, those clouds were wonderful behind all the exciting places and things. x

  7. How lucky are you - a holiday and then a mini 'holiday' as soon as you get home! Looks a great place to visit xx

  8. That looks a wonderful day out in Devon. We are very familiar with Dawlish and enjoy walking there by the sea. Your walk on the coast path to Babbacombe and Oddicombe looks fantastic and one we would like to try sometime! Sarah x


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