A few days away.

We had a few days away in the campervan this week. About 130 miles away from home near Burnham on Sea on the Somerset coast.

The tide goes out a long way on the North Somerset coast into the Bristol Channel – but mud is a big sticky danger with over a couple of miles on mud to the waters edge at low time some places having a 35 foot drop in water at low tide. Several of the coastal towns have RNLI Hovercraft rescue craft as well as lifeboats.

These pictures show the tide going out at Weston-super-Mare The Island in the background is Steep holm. A place of nature and old coastal gun batteries.

Weston-super-Mare Grand Pier. Opened in 1904. The pier was gutted by fire in July 2008. but was rebuilt and open again on 23 October 2010. £3 for Donkey rides but closed for the winter.

If anyone remembers the 1967 British TV series The Prisoner you will recall the beach ball stopping people from leaving the village I had “I am a person not a number moment “while on the beach when I was passed by a giant beach ball bouncing along the beach!

There is a gem of a pier at Weston-super-Mare Birnbeck Pier which is sadly in a poor state  It is the only pier in the country which links the mainland to an island, linking to Birnbeck Island.In the past the pier was popular with locals and tourists as a boarding point for steamers in the Bristol Channel. During WW2 the pier was commissioned as HMS Birnbeck by the Admiralty as part of miscellaneous weapons development site. After the war the steamer trade declined and by the 1970’s the pier started to fall into its current unsafe state. Today it is in a largely derelict state. Part of the pier collapsed during storms on 30 December 2015.

Heading up the coast to Clevedon is a pier that has been restored and well worth a visit and this shows you what a great attraction Birnbeck could be.

A modern lighthouse at Battery Point,

There is a good view across to Wales from the point.

A warning sign at Battery point and a memorial.

Black Nore Lighthouse which is also known as Blacknore Point Lighthouse) at Portishead. it was judged to be no longer needed for navigational purposes, and the light was decommissioned in September 2010. It is a listed building and now owned by a trust.

 

An early start.

An early start at Meon Shore this morning to catch the low tide. Breakfast on the campervan stove before a few Hours beachcombing before the tide came in.

Cormorants use spreading of their wings to help them dry.Their feathers are not water-repellant but “wettable”, After diving for fish they need to dry their feathers they are often seen perching with wing spread out looking like some prehistoric reptile.

Cormorant wing flapping but no take off!

Turnstone.

Occasionally I see small flat fish when paddling on the beach they have all been about an inch long today I was able to catch one in my net. (possible ID Juvenile Dab.)

A Tomb in the hills.

Another post of our August 3 days away in the campervan this time on the wales Hereford boarder’s.

Arthur’s Stone, Herefordshire is a Neolithic chambered tomb. On the edge of a lane but poorly signposted an OS map or google maps a must to find this tomb.

It is situated on the ridge line of a hill overlooking both the Golden Valley, and the Wye Valley.

Crossing the river.

Chepstow Bridge. Also known as the Old Wye Bridge or Town Bridge crosses the River Wye. The townside at Chepstow is in Wales cross the bridge you entre England in the County of Gloucestershire. There has been a bridge on the site since Norman times which these bridges were.

In the Regency period the current cast iron bridge was built by John Raskin in 1816. It is a grade1 listed building.

Founding Fathers.

MAYFLOWER PARK. The Mayflower attempted to depart England on three occasions, once from near the site of Mayflower Park in Southampton on 5th August 1620. Once from Dartmouth on 21 August 1620; and finally from Plymouth, England, on 6 September 1620.

In September every year Southampton holds a boat show at Mayflower Park by the end of July building the shows pontoons start.

Queen Elizabeth alongside at the end of Mayflower Park at the City Cruise Terminal.

We left the country!

Continuing our 2021 holiday theme of a couple of days away each month rather than a long trip in the campervan we left the country this month and went into Wales!

Places visited many times before but with a new feel with some freedom with the lifting of lockdowns.

Crossing into Wales over the estuary of the River Severn we usually stop at Tintern Abbey, for a drink and a walk. (& the loo). You can no longer just go into the abbey but you have to book a timed slot, Luckily you can do this online on the day subject to there being a place. A simple 5 minute process and tickets were book.

In the Brecon Beacons the weather was misty and the hill tops were covered in light mist.

A lay bye gave us views from a closed road bridge.

Day 2 Took us to another old favourite – Raglan Castle. I have fond memories of visits to Raglan Castle somewhere mum and dad took us as kids and somewhere where we took our children. A castle that looks like a castle.

Raglan Castle is situated a little north of the village of Raglan in Monmouthshire in Wales. The castle you see today dates from between the 15th and the late 17th centuries. Surrounded by parkland, water gardens and terraces the castle was considered by contemporaries to be the equal of any other castle in England or Wales.

During the civil war the castle was held on behalf of King Charles but was taken by Parliamentary forces in 1646. The castle was slighted and became a ruin.

For many years a large ginger cat would sleep in the sun among the castle walls around the gatehouse and when he felt like it he would greet visitor . Then one year when we visited he was no longer there. Enquiring with the staff they told me he had died. Another keeper of the castle had become a memory and I wonder who else remembers him and whether he walks with the ghosts of other castle residents around the ruins.

Llantilio Castle but normally referred to as White Castle. The castle ruin stands on high ground near the village of Llantilio Crossenny in Monmouthshire.The fortification was established by the Normans in following the invasion of England in 1066, to protect the route from Wales to Hereford. The castle was whitewashed giving it its name,however today the castle is more green since my last visit about 2 years ago the vegetation has started to grow at the base of the walls and up their sides.

An old phone box was a must for a few pictures in the village of Skenfrith.

Campsite Song Thrush.

Llancayo Windmill near Usk was erected shortly before May 1819 but, following an extensive fire, was out of commission.By 1830 the mill was ruined and derelict.

Today it is an impressive holiday cottage.

A short trip.

A Photo heavy memory box of a trip post lockdown.

Our second trip since COVID lockdown restrictions have lifted 380 miles travel & 2 nights away in the camper van at a site near Honiton, South Devon. Not new places to see just a welcome return to places familiar and not seen for a while – some places I have blogged about before.

West Bay.

A visit to West Bay near Bridport,Dorset. The commercial trade of the harbour was exporting Bridport’s ropes and nets this declined in the second half of the 19th century. The railway arrived in 1884, and the village developed into a resort. I first remember visiting West Bay about 45 years ago it was a run down on place something and nothing. Frankly a bit of a dump! In recent years the area has undergone a bit of a revival and today it is up and coming with a mixed economy of tourism and fishing.

West Bay became “Bridehaven” in the 1998 TV series “Harbour Lights” and “Broadchurch” in the series of the same name which ran for 3 series from 2013.

The cliffs to the east and the beach was used in the TV crime drama, Broadchurch.

Sidmouth.

The village dates back many hundreds of years and it it remained a village until the fashion for coastal resorts grew in the Georgian and Victorian era of the 18th and 19th centuries.

With its sand and shingle beach flanked by red cliffs Sidmouth remains a popular holiday destination today. Sidmouth is known as the gateway to the Jurassic Coast.

Jacobs Ladder is a series of wooden steps leading from the beach up to Gardens – which provides lovely views of the coastline. Jacob’s Ladder is at low tide is the sandy, western end of Sidmouth’s town beach,

While at the sea a RAF Chinook helicopter flew along the beach at low level.

Teignmouth.

A walk on the beach at Teignmouth beach another seaside Victorian holiday destination to view the pier.The pier opened in 1867. Out to sea many cruise ships and liners wait for the COVID pandemic to end so they can start their trade these ships have been redundant for over a year now, We counted 16 ships between Weymouth and Brixham.

Pilgrim of Brixham BM45 is charity owned and operated by a charity . She celebrated her 125th Anniversary in 2020 and is the oldest surviving trawler that was built and rigged in Brixham sh.e is part of the National Historic Fleet

Berry Head.

Above the fishing village of Brixham,a place I visited many time from childhood. Berry Head is now a nature reserve. A headland which is surrounded by water on three sides You get great views across Torbay and beyond. You can visit a short lighthouse and Napoleonic Forts,

The lighthouse is only 16 feet tall, yet its light is 190 feet above sea level. Built in1906.It is reputedly the shortest lighthouse in Great Britain,

Portland and Portland Bill.

The Verne High Angle Battery is a 19th-century  gun battery on the Portland Situated close to the Verne Citadel. The battery was built in 1892 to protect Portland Harbour. The guns were hidden from enemy’s view. The “high angle” that the guns fired meant that the shells would drop down to on the vulnerable upper decks of an enemy ships. The Citadel was built between 1857–81, as Portland Harbour’s main defensive fortification. The citadel was turned into a prison in 1949 I understand it has now closed.

A view of one of the battery’s underground magazine tunnels
Way into the Citadel.

Some nature at Portland Bill.

Crow.
Sea thrift or Sea pink

In front of a MOD building and around the corner of the security fencing I could get distant glimpses of the sea cliffs with Guillemots and Razor Bills.

Guillemots
Razor Bill

Portland Bill.

Portland Bill is a narrow headland at the southern end of the Isle of Portland.,It is the southernmost point of Dorset. With its lighthouse,cafe and a large car park it is a popular with visitors.

I always take lots of photographs when I am at the”Bill”.

Around the Bill.