"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Saturday, 9 July 2016

East Devon - Day 7 Thursday, 23rd June : Exe Estuary Cruise and a Return Visit to Beer

Thursday dawned cloudy but at least dry so, as planned, we set off for Exmouth in the hope of taking a river cruise along the River Exe.

The rest of the photos from the cruise were taken by D with the Canon SX50 - the zoom came in handy again!

Powderham Castle peeping out from among the trees.

I could have spent quite a bit of time exploring the River Exe - some of the villages seen from the boat looked delightful. Birds seen included Oystercatchers, Herring Gulls, Grey Heron, Curlew and Little Egret.

A few photos taken along the sea (or is it estuary?) front as we walked back to the car.

Initially, we had planned to visit A La Ronde in the afternoon but D and E decided they had had enough of houses and gardens and my suggestions of the RSPB reserve on the Exe or the walk along the River Otter in Budleigh Salterton fell on deaf ears! :(. It was decided to return to Beer and go for a walk along the coastal path.

Beer is a rather picturesque village famous for the quarries (already visited) and smugglers. Jack Rattenbury was a well-known smuggler born in 1778. He was apprenticed to a fisherman in Brixham but later returned to Beer where he spent his time fishing and smuggling. He wrote a book called "Memoirs of a Smuggler" and spent quite a bit of time imprisoned in Dorchester and Exeter gaols as well as being press-ganged into HM Navy.

Plants on walls

The cliffs at Beer are composed of chalk which was formed in shallow sub-tropical seas that covered East Devon and Dorset during the Cretaceous Period (around 70 million years ago). Elsewhere along the East Devon coast the chalk has now been eroded away leaving the older Triassic sandstones rocks exposed. But the chalk has been preserved at Beer because the chalk cliffs are folded and faulted downwards at the same levels as the older Triassic rocks. The latter rocks have protected the chalk from erosion.

Views from the walk along the coastal path

If anyone knows the id of this flower please leave a comment. I'm wondering if it is a garden escapee?

After the walk we sat to enjoy the view. Lavender and valerian were just covered in bumble bees.

I paid a very brief visit to the Church of St Michael which was consecrated in 1878 on the site of a 16th century chapel. It was built by the Hon. Mark Rolle (Lord of the Manor) and originally had a spire which was replaced with a tower for safety reasons in 1964. The church is build from Hoole Head Blue Limestone with the mullions, quoins and porch made of Beer stone. The arcades in the church are also built using Beer Stone.

Friday, 24th June

We had planned on a possible visit to Lyme Regis on the way home but when we left the cottage it was pouring down with rain so we decided to drive straight back. At least it meant we were able to pick up B's birthday cake :)


Countryside Tales said...

It's such a lovely coastline. I know Beer well so it was great to see it in your photos x

Wendy said...

A lovely post about an area of the country I used to know. I used to live by the Exe and so I loved your photos. There certainly is plenty to explore there including the old smugglers' haunts. I love the Beatles cake, too. What type of cake was it?

Ragged Robin said...

Countryside Tales - Thanks very much CT :) Yes, its a lovely area so much to see and do.

Wendy - Thanks so much Wendy. Gosh, what a lovely place to live - looks very good for birdwatching. There is a lot to do round there - will go back one day. It was a chocolate cake and very tasty too (if a trifle expensive!!). It was difficult all round as Brian's birthday was actually on the day we came home which made planning difficult!

Margaret Adamson said...

another spenedid post. You certainly pushed a lot into this holiday, so much to see and photograph. Thanks for sharing.

Ragged Robin said...

Margaret Adamson - thanks very much Margaret. As with any holiday there are always places you wished you'd visited but run out of time but we did get to see new places :)

Pam said...

Such a great place you're visiting i've never been that far down south, it's lovely to view it through your posts! :)

Ragged Robin said...

Pam - Thanks so much - glad you enjoyed the posts. It one of the things I love about blogging reading about people's trips in various parts of the country to places I've never been :)

Rosie said...

Looks like you had a lovely cruise along the river and also a wonderful visit to Beer. I remember being there as a young teenager with my family when we were staying not far away at Stoke Fleming. I've enjoyed all your photos:)

Ragged Robin said...

Rosie - Thanks very much - so pleased you enjoyed. From memory the only holiday we had in the area when I was little was when we stopped at Dawlish although I do remember visiting places like Brixham so perhaps we had another holiday there. Boxes and boxes of my dad's old slides (and cine) at my mother's house - need to find a way of looking through them to revive some of those old memories!!

Millymollymandy said...

That's an amazing birthday cake! Hope it tasted as good as it looked. I've enjoyed your holiday posts and Beer looks really quaint. The flower looks like an iris of some sort, unless the foliage around it belongs to it, in which case it isn't! Thanks very much for sharing all these lovely very English photos to remind me of the Old Country! :-) Oh by the way there is now an explosion of Gatekeepers here!

Ragged Robin said...

Millymollymandy - thanks so much Mandy - yes the cake did taste good - light and moist :) Yes, you are right about the flower looking a bit like an iris. David took the photo and forgot to ask me at the time what it might be so I am not sure about the foliage! Good to hear of your Gatekeeper explosion :) I have seen a few in the garden over the last couple of days but nowhere near as many as last year! Possible Small Tortoiseshell today but it flew off and over the wall before I could get close enough!!