It’s been a funny old year weather-wise. Cool nights and warm days at the start of the Summer, dry periods and then lots of cloudy days. Saturday we made it to the coast for only the second time this year. It was a perfect day for it. The temperature at home was forecast for 28C with little breeze. D watered things in the garden, we sorted ourselves out and made a reasonably early start to beat the traffic coming out of London and had an easy trip down the A21 to Hastings. A brief stop at the supermarket there for some lunch things and on to the Firehills Country Park.
The Country Park is a site of special scientific interest. Walking down through the trees with the mass of wild flowers is a treat in itself. I didn’t take a camera this time so the photos are from a previous trip, showing some of the flowers from earlier in in the year. The beach is officially Covehurst Bay, but is known to pretty much everyone as “Fairlight” for the next village along the road.
The cliffs along this part of the coast are clay and are slowly crumbling into the sea. The path to the beach is officially closed and there are warning signs that you proceed at your own risk. However the local community maintains steps on the path which make it passable whilst it is dry and the ground is relatively stable. Each Winter everything moves a bit and they quite often have to be rebuilt or re-routed.
With the access being difficult the beach is a completely natural place, unspoiled by commercial interests. Nothing man-made is visible from the beach and you won’t find any ice cream vendors, fairground rides or deckchairs here. The seclusion means it is used by the naturist community, and we find the clothing optional option suits us. The beach is mostly shingle and small cobbles, scattered with rocks.
The rocks are themselves interesting. Sandstone laid down with deposits of iron and other minerals which make for some fantastic patterns and textures. I find them a great inspiration for my pottery. They do make getting into the water interesting at times though. On my second swim I managed to catch myself on a barnacle encrusted rock just below the surface and got some nasty scratches as a reward.
This was such a relaxing day. Read, swim, bathe in the glorious sunshine, eat, relax, repeat. Then it was time to gather our energy for the climb back to the car park. The road home was equally trouble free.