The North Devon Coast: Heddon’s Mouth

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What do you do on a Bank Holiday Monday in sunny Devon? (Read sunny, with a few rainy spells.)

We were planning to do the whole food shop, DIY, cleaning thing, and then we came to our senses and joined our friends on a walk at Heddon’s Mouth, not far along the coast from Woody Bay, which I wrote about here.

Driving through Exmoor and around the coast is always an outing in itself. Narrow, winding roads take you up and down wooded hillsides with glimpses of river. Along the windswept highlands, sheep weather the coastal breezes in rugged green fields and hedges of yellow gorse and gnarled trees lean away from the sea. Clouds are blown about, forming rippling, dark blue shadows over the expanse of the sea. The cliffs are high, jagged, old. The rocks are not just grey: they are mottled, with the brown and black of seaweed and white limpets clinging to them where they meet the water, then the reds and browns of minerals I don’t know the names of, and the greens, browns and yellows of grass, heather and gorse at the top.

Having parked by the Heddon’s Mouth National Trust car park and shop, we did the short walk along the river, which looked entirely Spring-like, lined on both sides with primroses and daffodils. The path took us right along to the beach, a great pile of round, smooth boulders and pebbles of grey and pink. We wobbled over the boulders in our wellies and stood watching the surf, then sat in the sun and looked for interesting rocks. There were busy seabirds being blown about, children and dogs clambering around and adults breathing in the sea air and the bank holiday atmosphere.

On our return we had lunch at the pub by the car park, which serves big hearty meals and has an easygoing feel.

And then we piled back into the car, somewhat freer than we had been when we started, which is just as it should be on a Bank Holiday.

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