Living in the UK we are fortunate to be no further than 70 miles from a coastline.
And Britain has the most glorious coastline and coastal paths.
This weekend I walked a very small part of the West Somerset Coastal Path to take in some of the incredible views of the Bristol Channel.
We left the car in the car park at Kilve, with plenty of parking in the shade of mature trees and headed off along the coast path towards the beach.
Kilve Beach, approached by a low lying grassy area with benches to appreciate the views, is, at high tide a rocky shoreline with waves tumbling over the stones and distant views towards Barry, South Wales. To the left is the sea and to the right the Channel continues towards Bristol.
The day is tee-shirt warm with a light breeze and pockets of blue sky. Beautiful.
The coastal path is signposted, well maintained, follows the gentle cliff edges and is lined with brambles, blackthorn and the most beautiful sea carrot plants. We meander onwards and upwards and westwards, with stunning views of the shore below us, the cliffs in front of us and behind us. Inland are the Quantock Hills.
After a slight meander, past harvested cornfields and through woodland, the path takes us down to the beach at St Audrie’s Bay. Here we take a breather, sit on a convenient washed up tree trunk and take time to snack. The tide is outgoing and the ships on the horizon have turned with the current. The beach has pebbles of graduated sizes, large near the land blending to smaller at the waters edge. The shifting stones make for harder walking.
We follow the shoreline to Doniford where the cliffs are higher and water falls down the green rocks. The path takes us up steps to the entrance of Doniford Bay Holiday Park where facilities are welcome.
Here we decide not to continue on – time is restricting us, and so we head back, re-tracing our steps but with stunning vistas of a new direction and the falling tide exposing the coast line some more.
All in all it is a walk of around 10km/6 miles.
Time out, for me, in nature can be very humbling, very grounding.
It feeds my soul.
It is de-stressing, spiritual, nurturing.