Sunday, January 25, 2009

Bucks Mills

I haven't been here since I was a small girl. And I don't think its changed a bit. I had an image in my mind of narrow green country lanes where the trees blotted out the sky above, and of standing on bridges watching streams bubble underneath, and it was just like that today.

Bucks Mills is just off the A39 between Bideford and Clovelly. A mile drive takes you to a free car park and from here there are a number of footpaths you can take either into the surrounding woods or through or around the village. We walked through the village today, which is actually a road open only to residents, so occassionally we had to make way for a car. The village is very picture-postcard pretty and the road follows the path of the fast-flowing stream which once powered the mill.

At the end of the village is a steep path down the side of the cliff to the beach. Although my middle daughter pointed out in no uncertain terms that this was not what she called a beach. It's mostly pebbles.

Nevertheless they had fun filling their pockets with small stones and then throwing them into the sea. The stream that winds through the village crashes spectacularly down the side of the cliff just a short way along the beach, drawing people to it. There were quite a few visitors today which surprised me. After the toil back up the cliff path we headed for home, stopping at my sister-in-laws for a cup of tea, and found them on their way to Bucks Mills for a walk too!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Putsborough Beach

This is a beach I've heard of but never actually been to, so today seemed like as good a day as any. Until I stepped out the car that is! It was freezing!

Putsborough is found just round the corner from Croyde about a mile down a single track country lane. The view as you pull into the drive that leads to the car park is stunning. I should imagine on a clear day it would be jaw-dropping. My jaw very nearly did drop when I had to pay for the car park, and now I understand why we don't come here. Its £3 to park in winter and £6 in the summer - more expensive than Croyde or Saunton.

From the car park a steep path leads down to the beach, with the tall cliffs that are the back of Baggy Point to your left and views of Woolacombe far off to your right. The children were particularly keen to clamber over the rocks and were only momentarily distracted by the ice patches all over the sand. In an attempt to keep my toes warm for just a bit longer I made them march up and down the sand for a while. We stopped to play football (with tiny Bratz ball) until my husband moaned that people kept kicking the ball past him and he had to keep running off after it - then we gave in to the inevitable and let them play on the rocks. This lasted for as long as it took my youngest one to put her foot in a pool of icy cold water (so not very long then). After that we all headed off to the cafe in the photo for hot chocolates.