Friday, March 30, 2012

Waterfall, cream tea and birds of prey

Friday morning dawned even more bright and sunny, so another coastal walk on our last day was definitely in order. looking for one with interesting things on the route, we drove to Hartland Quay, at the end of a road to nowhere, and boasting a museum of shipwrecks which we didn't have the to visit. We set off along the coast, this time with a lot more climbing, but again, amazing views of the coast and the rock formations.

It Was as we're we're setting off that I realised I'd lost my walking pole, or rather I'd left it in the pub we'd had lunch in on Wednesday. Think I'm onto my fifth now, I've left them in loads of pubs. Luckily, Stuarts camera monopod made a good substitute, as there was a lot of rough walking, and some steep slopes on the edge where extra balance was needed!

Not sure if I've mentioned this yet, but we have seen loads of buzzards, beautiful birds, and we've seen a couple close up. One on a fence by the side of the road and one in a tree. I've flown them to my wrist when I've tried falconry a couple of times, and they truly are magnificent birds, and they were everywhere this week.

Eventually we reached our coastal destination, Spekes Mill Mouth, and a rather good waterfall.

A good place for a coffee stop, then we cut inland for a while.

Until we reached Duncton Mill, where there is a lovely garden in the grounds of a watermill which the owners have lovingly restored. The tea shop there did delicious lunches and we were joined by the family Labrador who was very quick at spotting dropped crumbs, even from my crab sandwich.We had a walk round the garden:

And then found ourselves back at the the shop for a cream tea. Well, we had been in Devon a week and not had one!

We decided not to complete a circular route which would have involved some road walking, but make the most of the weather and the coastal,views and walk back the way we'd come. When we got almost back to the coast we watched a kestrel in the sky, very different action to the buzzards. A few minutes later we went round a corner, and there it was, sat in a pole in front of us. It didn't really want its picture taken, keeping its head firmly turned away, and flying off when we got too close, but it was great to see it so close up.

A couple of miles walk back along the coast, in fantastic weather and we were back at the car. A short drive back, and a cocktail before dinner. We also saw our favourite peacock in his tree.

We ate in the restaurant again, and the following morning we were up bright and early for the journey back. Well, maybe not very bright, and not really early!

The satnav was estimating just over 5 hours back, and we decided to do as much as we could before stopping, and did about 3 hours. I don't like service stations, so a quick look at my National Trust App found Hanbury Hall, just 4 miles off the M42. We stopped there, did a bit of shopping, had a walk round the gardens, and lunch.

Two hours later we were back in Sheffield, with just enough time to unpack the car, have a rest, and get to the Saffron Club for a curry. An amazing week, with weather that we just weren't expecting in March.

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