An Off Ranch Ramble – I Can See the Sea
For this off ranch ramble I turn to the north and head for the sea. I hope you enjoy.
The days are short now and when we arrive at this river valley which runs into sea on the north coast we don’t have much time before the sun sets. As we drive down the steep lane the sea and an old mill house come into view. I don’t know how long it’s been since this was a working mill but you probably couldn’t ask for a better spot for a peaceful holiday. Nestling in the hill it has a terrace which overlooks the valley and river.
It’s cold and we wrap up in hats, scarves and gloves and set off inland into the woodland in search of the famous wriggly oak tree. We had a Cornish Pasty on our journey here so we’re well set up for the tramp. The Wildlife Trusts manage these woods and pastures and you can find out about lots more places to see ancient trees on the Ancient Tree Forum here.
On the way we go through the mill house garden – our friends who are staying here are not yet back from their outing along the Camel Trail. I like the spiral of wild flowers the owners have created on the grass, in fact I think they have done a good job with helping this place blend in with the wider landscape while still having a few flat areas for lolling on. They have made some interesting surfaces with the local materials too. All helped along by the Avant Gardener I think.
We go down a wide grassy ride and pass some little black sheep on the hillside, probably part of the management programme for helping out the rare Pearl Bordered Fritillary butterfly. Opposite, the valley side is cloaked with scrubby wind blown oaks, their leafless limbs making a soft tangle of greys and browns in the low winter sun. We enter the woods on a small winding path which sticks close to the riverside.
I glimpse the wriggly oak.
We hang out for a while amongst its branches.
Then we turn back and head down towards the beach, joining up with the South West Coast Path.
On the way we pass the house and a bit further on there is an area of low grass, swept into ripples by the wind.
We step down onto the beach, crunching onto the dark grey pebbles, hearing the tumbling water of the river meeting the sea. The light is fading and there is a bitter coolness in the air, bouncing off the slick black rocks near to shore and buffeting the crests of the waves.
We talk about people we know and do beachy things…
Later, we go inside with the others and sit by the fire, drink tea and eat chocolate biscuits.