Earlier I went for a walk to West Bay, had a coffee and a cake and sat on the sea-defence rocks for awhile reading a book (a very good one, see below in photos). That was all very nice, but what got me really excited was walking along the beach afterwards, from West Bay to Eype along the water’s edge (in order to be as far away from the crumbly clay cliffs as possible).
I realised I hadn’t walked along that part of beach for years, possibly not since visiting home as a student. Certainly not since moving back to the area around 6 years ago. It’s a hidden world down there, under the cliffs. A whole secret ecosystem and landscape that you miss if only venturing a short distance from the beach access point. Walking from West Bay, the machine-sculpted and graded West Cliff gives way to high and steep crumbly cliffs of clay (with large and decidedly heavy hunks of sandstone floating in it), which then give way to an area of landslips and vegetation, with the cliffs (and the odd dangling fence) set further back, gradually flowing and falling down through the landslip to the beach and the sea. Along the edges of the mudslide are mini-cliffs of clay, interspersed with streams. The whole thing is covered in grasses, shrubs and flowers. Roots dangle over the edges of the mini-cliffs.
It’s an area I used to love and had forgotten all about. Various things in life in recent years have stopped me exploring and venturing out to re-discover or find find new places like these. It’s great to start at last!
And the sound of the sea and the beach with its large shingle pebbles is pervasive and cleansing, pounding through and flushing out my head. It echoes off the cliffs.
Not a great video, taken more for the pounding and dragging of the pebbles beneath my feet and the waves.