Friday, 10 July 2015

Coast road…

There is something magical about taking the coast road. It doesn’t really matter what coast you are on or where you are going, driving by the edge of the sea is so much better than driving inland on the motorway. For one thing you never know what you are going to see and, if you are exploring an area, what you are going to find.

I always take that tiny almost unnoticeable road just in case it might lead to the sea. Up Barrow-in-Furness way I once came across a tiny island village with a broken red phone box and a boarded-up pub. The place was surrounded by abandoned and half-falling apart fishing boats. It was a desolate place, but fascinating. I wonder what happened there?

Another time in Cornwall I took a narrow lane that led to a one-in-four drop to a tiny stone bridge that crossed a gorge high above the sea and on the other side was a one-in-four climb up again. My heart was in my mouth the whole time. That was the day I happened across the Minack Theatre which was magic in itself. There must have been a more direct route though.

In Wales I’ve ended up on deserted board-walked beaches, found tall foghorn-sounding lighthouses, a fort built to guard against invasion from the United States during the War of Independence, a causeway leading to an island church, and the occasional abandoned Second World War airfield. I’ve also had to reverse miles back up lanes because at the end of some of them was just the sea with nowhere to turn.

Most times when we go to Caernarfon we drive the back way through tiny villages and take the estuary road. It isn’t much more than a single track and it's full of potholes. At some very high tides it floods and once we had to drive through ten inches of seawater to pass. The road is where I go to look at wading birds in late summer and early autumn. It’s where I saw my first egret and sometimes hundreds of grey geese flock to the water and then lift to the air with the thrum of beating wings.

Yes, I’ll always take the coast road no matter the weather. There’s magic and a little danger to be had in it.


  1. Tony Payne on FB
    Great image

    1. Andrew Height
      Thanks Tony. All these phone apps make it too easy though.