Coast Life

With my better half on the other side of the Atlantic, dogsponsibilities have increased greatly in the last week. Not to complain; any reason to get outdoors is to be appreciated, especially during the glorious spring weather that has enveloped the south of England. Although we’ve had plenty of time under the woodland canopy, many of our adventures have been down by the coast.

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We’re lucky on the Island to have some stunning coastal landscapes. From our little house in the north, two of the very best are within pretty easy reach and the location of many of our travels this week.

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Compton Beach regularly appears in lists of the world’s best beaches and it’s not hard to understand why. The chalk downs frame the scene beautifully and low tide offers up plenty of rock hopping and fossilised forest to explore. The council has recently replaced the steps from Compton’s main carpark, so the section of sand further north, accessed down the longer and steeper steps from Compton fields has seen a reduction in visitors, making it an even more ideal place to see out the day.

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Closer to home, we’ve also spent some lovely time down at Newtown Creek. We live by the sea, but its nothing compared to the variety of bird life that resides in what must be one of the most tranquil spots on the planet. Trying to sneak close close enough for photographs with an inappropriate lens and an excitable dog wrapped round my waist (breeding season so no off-lead time, poor guy!) is a challenge, but the close observation of the variety of behaviours is where the pleasure really is. Spiralling buzzards and argumentative gulls above, long billed waders and ever alert geese spending more time on the ground than the air, robins and blackbirds awakening the morning from the trees behind.

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The effect of being by the sea on the human mind has long been noted, and more eloquently than I am able, but there’s no denying the calming and restorative effect that time spent on the coast and by the water has for me, and the fact that we’ll be back before much more time has passed.