The seaside towns we visit along the coast at North Devon and Somerset are empty of most holidaymakers seasonal shops are closed for the winter. Pleasure boats have been taken out of the water and many car parks have become winter boat parks.
MINEHEAD. old harbour area.
WATCHET. a small historic harbour town.
John Short was born near Watchet in 1839. He first went to sea from Watchet as a boy in 1860’s joined a Yankee ship in the American Civil War. At the age of 61 he retired and returned to Watchet. He brought the songs of the sea home with him. He became known as ‘Yankee Jack’ he became known for sea shanties. They were collected and collated by Cecil Sharp and Sir Richard Terry for our English musical heritage. A statue of “Jack” was placed overlooking the harbourside.
Christmas has started in the town of Watchet.
Watchet harbour became the inspiration for the epic poem The Ancient Mariner by the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. He walked over the Quantock Hills from his home in Nether Stowey, with his friends William and Dorothy Wordsworth. It has been said that looking down on Watchet from St. Decuman’s Church gave him inspiration for his poem.
2003 statue of the Ancient Mariner also on the harbourside.
PORLOCK WEIR. The settlement at the sea here is like stepping back in history and if it was not for the modern cars and TV ariel you could be could get lost in the moment.
WW2 Pillboxes using local beach stones to camouflage their outline.
ILFRACOMBE. you can tell the season is over in this town many of the waterfront businesses have shut and are boarded up for the winter, the hustle and bustle has now gone – it is so different here in the summer. The boat trip kiosks on the harbour are waiting for spring.
A 66 foot stainless steel and bronze sculpture named Verity, created by artist Damien Hirst, stands on the pier at the entrance to the harbour looking out over the Bristol Channel towards South Wales.