Eastbourne seafront first thing in the morning before the beach wakes up.

Eastbourne is a seaside resort town on England’s southeast coast it is about 2 hours from London. On the seafront are Victorian hotels, and the 19th-century Eastbourne Pier. West along the coast, in South Downs National Park, are the tall chalk cliffs of Beachy Head and its striped lighthouse.

The Eastbourne Pier Company Ltd was formed in 1865. Work started on the structure in1866. Lord Edward Cavendish officially opened the pier, designed by Eugenius Birch, in June 1870. However, work on the 1000-foot pier, the landing stage, kiosk and windbreak were finally completed in 1872.

The beach is popular but 1st thing in the morning it is quiet with only a few dog walkers and runners.

shrinking gap.

A coastal hamlet nestled between the Seven Sisters and Beachy Head is Birling Gap a place where you can get down to the beach via a stairway. The area is managed by the National Trust above the beach is a visitor centre car park and a cafe.

Eight cottages were built at Birling Gap for the Coastguard in 1878. Today only 3 remain in 1973 due to the eroding cliff, one of the cottages was demolished again in 1994 another cottage was demolished. 2002 and 2014 lead to the loss of 2 more homes!

This is the first time I visited the gap when the tide was out. You can access the beach via a staircase.

Seven Sister – is what the cliffs are known to the west of the gap.

The cliffs to the east.

A view of the gap in the 1920s from an old postcard showing the row of coastguard cottages and coastguard rocket house.


Dungeness Lifeboat Station has a Shannon class lifeboat. The Morrell was named on 31 May 2014 by HRH Princess Royal. In 1940, the Dungeness lifeboat was one of 19 that took part in the evacuation of Allied troops from Dunkirk in northern France. We were lucky to see the lifeboat out of the lifeboat house when we visited as she had just had a wash and was drying in the sunshine.


I have edited and added the launching tractor of a Shannon class lifeboat at Hastings just along the coast I filmed in 2018

Abbey Ruin.

Tintern Abbey was founded in 1131 by Cistercian monks, standing on the banks of the River Wye is now a romantic ruin and is a natural place to stop if you are traveling into Wales via the old Severn Bridge and heading for the A40. We stop here for the toilet and a cup of tea on most trips into Wales.

The Black seam.

Coal mining in Wales is an industry of the past and the scars of mining litter the landscape. The black seams of coal became too expensive to mine and carbon-based fuel lost favor as a form of energy. Big Pit today is the National Coal Museum of Wales. The pit was a working coal mine from 1880 to1980. Big Pit is part of the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape a World Heritage site.

Big Pit has a depth of 300ft – underground tours are available which I have done in the past but due to covid, I decided to stay in the open air on this visit. At its peak in 1923, this one mine employed 1,399 in coal production.

Lockers and Shower block.

Restored locomotive being returned to the museum site.

Some facts:- In 1913, 232,000 men worked in 620 mines. The largest number of men ever to work in the Welsh coal mines was 271,000 in 1920.

Red Kites.

Red Kites in the Brecon Beacons- A success story. 35 years ago I saw my 1st Red Kite they were on the brink at that time and about only 25 pairs were in a stronghold in the Brecon Beacons. Over the years their numbers have increased and their range increased. It has now been successfully re-introduced to England and Scotland. It is estimated that there are now 4600 pairs in the UK, While we were on our recent campervan trip to Mid-Wales we visited a Red Kite feeding station at Gigrin Farm near Rhayader.

The farm became an official Kite Feeding Station in the winter of 1992/93 following a request from the RSPB. Today it welcomes many visitors for a daily feeding session where up to 600 birds come to feed.

Hark a Lark.

The Skylark is a LBB {a little brown bird}. It is a streaky brown colour with a small crest, which can be raised when the bird is excited or alarmed and a white-sided tail. It can fly, vertically up in the air. Often you can hear them high above fields singing their hearts out. When you locate it , it is often just a tidny speck up in the sky – it is a bird you hear before you see it.

In the Brecon Beacons in Mid Wales, I spotted this Skylark on the ground.Thenfirst time I was able to photograph one. They are ground-nesting birds and this is one of the reasons why their numbers have dramatically decreased in recent years and are now on the “Red List”.


Camper van trip {Pt 6}

Mixed views from a few days away.

River at Lynmouth – On the 15th and 16th of August 1952, a storm broke over south-west England, depositing 9 inches of rain within 24 hours on the already saturated soil of  Exmoor and Devon. Debris in the floodwaters cascaded down streams and rivers converging upon the village of Lynmouth. Above the village in the upper West Lyn valley, fallen trees and other debris formed a dam, which in due course gave way, sending a huge wave of water and debris down the river. Overnight, more than 100 buildings were destroyed or seriously damaged 38 cars were washed out to sea, 34 people died.
The rebuilt Rhenish Tower survived the main flood but was seriously undermined. The tower collapsed into the river the next day. A digger is in the harbour removing gravel that built up after a recent storm blocking some of the harbour.

Views along the coast views of the sea at Blue Anchor and Minehead.

Minehead RNLI B Class rigid-hulled lifeboat and launch tractor are housed in the car park while the 1901 lifeboat house is being refurbished and extended – always ready for the call.

Statue of Lorna Doone at Dulverton. Lorna Doone a Romance of Exmoor is a novel by author Richard Doddridge Blackmore, published in 1869. It is a romance based on a group of historical characters and set in the late 17th century in Devon and Somerset, particularly around the East Lyn Valley area of Exmoor.

footnote flood pictures.

A ruined Church.

Camper van trip {pt 5}

On the way home after our trip away, we stopped at Knowlton Church And Earthworks (a usual stopping place for us). Situated near the village of Cranborne in Dorset it is on a route we regularly take to avoid the city of Salisbury where there is a traffic bottleneck. The site is now in the care of English Heritage. It is an interesting historic site with a ruin of a 12th-century Norman Church situated at the centre of a Neolithic henge earthwork. Like other Christian sites, it symbolises a transition from much older sites of importance and pagan worship to Christian worship.

As well as the main earthworks the landscape around the church is a part of a larger Neolithic and Bronze Age ceremonial area most of which can now only be seen from aerial study as crop marks.

Below a picture that was taken from online shows an overview of the area and its features.