20090405_A Before Breakfast Walk in Brixham
When : 5th April 2009
Who : Me and Craig
Where : Brixham, Devon, England
Map Used : OS 1:25,000 Pathfinder Series sheet SX85/95 (quite old now)
Start + End Point : 917,558
Approx Distance : around about 2.5 miles (4 km) perhaps, (maybe a tad more?)
Heights : None
Parking : We were parked at our guest house (The Melville), but there is parking in Brixham
My little boy Craig had woken very early and as normal he was wide awake long before the rest of us would have even stirred …. We’ve kinda learnt how to cope with this at home, but it certainly didn’t bode well for a couple of hours in a family room with the four of us in fairly close proximity.
Anyway, I’d half planned for this very eventuality and had packed my camera in its bag ready for an early start. I’d read how good “the light” was just before sunrise especially by the coast … I think proper photographers (not me I’m afraid) call it the “magic hour” or the “golden hour”. Anyway, Craig and I dressed as quickly and as quietly as possible and we slipped out of the room promising to be back for breakfast, leaving the girls of the family to snooze a while longer and get up at their leisure.
Having tip-toed down the several flights of stairs, we surprised the owner of the B+B, by the front door. I’m sure he doesn’t get many guests up and about before sunrise in the normal course of things. ( http://www.themelville.co.uk/ )
Stepping out into the early morning air transported me back to some of my childhood holiday memories, of going down the paper shop for a newspaper with my Dad. Perhaps Craig will have the same feelings stored in the back of his memory banks to resurface some time in the future. There’s something special about the crisp chill in the morning air anywhere, but especially so by the seaside and even more so when you live almost as far from the coast as you can in England, as we do!
We quickly made the distance into the town, having walked the route the previous evening helped, knowing where to go. Just shy of the front I decided to nip into a newsagent’s, where I bought a paper for me and (after much deliberating over the one he wanted) a comic for Craig … I think we settled on “The Beano” eventually ….
We also picked up a couple of bottles of water for a drink as by now I was feeling my thirst needed a good quenching.
A few more steps brought us to the harbour side, very close to the statue of William of Orange. We turned left, passed the statue and then passed the replica of the Golden Hind and headed off down the quayside in front of the row of restaurants, shops and seafood stalls, eventually ending up on one of the inner harbour walls.
Looking out over the marina, the light was indeed quite beautiful as we watched the sun slowly lighten the sky from behind Berry Head. (Berry Head is the peninsula that protects Brixham from the prevailing south westerly weather).
I found the scene quite stunning, and Craig pointed out how he liked the trees silhouetted on top of the hill; quite observant for a seven year old I thought.
Turning around by 180 degrees, the early light lit up the bright colours of the fishing vessels in the harbour and the pastel painted walls of the houses above. I found it amazing how the vibrant colours contrasted with the almost monochrome scene when looking directly towards the sun rise.
Heading back towards the Golden Hind, I just couldn’t help but click away with my camera, although I’m technically not very proficient with my new DSLR, I tried hard to pick my subjects and compose what I hoped would be interesting shots, or at least hold it square and steady! ….
Perhaps practice makes perfect, but I wanted to head off around the other side of the harbour, so we moved on leaving the crustacean traps behind for another time.
Although the tide was pretty low, there was enough water to give some super reflections. The whole scene was quite fantastic.
Carrying on, we passed some posh new apartment blocks built in a modern style, quite nice but somehow they felt almost sterile when compared to the older traditional terraced houses perched on the slopes above the harbour. Perhaps the new will mellow and blend with age, but somehow I wouldn’t be surprised if they just start to look faded in time.
Soon after, we reached the landward end of the outer harbour breakwater. The small lighthouse in the distance beckoned us onto the almost 1-km long construction and Craig set of at the run … My word he’s got some energy for a little-un ….
We eventually reached the seaward end and the white washed lighthouse, where I took a couple of pic’s, and Craig turned around and promptly started running back towards land … I think he was competing against the half-a-dozen joggers using the wall in their training routine. Given the age and size difference, I think he gave a pretty good showing of himself.
Anyway, the raised pace wasn’t a bad thing, as time had flown by and we had to make tracks, back past the outer and inner harbours; through the town and back out to the guest house. We barely made it back in time for last call for breakfast …. I got a couple of glowering looks from my lovely wife and daughter, and one or two (probably deserved) pointed comments to-boot! … A pot of tea, cereals, juices and of course a traditional and hearty English breakfast went down a treat … We’d certainly worked up an appetite on our little expedition.
Following are a few web-links that I’ve found ; you might find them of interest :-
I hope you enjoyed my scribblings (and my pics) ….
Next walk = 20090405_An Afternoon Stroll onto Berry Head.