A mid-August afternoon in Devon. An impromptu trip to Sidmouth. Warm enough weather that there were even people in the water.
Sidmouth is part of the “Jurassic Coast” World Heritage Site, which includes the more famous Lyme Regis, known for its rich pickings for fossil hunters. I had to resist the temptation to do my best Dickie Attenborough impersonation. “Welcome…to Jurassic Coast!”
But on this particular day in Sidmouth people seemed more interested in buying a little plastic nets and hopping across the rock pools in search of live specimens.
Beaches all along this stretch of coast have cliffs made of distinctively terracotta-coloured sandstone. It’s soft and crumbly, which makes rockfalls common and puts cliff-top properties in frequent danger. It also makes it easier to carve a message of undying love into their surface.
Climbing the set of steps known as Jacob’s Ladder to the top of the cliff allows you to see the extent to which the sea, particularly on a day like this with a bit of wind and a strong current, has been stained red by the eroded cliffs.