There was a balloon fly-past along our street yesterday morning, as part of this year's Covid-secure fiesta, which made for an auspicious start to the day's long drive to the South coast and back, to visit my daughter.
Thursday, 5 August 2021
A Return to Cuckmere Haven
And the day, spent (mostly) in Cuckmere Haven, which is one of my favourite places, lived up to the hype.
After lunch in the Cuckmere Inn, we walked down to the sea. The last time I was here, in late September 2017, it was autumnal. Yesterday it was summery and hot, but not quite too hot, which was a relief.
Small cabbage white on fleabane
We made our way down to the sea along the flower- and butterfly-filled lane that runs along the right-hand side of the valley.
Thistledown pretending it's sheep's wool
Glimpse of the cliffs
Chalk Hill Blue butterflies on vetch
Looking back up the meandering River Cuckmere
Down on the beach I found a handy bit of wall to sit on. It's funny but once you've got your eye in, interesting pebbles present themselves even when you aren't really looking. Here's a hagstone masquerading as a geode. Or vice versa.
Down on the water's edge, where the River Cuckmere meets the sea, it's easier to get a sense of why this run of cliffs is called the Seven Sisters.
Just visible on the furthermost cliff is Belle Tout lighthouse, which we visited a couple of summers ago. And in the opposite direction, the coastguard cottages on Seaford Head.
The looping River Cuckmere comes to its conclusion
The trouble with a long car journey is that the day's inevitably curtailed. One day I'll have a holiday in East Sussex. For now, though, it was time to head back up the valley, taking the path running along the right bank of the river, with a final goodbye from an unseen but nearby raven.
Swan and little egret
An expanse of salt marsh