Red and green. Sidmouth’s cliffs’ colours embrace the Town Beach, bathing the landscape with a sense of warmth even in the height of winter.

“Just a mo”, a woman cajoled a toddler tugging at her hand. “We’ll go down and collect some soon.” Pebbles gleamed on the shore below. Smooth, rounded, grey and pink.

The promenade is a fairly short walk. Typical seaside accommodation faces spectacular views heralding the Jurassic Coast. And down side roads, the town centre is within sight, so after an amble along the seafront, Mr Word Loft and I went to investigate.

I’m always tempted by sales, and the first store we came to lured me in, but it wasn’t until later when sorting through my bargains, I realized they were from a business based in my home county, Cornwall, when I had intended to buy something from Devon.

Further in town, we came across St Giles and St Nicholas parish church, originally Mediaeval, but rebuilt in the Victorian era. Ancient burial vaults were found but thankfully left intact. Strands of organ music rang out creating a friendly ambience to the busy surroundings, but unsure about whether a funeral was about to take place, we admired the grounds and architecture from a distance.

After refreshments – cappuccinos and crumbly cherry shortcake, we headed out of the main area and were delighted to come across Byes Toll House, situated on Waterloo Bridge. It’s not as grand as the one in London, but both commemorate Wellington’s triumph over Napoleon in 1815. I photographed the blue plaque and peered through the bridge’s balustrade at Byes Riverside Park where an enchanting weir gushes and glitters on a stretch of Devon’s shortest river, the River Sid.

A local stopped and chatted for a minute or two; telling me how otters often play up and down the waterway. That a kingfisher had just swooped behind me as I admired the old toll house and I had missed seeing it.

We stopped and waited for a while, but weren’t lucky to see either of the creatures, so it was a little disappointing, but not for long.

Smaller bridges span the river, and spindly branches reflect in ripples. Beautiful at wintertime, but the scenery must be glorious in summer when greenery caresses the water.

Daffodils grow at the edges, complementing blue wooden hearts speared into the ground nearby, and a mystery. So pretty, but why are they there? I’ve posted about them on social media, but so far haven’t discovered their story.

If I find out, I’ll let you know.

Until next time,
Sue. X