I know I have probably bored you all to tears with my eulogising of trips to the coast during the off season, but when you can boast such a quick and easy drive to the sea, then not taking advantage all year round really is a waste.
Sunday promised to be a nice day, sandwiched in between a run of gloomy, rain sodden weekdays, so we decided to take advantage and jump in the car. We didn’t set out with any clear idea of where we wanted to go, so we ended up going for a rather lovely drive through some quixotic flint-faced villages. A favourite was Great Snoring, which not only had a charming name, but boasted some beautiful cottages.
We finally ended up at Morston quay, which revealed a beautiful bleak ocean of mudflats covered in gorse. The rain had certainly worked its magic here, as we were soon sliding around in thick, squelchy mud. Fortunately we had brought our walking poles along (see my posts on the Komperdell and Karrimor poles), so we threw away the rubber caps and let the points sink into the brown glue. If you fancy trying this route in the colder months – walking boots or sturdy wellies are a must.
We started off following a path right through the mudflats, but about halfway through we came to a steep, slippery bank and a gap filled with deep water. The opposing side presented another insurmountable mud bank. Sadly the water was too deep for us to wade through with our walking boots – only a wellied individual would have dreamed of crossing – so we had to do an about turn and pick another route.
Our second selection was drier and took us all the way to Stiffkey. We got to admire the vast emptiness of the area, which was covered by surprising burst of red and purple plants. If you are a keen twitcher, this is the perfect place to come to see wading birds such as the egret. We also encountered bushes covered in blackberries, many of which had already shrivelled up. This is definitely a good place to go if you want to make a blackberry pie or three.
As the light started to dim, we turned back from Stiffkey and power poled back along the path to Morston. By the time we got back we were caked in mud, but it was a small price to pay to wander along a lonely piece of coastline on perhaps one of the last nice days of autumn.