Today we are driving from historic Rye in East Sussex along the coast to Worthing in West Sussex. Storm Ophelia was approaching the UK today. As the day progressed we started to see a very unusual dark and orange looking sky, caused by the storm pushing Sahara sand and Iberian wildfire smoke our way.
Photo of the day
Seaford Beach, with Storm Ophelia on its way.
Our first stop of the day in Rye, the small ancient town was so quaint with its cobbled streets.
St Mary Church’s turret clock is the oldest working clock of its type in the country.
Tudor houses fronting on to the churchyard.
The 13th century Ypres Tower town defences. In 1377 the church and town had been looted, set on fire and destroyed by French invaders!
The steep cobbled Mermaid Street. Although it was an early Monday morning there were already a few other tourists pottering around. Glad we hadn’t been here on a busy summer weekend.
The town is now 2 miles inland as a result of the River Rother starting to silt up 500 years ago. So we drove down to the coast to view Rye Harbour.
Winchelsea Beach. The town, a bit further inland, dates back to the 13th century. It was Britain’s first properly planned ‘new’ town.
The view from The Stade at Hastings back to Rock-a-Nore Beach and East Hill.
The Stade Beach in front of Hastings Old Town.
The tall black wooden Net Shops on the beach front at Hastings. They were used to dry fishing nets.
The recently restored Hastings Miniature Railway.
Looking up All Saints Street in The Old Town.
We had just walked past The Crown Pub, which had just been voted the best place to have a pint in the UK. Unfortunately we only read that after leaving Hastings….
More colourful beach huts on Bulverhythe Beach, just a few miles west of Hastings.
The elegant Bexhill-on-Sea Promenade.
The De La Warr Pavilion on the sea front at Bexhill, now a local centre for contemporary art. Bob Marley had his first ever UK performance there too.
Driving past some rather large houses we reached Cooden Beach.
Yet more colour-coordinated beach huts along Eastbourne Beach.
The view along Eastbourne Beach to the pier. By now we were starting to see the weird coloured pre-Storm Ophelia sky.
Caterpillar trucks were shifting around shingle on the beach, to restore the sea defences in preparation for winter storms.
Really dramatic views over the chalk cliffs at Beachy Head to the Lighthouse.
Don’t look down….. you could walk right up to the cliff edge!
Belle Tout Lighthouse, now a private residence. In 1999 it had to be moved 17 meters back from the cliff edge to save it falling off due to coastal erosion. It was featured in the BBC’s ‘The Life and Loves of a She-Devil’ and James Bond’s ‘The Living Daylights’.
Parts of the original building and foundations, right on the cliff edge. In the distance you can see the cliffs of the Seven Sisters past Birling Gap.
The bright white Seven Sisters chalk cliffs viewed from the National Trust managed Birling Gap.
It felt like the end of the world. The lighting was totally surreal. Such a dark sky in the distance over Newhaven, contrasting against the bright blue-green sea, and the warm colours of the pebble beach. Storm Ophelia was on its way.
Another palette of candy coloured beach huts on Seaford Beach.
The lighthouse at the end of the breakwater at Newhaven, we had also seen it in the distance from Seaford.
The path down to Newhaven Fort, with Seaford Bay in the background. The fort was the largest defence built on the Sussex coastline.
As we know Brighton well, having had our UK base and home there for the last few years, we just stopped briefly to take photos of the famous Brighton Pier (AKA Brighton Palace Pier).
The Brighton Pier is now the only surviving pier at Brighton, the Royal Suspension Chain Pier was its predecessor, but you can still see remains of the West Pier opposite the British Airways i360 tower.
The long promenade at Hove, Brighton’s coastal neighbour.
Actually we didn’t stop at Southwick, but we got stuck in a traffic jam along the River Adur, so managed this picture of a fishing boat from the car window.
Lancing beach was really busy with kite-surfers, unfortunately the photos were pretty terrible (I blame the weird pre-storm lighting), but we caught them on video, check below.
Looking west towards Worthing Pier in the distance.
Worthing, our final stop on this four day part of our Coastal Road Trip. The original pier dates back to 1862 though through fire and storm damage it has been rebuilt and updated many times over the years.
On day thirty-eight we will be covering most of the Kent coastline, so a long day of travel, and the weather is absolutely fantastic for mid-October!
Photo of the day
Isle of Sheppey
As we have a lot of ground to cover today, we made an early Sunday morning start driving over The Swale to the Isle of Sheppey.
After a quick stop at Sheerness on the northwest corner of the Isle of Sheppey, we headed over to Leysdown-on-Sea’s beach on the east of the isle, with views across the empty Thames Estuary.
Smart beach huts lined up on the front at Leysdown Coastal Park.
My Whippy on early morning duty at Whitstable’s Harbour.
More colourful beach huts along Whitstable’s Tankerton Slopes. If you look carefully you can see the remains of Herne Bay Pier Head out at sea.
An MOD scooter meet-up in front of Herne Bay’s Clock Tower on the Central Parade. A great day for a bike ride.
The Pier at Herne Bay….
…. and out at sea the remains of the pier head, which got separated from the rest of Herne Bay Pier in a storm back in 1978.
A jet-skier making the most of the October heatwave.
Then looking east, views along Herne Bay Beach and Saxon Shore towards Reculver Towers in the distance.
The medieval Reculver Towers, the remains of the church of St Mary, looking stunning against the blue sky.
Reculver has suffered major coastal erosion over the years, and now the Reculver Towers are perched right on the edge of the sea cliff.
A panorama of Margate Bay.
The lighthouse at the end of Margate Harbour Arm breakwater.
On Fulsam Rock by the Margate foreshore, the Turner Contemporary was exhibiting the lone figure ‘Another Time’ by Antony Gormley. A nice reminder of day 7 of our Coastal Road Trip, where we had seen the complete version of Anthony Gormley’s ‘Another Place’ sculptures submerged in Crosby Beach.
North Foreland Lighthouse
On the way to Broadstairs, the North Foreland Lighthouse sitting above fields leading down to Joss Bay.
Broadstair’s Viking Bay with its steep cliffs down to the beach.
Whilst stopping on the Victoria Parade above Ramsgate’s Beach, we realised we had parked in-front of this funny pirate themed camper-van….
… please do not disturb! 😉
Views down to the east and west piers at the mouth of Ramsgate’s harbour and marina.
Ramsgate’s Yacht Marina looking almost Mediterranean with the bright blue sky and waters.
The 16th century Deal Castle. If you Google aerial photos of it, you will see it actually looks somewhat like a flower from above.
Wooden fishing boats resting on Deal Beach.
The Pier at Deal is better seen from a distance. It was pretty brutal looking close-up!
Finally we have made it to the famous White Cliffs of Dover. It had been on our to-do list for quite some time. It seemed like everyone else had the same idea to visit on this sunny Sunday afternoon as it was pretty busy. Fortunately the land is managed by the National Trust so we parked for free, which made up for the pricey coffee and cake!
Thumbs-up from Jarno….
… and a wave from Julian’s shadow.
Looking down through the sea mist to Dover’s bustling ferry port.
Dover Castle silhouetted against the bright but hazy evening skyline.
Banksy’s Brexit street art just off a roundabout, as we drove through Dover. Not the best welcome for our European neighbours as they arrive off the Dover ferry onto mainland Britain.
The lone pilot sculpture by Harry Gray at the Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne, just outside Folkestone.
The sun starting to set over the Hawker Hurricane Mk 1 Replica US-X planes at the Battle of Britain Memorial.
We were struggling what to take a photo of as we drove through Folkestone, until we past a row of handsome hotels above the cliffs on the Leas Promenade. Agatha Christie, wrote Murder on the Orient Express whilst staying here at The Grand.
The long seafront and esplanade at Sandgate, just west of Folketone.
Our final stop of the day at the surreal Dungeness. The area was a weird mix of beach, barren marshland, artist community, pub, gift shop, train station, lighthouses and a nuclear power station. What a mix!
The Old Lighthouse and its neighbor, the nuclear power station….
…and closer to the headland the current lighthouse. Not your traditional lighthouse, but pretty sleek, and looked great lit-up in the clear evening sky.