The last time Zoe and I had been out for our monthly walk and pub lunch had been early March. We met up again last Friday, for a socially distanced walk. This included some of Somerset’s dramatic coast, and ended not at a pub, but with us sitting on a church wall eating a packed lunch. Zoe’s husband Bruce joins us sometimes, and he did so this time. That was fortunate, because, although the walk was a straightforward one, and I had its broad outline in my head, I was not familiar with the area, and I had managed to leave the plan at home. Bruce using the OS map on his phone was able to sort out the occasional detail.
The weather forecast was for sunny intervals and a moderate breeze. In the event, the sun was not around, and the breeze certainly was, along with a sea mist. But it was great to see my friends again, and the sea. The last time I saw the latter was the Atlantic Ocean, off the Moroccan coast, early in March. How long ago that all seems now, yet how grateful I am to have had that holiday which set me up so well just before lockdown.
It was only a short walk, along the coastline from Kilve through Quantock’s Head and on for a further kilometre, inland for a kilometre, and then back, parallel to the coast through East Quantoxhead, back to the Church of St Mary the Virgin at Kilve, and thence coastwards back to our cars. No prizes for guessing that the range of hills around there are the Quantocks.
Zoe mentioned that there was a wave-cut platform here, sadly covered by the high tide. Nigel Phillips has written a wonderful book called Somerset’s Coast, a Living Landscape, in which he says that this particular area is well-known for the ammonite fossils which can be found here. He also mentions the birds and flowers to look out for. Indeed the whole book is a guide to the geology, fauna and flora of the coastline, lavishly (as they say, and it’s true here) illustrated with his own photos.
We stayed up on the clifftop, buffeted by the strong breeze, which fortunately was not too cold.
And we arrived at another 14th century church dedicated to St Mary the Virgin, the parish church of Kilve, where we ate our lunch – very socially distanced. The wall was warm to sit on, having held on to, and releasing to our benefit, the heat of previous days.
Hopefully it won’t be another four months before we meet up again.