The tail of Storm Angus was still lashing the coast last Sunday, so our monthly HRRA walk was cancelled. But we were all ready to go out, so we convinced a couple of friends to brave the elements and walk with us from Hastings to Bexhill. (There's a video at the end of this post, in case you want to read along to the sound of waves on a pebbly beach!)
In Hastings Old Town, the wind had wreaked some minor damage - a few signs and awnings had blown over or come off the shop fronts. (You can see one in the photo above, on the ground behind the Whites signs.)
It was blustery when we met our friends by the Jerwood at the Stade. The wind was coming from the west, which meant we'd have a headwind all the way to Bexhill . . . If we made it that far.
The sea was white with breakers as we pushed along the seafront towards Hastings Pier. We noticed these big rocks, new additions to the seafront, presumably placed there to help stabilise the beach.
We also saw a few people out with their metal detectors. I suppose that the beach after a big storm would be a good place to find things that have either washed in from the sea or been disturbed and uncovered by the wind and waves. The the view towards Eastbourne was screened by a haze of seaspray.
I was quite close to suggesting we stop and have lunch at St Leonards instead. (That would have been a huge walk of three miles - the headwind made it feel a lot longer.) But I'd been stopping to take photos and the others were too far ahead to call off the expedition. Onwards to Bexhill!
The path between Hastings and Bexhill is part of National Cycle Route 2, which hugs the south coast of England from Kent to Cornwall. It follows the railway for a while, and passes this great old industrial warehouse. I love the patterns of the windows and the rust and texture of the metal.
One of our walking companions went down to the water's edge, a silhouette striding against the grey and white sea.
The sun began to break through as we got closer to Bexhill, creating silver stripes on the horizon. We were getting hungry and, while we found a few leaves of salty sea beet to chew on, it was a relief to climb Galley Hill, drop down into town and have a hearty lunch at Trattoria Italiana.
Afterwards, we popped over to the De La Warr Pavilion and spent a while mooching around Fiona Banner's exhibition. One side of the gallery is a wall of glass looking out to the sea, and Banner has covered this in an anti-UV film with several pieces cut out, the pieces being the same shape as (enormously magnified) full stops in various fonts. I loved how these shapes framed little views along the horizon and it appealed to me that the end of our walk should also be the end of a sentence.
I took a several minutes of footage of the mesmerising waves on the beach at Bexhill. Hope you enjoy them!
I've been struggling to find time and energy to get outside, let alone write about it. This often happens to me in winter. This year my motivation is to keep my walking muscles in practice for our Snowy River adventure. Do you have any other suggestions for motivation? (A good lunch is always a motivator!)
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