Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Lepe Beach, in Sunshine Last Saturday




After a week of stormy rain and floods, it was wonderful to wake up on Saturday to blue skies and sunshine. It was a perfect day to go down to the sea and walk.

We had never been to Lepe Beach, a seaside and country park on the coast at the entrance to the Solent, and just around the corner from the western entrance to Southampton Water.

The tide was out. Across the Solent, the northern coast of the Isle of Wight looked so near in the clean, bright air.




People were out exploring the mudflats. Children paddled and peered into rock pools 








On the cliffs behind the beach, there are areas of scrub and trees. A path leads inland to a wildflower meadow. We hope to go back and walk that way in early summer, to see the flowers.




Lepe Beach is in the direct line of prevailing south westerly winds and tides that funnel up between the Island and mainland coast. Sea defences include lines of breakwaters made from wooden posts.




We found the remains of an old slipway and jetty.




This was a wartime telephone cable that allowed communication between the Isle of Wight and the mainland.




Signposts visible from the sea warn sailors of hazards from the underwater cables.




Lots of people and dogs were out walking, but a detour onto the mudflats soon  led down to calm, gentle waves and a sense of solitude.




In the far distance, beyond the shingle spit where families were exploring and across the Solent,  the white Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth Harbour shone against the sky.

A cargo ship turned at anchor, waiting for its turn to enter harbour in Southampton.







Wooden breakwaters, in various states of decay, made natural sculptures and a myriad of shapes and shadows.















The storms had eroded soft sandstone cliffs. Trees seemed to teeter on the edge.....




.....while thorn and gorse had tumbled down to the beach in recent days.




Old bricks made a crocodile that protected more pipes on their way to the Isle of Wight.




The coast curved round into a bay, where the shingle spit stretched out to sea..........




........and a young black lab was having such fun, swimming into the waves to fetch her stick.



12 comments:

Down by the sea said...

Glad you were enjoying the sunshine by the sea on Saturday. Lepe looks a lovely place and now you have found it, I'm sure it will be the first of waters are wonderful.
Sarah x

Countryside Tales said...

What a fantastic day out. It looks beautiful and you had a great day for it. Blue skies!

Louise said...

What a lovely beach to explore and you took some beautiful photos.

Jenny said...

What a great place!

Robin Mac said...


What an interesting place to explore - I love the photos of the trees with the twisted trunks. Cheers

Ragged Robin said...

What a lovely place to visit - great to see blue skies :) I love the photo of the crocodile of bricks leading to the Isle of Wight :)

Crafty Green Poet said...

lovely light in these photos, always nice to have the sun come out after the storms...

Bovey Belle said...

I don't remember ever walking along Lepe beach. I wish I had though - as you said, the IoW looks SO close and amazing to think before the sea levels rose at the end of the Ice Age you could have walked across to that "higher land"! I used to work for the marine cable laying division of the PO (as did Jude) and so we probably wrote up bits about those old cables.

Em Parkinson said...

Those breakwaters are absolutely beautiful. Lovely post!

WOL said...

Looks like you had a lovely clear blue sky like we had yesterday, although here the wind was rather fresh.

SeagullSuzie said...

We had sunshine last Saturday too, everyone was happy to be out in it. Lepe Park looks beautiful, I love the images of the trees and shrubs hanging on to the edge or fallen over and the crocodile!

Morning's Minion said...

Surprising how the wind-blown trees and sandstone banks are so similar to the look of the interior American west--although our altitude is so much higher.