Pretty pastel beach hut love

I was super excited to finally make it to West Wittering on a beautiful sunny day last week. West Wittering is beach hut paradise, complete with soft sand dunes, and has been on my hit list for quite some time. Well, let's just say I fell in love!

Imagine row upon row of pretty wooden beach huts, each one different, painted all the colours of the rainbow. All nestled into the dunes on the softest sand.

I especially loved the stripey pastel ones...

We had lots of fun taking some portraits on the verandahs once the beach had emptied a bit. Look, I match the pink one perfectly - it must be mine! I much prefer being behind the lens rather than in front of it, but even I made an exception for such a pretty location :) Photos of me taken by my lovely husband,

These little wooden beauties are surprisingly expensive - think £25k+ ballpark for what is essentially a shed to keep your sunchairs and beach gear in and make tea! Rather outside my reach, but I'm planning on getting something similar for my garden instead, to paint in pretty pastel stripes :)

I can't tell you how lovely it was to feel soft warm sand beneath my feet, the sun on my face, whilst listening to the waves lapping at the shore. It was high tide when we arrived, the sea just a few metres away from where we were sitting. Absolute bliss! I will most definitely be back. There is so much to explore in the area (Hayling Island, Chichester, Bosham, Arundel) - hopefully we can come for longer next time. Any other recommendations for beautiful beaches and places to visit in Sussex always gratefully received - we have so much still to discover :)

In case you haven't seen enough(!), a few more beach huts can be found in my West Wittering Album on Flickr. I hope you enjoy the remainder of the long weekend - finger's crossed the sun will shine tomorrow!

Exploring our new coastline

Well, helloooooooo there folks! I'm sorry it's been so long. We've been rather busy sorting, fixing and nesting after the big move.... It's all been pretty exhausting, but oh so worth it! I won't bore you with our many plumbing woes, but thought I'd share some pictures from our adventures from the last couple of months. We haven't managed to get out as often as we'd like, but there's plenty of time for all that :) Our new coastline really is pretty stunning. I hope to share a few pics of our interiors too, just as soon as we are a bit more sorted.

First up is a little montage of iPhone snaps from Brighton, Eastbourne and our home town, Seaford. Absolutely loving all that fresh sea air and the beautiful sunsets.

Next up are a few shots from the lovely Pevensey Bay - our nearest beach with a bit of sand and lots of lovely space. So many dog walkers out and about - we are definitely living in dog territory - I've barely seen any cats! Just as well, as we are hoping that a furry friend may join our family soonish.

Then we have the absolutely stunning Birling Gap on a perfect sunny Sunday at the beginning of February. This place really takes my breath away. The scale of the beautiful towering white cliffs and the pounding's all very humbling.

I was in heaven staring at the mesmerising waves and clambering over the beautiful white stones. In fact, I don't think I've been more excited since we got here!

Of course, it's not just all stunning cliffs and crashing waves - the rolling South Downs are pretty spectacular too - just look at those beautiful green undulations. There really is so much to explore. We also wandered up the cliff path to see the mighty Beachy Head - it really is such a beautiful spot, and somewhere I know we are going to visit often.

I hope you're not too bored yet, as I'd love to introduce you to the most beautiful Camber Sands as well. A bit of a journey for us, but so worth it to see those beautiful sand dunes and all that stunning S-P-A-C-E. It really reminded me of Saunton Sands in Devon. We totally lucked out with the weather and were basking in beautiful sunshine - there really is nothing finer in February!

It was so lovely to see so many people out and about enjoying the sunshine - there were horse riders galloping along making the most of the space, dog walkers aplenty and families playing in the sand. I could *almost* believe it was summer! I'm definitely ready for more sunshine!

So we really are some of the luckiest people around to have all these beautiful spaces within easy reach. I'm looking forward to plenty more exploring - we still need to go west! Z x

Exploring East & South Devon

A few weeks ago we made it our mission to get to know East and South Devon. Although we have been to Devon lots of times before, most of it has been spent in the North. So this time we based ourselves in Sidmouth and set out to explore...

Day one

saw a visit to Dawlish and Dawlish Warren (photos above and below). It was a glorious sunny Sunday, so the beach was pretty packed. We headed inland a little to explore the nature reserve and found lots of peace and quiet and so many beautiful things to feast our eyes upon, including a heron and lots of Evening Primroses and other pretty flowers and sea grasses - I just love the sand dunes. There were some very colourful beach huts too :)

We also wandered along the coast for a while, following the rail track, which runs right next to the sea. It was washed away in the storms earlier this year and only reopened in April. Quite an extraordinary sight!

Day two

saw us heading South, to the beautiful Slapton, where the lush green countryside literally meets the sea. We had a very interesting journey - a "sat nav special" which took us down the narrowest, windiest lanes you can imagine! There was lots of holding of breath - but we did get to see some absolutely beautiful countryside :) The shingle beach is pretty special and the waves were crystal clear - a perfect spot for our picnic. We saw quite a few people fishing from the beach too, and met some friendly dogs - always a bonus :)

From Slapton we drove a very scenic (and less hairy!) route through pretty Kingsbridge, passing so many beautiful thatched cottages, on to Hope Cove and then Bigbury. Thoroughly lovely! And helped by the fact it was a beautiful summer's day :)

Day three was spent in the most delectable Beer and Lyme Regis - and has a blog post of its very own, as I took so many pictures :)

Day four (are you exhausted yet? I told you we packed it in!!) saw us exploring Totnes and then on to the beautiful space and greenery of Dartmoor. We spent some time in the fabulous sauna that is the Buckfastleigh butterfly and otter centre. Quite magical to experience the most beautiful and iridescent butterflies flitting around you (it's a walk-through greenhouse type affair), but my goodness it's hot! I think a bikini would have been more appropriate :) Hard work too to capture those butterflies - they don't sit still for long!

Afterwards we drove a long rambling route through Dartmoor, stopping whenever we felt like it. I've never seen so much diversity or space. I definitely got my green fix that day!

Day five

saw us exploring Budleigh Salterton, Exmouth and Honiton. The glorious weather had finally broken, so we experienced Budleigh Salterton under grey stormy skies. It was soooo beautiful nonetheless! I fell in love with the pebbles :) It felt a bit wild (maybe that was the weather) and I just loved the weathered beach huts and flowers growing on the beach. There were some very interesting antique/vintage shops in the little town too, but sadly no time to explore them - I'll just have to go back! We just made it to our car before the heavens opened, so I only have piccies of Budleigh Salterton I'm afraid.

Day six, our last day, was spent in Exeter. It's a fantastic city, very green and clean - but no pictures as I didn't take my camera (thank god I hear you cry!). Apologies for this very picture-heavy post - it was all so very photogenic, I wanted to share :) If you haven't seen enough photos (!) you can see the complete set on Flickr :)

My 5 favourite things to do in Cornwall

I absolutely adore Cornwall. I was born and grew up in Jersey in the Channel Islands and I miss the sea terribly. One day we will move there - for now, we visit as often as we can. We made our annual spring pilgrimage in early April and I thought I'd share some of my favourite photos and things to do. This is a bit of a monster post, so you might want to go and make yourself a nice cup of tea and get comfy :)

1. Watching the sunset on the beach at Watergate Bay

Nothing can beat the beautiful display that nature puts on each evening. I love being down on the beach from golden hour until after sunset, enjoying the light show, whilst the waves crash on the shore. I love how different it looks each time, depending on the weather, the clouds, the tide.....and how it changes from minute to minute.

I also love watching the surfers - their energy and excitement is infectious. I love seeing them all pile down to the beach after work if the waves are looking good. It's such a beautiful sight to watch...

And it never ceases to amaze me how quickly the weather can change. All of these photos were taken on days that started out grey and rainy and full of thick cloud. For the last 3 years we have stayed in lovely apartments at the Waves complex (with Beach Retreats), only a couple of minutes away from the beach. I can't recommend it highly enough - it's so wonderful to look out the window and see the weather brighten up and then be able to leg it down to the beach with camera and tripod in hand. We had a very late dinner some evenings, but it was totally worth it!

2. Cliff path walks

There is no better way to get the city out of your hair, than a bracing cliff path walk. I love the epic views that make me feel so small and humble. There is so much space - perfect for clearing out your head and making room for fresh thinking. And the lungfuls of fresh air really help too.

Some firm favourites of ours are the walks from Watergate Bay to (a) the Bedruthan Steps, via Mawgan Porth and (b) going in the opposite direction to Newquay, via Porth. If you're feeling very energetic, the walk from Mawgan Porth to Harlyn is pretty spectacular - and there is nothing finer than dipping your walk weary feet in the sea at the end of that walk!!

3. Pottering around St. Ives

It's often said there is something special about the light at St. Ives and I would absolutely agree - it seems to glow, even on grey days. I can see why it is such a draw for artists.

There are lots of wonderful places to eat in St. Ives. My absolute favourite is the Porthminster Beach Cafe - amazing food with amazing views. I love Porthminster Beach too - on a lovely day it can look tropical. Other favourite eateries are Blas burger works and the Seafood Cafe.

As well as exploring the many and beautiful beaches at St. Ives, I love pottering around the narrow cobbled streets and looking at all the pretty houses and doors, dreaming about living here... The Tate and Barbara Hepworth museums are also lovely places to visit - and you can enjoy a coffee in the lovely Porthmeor Cafe just outside the Tate on the beach - it has fabulous brightly coloured chairs and the best views!

4. Playing with pebbles on Sandymouth Beach, near Bude, North Cornwall

Sandymouth beach is one of my all time favourite beaches: masses of lovely sand and space to reflect the sky (perfect for doggie walks), lots and lots of super smooth beautiful pebbles, and the most impressive cliffs and rocks - it's a real geological wonder.

I'm a big kid who never grew up and I love to play with pebbles :) It's a bit of a tradition to create some pebble art when we are here - I love hunting out the smoothest, roundest pebbles....I made the first two hearts below and went off for a wander - when I came back, my husband had made the third one - guess I'm not the only kid around here ;)

5. Exploring Chapel Porth beach and the tin mines near St. Agnes

And last, but not least, another favourite of mine is the beautiful beach at Chapel Porth (masses of sand when the tide is out and lots of caves) and the stunning cliffs above it, that are home to wheal coates, the old tin mines. It's a truly beautiful spot and a wonderful place for walking.

I know I said 5 favourite things, but I just have to mention these two, that each have their own post :)

6. Japanese Garden at St. Mawgan

7. Marazion and the fabulous Fine & Dandy vintage shop

Apologies for such an epic post. Cornwall is just so photogenic, I can't help myself. If you haven't seen enough photos (!), feel free to have a browse through my Cornwall collection on Flickr.

Sunshine, sea, sand and pretty pastel beach huts - what could be more perfect?

On a bit of a whim, Al and I headed off for a daytrip to the seaside on Sunday. Lovely sunny Sunday! It was the kind of day just crying out for adventure, especially as we emerge from our grey winter slumber. So we packed up some lunch and drove down to the beautiful Christchurch in Dorset.

We started off at Hengistbury Head and walked along the beach by the crashing waves to Mudeford Sandbank, home to rows and rows of pretty pastel beach huts. I can't tell you how wonderful it was to feel the sunshine on my face and take my coat off!! All the while listening to the sound of the waves....So please forgive me if I got a little trigger happy - I haven't been outside much lately ;)

I bought a Blythe with me (Simply Peppermint) for some pastel beach hut shots - a lovely combo! We tried some posing on the sand, but that didn't work so well and she took a bit of a nose dive into the sand ;)

It really was a taste of summer. Everyone was eating icecreams, the dogs were out in force and the kiddies were building sandcastles. A magical day!

I absolutely adore the beach huts here. Whilst some were still boarded up from the winter, lots of families were using them - lolling around reading and playing in the sand. I'd love to rent one in the summer.

I think I could photograph beach huts all day long and not get bored! Al had to drag me away :) These lovely huts have featured in some previous posts too in case you are interested: Summer 2013 and October 2011. And I've been spamming Instagram like mad with beach huts!!

There really is nothing finer than feeling the sun on your face whilst listening to the waves crash and roll and crash and roll - I love the rhythm of nature.

If you fancy taking a little slice of the seaside home with you, feel free to have a browse through my Seaside collection in my Red Bubble print shop. There's a Blythe section too.

Have a lovely week everyone - let's hope the sunshine continues!

Watergate Bay: tonic for the soul

I had a lovely week in Cornwall in late March. We were lucky enough to stay in a lovely apartment right next to the beach at Watergate Bay. I adore the sea and miss it terribly - we get away as often as we can. I find it so restorative - the waves crashing and rolling in an endless loop and the sheer enormity of it all helps puts things in perspective. Troubles seem so small against a backdrop of such beauty and strength and timelessness. I find I sort so much out in my head in a week away!

We had typical British weather - i.e. lots of cold, grey days - but we still got out for a brisk walk on the beach every day. We were lucky enough to have two fabulous weather days while we were there - our first and last days - and the pics below are from those. I thought you'd prefer full bright uplifting technicolour to dull grey :)

Blue and yellow - some colour at last!
Tonic for the soul
A whole beach to themselves

The pictures above are taken from the cliff path looking down on Watergate Bay. There are two lovely walks you can do from Watergate Bay: one to Mawgan Porth and the Bedruthan Steps and the other to Newquay - the coastline is just stunning.

Dog walking (and surfing) is a common activity on Watergate Bay - I love the sheer joy of dogs running helter skelter across the beach to retrieve a ball - I defy anyone not to smile!

This beach is all mine!
Lovely day for a walk

The first day we visited the surf was really high and the waves were so beautiful and energising. It was snowing back in Oxford - so happy we escaped just in time for some much needed sea and sunshine :)

Peace is now restored to the Power house - after a few weeks of the nasty Norovirus and an upside down house due to renovations, everything is back to normal and I hope to have some time to be creative. Hurrah!

I wish you all a wonderful week ahead.

The white horses ride in
Look at those waves!
Waves, wonderful waves

A lovely long weekend in Devon

It's been a while since my last trip to the sea - too long. There's something very special about watching the waves crash and roll, over and over. It's very humbling. Reminds me how small we are and how the world will go on without us. A marvellous way of putting your troubles in perspective. And I love a good dose of fresh sea air, even if it is ****** freezing! So, when my lovely sister asked me what we wanted to do, the answer was the same every day - go to the sea!

Braunton Burrows
Look what I found!
We found the sea!

So we visited Westward Ho! with its very jolly exclamation mark and lovely pebbles and shells, then my absolute favourite, Saunton Sands, via a rather longer than expected trek through Braunton Burrows (i.e. we got lost!), and finally topped it all off with a trip to the glorious Putsborough beach. All very worth a visit. And very cold. And mostly grey - until the last afternoon, when the sun pushed its way out from behind a bank of cloud and we bathed ourselves in gentle spring sunshine. On the beach. Oh yes!

Kissing shells :)
Treasures from the sea

Oh and my sister has a new puppy - the cutest little thing you ever saw - he's called Max and is just 12 weeks old. Can you spot him below?

Watercolour Westwood Ho!
Is that a Puppy in your coat?
Sea, sky, space: tonic for the soul

Time for a sea fix

Well, I've made it through January and most of February and now I'm in desperate need of a sea fix. So I'll be taking a short break from the blog whilst I go in search of sea and - finger's crossed - maybe a little sunshine to recharge my batteries. I'll leave you with a couple of shots of the delectable Saunton Sands in Devon on a bright sunny day in March 2011. For more, do have a peruse through my Seascapes Set on Flickr. See you soon!

Where I'd like to be right now...

A lovely long October weekend mooching around Christchurch and Hampshire

It's becoming something of a family tradition to head down to Christchurch in early October for my sister's birthday. Once again we were blessed with gorgeous sunshine and warmth - nothing quite like strolling along the beach listening to the waves crash in October sunshine....and then eating lunch outside surrounded by pretty pastel beach huts :)

The full set of photos can be found on Flickr, as always.

Last beach hut (for today) I promise!
Baby blues
Lovely day for a walk on the beach....
Sea Chest

Yes, the sunshine and stunning greenery and dappled light really was tonic for the soul, and wonderfully refreshing. I have just bought a second-hand Fuji X100 and this was it's first outing - loving the simplicity of a fixed lens and just having a small light camera around my neck :) We very much enjoyed a leisurely stroll around the beautiful grounds of Mottisfont - a very grand National Trust property in Hampshire. The river walk is just divine at this time of year.

Cascade of leaves at Mottisfont
Riverside reflections at Mottisfont

We then topped off a wonderful day by heading home via the New Forest and pottering around Blackwater Arboretum in the golden hour. It took us a while to find it (it's not sign-posted at all!) but it was well worth it. Will have to go back for more another time!

Blackwater Arboretum, New Forest
Blackwater Arboretum, New Forest
Blackwater Arboretum, New Forest
Blackwater Arboretum, New Forest

And last, but by no means least, my sister and I spent a good bit of the weekend talking Blythe. My sister has recently rediscovered her love and talent for knitting and sewing and has recently set-up an Etsy shop selling Blythe clothing. We had so much fun trying things on and styling some photo shoots :)

Strawberry Shortcake :) #blythe #punkaholicpeople #onblythestreet
Flower girl #blythe #snowflakesonata #onblythestreet #poppytreelane
Walking the dog #blythe #onblythestreet #poppytreelane #factoryblythe
Love this mohair knitted coat my sister made - will be added to her shop soon  #blythe #phoebemaybe #onblythestreet

A week in Jersey ~ through square eyes

I can't imagine life now without my iPhone - or Instagram. I love the simple joy of snapping away, as the creative urge takes me. There's something so wonderful about simply focussing on the composition and the light....Don't get me wrong, I still love my *proper* camera, and the beautiful high quality images it produces, but I have rekindled a love of point and shoot. This post is all about my happy Instagram squared memories of a wonderful week in Jersey.

*Proper* photos to follow later, when I've processed them!

So, Al and I flew over to the beautiful, tiny island of Jersey in early September to catch-up with my family and get our sea-fix. The weather gods smiled on us this time (reckon we were owed a good week!) and everything looked so pretty in the sunshine. The week started with a tippity top breakfast at Jamie's Italian at Gatwick, which was right next door to a super pretty cafe:

Cafe at Gatwick
Wall tiles at Gatwick

Day one and we headed straight to Beauport beach - pebble heaven for me - and spent a lovely day exploring Ouaisne and Portlet.

Beauport - pebble heaven!
The perfect pebble
Beautiful horse near Portlet

Another lovely day was spent with my family pottering around Rozel harbour, Archirondel and Gorey. We had a delicious lunch at the fabulous Feast restaurant (pictured) - highly recommend it!

Feast at Gorey - delicious food!
The ladies!
Feast at Gorey - delicious food!
The finest Swedish cider :)
Blue rabbit at Rozel
Beautiful house at Gorey
Window box at Gorey

One of my favourite things in life is getting away from it all and ambling along cliff paths taking in the view. We spent a lovely day doing exactly that, walking from Plemont to Greve de Lecq and splashing in the sea. I also got to visit my Mum's grave and take some fresh flowers - she's resting in a beautiful, peaceful cemetry in the middle of the countryside. She would have loved our potter through the leafy green lanes in dappled light.

Nothing quite like a paddle in the sea
Summer feet!
Pretty Hydrangeas are everywhere!
Beautiful Jersey granite property
Mum's grave
Duncan and Al enjoying the dappled  light of Jersey's green lanes - so pretty!
Look up, look up - it's so beautiful!

And almost last, but by no means least - the fantabulous St. Ouen's Bay - my favourite beach in the island, and quite possibly, ever! We really did see it in the best light - the sea was aqua and sparkling, the sky was deep blue, and the waves were gently lapping, glimmering in the sunshine, making such pretty patterns. I love St. Ouen's - pure tonic!

Our very fine view for the day at St. Ouen's
Gorgeous aqua at St. Ouen's
La Rocco Tower
Duncan and Dad showing us the Jersey way of life :)
Footprints in the sand
Sparkly sea - the ripples are so pretty!
La Rocco Tower
Sunset at St. Ouen's

Finally, a glimpse of our home for the week - a self-catering lodge at Les Ormes. It was well located and very comfortable - we even had a hot tub which we made good use of! It made a great viewing platform for one of the most epic sunsets I have ever seen - although of course I wish I had been at the beach with my *proper* camera and tripod! But nevertheless it was a spectacular sight :)

Les Ormes Lodges - our home for a week
Epic sunset at Les Ormes