The weather was beautiful this morning, for breakfast in Lyme Regis and a trip to the lovely playground. It was still lovely when we arrived in Charmouth, but the waves were crashing over the walkway behind the heritage centre. I was a bit dubious about walking that way to the beach, but other people were doing it and B seemed to think it would be fine. He carried E and forged on ahead, whilst Izzy and I followed behind, holding hands. Half way along, an enormous wave crashed right over our heads, soaking us both. Poor Izzy was dripping wet, head to toe and immediately burst into tears. I led her down onto the beach, where an artist was collecting bits of seaweed for her sculptures and people were searching for fossils. I did a #2minutebeach clean but the beach was so utterly covered in rubbish, it made no discernible difference at all. There were so many people out and about, I couldn’t help thinking that if everybody had just picked up 1 or 2 bits of plastic, then that would have made a difference. Izzy was not in the mood any more, so we turned around. Back at the car park, B gave Izzy his coat and she decided that she wanted to explore the beach on the other side of the river. There was a boy feeding the ducks next to the bridge and a Cormorant drying its wings. E drew in the sand with his finger, then got quite a lot in his eye. Izzy collected some bits of Bladderwrack and driftwood and climbed on a boulder. B found some ammonites, before we headed back to the car. We passed some flowering 3-Cornered Leek and E pointed out some Daisies – a few little signs that Spring is on its way.
Total wild time – 1 hour 30 mins
It was a gorgeous morning in Lyme Regis as we hit the beach to search for fossils. E had the best find – a rock covered in ammonites, but we all found a couple in the end. Izzy was disappointed not to find more – I think she was expecting to find a full dinosaur skeleton.
Total wild time – 1 hour 30 mins
We had a great afternoon on East Cliff Beach, between Lyme Regis and Charmouth. We skipped down the 114 steps, past some sculptures, patches of Bristly Ox-tongue and a couple of Clouded Yellow Butterflies. There were some great rock pools to potter around in and we saw several crabs and little fishes. Izzy slipped rather dramatically on the green algae and ended up with her feet in the air. Undeterred, she continued to jump from rock to rock. We arrived at the beach at the same time as a load of students, who looked very busy with tape measures and clipboards. Skirting around them and the jagged bits of metal, which have apparently come from a tip exposed by the eroding cliffs, we found a boulder on which to unload our stuff. From there, we searched for fossils (yet again the best one, a tiny shell, was found by E), collected sea glass and paddled in the sea. I tried to make a picture of a dragon with the sea glass, but it was hijacked by Izzy, who turned it into a fish. We took a photo, before it was covered by the incoming tide, then we changed E’s soggy trousers and socks, before climbing the 114 steps back to the car park.
We had thought the kids would be worn out, but apparently not – Izzy serenaded us with Christmas songs all the way home.
Total wild time – 2 hours
We took the bus to Seaton Jurassic, which we’ve been to several times before. However, we last visited a few months ago and the outside area had been extended with new exhibits since then. The wildlife garden had also grown up and was full of bees and birds.
The kids enjoyed stamping their booklets and Izzy did all the quizzes and brass rubbings. We hunted for prehistoric life, explored the giant rockpool, learned about the tides, dug for fossils, fished for magnetic crabs, created food webs and of course, waved at the passing trams.
Total wild time: 2 hours
I had our towels and cozzies at the ready, but sea-swimming had to be shelved due to the unexpected return of winter to East Devon. Instead, we visited the beach at Charmouth, with the new aim of finding some fossils. B picked up a fragment of ammonite almost immediately, but unfortunately that was our sole find for the day. I have memories of tripping over fossils on this beach on a childhood holiday, so I’m not sure why we found it so difficult to find any. Perhaps it is just because I am further from the ground than I was then. The sea was pleasant enough for a paddle and the kids enjoyed jumping over the waves. We found a couple of tiny silver fish washed up on the shore and Izzy threw them back into the sea. Then, we happily lost track of time poking about in the rock pools, where there were loads of crabs smaller than a fingernail (and a couple of biggies), tons of shrimps and even a little flatfish. Before long, the kids were filthy and soaked. We changed them into clean, dry clothes and headed home for dinner.
Total wild time: 1 hour 40 mins