Sidmouth to Beer
The second day of our mini-break started with a gentle meander round J and P's' stunning garden in some soft Devon weather, where I was delighted to find lots of Common Ramping Fumitory - a common enough species in the south-west but a real rarity in the east.
We then headed off to Otterton Mill, where there were arts and crafts to admire and freshly baked bread to buy. We had a short stroll along the river, hoping to catch a glimpse of either an otter or a beaver, but unsurprisingly we saw neither so cut our losses and headed on to Sidmouth, a very genteel seaside resort with some magnificent and very dangerous crumbling sandstone cliffs. The cliff top promenade was overhung with ivy which was swarming with Ivy Bees, (see extra), literally thousands of them.
We then went down into the town where we had a very tasty pasty lunch (courtesy of Chunk of Devon) at a rather psychedelic cafe. This fuelled us for a short sea-side walk, though Pete and I were a bit disappointed that the beach was closed because of the danger of rockfalls.
Then it was onto Beer, where the cliffs are made of chalk, the white rock forming a rather dazzling promontory. Here there were lots more Ivy Bees and several flowering spikes of Ivy Broomrape (see extra). We also found a mating pair of Bloody-nosed Beetles. The shingle beach was immaculately tidy, but the cliffs had a good range of seaside plants including Tree Mallow, Wild Cabbage and Rock Sea-lavender. Before setting off for home we visited a pub in the village, largely so that Pete could have a beer in Beer - well it just had to be done!