Clouds over the Bristol Channel

Sadly, it was time to set off for home today, and after a delicious breakfast of tayberry porridge, we headed north-east along the M5 back towards Peterborough. 

We made a small detour to Brean Down, a limestone peninsula that juts out into the Bristol Channel, and which has a rich flora including several rarities. We'd only got about a third of the way up the hill when we spotted the first of these, white rock-rose, which I'd never seen before in the wild (see extra). I was quite surprised it was flowering so early in the year, but it grows on a very steep, sun-baked south-facing slope, which probably accounts for this.

We spent some time inching slowly across the precipitous slope, admiring the many tiny ground-hugging plants, as well as taking in the extensive views across Bridgewater Bay towards Exmoor. I found it quite scary, being somewhat weighted down with camera equipment, and having to deal with a strong and blustery wind. I really couldn't look down!

After a couple of sausage rolls in the National Trust cafe, we were on the road again, driving through some pretty heavy rain for most of the Midlands before emerging into drier weather in the east. Alex and Ben had prepared a delicious venison stew for dinner, and there was time to eat this and have a bit of a rest before I drove Chris and Lizzy to Huntingdon station on the first leg of their journey to Sri Lanka. Needless to say, I was pretty shattered by the time I finally returned home just after 10 p.m.

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