Being my first blog EVER, I thought what better way to start than simply sharing something I have enjoyed recently that allowed me to appreciate my surroundings and just feel happy. We have all had the chance to look at our little corners of the world with a new perspective and the countryside never fails to deliver. Especially with the guidelines changing once again, I believe that any moment we can create for ourselves to feel calm and grateful is important for our wellbeing – which is precisely what my trips to watch the sunset have been about!
The Autumn Equinox on Saturday 22nd September, one of two unique dates when day and night are equal, made me realise that the season of sunsets is almost over! Don’t get me wrong, there is something about wrapping up against the elements and the warm hug you get from an open fire but flicking back through these glowing photos… I do wonder if the dark evenings really are my cup of tea!
So this being said, I wanted to make some recommendations for the best places to view sunsets! Home, for me, is the Somerset Levels but I am currently based in Plymouth whilst I finish the final year of my degree so I have got both locations covered. Also, I learnt the hard way that there are a few things worth considering ahead of time, to ensure it is a spectacular evening. Whilst you might not think that watching a sunset needs any preparation, I am the kind of person that doesn’t even go for a dog walk without considering if it will be long enough to warrant snacks! Even during the summer, it is still the UK so hot chocolate (with a drop of Bailey’s if you’re not driving), a cosy jumper and a blanket to sit on are a must!
Burrow Mump (Burrowbridge, Taunton, TA7 0RB)
This local landmark offers a panoramic lookout with views across the Levels. Surrounded by farmland, on a warm summers evening, your only company will be the farmers busy at work in the fields below. Ruins of a Grade II listed church stands proud at the top providing incredible opportunity to get those creative shots!
There is parking at the base of the hill and it took me under 10 minutes to climb up the slope (and I get out of breath very quickly)! Dogs are allowed but on leads only, as there can be sheep grazing and I would recommend getting there early to get a good spot.
Walton Hill (Cockrod, Street, BA16, UK) – This one is great for anyone with restricted mobility as you can enjoy the views without getting out of your car and if you do fancy an evening stroll, you’re already at the top of the hill! A great place for dogs with multiple paths from this lookout spot but the small roadside car par means an early arrival is advisable.
South Milton Sands (Thurlestone, Kingsbridge, TQ7 3JY)
A stunning National Trust beach offering a completely unobstructed view of the sunset. Despite being a further drive from Plymouth, it is one of the best I’ve seen. You have the choice of the National Trust Café or you can have your dinner on the beach! There is a wonderful food van offering takeaway pizzas, burgers, ice creams, drinks and much more and they have a lovely seating area illuminated by fairy lights. Non-members pay for parking, dogs are allowed all year round and toilet facilities are available.
Jennycliff Beach (Staddon Ln, Plymouth, PL9 9SW) – Whilst the beach here is lovely, there is a park at the top, next to the car park, with stunning views across Plymouth Sound and the sunsets here are famous! Accessible to everyone and a lovely picnic location. Sadly the Jennycliff Café currently closes at 16:30 but it is worth remembering this one for another time!
Wherever you are in the country, I hope you all get to make the most of some beautiful skies!
Thank you so much for reading!
Regional Reporter - South West England
A motto I live by is “if it makes your heart happy, follow it and the right doors for you will open”. I grew up on the Somerset Levels and am currently studying my final year of Hospitality Management at the University of Plymouth. After specialising in the Cruise Industry and spending 7 months sailing around the world, I simply confirmed that the British countryside is where my heart lies. Like many, my love of the countryside runs deep. I spend as much of my free time possible riding, sailing, baking or exploring with my dog in tow and I love nothing more than a countryside picnic…except maybe a cosy pub dinner! To me, hospitality is about having something you’re proud of and wanting to share it; a purpose I see mirrored in the objectives of the Ladies Countryside Community and I’m excited to get stuck in! Take a look at my blog @thecountrysidecorner