Friday, 19 September 2014

Burgh Island

First thing on Thursday morning, last week, I took Tilly out for a walk and we passed this intriguing little place in the back walkways of Totnes.  It is the Leechwell, a set of three springs which, in the 1400s, were considered to have healing properties (read more here - the springs still feature in Totnes life today http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leechwell).  Totnes is such an ancient place that at every turn you come across something extraordinary.  I had no idea these were here.  
My cousin had some good suggestions of how to spend the day.  We plumped for a visit to Burgh Island, driving along the Avon estuary as there is a road exposed during low tide, which makes the journey rather interesting.  We saw masses of birds, all poking about in the mud flats.
Burgh Island (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burgh_Island) sits across a large expanse of sand from Bigbury, cut off twice a day by the tide travelling in and out of the Avon Estuary.  
We walked over to the island, and were rather entertained by the sight of a tractor towing an ancient, small fishing boat, across the sand, complete with crew on board.  Only in Devon!
The equally ancient tractor then backed carefully into the sea, launching the boat in a very sedate and well-practiced routine.
Burgh Island has a restored, 1920s Art Deco hotel.  It's a glamorous place to stay, and hotel guests arrive either by a shiny black MPV when the tide is out, or a big sea tractor which can travel through the water when the tide is in.
On the way back to Totnes we stopped at a garden centre, where we had a very enjoyable wander round.  A good day.


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