There is something about being next to water that is quite magical. This is the view from the balcony at Westcliffe, a boathouse property situated on Kingsbridge Estuary. The living space opens out onto a decked balcony that overlooks the water and allows you to watch the birds and the kayakers, all at the mercy of the tidal swell.
Paddleboarders drift by and the peace is punctuated by the occasional bark of an excited dog being walked along the foreshore. The public footpath which meanders around the beach seems to be permanently in use, even at 6:30 in the morning.
We return frequently to this part of the world, driven by my nostalgia (most of our childhood holidays were around Plymouth) and the convenience of having lots of beaches to choose from, even though we generally end up at Bantham.
I’m not a big ‘beach person’ – an hour is quite enough for me – but the kids will canter into the sea at a temperature which a penguin might find chilly. But there’s the Gastrobus which serves teas, coffees, homemade cakes and of course the obligatory burgers and ice creams. Plus there’s toilets. When you have kids in tow these things can often make or break a day!
It is great to return to Westcliffe and sit on the balcony overlooking the water with a glass of wine in hand. As I write, there are lots of motorboats and dinghies full of Devon ‘youth’ who all seem to be slim, healthy and weathered in that long hair, tan and tattoo kind of way I could never manage to emulate.
Life seems to move at a different pace down here and despite the fact we live a stones’ throw from Cardiff Bay and have the faded Victorian splendour of Penarth close by, there is no comparison, in my eyes at least.
No wonder Agatha Christie had a holiday home close by. I’m hoping I might be struck by a similar creative genius. If not, at least, for the moment, I have the view.