black and barren, shut in the view of the green cultivated country. Pleasure-boats glide here and there over the calm waters; larger vessels steer lazily in or out of the sea-channels, and while you look, a rushing streamer of steam bursts into view on the other side, and the swift roar of a train comes faintly across from the South Devon Railway. There is something impressive in the view, though nothing like so beautiful as some you have seen and are yet to see; and it is not easy to see why Exmouth should have become famous. Its immediate neighbourhood is prosaic enough to delight an inhabitant of Cambridgeshire; a visitor, however, able to explore, may find a few pleasant walksto Withecomb, Orcomb Point, and to the sanctuary of St. John in the Wilderness--a picturesque little ruin. You might see this by coming directly across the country from Hays Barton to Exmouth instead of going down to Budleigh Salterton.

The ferry here is of considerable width; while crossing, you see that the “ bight,” as the estuary is named within the shoals, has all the appearance of a lake;-rough enough in windy weather to frighten timid folk. You are landed on the Warren, the wild waste of sand before mentioned, which juts out two miles from the main shore; and a dreary expanse it is when seen as I saw it, in the gloom of twilight. Here and there are slimy patches, treacherous if not dangerous to the stranger; but for the most part the sand affords firm footing. The only guide was the faint track of wheels that had recently crossed, which I followed till they disappeared on the margin of a broad shallow stream flowing gently through one of the numerous hollows.

Which way now? I tried the stream, but found its bed grow too soft, and everywhere in what seemed to me the right direction there lay pools at the bottom of shallow basins of sludge. It was just such a "fix" as a man resolved on roughing it along the coast must make up his mind to; but I little liked the prospect of detention, and was, moreover, uncertain as to what would be the effect of the rising tide. This, at all events, was one of the lowest parts of the bank, which it would be desirable to escape from. I turned round, and retraced my steps for some minutes towards the lights of Exmouth twinkling in the distance, and struck out for a new track. After a quarter of an hour's walking, I felt my feet brushing among coarse reedy grass on a low ridge, which apparently ran the right way for me. I strode hastily along it, and found the grass grow thicker and longer, and hundreds of rabbits scudding hither and thither at the noise of my approach: a satisfactory sign of being out of the reach of water. I kept on, and after sundry ups and downs, and a tedious tramp over a flat on which the foot slid back with every step, came at last to the gap where Langstone Cliff is cut in two by the railway.

Still deeper grew the twilight under the shadow of the dark precipices; but the walking is good on the broad sea-wall which protects the line from the assaults of the waves; and another half hour brought me to Dawlish.


Leave Dawlish-Parson and Clerk-The Sea-wall-Teignmouth-The

Den-Ferry to Shaldon-An Audience of Haymakers-Saying a Song -Rustic Hospitality-Nine Shillings a Week—A Bath—Watcombe -Anstis's Cove-Babbacombe Bay-Torquay-A Tailor CiceroneTorbay–Climate-Paignton-Brixham - The Pedlars~ The PortLanding of William III.-Berry Head—The Dart—Dartmouth-Old Houses-Stoke Fleming - Blackpool-Street-Slapton Sands—Torcross-Halsands - A Fishing Village--Reluctant Hostess—Start Bay.

THERE was a more pleasing view of the little town next morning than I had thought. It lies in one of those valleys which Nature has formed along this coast to gladden the invalid and refresh the wanderer. Its centre is occupied by a small stream, crossed by two or three bridges, and a railed grassy inclosure, and on either side are the lines of houses immediately under the hills. The space between is wide and green enough to give a sense of freedom and pleasure to those who look from the frequent bay-windows; and to make them believe Polwhele's derivation, Dol is, “ fruitful mead on river side,” not at all inappropriate, whether true or not. The mouth of the valley is traversed by the railway viaduct, supported on massive columns, and so designed as not to shock the eye too much when looking to seawards, and to afford free access to the shore. In the gardens you may see plants and flowering shrubs which in the midland counties have to be kept in a conservatory, the climate being remarkably mild: preferable, say some authorities, to Torquay.

Looking back as you go up the hill towards Teignmouth, the campanile-formed chimney of what was the station when the South Devon was an atmospheric line, is a conspicuous and elegant, though comparatively useless object. It would be a real ornament if transferred into the town. Between Dawlish and Teignmouth the . red honeycombed cliffs are, perhaps, more broken up into wild forms than on any other part of the coast; but there is no road to the beach till you come to Smuggler’s-lane, nearly two miles farther. I got over into the first field, dodged about the edge of the corn, scrambled across a ditch, and so made my way at once to the edge of the cliff. It was strange to look down on a railway and a party of plate-layers, whose hammers woke the echoes with unceremonious strokes, after having come, by a few days' experience, to associate the . idea of complete solitude with the windings of the shore. While walking along here you can see those two singular rocks named Parson and Clerk, from a resemblance which they are supposed to bear to their living clerical namesakes. Both are in the attitude of supplication, and the clerk, being farthest in the sea, receives the first shock of the waves: no unapt representation of what takes place in actual life-most buffetings for those of fewest honours and smallest pay. The cliffs are of red

sandstone, not clay, as farther east; much of their broken character is due to the many “faults,” which, giving entrance to the water, facilitate the work of destruction during storms. The detached masses, some bridged together by planks, are so numerous, veined with streaks of a lighter colour, and the outline of the cliffs so irregular, that the stroll, whether at the top or at the base, is unusually interesting. The estuary of the Teign, Hope's Nose, and Berry Head, come into view from the height immediately above Smuggler's-lane; and you may scan beforehand the greater part of your day's work. I found the advantage of this more than once in the view it gave me of things and places a little way inland, which when I came abreast of them were concealed by an intervening rise of the ground.

There is the railway again below, issuing from a tunnel pierced through the mighty headland; and by descending to the lane you may walk the rest of the way to Teignmouth along the sea-wall—a smooth and level promenade, for which visitors are no doubt duly thankful.

The valley of the Teign offers a variety of beautiful scenery, where the sojourner may find pleasure and interest for weeks. Take a place in one of the marketboats that ply to and from Newton, and the reaches of the river, here shut in by by wooded slopes, there by swelling meadows, yonder by precipitous cliffs, will present a rare feast to your eye. Twofold, for there are the shadows on the water, and cottages and homesteads in the hollows, and little valleys that open from time to

« VorigeDoorgaan »