Tuesday, 14 April 2015
Swimming back in time
We seem to be having a premature summer at the moment; long may it last. It was the perfect day to walk from Beesands to Hallsands, and from there to swim to the ruined village - known as Old Hallsands (this is the only way to get close to the ruins). This was a tiny fishing community that was obliterated in a storm in 1917 when the houses were washed away....apparently because of dredging which disrupted the protective shingle bank. As we walked along the coastpath from Beesands it could not have been more perfect: blue sparkling flat sea stretching for miles, primroses and violets everywhere, and tantalising glimpses of empty beaches out of reach below. Once at Hallsands, we swam into beautifully clear sea, around a small headland with some still occupied houses teetering precariously on top. Then it started to get quite surreal. One house hung off a cliff with a seventies-swirled blue divan and a chair still there in a room. As we got further down the coast the houses got more ruined, until eventually we got to the last which stood like a stark cardboard cut-out with its windows like vacant eyes.