Our summer field trip this year was to Porlock on Somerset’s Exmoor coast.
We drove there under leaden skies and rain but as we arrived, the sun came out and stayed with us the rest of the day.
First stop was Porlock Marsh. Owned by the National Trust, this was formerly a meadow which was flooded by the tides when the sea breached the shingle beach in 1996. A healthy salt marsh has now developed, studded by dead trees that perished due to salinity, tumbledown farm walls and other remnants of its former existence as agricultural land. There was plenty to interest us photographically for a couple of hours, such as compositions of skeletal trees framing other trees.
Next we drove up Porlock Hill, reputedly the steepest “A” road in England. Our trip was timed to coincide with flowering heather, providing a rare opportunity to capture a purple landscape.
The foreground was further enhanced by contrasting yellow flowers of gorse.
Looking north-east we enjoyed views over Porlock Bay to Bossington Hill and across the Bristol Channel to Wales.
To the south-east, the heather gave way to wooded combes and beyond that to Dunkery Hill, enveloped in another purple haze.
A drive towards Exford and then through Luccombe took us over the moors, enabling us to view a large herd of red deer, and through some precipitously steep coombes to a 13th century church. Then it was down to Porlock Weir for a pub meal.
The shingle beach at Porlock Weir is well-known amongst photographers for its groynes, some of which are dilapidated and photographically more appealing as a result. Using neutral density filters, we were able to capture images of the old timbers and cobbles surrounded by smooth, misty water.
Sunset was spectacular, as pink hues spread across the sky from north to west, ending in a finale of fiery orange.
Thanks to Mike Valentine for driving. RH See more photos from Porlock