Day 41: Topsham to Teignmouth – Viaduct & Breakwater

9 comments
Devon - South, England
M5 Exe Viaduct I, Devon.

M5 Viaduct I, Devon.

The fragility of the frosty reed beds by the Exe contrast with the monumentality of the concrete motorway viaduct. Incredibly the river Exe starts just a few kilometres from the north coast of Somerset in Exmoor but perversely chooses to run south right across the country to get to the sea here.

Exe Reedbeds Nature Reserve, Devon.

Exe Reedbeds Nature Reserve, Devon.

M5 Exe Viaduct & Exe Reedbeds Nature Reserve, Devon.

M5 Exe Viaduct & Exe Reedbeds Nature Reserve, Devon.

Morning Pylon, Tumbling Hills, Devon.

Morning Pylon, Tumbling Hills, Devon.

Exminster Marshes Nature Reserve, Devon.

Exminster Marshes Nature Reserve, Devon.

I’m surprised that Powderham Castle and estate is actually lived in today by the Earl of Devon rather than surviving as a conference centre or National Trust enterprise. I can’t decide wether I think this is a good thing or not. I’m sitting below the incongruous burgundy powderham.co.uk sign applying blister plasters to my heels when a woman exclaims ”Oh dear!” in a Scottish accent with a smile as she walks past me.

M5 Exe Viaduct II, Devon.

M5 Exe Viaduct II, Devon.

Exminster Marshes from Exeter Canal, Devon.

Exminster Marshes from Exeter Canal, Devon.

M5 Exe Viaduct III, Devon.

M5 Exe Viaduct III, Devon.

I head into the Atmospheric Railway pub for lunch named after Brunel’s ill fated vacuum driven rail service that ran here briefly. I’m very glad to get out of the cold and am met equally warmly by the regulars curious where the backpacker in their midst is heading. However I don’t think I’ll be heeding the notice behind the bar that reads ‘If at first you don’t succeed give up and go to the pub’.

Topsham Lock Cottage, Exeter Canal, Devon.

Topsham Lock Cottage, Exeter Canal, Devon.

Dawlish Warren is a drab and tawdry holiday resort who’s charmlessness is only emphasised by the jolly rainbow signs stating ‘The Fun Starts Here’ and Miami style graphics of palm trees and golden sands.

Low Rail Adhesion, Dawlish, Devon.

Low Rail Adhesion, Dawlish, Devon.

Train at Dawlish breakwater, Devon.

Train at Dawlish breakwater, Devon.

Seeing trains passing close to the sea next to the red cliffs is so beguiling and iconically British that I stop for a while with a stupid grin watching the spectacle on the footbridge like a dyed-in-the-wool trainspotter.

Dawlish Breakwater I, Devon.

Dawlish Breakwater I, Devon.

Dog walkers scurry along the breakwater occasionally getting splashed by mighty waves – this must be a local amusement. I try my luck following along: first a wave breaks to my front then to the back and finally I get a wave full in the face as I shield my camera with my body like a baby.

Dawlish Breakwater II, Devon.

Dawlish Breakwater II, Devon.

Continuing into Dawlish the waves splashing over the breakwater shift from being entertaining to alarming and I end up being forced to backtrack and taking a higher inland route. Moral of the story: Devonian dog walkers are adrenaline junkies not to be trusted!

Dawlish Breakwater III, Devon.

Dawlish Breakwater III, Devon.

Dawlish Breakwater IV, Devon.

Dawlish Breakwater IV, Devon.

Posted by

British Architectural & Landscape Photographer.

9 thoughts on “Day 41: Topsham to Teignmouth – Viaduct & Breakwater”

    • It wasn’t as bad as being rained on all day! Glad you like etc breakwater photos – the water droplets are frozen at 1/4000 second which is about as fast as my camera can go

      Like

  1. Exminster Marshes Nature Reserve, Devon.

    The old tree trunk in the near right foreground looks like a mystical eared figure offering homage to the pylon!

    Liked by 1 person

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