Seaton Hole

After months of cold, wet and gloom, today was the first warm sunny day of the year. Combined with a spring low tide, this was the perfect opportunity for a seaside walk. I’ve visited Seaton many times, but never at such a low tide, which revealed a wave-cut platform of Triassic mudstone emerging from under the flint pebble beach at the low water mark. Riddled with piddock burrows and home to a small forest of kelp, these typically red rocks are marked with lots of soft green – sometimes perfect circles or ovals, sometimes veins, and sometimes mottled with the traces of fossil worm burrows. The red rock is coloured by oxidised (ferric) iron, and the green by reduced (ferrous) iron compounds. A freshwater brook (Beer Brook) runs across the beach over the rocks, giving plenty of scope for ripple shots!

We walked past the fault at Seaton Hole where the red mud cliffs suddenly give way to towering white chalk cliffs skirted with huge fallen boulders – a scene worthy of the Romantic painters – and looked around the corner towards Beer Head. Another day, I want to start out earlier and walk right along to Beer, exploring another section of local coastline more closely. But today, the parking ticket is limiting, so time to trudge back along the pebbles and have an ice cream cone!

Seaton EX12 2PX, UK