Dare to Dream at Ness Cove Beach, Devon. Smugglers Tunnel, Red Cliffs, Seaglass and Shells!

Dare to Dream at Ness Cove Beach, Devon. Smugglers Tunnel, Red Cliffs, Seaglass and Shells!

Entrance to beach tunnel at Ness Cover, Devon

I thought I would take you along to one of my favourite beachcombing haunts, Ness Cove Beach in Shaldon, Devon. (Location: What Three Words - combines.euphoric.dissolves). This grand entrance is the sight that greets you as you walk from The Ness car park towards the beach, following the sign pointing to “Smugglers Tunnel”. As you walk along the tunnel your pulse starts racing as the roar of the ocean grows louder and louder. The reveal doesn’t come until right at the end! You feel slightly Hollywood as the sensors turn on the lights one by one and illuminate your way along the tunnel.
Before you know it, you’ve burst into the bright sunshine and there before you is Ness Cove, with its towering Devonshire red cliffs and its secluded majestic glory.

Red cliffs of Ness Cove in Devon

While I was there I picked up a piece of rubber tyre from the beach to throw in the litter bins at the entrance, but generally I find that this beach has very little litter which is great news. This may be due to the amazing beach clean initiative that is seen at many beaches in the South West. There are litter picking stations at the entrance to beaches, encouraging people to take a litter picker and complete a 2 minute beach clean as part of their visit. The project is supported by beachclean.net, and beach cleaners are encouraged to take a snap of their endeavours, and share on social media to highlight the problems of refuse and especially plastics on our beaches and in the oceans. I can honestly say whenever I have visited Ness Beach it has been spotless.

Beach clean station at Ness Bech, Devon

The beach today wasn’t too busy, but there were people exercising dogs, strolling hand in hand, a couple were setting up a portable bbq, one brave and hardy couple were swimming and another couple of ladies were shell hunting. I joined the ranks of the treasure hunters, strolling along the retreating tideline with my eyes firmly glued to the sand in full treasure hunting mode. To be honest its usually one eye on the sand and one on the waves...trying to avoid wet ankles when that one in seven big wave takes you by surprise. I think the idea that waves come in sets of 7 is a myth....but I like to think its true.

I have heard mixed reports about beachcombing success at Ness Beach. Some lucky hunters post pictures of the huge seaglass haul they’ve found at this beach, but I have never found the glass here to be plentiful. However, what the beach lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality. Some of my best finds have been here, and just over the estuary in Teignmouth at The Point Beach. Today I found this delightfully perfect green seaglass jelly bean.

Green bean shaped piece of seaglass photographed on a hand at the beach

As mentioned in some of my blog posts and product descriptions, my favourite seaglass colour is seafoam. I always find this colour pops out at you from the sand, especially when you find it lolling in the surf. Today was no exception. The waves rolled back and I stopped dead in my tracks to see this beauty sat on the sand! 

Triangular  seafoam piece of seaglass held on a hand at the beach

The ocean also gifted me another chunky piece that was less perfect in shape, but made up for it in its glowing sea green of the ocean.

Seafoam seaglass on a rock at the beach next to seaweed and a piece of sea tumbled red brick

What I have always found at Ness Beach are lots of interesting shells. I didn’t actually take pictures of the shells I found, but there were many Turitella, the long spiral seashells, colourful tiny whelks, prickly cockles and scallop. There were also lots of oyster shells which have such vivid mother of pearl on the inside surface. It made me decide that I really need to make more of these in my jewellery. I collected a few which will make fabulous pendants so expect to see those appear in the shop in the near future. 

This is an example of a Turitella made into a pendant. Click HERE to see some of my shell jewellery 🐚.

Long spiral shell wrapped with shiny wire and with a bead and triangle of seaglass attached at the bottom to make a necklace. Photographed on a beach

 Another one of nature’s treasures on my hunt list is the elusive hagstone. I have found that Ness Cove is not a particularly great place to find hagstones. It requires a certain type of cliff, tidal pattern, and a certain type of pebble that isn’t to be found at The Ness. I did however find this wannabe hagstone. I left it behind in the hope I may return in thirty years to find it worn right through ☺️.

Stone with holes worn part through it, photographed on a hand at the beach

Another fascination of mine is seaweed. It always looks so edible! I love the nori in sushi and would really love to make some dishes using seaweed from British beaches. Maybe I could do some research and experimentation, and this could be a subject for a future blog post! I found this lovely feathery piece of seaweed today.......yummy. It does look a bit like a beached alien!

Feathery Seaweed at the beach

There’s really not much else to say about Ness Beach other than it has a big car park, a little  shop, a pub, and is also next to a small zoo. If zoos are your thing you could certainly make a day of it in Shaldon. 

I will sign out with this fabulous piece of grafitti on the steps back up to the tunnel. I guess grafitti is technically a crime, but when it is done well I think it contributes a sense of humanity to an otherwise wild and natural place. See you down at the beach real soon 🏖Grafitti on a beach wall of a boy in goggles with the phrase Dare to Dream written above

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