Views that take your breath away

Our first walk together in the early autumn, as the last of the summer’s warmth started to burn away.

The cool salt breeze playfully tugged at hats hastily crammed onto heads, as we huddled around, contemplating the jagged cliffs beyond. This was the North Devon coastline, equal parts beautiful and rugged. We started to climb the steep, twisting paths; one minute legs burning as we reached the top of one cliff, the next racing down the other side, trying to catch our breath.

For company, we had the gulls, soaring overhead, making a mockery of our slow efforts. Below, the last surfer of the season, braving the white, foaming waves - always seeming to dodge the rocks at the last second. We finally stopped at the peak of the tallest cliff.

Finally, we could take in the stunning vista before us: the seemingly endless ocean, the undulating coastline stretching away into the distance. We weren’t the only ones admiring the view: we’d found ourselves by a tiny hut-cum-observatory, with one small telescope poking out from its windows, straining to see the skudding ships on the horizon. So absorbed in the landscape, we almost got left behind as the rest of our group moved on. We hurried after the others, looking back over our shoulders to snatch a final glance at the summit, the cold autumn winds already nipping at our heels.

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