Suffolk’s untouched coastline Covehithe. Many of my pictures on Instagram are taken at this spot so I thought I’d introduce you to the area.
I spend a lot of time here, I was training for the Fjallraven Classic along this route from Kessingland to Dunwich.
The area is called Covehithe which is located between Kessingland and Southwold.
I have always had a fascination with this part of the Suffolk coastline it’s the ruggedness and wild wind swept cliffs that I find appealing. It’s also down to the fact that this area of the UK is so full of candy floss and static caravans that when you find an area that is completely wild it sticks out.
I spent a lot of my childhood exploring and fishing on this beach and can remember the road to the cliff being much longer. Coastal erosion is a massive issue here where up to 4.5m of cliff is lost to the sea every year.
So saying that since I’ve been visiting around 130 metres have gone into the sea.
In the Doomsday survey the hamlet was known as Nordhalla and was recorded with 13 settlers. It takes its modern name from the de Cove family who held land there during the Middle Ages and hithe from old English meaning quay for loading small vessels. Like it’s nearby neighbour Dunwich it had fallen to the wrath of the North Sea and started to be devoured by coastal erosion and the town declined.
The Church of St Andrew
The church of St Andrew fell into ruin and locals where using its walls as building materials.
Currently a small Church is within the Church ruins.
What I love about this coastline is it is always changing unveiling things hidden from time for a few years or for along time.
Regularly wrecks are uncovered for a while and then covered back up, foundations from houses appear out of the cliff then end up on the beach to be covered up later on. It’s a wild coastline we don’t have that much wild coast so this is a haven.
Speaking to someone from natural England earlier today as they where clearing trees on the headland the plan is to develop a path way from Benacre to extend the Suffolk coastal path to Southwold as at present it meanders around Covehithe to Southwold.
I always say try to fit work around your life and not the other way around and with me working a shift pattern which is different to friends that enjoy the same mentality towards life and same interests it is rare that we get the time to catch up and head out for a micro adventure.
This night was one of those rare occasions when the planets where inline and we could do a Micro adventure wild camping on a beach.
So a late start we got the beach around 19:00 with a few dog walkers still about we assessed the area to find there was a bit of ground swell and the tide had been nearly up to the cliff so sleeping on the beach was a no go.
A little while later we had found a space within the bracken that we could setup our tents and get stuck into our micro adventure wild camping on a beach.
Micro adventure wild camping on a beach
Camping on the cliff
I had planned to hammock camp but brought a sleep mat on the off chance I would be able to hang so used my 3×3 tarp to make a shelter to sleep in.
This setup is really versatile but does leave the opening at the front open to the weather.
I had thought about this the other day and quickly had a go at developing a door using my poncho which worked really well so I am happy to use this setup whilst walking the lakes later in the year.
I thought I would take this opportunity to try a product I was sent from a company in Sweden called Sjö och Hav that produces eco friendly products such as mosquito repellent, soaps and shampoos that are perfect for use in an outdoor environment actually in any environment as they are all biodegradable.
I mentioned in previous post the need to balance out life for the sake of everything (your family, work and yourself). It is very important to give yourself the time to reflect on things going on and take some time to wind down and relax to keep that balance in equilibrium.
I work full time as an EMT for the ambulance service where I work varied shift pattern of nights and days sometimes in a fast moving environment and sometimes quite traumatic mentally.
I also work as an on-call firefighter where we are only called to duty through a paging system this means that for 90 hrs in a week I need to be available for fire calls.
Along with everything else: running a house etc I still find the time to unwind and process some of the jobs that I have attended.
For me, getting outside with my Day pack full of my items that I can use to make camp, build a fire, brew a coffee and whittle a spoon is the way I unwind.
Throwing up the hammock amongst the trees and laying back and processing some of the incidents I have recently attended allows me to better myself next, look at my mistakes and stops me from dwelling on traumatic jobs.
There is definitely something about being outdoors assisting with depression (not that I suffer with depression) but is this due to me balancing out life and giving myself ample time outdoor?
Just the other day I was refuelling the car before heading out for the morning and the sudden whiff of the diesel took me back to a life changing event in my life where myself and my wife where nearly killed in the Asian Tsunami in Sri Lanka in 2004 so most of that morning was used contemplating that traumatic event, how we were so lucky and how that event has lead to me doing what I do and being who I am.
Ever had that experience when sounds and smells take you back to a place or event in your life? Well, this ‘trigger’ is a in built animal instinct which can trigger that fight or flight instinct. The smell trigger warns a animal of a danger perhaps scent of a predator or scent of rancid or poisonous food where sound warns the animal of a possible danger. The sound of screaming takes me back to that event standing on the beach in Sri Lanka.
How do we deal with these triggers? Well through my own experience they will always be with you it’s about processing those warning signs and realising that they are now a inbuilt warning system. Due to work, I go through traumatic events on a weekly basis and it’s learning how to process them and use them to your advantage.
Black humour is a way of emergency service staff processing the events we deal with if you where to walk into any crew room and hear the black humour you would think what a messed up load of people we are but this is a coping mechanism.
I generally spend my ‘me time’ during the week when the wife is at work and the kids are at school. This allows me to balance time with family and giving some time to myself which I feel is needed for everyone.
I’ll go out with the dog, walk along the river stalking some pike, spend some time contemplating whatever has been happening or what I’m planning. Creating little adventures / goals is a great way of giving you some downtime from day to day chores that will assist in you reaching your goals.
Plan what you want to do. Micro adventuring doesn’t needs to be expensive but set aside a un-used bank account and setup a standing order and put what ever you can afford into it weekly and soon funds will be to help you reach your goals.
Enjoy the planning, follow this site for further posts on micro adventure ideas.