|Burgh Island Hotel inspired one of Agatha Christie's most|
famous crime mysteries
Our Younger Daughter travelled with us, which was nice, because it's a while since the four of us have been together. The Man Of The House and I had a fabulous time enjoying our daughters' company, and we all had a lovely meal out to celebrate Younger Daughter's forthcoming birthday. The area was completely new to both of us, so we had a great time exploring and managed to pack a lot into a few days, but still have plenty of places to see on future visits. The only downside was my ailing laptop, which went on strike and ceased to function at all. We are now back home, and it is working in what can only be described as an idiosyncratic fashion, but has refused point blank to let me download photographs from my camera, so I have been forced to store them on another computer.
Anyway, that's quite enough of me and my family. Back to Burgh Island, which is around 300 yards from Bigbury Beach, and you can walk to it when the tide is on the way out - Elder Daughter and her boyfriend have done it, and walked on the island, which is about a mile around In addition to the hotel there are three houses, and a pub called the Pilchard Inn. However, when we went to the beach the tide was on the way in, and we were worried we might get stranded there until the tide turned. The Burgh Island Hotel has a special tractor, where seating for the driver and passengers is raised on tall wheels, high above the sand and water, so everyone can cross the causeway safely, without getting wet.
|I'm not very good at taking photos of people, but I rather like|
this one of my daughters paddling. Lucy (the elder) is on the
right, and Emily (the younger) is on the left.
Burgh Island was once known as St Michael's Island, and there was a monastery where monks brewed mead and caught pilchards, but after the Dissolution fishermen moved in and turned what was left of the chapel into a 'huers hut', where a 'hue and cry' was sounded to alert everyone when the pilchard shoals were sighted. Look-out posts of a different type were built during WW2, when it was feared the Germans might try to establish a beachhead there. Anti-tank defences were established, with two defensive 'pill boxes' and an observation post.
|The rocks along the sure were full of fissures and clefts, and|
weathered into sharp points and pinnacles, made of
thin layers, like slate or shale.
But the war changed all that. The RAF used it for airmen recovering from wounds, and the two top floors suffered bomb damage. Repairs were carried out, but after the war it was turned into self- catering holiday flats. It was restored in the 1990s and the early years of this century, and remains best known as the setting for Christie's books 'And Then There Were None', and 'Evil Under The Sun'. A TV version of the latter, starring David Suchet as Hercule Poirot, was filmed on location at Burgh Island and Burgh Island Hotel.
|The lower part of the rock was smoothed by waves, and|
you could see the twisted strata. Some of the looked like
the feet of giant creatures stuck in the sand.
The golden sands of the beach at Bigbury-on-Sea are popular with families and surfers, and it got quite busy, despite the bitterly cold wind. Many of the visitors set up a home-from-home on the sand, with tents, windbreaks, chairs, tables and barbecues. Mostly they were made of sterner stuff than us, and were clad in traditional beach attire, which must have been chilly, to say the least. We stayed warmly clad, but shed footwear to go paddling, walked along the sand, and sat in the shelter of some rocks to eat our picnic. For more Saturday Snapshots see Alice's blog at http://athomewithbooks.net/
|A view of the island, showing the hotel on the left, and the |
Pilchard Inn on the right.