Ayrmer Cove is one of a number of small, secluded coves located along the south coast of Devon. Their jagged rock formations can form the perfect backdrop to a winter sunset.
This was my second visit to this part of Devon, the first being in 2007 when I visited Westcombe Beach, which lies about a mile further west along the coast from Ayrmer.
How to get there?
When you reach the village of Ringmore, follow the signs to the National Trust car-park located to the south-west of the village (be careful, the roads here are single track). When parked, walk to the far end of the car park where you will find a wooden gate – this is the entrance to the trail that leads down to the cove. The trail itself is just lots of mud, twigs and leaves – wear Wellingtons rather than hiking boots, a walking stick or pole is also recommended.
The early part of the trail features two sharp L-shaped turns but there is virtually no chance of taking a wrong turn – even in the dark. The distance from the gate to the cove is just under one kilometre and is of medium gradient on the way down – allow twice the time for the return journey.
When to go?
As this is a south-west coastal location, anytime between mid-October and mid-November will place the sun in a useable postion. Avoid the extremes of high and low tide, aim to get there one hour before sunset and at least two hours after high tide.
What to wear?
Be prepared for lots of salt-laden sea-spay. You will need to be waterproof from feet up to the waist. Protection from the salt spay is a must for your camera and lens, even a very short exposure to the spray could result in a foggy lens or filter. Don’t forget the Vaseline for your lips!
What to bring?
A wide-angle lens, 16mm to 24mm will do nicely. There is little scope for telephoto shots here. A 2 or 3 stop ND Graduated Filter is also a must. Top priority however is: several clear, plastic covers that will protect your camera and lens along with any filter-holders when mounted on the tripod. Keep the entire rig covered until you’re ready to take the shot. If a freak wave comes along and soaks you – fine. If that wave soaks your kit, then a sad walk back up the trail awaits you.
What to photograph?
The main feature of the cove is the rock formation on the western side where the interplay between the three elements: Sea, Rocks and Sun, will provide you with the best opportunities.