The British Landscape Club

Lay-by of the week: The double-yellow years

This view of Burgh Island off the South Devon coast at Bigbury-on-Sea, just east of Plymouth, is not really from a lay-by as such, but is similar to the view of the island that you can get from the beach car park 100 yards down the hill. So don’t park here unless you want your car plastered in stickers decorated with yellow chevrons or you wish to recover it from the over-sized palms and bolt-era technology of a licensed gang of vagabonds.

We’ve used this location because it’s a great view of Burgh Island, the Art Deco hotel that everyone from Agatha Christie, through Churchill and the Beatles have stayed at and the magnificent sand spit that connects it to the island. Caused by the refraction of waves around the island, this particular spit is a classic example of a tombolo.

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In Shetland, tombolos are known by their Norse word, ayre. At the romantically named Ayre of Swinister, two tombolos enclose a coastal peat lagoon known as the Houb.

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