Travel: A Well-Travelled Bear

What happened at Soar Mill Cove…


Beautiful walk down to Soar Mill Cove

We found him, miles from anywhere, at the bottom of a narrow lane, in a sandy cove. The car was brushed by soft ferns on either side, as we made our way down the hill; we prayed we wouldn’t meet strangers coming up the other way, and we were lucky – a roadside standoff wasn’t needed.

We ran, released from our journey, through fields and over stiles, tumbling happy towards the sea. Pink splashes of foxglove and heather punctuated our route as we breathed in the salty air and the wind whipped at our hair. We picked our way down rocky steps, and over a stream, stopping to eyeball crabs in small rockpools, before landing with a jump into soft sand.

Bluebells on the hill at Soar Mill Cove

We began to explore, examining shells, pebbles, and granite rocks; look Mum it’s firestone – let’s make sparks!  But as we travelled along the beach something caught our eye, just under the cliff. An arrangement of stones – placed, not fallen – deliberately grouped into a miniature replica of the Stonehenge wonder we had passed on our earlier journey. And there, lying on a flat stone topper, was a small, lonely bear.

We found a mini-Stonehenge - and a lost bear - on the beach at the wonderful Soar Mill Cove

Was this some kind of sacrifice, meted out by a previous owner? Did they grow older and leave him behind? Was he abandoned, or simply lost, and placed where he might be noticed, found, and taken home for a marmalade sandwich?

The rocky cove at Soar Mill Cove

We debated what to do; it was getting late, the day not warm. Should we take him home and make him ours, or was he not ours to take? There were pleas, and angst, before – reluctantly –  the small figure was placed back in the circle, to await the return of his rightful owner.

A little bear left to what fate? Soar Mill Cove

Heavy hearts were revived by a rather lovely game of chess, a glass of something special, and some Devon cream on freshly-baked warm scones.

A very special afternoon tea, over a game of chess, at Soar Mill Cove


Sad faces were cheered by creamy chocolate milkshakes, and the thought of the bear’s next adventure. Bet he would have like the homemade marmalade for breakfast though…

The homemade marmalade at Soar Mill Cove made for a fabulous breakfast.

For this adventure, we were guests at the lovely Soar Mill Cove Hotel.

More on Soar Mill Cove:

21 thoughts on “Travel: A Well-Travelled Bear”

    • They were so cross with me Rebecca that I didn’t let them take him. I’m on the hunt for a couple to make it up to them, and now I’m left wondering whatever happened to Paddington?!

    • Oh you will have a wonderful time Vic, it’s so so relaxing and peaceful there. Do seek out the little lost bear and let us know how he’s doing 😉

  1. I was trying to remember what this made me think of – it is brilliant by the way, just so evocative of the place and makes me want to jump in the car and head for the sea – it makes me think of a story book version of Puff the Magic Dragon we have, where Jackie Paper grows up and leaves his pockets full of toys behind, and the dragon too. Can’t read it without a tear. I love this find, what a magical thing, the kids will always remember it I am sure, and we will never forget the holiday where we first played chess! Looks like a magical spot you found.

  2. Such a beautiful way to tell the tale of what sounded like a lovely trip. I wonder what happened to the bear. I love the mini Stone Henge replica too, what a lovely thing to do.

  3. Beautifully written piece, Helen. I hope Paddington finds many more families who will have an adventure with him. Sounds like you had a wonderful day, despite the weather x

  4. What a fab find! We always have the biggest dilemma conversations about discovering things that look obviously lost – I’m usually the one who wants to take things home and Al is always very much the voice of reason!


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