Strange Traditions – The Sussex Bonfire Societies

‘We Burn For Good’: the motto of the Sussex Bonfire Societies.
Born out of a fervent Protestant and anti-Catholic tradition in the area, these Bonfire Societies are a window into our country’s past. Behind the carnivals they present today, you can glimpse riots, religious hatred, and a lot of people being burnt at the stake…

Selkies – The Forgotten Seal-Men

In parts of the world where the selkie myth persists, there is a grave taboo around killing a seal.
Some believed selkies to be the cursed children of kings, witches who lost control of their own power, or the fate of those drowned at sea.
Whilst we often gender selkies as female, the selkies of old were mainly depicted as men…

The Ankou – the most terrifying figure in Celtic folklore?

Before the Grim Reaper, there was the Ankou…

It is said that every graveyard in Brittany has its own Ankou. Not long ago, he was someone they knew. He was the last soul to die in the village that year. Doomed to dwell on this Earth a year longer, serving the graveyard as its guardian and collector of souls.

Prologue: the sea, a ceremony, a monster

It begins at the end. A young girl performs a strange ritual on the beach at night. Something evil stirs in the sea. Everything has aligned to bring her to this moment, her calling, her destiny.

The prologue to my upcoming novel is also its ending. The rest of the story tracks the forces which brought Morvern to this moment.

10 Seaside Novels to Transport You to the Coast

10 stunning novels to help you escape to the sea.

Discover your next read, set in coastal landscapes from Cornwall to South Korea. Some have sunshine seeping from the pages, whilst others portray a darker side of the sea.

Literary Essex – 3 Essex Coast Walks To Send Your Imagination Wild

The Essex I know isn’t the world of TOWIE. Essex is wild, exposed coastline. It’s flat, endless salt marshes. It’s beaches dotted with pill boxes that have crashed dramatically from the cliffs. It’s witch-hunts, smugglers and Saxon Kings.

Start your own discovery of Essex with these three locations…

Hag Stones – Magic from the Coastline

Known across the British isles and Northern Europe as hag stones, witch stones, adder stones. It’s easy to see why our ancestors were perplexed by how hag stones could have formed naturally, and instead linked them to the involvement of the supernatural.

Find out what the rationale for their magic is, what they were used for and where to find them…

Secret Islands – Spotlight on Orford Ness, Suffolk

Formerly owned by the Ministry of Defence and used to test atomic weapons during the Cold War, Orford Ness is still a strange and secretive place whose ruined military buildings feel almost post-apocalyptic. What the site was actually used for was classified until the 1980s under the Official Secrets Act. I’m calling for a British remake of ‘Stranger Things’ set here!
Today you can visit the Ness and walk around this fascinating piece of living history…

Fowey and Polruan – A Guide to Sun, Sea and Piracy

A guide to the ‘twin’ harbour towns in a day, plus some local intel and insight into the fascinating history of the area. You can easily explore both in a day, or invest some time to get to know them properly.

Highlights for me included renegade seagulls, tapas, wild coastal paths, tales of piracy, people watching and of course, lots of Cornish cider.

Sea Serpents in Britain – Ancient Origins

When the Vikings turned up in North Wales they were staggered to see a huge, slumbering sea serpent curled around the coastline. They didn’t call them serpents but ‘werms’. It’s no coincidence the name of this landmark sounds so similar, the name ‘Orme’ deriving from their very speech…