Take the ferry to Warm Springs, a lovely town with hills overlooking the sea and beaches. Walk the dirt roads under the intertwined ancient trees and see the picturesque charming houses. Take the bridge to the hills where you can see the lighthouse and the cliffs overlooking the sea. Or, simply go to the town’s Bakery and Cafe for some delectable delights. Come, relax, and enjoy the town’s beauty.
Thus read the invitation luring me across the sea to Warm Springs, the homestead region designed by Irina Sofia Deschanel (aka Irina Forwzy) – and I’m glad I was lured, because it is a place to savour and enjoy.
Now held in the cupped hands of autumn, the region is a true natural delight, filled with warm colours, the trees drawing close to shedding their leaves, yet for now offering them as shade from the autumnal sun as you wander the paths and tracks which wind their way around and across the region.
The landing point occupies a small pier on the north side of the island, a sign inviting the visitor to stroll along the beach to one side while a track beckons one inland. Take your pick as to which you follow; each will offer much to see, be it from the sandy shoreline or from under shady boughs. Just across the mouth of the river from the landing point sits a little orchard, apples ripe for the picking and being harvested ready for market, watched over by the tall striped finger of the local lighthouse sitting atop a nearby hill. To reach this, you’ll need to follow the track inland and cross the river by the covered footbridge.
Once across the river, the track turns away from the lighthouse, so you’ll have to cross the grassy slope to reach it. As you do so, you might spot the board walk and steps leading down to another beach, this one nestled under the lighthouse, offering a secluded spot away from the world.
Follow the track, however, and you’ll be taken past one of the little houses occupying the region and another set of steps offering the way down to a further stretch of beach, and onwards to a hilltop bakery and coffee-house, where refreshments can be enjoyed, indoors or out.
Back across the river, and relatively close to the landing point, are two more little houses; neither is occupied per se, but they are in keeping with Irina’s statement that the population of Warm Springs can be counted on the fingers of one hand! Both of these houses sit with their backs to the beach signposted from the landing point, completing the circle of the region.
For those who enjoy taking pictures, there is a Flickr group, and Irina invites those who do take pictures of Warm Springs to consider adding them to the group. Should you enjoy your visit, do please consider making a donation towards the costs of keeping the region open to visitors.
- Warm Springs (Rated: Moderate)