There is nothing quite like the quintissential English coastal town to conjure up images of shipwrecks, smugglers and hidden bounty. Many of these villages were perched on the sides of the cliffs usually guarding entrances to rivers used to transport goods to major towns further inland. At the mouths of many of these rivers, garrisons were built to keep out the French and, in particular, the Spanish Armada.
Brixham is a prime example of a fishing village. Even today the fishermen sell their catch direct to the consumer from the docks or the pebbly beach, as is the case in Budleigh Salterton.
The tides are large here in England so may be responsible for many of the shipwrecks. Rocks that are visible at low tide appear to disappear at high tide. And for captains unused to a particular stretch of coast, these tides and rocks can be particularly treacherous.
England's seafaring history is renowned and in this photo of Brixham you can see the replica of Sir Francis Drake's Golden Hind. The legend goes that as the Spanish Armada was sighted approaching England Drake was on Plymouth Hoe playing bowls. He decided to finish his game before setting sail and defeating the Spanish.
The docks in Plymouth where the Mayflower set sail for the Americas in 1621 and also where the Tolpuddle Martyrs returned to England after being transported to Australia