I decided to leave a day early as the weather forecast for northern Spain wasn’t looking good – wind and snow – in the event there were a few splats of sleet on my windscreen but nothing more. but I left in the dark and got myself to St Jean de Luz in the south west corner of France in daylight, and in time for a walk on the beach. only a week after the Paris attacks I wasn’t sure about the border arrangements either, but although there were black clad police and guns at the pĂ©age tollgate, and they were stopping some people, we drove straight through.

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we stayed in a dog-friendly studio apartment hotel on the cliff-top in Anglet, with big sliding windows onto balconies, and a storm view. the wind nearly took off the car door when we arrived. I was pleased to discover there were electrically operated metal shutters for these windows as the nearby lighthouse flashes all night.

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we found a steep road down to the beach

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behind this particularly hideous hotel – and that’s the one we stayed in on top of the cliff.

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the sea was very rough, big waves coming in. I have to say I was very very glad not to be on the ferry for Portsmouth.

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we explored the front and found the recommended seafood restaurant

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fish supper for me

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a noisy night from the wind, but otherwise very peaceful

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next morning another lovely walk on the beach. those waves were very intimidating though.

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you could feel the impact of them even at this end of the beach defence. I would not have stood there – he must have got a bit wet!

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very coarse sand

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and Tilda impervious to my slight paranoia, though on our way back along the front, I noted that some waves were washing up where we had walked ten minutes before.