Joined September 2018 Message
  • Day6

    Durdle door

    May 26, 2021 in England ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

    We woke to bright sunshine again that looked like it might last longer than a few minutes. We packed up and tidied up the annexe ready to leave by 10 am.
    No trip to Dorset would seem complete to me without a visit to Durdle Door so that’s where we headed. As we approached the car park we stopped at a T junction and were slightly surprised to see a sleek McLaren sports car go past - followed by about 10 others which all filed into the car park ahead of us. The McLaren owner’s club annual meeting maybe? It must have raised the average value of the cars in the car park by tens of thousands and there was much admiration from and selfie taking by passers by.
    For the first time this week I had decided not to wear my thermal (and water resistant) walking trousers or coat as the weather had looked so promising which inevitably caused the heavy downpour that happened as we reached the far side of Lulworth Cove! We were able to shelter under some trees on the cliff side until it passed without getting too wet.
    By the time we had walked back to the car to leave my damp fleece there, the sky was completely blue and the sun warm again. To ensure it stayed this way, I rolled my coat into its carry bag and clipped it to my day sack!
    We made our way up the killer cliff to towards Durdle Door enjoying the blueness of the sky and sea and the white cliffs. Once at the top we opted to go down the steps to the beach on the eastern side of Durdle Door as there were fewer people and it seemed to be out of the breeze. In fact it was so warm and sunny we might have had a little snooze in the sun 🌞
    Back over the cliffs to Lulworth we picked up a cup of tea and left to head homewards. John voted to stop off at Upton Country Park at the top of Poole Harbour. Although it was a lovely space for families and dogs to enjoy, the views across to Bournemouth were not as appealing as the beaches and cliffs we had been enjoying. We headed off to our dinner date with Geoff, Jill and Andrew where tea, gin and tonics and a hearty sausage casserole awaited! 😋
    The perfect and sociable end to our break.
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    I love the walks around there.

  • Day5

    Shelter on a tram

    May 25, 2021 in England ⋅ 🌧 12 °C

    On the way back to the car we walked past the Seaton Tramway station and decided to investigate:

    Seaton Tramway operates narrow gauge heritage trams between Seaton, Colyford and Colyton in East Devon’s glorious Axe Valley, travelling alongside the River Axe estuary through two nature reserves and giving an unrivalled view of the abundant wading bird life.

    “Glorious “ seemed a questionable adjective for today but it looked fun and more importantly, dry. We did spot some of the trams have open carriages so opted to wait a bit longer and take one that has closed carriages. In the meantime we popped into Tesco to pick up some bits for a picnic lunch.
    The tram journey was quite soporific - gently rattling along the estuary. There was lots of bird life to see. We noted this week that the swallows seemed to have arrived fo summer- I would imagine they wondered why they had bothered to make the trip. The tram ride took about 25 mins to reach the final destination- Colyton.
    The village was a few mins walk away from the station and did give the impression that no one had told them that lockdown restrictions have been lifted, it was so quiet with very few businesses open.
    We had the mandatory Johnnie style picnic, in a little shelter in a tiny public garden. This invariably includes ripping bread apart with bare hands and trying to spread something on it with no knife. I had chosen a bean salad which I had to eat without a spoon 🙄 I managed to fashion a spoon like shape out of an almost empty metal tube of hand cream, which was surprisingly effective.
    We wandered into the church for a few mins but it was colder than outside so we headed back to the tram station and had time to pick up a steaming hot cup of tea to take away. We were concerned that the return tram was an open carriage one, but the front and back carriages were closed so we made sure we were first on to secure these seats - we needn’t have worried, we were the only passengers!
    The tram crosses one road on its route, so the driver operates the signal to stop the traffic, which was sort of satisfying when they were stopping only for us!
    Back in Seaton we jumped in the car with the heater on as quickly as we could and with the rain showing no sign of letting up - back to Lyme Regis.
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  • Day5

    Walk from Seaton

    May 25, 2021 in England ⋅ ☁️ 13 °C

    The day looked so hopeful when we woke to bright sunshine but by the time we were having breakfast, the clouds were gathering again.
    We set out to drive to Seaton where we left the car and started walking to Beer, along the coastal path - mostly. Along the beaches it felt quite mild in the shelter of the cliffs and even on the cliff tops, a lot less windy than yesterday.
    We weren’t that impressed with Seaton - Beer was nicer and quainter. We had planned to do a circular route heading inland back to Seaton but seeing the rain clouds gathering again we went back along the coast, stopping for a coffee on the western end of Seaton beach - just as the rain started.
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    Andy n Bunny Briggs

    There is a shop in Beer that used to sell lovely clotted cream and stem ginger ice cream. It was most welcome when we’d walked from Branscombe cliffs to Beer. Unfortunately the shop has changed supplier and no longer sells that flavour 🤬


    Mmmm 😋 that would have been my pre-vegan flavour choice too!


    I actually didn’t realise I had made this trip public! Not that it matters- it’s just not very exciting!

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  • Day4

    Dodging the rain showers

    May 24, 2021 in England ⋅ 🌧 11 °C

    Although there was some sun on the garden as we got up this morning, the weather forecast warned of stormy showers all day so we decided to go on a bit of a road trip and hope we could walk and explore between showers.
    John joined in with my morning workout which was very entertaining- he’s still not mastered curtsy lunges 😂
    We headed off to the north east of Lyme Regis and ended up in Beaminster - a picturesque little town. We easily found a parking space in the town square and went first (obviously) to a charity shop to pick up a book each as John had finished the one he brought with him, this morning. We had a wander in the church and then seeing more black clouds approaching we found Tangerine - a little cafe that served veggie and vegan options in an 18th century listed building, run by a retired couple. It is also a space for art work to be displayed. It had 3 rooms with seating - we sat towards the back of the building in a room facing onto the garden with a big sunlight in the roof through which we could check the progress of the passing rain. Also seated were a couple with a baby of about 6-7 months old who was a big distraction- for me anyway. We had some tasty soup with fresh bread, vegan spread and a side order of chunky chips for John and oat milk lattes.
    On the way out we had a chat with the owners and read about some of the history of the building, which had been a butchers for several generations and more recently a patisserie.
    A quick stop off at Lidl’s for food supplies then back in the car towards West Bay for a brief walk along the beach - the spectacular but precarious looking cliffs giving respite from the strong wind. The next black clouds approaching gave some moody, atmospheric skies which we attempted to photograph before the rain came down.
    Back in the car we saw a sign to an art exhibition in a tiny hamlet of Eype so we headed there. The exhibition was part of Dorset Art Weeks and was in a village church which made a surprisingly good space for the work by Stephen Bishop (I wonder if we are related?) The paintings were oils and in my humble opinion needed a big space as they improved at distance! Meaning the play of light on water and perspective that they portrayed was much more effective slightly further away. We had a chat with the artist but didn’t commit to the £3k price tag most of them commanded.
    A brief stop at Seatown but too rainy to venture out then back to the annexe.
    We whiled away a couple of hours waiting for the wind and rain to pass and Johnnie rustled up a pasta supper. By about 8 pm the skies were clearing and the wind had dropped so we donned our coats and went down for a walk along the sea front. It was a lovely evening with clear skies turning to pink and an almost full moon. The wind had completely dropped.
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    Andy n Bunny Briggs

    The photos of the sky are pretty amazing - providing cover is not too far away

  • Day3

    Beach walk

    May 23, 2021 in England ⋅ 🌧 11 °C

    As the weather forecast was for the weather to close in this afternoon with high winds and rain again, we managed to get up and out relatively early (by our holiday standards) for a walk along the beach from Lyme Regis to Charmouth. This is only possible at low tide. Although there was a stiff breeze it was behind us on the way there. Much of the beach was stony or rocky with sandy interludes so required a degree of concentration to pick our way along. There were a good number of people braving the beach, many equipped with hammers and bags clearly looking for fossils. As we were keen to get to Charmouth and back before the rain came, we didn’t spend too long looking for any ourselves, but I enjoyed finding lots of pieces of sea glass in pretty colours. I also found several ammonites visible in rocks, none of which John was prepared to carry back for me 😠.
    We reached Charmouth beach where, you guessed it, the river Char opened out into the sea. There is a wooden bridge over the river and a tiny cafe in a converted container where we were able to get a coffee, but the wind prevented it from being entirely enjoyable to sit and drink it on the beach.
    We decided as the skies were getting increasingly grey to walk back along the beach, rather than over the cliffs, feeling that if it started to rain, the walk along the cliff top into the wind would be distinctly unpleasant, whereas the cliffs afforded a little protection at least in some areas.
    We were very lucky and got back into Lyme Regis dry. The town was quite busy again. We stopped to buy an OS map and a couple of bits of food and made it back to the annexe about half an hour before the wind picked up even further and the rain started.
    We cooked up a belated “brunch” type meal and whiled away the afternoon reading, dozing (ok that was me), listening to the radio and looking out at the wind and rain.
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    Love the Ammonites

  • Day2

    Cloud to sunshine

    May 22, 2021 in England ⋅ 🌧 12 °C

    Day started grey and damp, so slow start to the day. Opened the French doors and before too long we had a little four legged friend who had smelled the eggs cooking!
    After I managed to blow up the shaver socket trying to recharge John’s electric toothbrush ☹️ and John had flooded the bathroom we eventually set out to walk up the river to Lyme. Really pretty walk despite the grey day - spring flowers out in their multitudes and the trees in fresh new leaf; some quintessentially English countryside, even a cricket match going on. From Lyme we carried on up the hill on the other side of the village to the top of a wooded ridge and then back down into Lyme Regis, stopping at a restaurant with an outside terrace overlooking the sea for a coffee. Happily the sun began to break through. We walked down to the Cobb - this time not being battered by waves like yesterday, and back along the sea front. We even shed our coats by this point, enjoying the relatively busy beach and prom, enjoying the experience of people and atmosphere. We walked to the eastern end of the prom and sat in the sun for a while before heading back the other way to buy a portion of chips and sit in the gardens above the seafront to eat them and chat with Abbie on the phone and celebrate her and Alex having their mortgage application being approved.
    Thence back to our chalet for a cuppa and to get changed for supper.
    We walked the 10 mins down the hill to the Alexandra Hotel for a belated anniversary dinner. The hotel had lawns facing out to sea and the evening was clear and blue so we took some photos before sitting down in the restaurant overlooking the garden and sea for our meal. We had a beetroot risotto for a starter followed by an asparagus salad- which felt as if they should have arrived the other way round. However they were nicely made with lovely fresh Ingres and herbs, washed down with a very good bottle of red.
    With only sorbet on offer as a vegan pud we wandered into a nice lounge area for coffee and to watch the fading evening light along the coastline. The hotel brought us in a complimentary pud - two tiny glasses of poached strawberries with some pieces of honeycomb, served on a plate with “Happy Anniversary” written in chocolate 😊.
    As we walked back up the hill we were surprised that the foursome in front of us turned down the same track through the woods as us and they seemed equally surprised to be followed. We all then realised it was the owner of the property we were staying in.
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  • Day1


    May 21, 2021 in England ⋅ 🌧 12 °C

    After a painfully slow journey - thanks to road closures, accidents and who knows what, we arrived at Slopes Farm. Sited on Woodland Trust land on the outskirts of Lyme Regis. Our surprisingly young host Georgina came to greet us. The annexe was set next to her family home, with a slightly untidy looking drive area and possibly another annexe to one side. However a neat looking veg plot behind the house. Inside - a spacious living area with room for a 6 seater L shaped sofa and a pool table! Surprising as the annexe can only sleep two! A small kitchen towards the back corner, a small double room and a little corridor leading from the bathroom to a small shower room. Two sets of double doors in the living area and one in the bedroom open out onto a deck and the grassy garden surrounded by woodland.
    A slight lack of homely features make the annexe feel very much “holiday accommodation” rather than a “home from home” - no books, games, cushions, ornaments, toiletries but it’s clean and otherwise nicely furnished, if a bit sparse.
    After unpacking and a cuppa, we set off to explore town which we did by following the River Lym from the end of the entrance drive down into town - a 10 minute walk. We walked down the high street and to the sea front, following the prom round to The Cobb, made famous as a location in films, most notably the French Lieutenant’s Woman. The weather was grey, blowy with intermittent drizzle. Although this didn’t feel too bad along the front, the wind was battering big waves up and over the outer wall of the Cobb and it certainly didn’t feel safe, or even possible, to walk along the top of the wall.
    We made a mental note of various eateries that displayed vegan food on their menus before heading back via Tesco Extra to the annexe for supper.
    When we sat down to watch some tv, we couldn’t seem to get any picture at all so messaged Georgina who said she was out and would send her dad to have a look. He appeared quickly expressing no confidence that he would able to help but more by luck than judgement, managed to do so. He explained that Georgina is his daughter and the annexe is her business although he and his wife own the property, as she is saving money to move to Exeter in September.
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