Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Oh I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside

We are halfway through the first week of our 3-week holiday in England and after all the dire predictions, and the news that it had been the wettest summer on record, we've had four of the most beautiful days I can remember in England, let alone at the seaside. For the first week we are staying at Swanage in Dorset, our traditional summer holiday spot. We first came the summer of 1991 when Evie was a baby and visited almost every year until 2003, although we almost always came in the autumn or spring when it's much cheaper.

Originally we were going to be sharing a house with David's brother Geoffrey and his family but they had to cancel their trip so we're rattling round in a rather bigger place than we are used to. It's up on the cliff overlooking the sea in one direction (there was a boat race on Saturday),

with a view to the beach and town in another.

Swanage has a very nice beach, with lovely sand (especially by British standards) but as you can see, it's very crowded this time of year, particularly down at the town end. The house we are renting is near the end of the line of houses up on the hill leading toward Ballard Down.

A Punch and Judy show is a must at the seaside in Britain.

As are bathing huts. One of these years we'll have to rent one of these while we are here.

Our first night we had fish & chips down by the water in town.

And the next day our first cream tea of the summer. For those unfortunate enough to have never had a cream tea, this involves a pot of tea (or coffee), scones, jam and clotted cream. As cream teas go this one was adequate. For a really excellent cream tea you need generous helpings of jam (usually strawberry) and cream and fresh, fluffy but solid scones. The serving of cream was generous, the jam less so, and the scones a little too crumbly and not as fresh as they could have been. Nevertheless as it was the first we've had in some time we enjoyed it very much.

Today we took a boat around Ballard Down to see the Pinnacle and Old Harry's rocks. Although we've been coming here for years for some reason we'd never done the boat rides. It was really interesting to see the bay from the water, and then to see the cliffs from the bottom. The down is chalk and originally (thousands/millions of years ago) connected with the Isle of Wight which, on a very clear day, you can see from here.

The rock on the far right is Old Harry, apparently named after a local pirate.

When we were finished we were feeling the need for another cream tea so we took advice, drove inland to Worth Matravers, and found this--
where we had this...
Out here...
looking at this...

Nice, huh?

Tomorrow we will probably brave the sea down at this end of the beach, where it's not so crowded. Although the weather's gorgeous and around 25C (77F) the water's not going to be warm. But it would be a little ridiculous to come to the seaside and not take at least a little dip, and I have a new bathing costume!


  1. Punch & Judy! Wow. So very English sea-beach holiday! Your photos look gorgeous and it sounds like you're having a wonderful time.

  2. Fantstic! I love the photos and I love hearing about your adventures. Keep them coming.

    My blog photos don't fill the page like yours do. I'm going to have to check my settings.

  3. Alicia - a British seaside holiday would not be complete without Punch & Judy!

    Deb - if you click on your photos you should get options to resize/position them - at least that's how I did mine.

  4. Clotted cream & scones & jam.
    Fish & chips.
    Why is saliva dripping down my PC screen. Enjoy!

  5. Bob - our travels do seem to involve a lot of food! Evie's coming down tomorrow night so we'll be having at least one more cream tea before we leave Dorset.


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