November Calendar Challenge was a visit to Old Harry Rocks which included Swanage and Durlston Country Park, with motivation at a low no filming was undertaken needed a break just wanted a day out so only a few pictures were taken.
December saw us travel to stormy Porthleven a planned wild camping trip was planned but this was cancelled due to the weather.
Stonehenge is perhaps the world’s most famous prehistoric monument. It was built in several stages: the first monument was an early henge monument, built about 5,000 years ago, and the unique stone circle was erected in the late Neolithic period about 2500 BC. In the early Bronze Age many burial mounds were built nearby.
Welcome back to the calendar challenge 2019, this month we venture into Somerset and to the town of Glastonbury, made famous in recent history for the music festival. We have missed that I’m afraid not sure its my thing but I’ve never been so i can’t make judgement on it.
On arriving we found it difficult to find a parking place due to a Pilgrimage so it was very busy, but we managed eventually to find a place next to the abbey £4.50 for 4 hours .
The abbey was founded in the 7th century and enlarged in the 10th. It was destroyed by a major fire in 1184, but subsequently rebuilt and by the 14th century was one of the richest and most powerful monasteries in England. The abbey controlled large tracts of the surrounding land and was instrumental in major drainage projects on the Somerset Levels. The abbey was suppressed during the Dissolution of the Monasteries under King Henry VIII of England. The last abbot, Richard Whiting , was hanged, drawn and quartered as a traitor on Glastonbury Tor in 1539.
From at least the 12th century the Glastonbury area has been associated with the legend of King Arthur, a connection promoted by medieval monks who asserted that Glastonbury was Avalon. Christian legends have claimed that the abbey was founded by Joseph of Arimathea in the 1st century.
After a picnic on the vast lawn area and a impromptu fly past by a Lancaster bomber, the roar of the merlin engines a reminder of our brave forefathers that gave so much for our freedom, after lunch we walked in the direction of Glastonbury Tor.
Its a Steady climb up to the top , just follow the steps and you will be rewarded with amazing views over Somerset. I’m not sure about disable access, here is a link to the National Trust website “Glastonbury Tor” .
Glastonbury Town is a mix of shops from the standard high street to the more Spiritual, faith healing establishments it is an amazing place.
It was a great day out and the weather was perfect, enjoy the You Tube video and please Subscribe so you don’t miss any of the future Adventures.
Next month is another place i have never been to ” Portland Bill” in Dorset so we are looking forward to that just hope the British summer time last that long.
Halfway into the calendar we find ourselves visiting The Rumps in Cornwall. Camping at Southwinds Campsite Polzeath.
With this being just a one night trip we set up camp quickly, the campsite was quite, very friendly staff and the facilities are clean, it also has a restaurant/bar.
We headed off to Polzeath which is a 20 min walk or a 5 min driver , Polzeath has an excellent beach and some excellent shops including a Spar, several surf shops, cafes and a fish and chip shop.
Parking can get busy so get to the main beach early and you can walk straight onto the beach from the car, parking Cost £2.00 for 3 hours(i’m sure it was this), the beach is fully covered by life guards.
If we had longer then we would of gone further a field, Padstow for example but we had a great time never the less well worth a visit the beach is perfect 10/10 and there are some great walks.
This was a short and sweet write up, but Polzeath is a great place to visit.
The Month of May is here and another destination ticked of the South West Calendar. This was the first outing in Disco Doris that we would be able to use the roof top tent by Ventura Roof Tents, the two night trip would see us camp at Durdle Door Holiday Park .
After a scorching Easter bank Holiday weekend how things can change in the UK very quickly, the Temperature was down but at least when the sun was popping its head out from behind the clouds it felt pleasantly warm.
With camp set up we set off to the beach, a bit of advice here it is a steep and long decent with loose gravel underfoot but its worth it ,just remember you have to walk back up.
The sea looked so beautiful and warm but i can assure you it was far from tropical as Lily found out after getting in up to her waist …..yes still with her cloths on.
We decide to go back to the campsite, back up the hill this time and yes its harder going up than down, we got ready and went for food at the Man o War which is the campsite Bar and Restaurant its more of a Pub food eatery but is was Ok good service and the food was great and a bonus they have Thatchers Gold on tap.
After a good nights sleep which was chilly but once we were snuggled up in our sleeping bags the roof tent was a nice cosy room that kept us safe from Lions and Tigers ;). After waiting for Lily to get up we showered etc in the the clean shower block, we ate our bacon and scrambled egg breakfast and then set off for Lulworth Cove .
Lulworth Cove is about a 20 min walk its basically you guessed it ,a hill walk but its fine but not suitable for wheel chairs.
Being a Bank Holiday weekend it was very busy which can make getting fish and chips difficult with a waiting time of 20-30 min just bear this in mind.
After half a day of walking around Lulworth we set back to camp with someone nearly giving up on the hill with only 10 meters to go.
The final day arrived so we packed up camp and set off for Tyneham village.
The village and 7,500 acres of surrounding heathland and chalk downland around the Purbeck Hills, were requisitioned just before Christmas 1943 by the then War Office (now MoD) for use as firing ranges for training troops. 225 people were displaced, the last person leaving a poignant notice on the church door:
Please treat the church and houses with care; we have given up our homes where many of us lived for generations to help win the war to keep men free. We shall return one day and thank you for treating the village kindly.
This measure was supposed to be temporary for the duration of World War II, but in 1948 the Army placed a compulsory purchase order on the land and it has remained in use for military training ever since.
The Church was saved but the Army did not read all of the note in regards to the houses, its a very similar place to Imber village on Salisbury Plain.
Back on the road we made a short drive to Monkey World this is a place i would suggest a visit.
Next port of call Bovington Tank Museum what can I say super place to go, it has changed a lot since my last visit in the 90’s when i was a member of the 9/12 Royal Lancers the creme of the British Army.
The Tank Museum Is a great place to go even Lily enjoy it…….but not as much as Monkey World , we had a great weekend away, you don’t need to go away aboard all the time the UK has so much to offer which i hope to show and give people ideas for days or longer adventures.
Continuing the West Country 2019 Calendar Challenge , April sees us visiting St Catherine’s Chapel in Abbotsbury , Dorset.
First stop on arriving was the famous Abbotsbury Swannery .
The Fleet lagoon formed at the end of the last ice age as melt water flooded behind the already formed Chesil Beach leaving shallow salty water in which plants grew profusely producing an ideal environment for wildfowl and water birds. The Benedictine monastery of St. Peter’s was established on the site in the eleventh century when King Cnut (Canute) gave the land to his steward, Orc, and the monks managed the swans as a ready source of meat for use at their lavish banquets.
The swannery was used by the monks until 1539 when the monastery was dissolved by King Henry VIII. The ruined remains of the monastery are still visible near the Church of St. Nicholas, Abbotsbury.[ The site was then purchased by Sir Guy Strangeways, and has remained in the ownership of the Strangeways family through fifteen generations up to the present day; an estate of some 61 square kilometres (15,000 acres) in Dorset covering Chesil Beach and Abbotsbury is still held by the Ilchester Estate owned by Mrs Charlotte Townshend, the daughter of Viscount Galway, a descendant of the first Countess of Ilchester.
The Swannery is an excellent place to visit and it also has a great cafe and gift shop, whilst my fellow explorers enjoyed their food and refreshments I took a hike up to St Catherine’s Chapel which was the picture featured in the calendar.
With everyone watered and feed the next stop was the Sub Tropical gardens at Abbotsbury.
The garden originates in 1765. In the late eighteenth century, the Fox-Strangeways family (the Earls of Ilchester) built a new house on the location; when it was burnt down in 1913, they returned to their family seat at Melbury House, but the walled garden was maintained—it remains in the ownership of the family. Since then, particularly after the contributions of the 4th Earl of Ilchester,[the gardens have developed into an 8 hectares (20 acres) site with exotic plants, many of which were newly discovered species when they were first introduced. There are formal and informal gardens, with woodland walks and walled gardens; in addition, the gardens also contain certain “zones” that exhibit plants from different geographical areas.
Like to thank my daughter Lily for taking some excellent pictures, after a good walk around and spending some money on plants at the gift shop we were homeward bound.
What an excellent family day out something for everyone and we had superb weather a real scorcher.
February is already upon us and the calendar picture for February is Teignmouth Pier.
Deciding to use public transport (the train) to get to Teignmouth we set off for Westbury Station to catch one of the new GWR Class 800 IEP trains to Exeter St Davids, then change on to a service to Teignmouth which travels along the Dawlish Sea wall, the sea was calm so no waves crashing over the train.
Arriving we explored the high Street of Teignmouth stopping for a coffee and sausage roll before heading for the Pier and the all important arcades, winning £15 on the slots we set off to celebrate with a cheeky Thatchers Gold and yes only a orange juice for Lily.
It was time to find our hotel for the night which was the other side of the River Teign in Shaldon , we caught the small ferry across (£1.60 adults ,£0.60p children).
Checking into Potters Mooring Guest House Hotel (Robert and Linda Down), what a great hotel friendly and clean and a great breakfast i can really recommend this place, and best of all their next door Neighbours The London Inn have an excellent Menu for the weary traveller, and don’t forget to ask for the cork animals hopefully they will have a selection.
All in all we had a great 2 days away, visiting the Shaldon Zoo , Shaldon Smugglers Cave/tunnel, Teign ferry ,Teignmouth Pier and of course weatherspoons there is plenty to do and explore.
January’s Calendar Challenge is Caen Hill Locks Devizes, Wiltshire.
The 29 locks have a rise of 237 feet in 2 miles or a 1 in 44 gradient. The locks come in three groups: the lower seven locks, Foxhangers Wharf Lock to Foxhangers Bridge Lock, are spread over ¾ of a mile ; the next sixteen locks form a steep flight in a straight line up the hillside and are designated as a scheduled monument.
Because of the steepness of the terrain, the Pounds between these locks are very short. As a result, fifteen of them have unusually large sideways-extended pounds, to store the water needed to operate them. A final six locks take the canal into Devizes.
The locks take 5–6 hours to traverse in a boat.
This flight of locks was engineer John Rennie’s solution to climbing the steep hill, and was the last part of the 87-mile route of the canal to be completed. Whilst the locks were under construction, a tramroad provided a link between the canal at Foxhangers to Devizes, the remains of which can be seen in the towpath arches in the road bridges over the canal.
Caen Hill Locks is well sign posted, the car park is £1.00 for 4hrs and you pay at the Cafe, which has exceedingly good sausage rolls and yummy milkshakes. It is a really peaceful place to walk, run or fish and watch the world go by.