-> respect the classics
-> nourish the oldies
-> love the loveless
-> admire the ones that went before you
-> desire perfect symmetry of the above
As I have been living in good old blighty for a while now, I can’t help but promoting my guest country from time to time. There is so much more to England than just fish& chips, stale Ale and cricket. You just need to find the time to go and explore.
Last year I went on one of the best road trips of my life. I decided to go and discover the pearls that lay hidden in Southern England. A trip that took me on bike trips through sandy dunes, lush green forests, and small towns with cobblestones.
First stop was Weymouth, which in essence isn’t all that great. It is a small seaside resort which mainly thrives on the tourists that come in during summer. As it was early May the weather was nice but not nearly warm enough to take a dip in to the ocean. Not for us continental Dutchies anyway. So we took several trips around town including beautiful Portland and the island of Jersey, which you can take a ferry to.
Both Portland and Weymouth are part of the Jurassic Coast which in its turn is listed on the UNESCO world Heritage list. Portland is the ideal sanctuary for birdwatchers, divers, windsurfers, photographers and hikers. It’s a nice break from the tackiness of Weymouth’s amusement centres.
On Portland you will find three amazing castles and a lighthouse. The lighthouse is not in operation anymore but the last lighthouse keeper is still manning the lighthouse and he will gladly inform you about his work, his lighthouse and Portland. It’s worth the trip up the 500 stairs because of the view and the wonderful stories the keeper can tell you.
From Weymouth you can take the train to Bournemouth, a seaside town with a sandy beach. Bournemouth in itself is nice to visit. It is a very lively city and you will find something different to do every day. From the beach you could take a bike ride to Swanage, a tiny town on the coast. It will take you about an hour to get there but it’s worth the visit. The cobblestones, the pier and the historic castle are worth the wait. Besides the bike ride will take you through a nature reserve which is an experience in itself.
Back in Bournemouth you can rest your tired legs in one of the many beauty resorts the city has to offer. You will need this rest because you can’t visit the South coast without visiting the New Forest. Here you will get on a bicycle again and follow one of the many paths that guide you through the forest as well as the countryside inside of it. Although many people have gone before you, you will feel as if you’re the only person there. It is so tranquil and peaceful I almost considered leaving London and building a hut to live there for the rest of my life.
After that finish your stay in one of the cute cottage B&B’s in picturesque villages such as Lymington or Brockenhurst. When staying in these small towns you remember what the word ‘hospitable’ means. In the Bed and Breakfast’s here trivial things such as check-out times, noisy guests or deposits do not exist. You can have breakfast whenever you like with, the pillows are soft and the bill is tiny. All the more reason to explore England some more.
I would recommend it to anyone, especially to people who are thinking of polishing up their knowledge of the English language. You could for instance follow a private language course of six weeks and after that arrange a road trip through the country. You could start a course with individual tuition in London to enjoy the big city life in the capital. After you have brushed up your English, or any other language for that matter, you finish your summer in England with a big old road trip through the countryside.
It is just an idea. liefde.