The South Coast of England

About three weeks ago we had what they call an Indian summer here in Oxford.  The weather was absolutely gorgeous for over a week, maybe even the best stretch of the year.  Who knew that the best weather is in May and October?

Anyway, I was determined to get the everything we could out of the sunshine, so I rented a car and we took an impromptu trip down to the South Coast of England.  We started in a place called Lyme Regis, and made our way East along what is called the Jurassic Coast to Bournemouth.  Not a long trip, but a very busy one for a one day excursion.  Even though the rest of the country had the same idea, we still managed to have a fantastic day.

Click on this link to head over to my Picasa web album, there are 57 pictures in there, most of them annotated.  Here are some of the highlights:

We started the day bright and early (on the road by 6am) in order to avoid traffic, and get the most out of that glorious sunshine.  This picture is looking down the all-rock beach of Lyme Regis.  A quaint little town.

Just down the road from Lyme Regis is a place called Charmouth, which is supposed to be home to an amazing fossil collection.  I felt like we were little kids again running around picking through rocks, stuffing them in our pockets, and then showing them off to each other.  No major fossils found, I suspect most of them are in the gift shop available for purchase.

We then drove along until arriving at a place called Seatown.  My goal was to get to an overlook called Golden Cap, but the signage here is terrible, so we missed it.  Not to worry, the cliffs we did find may have produce an even better view.  This picture is looking down back toward the West.  I wish this picture did the view justice, but as good as we are with a high-powered camera, nothing quite captures the scale correctly.  I could have stayed up there for a while.

Moving right along, we drove along the ocean to the Isle of Portland to see the famous Portland Bob Bill lighthouse which is pictured above. The lighthouse is fully automated so in the “summer” you are able to climb all the way to the top and see what it sees, unfortunately October is not in season.

We then drove for a while to get to the natural landmark called Durdle Door.  It is named for it’s huge natural limestone arch on the right hand side of the picture above.  I have to say this was pretty neat to see, but it wasn’t my favorite stop on the tour.  Maybe because there were hundreds of people there, but I enjoyed the cliffs we sat on earlier much more.  If anything, I would have skipped this one to spend more time at the next stop.

Ahhh the beach.  Unfortunately for us, we got here toward the end of the day, so not a lot of sunlight (or warmth) was left.  I did still manage to go in the ocean, because after all, you basically have to go in the ocean every chance you get.  (Right Dad?)  And yes it was so cold that it took my breath away when I went under.  I don’t know how the Brits do it.

I really enjoyed our short little trip to the coast of Dorset.  It was a nice reminder that England is an island.

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