The Retirees go Abroad – Holiday in Dorset

We have planned a quick trip to Dorset, a county on the southern coast of England overlooking the English Channel and the Isle of Wight. It is only 4 hours south of Nottingham but we were determined to get there early enough to make use of part of the day. So we packed the night before awoke at 6.00am, had breakfast made lunch packed the esky and out the door by 8.15am. The weather had been unpredictable and we were hoping the forecast rain would pass through before we arrived in Weymouth.

The day started out clear and cool but by the time we had travelled down the M1 to the M42 clouds had started to gather and our fine day was gone. By the time we got to Weymouth the rain was a fine mist and the wind off the channel was very chilly. As luck would have it we parked on the esplanade outside of a penny arcade. Now Kerry loves Penny Arcades and the tipping point games that are a part of the history of these arcades in the UK. So we spent 2 hours and £10 ( in 2p coins) playing the machines.

We stayed at Harlequin B&B. After unpacking and meeting our landlord, we took a drive to Portland. It is an island off Weymouth (now joined by a bridge) but it is so different to the mainland. The tombolo (an elongated stretch of land joining the island to the mainland) is made of pebbles washed into a steep hill formation and is quite surprising to see. The island must be predominantly made of Chalky rock. All of the shores have steep cliff formations except on the leeward side where a deep harbour has been formed.

As we drove onto the island the sun came out as though the rain had never been. We noticed what appeared to be ruins on the plateau behind the main residential and business settlement so we drove up to the viewing park – and what a view. We could look over the tombolo to the mainland view the residential settlements below us, see the mainland and the chalk cliffs that line part of the shore. At this look out there is a WW1 memorial and a 2012 Olympics memorial. In the photos you will see behind the WW1 memorial in the distance the thin line of rock wall is a former prison built into the hill.

We continued our drive on the island toward Portland Bill the lighthouse on the southern tip overlooking the English Channel. On the way there we stopped to admire some more of the cliffs that are so prominent on the island. In the distance we could always see merchant ships plying the channel. We moved on to Easton and down to the lighthouse which has appeared in Kerry’s facebook posts. Here I was able to capture the ruggedness of the coast and picture the Pulpit – an outcrop of rock looking like a pulpit surrounded by sea.

Day 1 ended with a walk along the esplanade looking for something open on a Sunday night to serve dinner. We got to walk the commercial district of Weymouth before settling for a Wetherspoon’s pub and some basic grub. The grey skies had returned so I was unable to get some photos.