After my few days in Stratford-upon-Avon, I went to Dorset for a week, staying in a little cottage on a dairy farm in a tiny place called Pilsdon in western Dorset. So here are a few photos of the cottage and the farm:
That last photo doesn't look like much, but the calf is just minutes old and is being licked clean by its mother. I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, having a wander around the farm yard. Most of the cows are, of course, out in the fields, but as you see there are plenty in stalls in the farm's immediate surroundings. All of these ones are very pregnant and being kept a close eye on to make sure that nothing goes wrong with the birth.
Now, you'll have to forgive a lot of my photos as I haven't edited them at all so on some there may be a slightly (or very) wonky horizon, or dust on the camera lens :o( Some would be better cropped etc, but I haven't got around to it. I hope you enjoy them all the same.
Back to the point of the post. As I said before, I was staying in Pilsdon, which is a tiny weeny place about eight miles north of Bridport. Attached to Bridport, though also a little place in its own right, is the lovely West Bay, which you will have seen on telly if you saw the crime drama 'Broadchurch' (starring the delicious David Tennant). I slightly fell in love with West Bay with its long piers with great views back to the cliffs, the quaint harbour, lengthy promenade, wonderful-looking sandy beach (I couldn't get on to the beach in my wheelchair, but I enjoyed the fact that it was there), it's small collection of independent shops and gorgeous little pottery. So here are a few photos of West Bay that won't do it justice, but will give you a little flavour of the place:
I ventured along the coast to Lyme Regis, although I quickly discovered that it's not very wheelchair friendly as the pavements are narrow, most of the town is built on a hillside which is quite steep in places, and the majority of the shops have at least one step in to them. I did manage a little wander around some of it, and very much liked what I saw, but I ended up spending most of my time there trundling along the seafront and daring to challenge myself with the cobbles on the cobb (the harbour wall).
(I had a couple more photos of Lyme Regis, but something appears to be wrong with them and they won't load).
Charmouth is along the coast towards Lyme Regis and is the place to go on a fossil hunt on the Jurassic Coast. I went there one morning just as the tide was going out. The car park at the beach is attached and in some places sort of turns in to the beach, though the beach is pebbly, as are many of the beaches down there. I parked as close to the beach as possible and walked the very short way to the tide-line. I didn't really expect to find a fossil as the best time to find them is after stormy weather and fractious seas, but quite amazingly, I'd only been there a few minutes when I looked down and saw a small ammonite staring back at me in one of the pebbles. I don't actually have a photo of it, but I do have the fossil itself. It's only about a centimetre across, but it's mine and I found it :o) Charmouth itself is little more than a beach, a visitors centre, some houses, a library, and a long street with a few shops on it. The main attraction is the beach with the small cafe, visitors centre, and tiny shop packed with fossils. I liked it there though, and here are a few photos.
The one immediately above is of a big fossil probably around 15 cms across, but I couldn't bring it home with me because it was in an enormous boulder that was part of the wave break next to the promenade. Perhaps if I'd had a chisel and hammer it would've been possible to chip it out of the rock, but I didn't.
Further along the coast, and just over the county boarder in to Devon, is the lovely little town of Beer. The fantastic thing I discovered about Beer is that they have long rubber mats laid over the pebble beach in all directions so I was allowed full access on to the beach in my wheelchair. I had a little mooch about the rest of the town, but most of my time there was spent on the beach, taking in the sun and the atmosphere because it's very much a working beach with fisherman tending to their boats and their catches.
I have more photos to share with you of some of the other places I visited, but I think that's probably enough for now. Besides which, I need my dinner :o) I'll get back to you soon with another post.