The weather not being the best while we were in Brighton we unfortunately didn’t visit much of it. We started by eating on the beach while the sun was still shining; the wind was very strong though, making huge waves break on the beach (much more interesting to observe than still water on a warm day…)
We also did have time to walk through the famous lanes, the Pavilion Gardens and the Pavilion. It was enough time to observe that Brighton is a vibrant city, full of surprises and street musicians!
The next day was the worst, it was “raining cats and dogs” or “pouring down” as one would say, but we decided to stick to our initial plan, take the bus along the coast. We drove to the National trust Birling Gap and the Seven Sisters with the ides of walking back to the Sevens Sisters Country Park, but as the rain wouldn’t stop we took the bus again to Eastbourne and then back to Brighton.
The Seven Sisters are seven famous chalk cliffs that are eroding 30 to 40 cm every year, making houses disappear little by little.
Accommodation: Kipps Brighton Hostel, many nationalities, great place to meet people!
One of the most important event: Brighton and Hove Pride
"Funny" fact: Big Beach Boutique by Fatboy Slim
Having lived in Bournemouth for 3 months, we mostly visited friends and not the town itself. The most interesting things are not in the city itself but outside (unless all you want to do is lie around in the sun on the beach…) Here a few that are accessible by foot, bike or public transports:
West of Bournemouth:
- a walk along the quay in Poole
- a day without cars on Brownsea Island, an unhabited island accessible only by ferry
- a bike journey or a hike between Shell bay and Swanage (Studland and Godlingston Heath National Nature Reserve and Durlston Country Park and National Nature Reserve)
East of Bournemouth:
- many hikes in the New Forest National Park
- the famous Stonehenge (by car)
- by train and ferry to the Isle of Wight
Frida's Tearoom is the perfect place to finally try on of those famous British afternoon teas!
Bike hire: OnYerBike Bournemouth Bike shop
Hengistbury Head is situated below Christchurch and is easy to reach by bus from Bournemouth. We drove to the Tuckton Tea Gardens and walked from there following the River Stour and its modern houses and boats. Hengistbury is a quiet place, the beach is not very busy as it is a pebble beach.
The Isle of Portland is situates below Weymouth, the two being separated by Chesil Beach. The beach and The Fleed, the lagoon, are part of the Jurassic Coast and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The isle is also well-known for its stone, used for the construction of many famous buildings, including the United Nations Headquarters in New York, St Paul’s Cathedral and Buckingham Palace in London.
Another big human construction is the Harbour, one of the largest man-made in the world! It also hosted the 2012 Olympic Games.
We didn’t visited the northern part of the isle but only drove through to the west side of Southwell. From there we joined the SW Coast Path again, and walk down to the Portland Bill Lighthouse, and then up to the east side of Southwell, and drove back to Weymouth. That path offers a great view of both sides of the Jurassic Coast, and many different sceneries.
Portland is also suitable for climbing, it has many spots, for beginners and advanced!
Tip: NEVER say the word "r a b b i t" on the isle, it's bad luck...
Accommodation idea: Portland Bunkhouse
King George III visited Weymouth regularly in the 1790’s, making it the first seaside resort in England.
Located at the center of the Jurassic Coast, it is an attractive town for tourists and retired people. Every year, the town hosts many events such as the Beach Volleyball Classic and the Seafood Festival.
But the town is not only all about beaches and holidays, it has interesting history, especially war-related. It was home of thausands of ANZAC convalescents during WW1, like many southern towns it was bombed by the Germans during WW2… All these events are well explained and illustrated in the Weymouth Museum and in Nothe Fort.
Accommodation tip: Bunkhouse Plus, the cleanest of our trip, and a warm welcoming!
The North American grey squirrel was introduced in Britain and is considered as an invasive species. In the cities, they are usually to be found in the parks and gardens but also in private gardens, driving their owners crazy! But if you’re lucky enough to see a native red squirrel, enjoy as they are threatened with extinction…