Day 6 Maidenhead/Adventuring

Day 6 Maidenhead/Adventuring                    Cloudy/hazy and warm

As today is Saturday, it was “Adventuring with Janet Day”. 

We decided to head to the south coast of England and our first stop was Winchester to visit the famous 12the century Winchester Cathedral, with Sandy driving and Sean and Janet navigating.  Most of this part of our trip was on motorways – quite a change from the driving we had been doing in Ireland.  Unfortunately, it was quite hazy all day, so while the scenery was lovely, it was almost impossible to get any decent photos.

We spent ages wandering through Winchester Cathedral, which is built in the shape of a cross – we saw Jane Austen’s grave, her memorial window and memorial plaque; climbed the stone circular staircase to the “Treasury”; beautiful stained glass windows; the chorister’s area; many memorials to soldiers and bishops etc.; as well as incredible wood and stone carvings throughout the church.  The 12th century Winchester Bible is housed in the Library, but this is the only thing that they ask visitors not to photograph.  Richard was impressed that he was allowed to take photos throughout the church.

We then headed to Lyme Regis, with its charming narrow streets nestled around an old fishing village.  Lyme Regis, which is on the Jurassic Coast, was used as a film set for “The French Lieutenant’s Woman”.

We bought a sandwich and sat on a rock wall overlooking a pebbled beach and the harbour.  While we were eating our lunch and looking at the view, a seagull swooped down from behind us and took the sandwich right out of Janet’s hands and flew off to eat it.  He was an aggressive seagull and wouldn’t let any of the others have any food that was thrown to them.  After lunch, we went for a stroll along the waterfront, to a sandy beach, where they had the typical English dressing sheds – see photos – and people reclining on the beach in deckchairs.  We continued our stroll to the jetty and harbour, but were amused to discover that the tide was out and so all the boats in the harbour were left “high and dry”.

By now, we were well and truly off the motorways, and we continued our adventure along the coast, past Weymouth to Lulworth Cove, where the cliffs almost enclose the circular bay.  We walked/climbed up a steep, pebbly walkway, with countless steps to the top of a hill/cliff, stopping a couple of times to catch our breath. From the top we had an incredible view of the Cove and also of Durdle Door (just LOVE that name), where a natural arch is formed in the rocks and we had views over the English Channel.  Our photos don’t do it justice as it was really overcast and hazy, which had persisted all day.

By now, as it was getting late in the afternoon, we decided to head straight to Portsmouth.  We found somewhere to park at the shopping centre adjacent to the Spinnaker Tower, 170m high, and had a wander around the historic waterfront. 

We saw the HMS Warrior, 1860, which illustrates life in the Victorian era.  There was a tall ship tied up to the dock which reminded Richard of the tall ship, The One and All, that he sailed on.  Richard just loves the tall ships, but as the sun had set, we didn’t get a chance to see any of the others.

We had dinner at Tootsie’s on the waterfront, which was very pleasant, and then Janet drove us home to Maidenhead, where we arrived at about 9.30pm.

We have had a wonderful day and thoroughly enjoyed exploring part of the South Coast of England, with Janet.

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