Three castles, three piers, 300 miles

OK, I am in danger of blog spamming today (if there is such a thing) but we had such an amazingly fun and random day yesterday … and I had a fab time taking loads of photos, I’m just going to carry on regardless.

The White Cliffs of Dover.

We had had every intention of going to Portsmouth, which is on the south coast about 50 miles straight down from where I live.

But having looked at the weather it was going to be raining all day, so we decided we would head east to avoid the rain and ended up in Dover.

Dover Castle.

We packed a picnic, drove around 110 miles and ended up at Dover Castle.

It is an English Heritage site so we got in free and we have now exceeded what we paid for our membership and so are in credit by about £16 (woo hoo, the membership fee WAS worthwhile) and we still have until January until it runs out.

View from the top of the castle.

The castle was just amazing, it has iron age bits, Roman bits (that’s a Roman lighthouse to the right of the church on the hill) and bits from most periods since.

We climbed right up to the top of the tower and could see France quite clearly on the horizon.

14th century graffiti.

We danced a quadrille in the main hall (at least that’s what I claim it was) much to the amusement of other visitors, and found some 14th century graffiti.

A view of the town from the castle.

We took pictures of the town and the beach from our hilltop position.

The passenger ferry docks.

And took pictures of the passenger ferry docks from the Admiralty viewing platform in the war bunker.

And we got harassed by seagulls.

In flight, in focus woo hoo :).

I was amused by the stickers they gave us. They told us it was Thursday, I’m glad, I probably wouldn’t have known otherwise.

Today is Thursday at Dover Castle.

For some bizarre reason, we then decided we would take the long road home.

Man and I want to travel around the entire coast of Britain. Personally, I would like to do it in a camper van and in one go, we could be the oldest hippies on the circuit :). But this is proving a little difficult (families, bills, work etc getting in the way). So we’ve decided the only way to do it is to do it in bits.

A few months after we met we traveled from Scarborough on the east coast down to Skegness, that was fun. And we’ve added other little bits as well.

Yesterday we did south east – Dover to Worthing.

We went from Dover to  Folkestone, through Hythe and along to Dymchurch, where the town sign told us it was a ‘children’s paradise’. Well maybe in 1912, but in 2012 there really didn’t appear to be much going on.

The amazing, inspiring Dungeness.

From there we went to Dungeness ( see this post for gallery) which is just the most amazing, stunning place.

There followed Rye, Winchelsea, Ickenham, and Guestling before we arrived at Hastings, where is started raining, we got stuck behind a German coach in heavy traffic and it took about 45 minutes to get out the other side!

Man did find this fabulous sign though.

We buy lol.

Should you ever wish to sell your blow-up doll, you now know where to go :)

Then it was through Bexhill and on to Pevensey, where we found our second castle of the day.

Pevensey Castle.

And we found another amusing sign.

Nocturnal car park.

According to the sign, the car park is closed between 8am and 6pm. It is also, it says at the bottom, very busy…

Busy car park.

Hmmm. Actually it was only 5.55pm, so the car park was technically closed. Perhaps it gets busier when it is open in the middle of the night!

We also spotted another sign as we were driving through the countryside.

It said: “For sale, oven-ready rabbits, pheasant breasts, face bricks”. Yep, I can see how those three items sit naturally together :).

By the time we got to Eastbourne it was chucking it down with rain, dark and miserable. We had a picnic in the car, checked in on Facebook at Eastbourne Pier and grabbed a couple of ‘summer’ shots of this seaside resort.

Eastbourne Pier.

The views from Beachy Head, an area of outstanding natural beauty, were limited as by this time we were in the middle of a cloud.

Beachy Head.

And by the time we did our Facebook check-in at Brighton Pier, we couldn’t even bring ourselves to get out of the car to take a photograph.

Brighton Pier … taken from the car because it was so wet.

Our last stop was Worthing. By this time we were bored. And really, we were very uninspired by the Sussex coast.

In Kent there had been lots of little quirky things to look at (I like quirky). Hastings, Eastbourne, Brighton and Worthing all looked pretty much the same – dated. Like some throw-back to a bygone age where all people wanted was a bit of a promenade, a flower bed or two and the facade of a grand hotel.

Even the beaches are stony – and not cool, amazing stony like Dungeness, just stony and a bit tired and worn out, just like the architecture.

By Worthing we had tired of the monotony of the Sussex coastal towns.

We decided to cut across country to get home and drove through Arundel (that’s where the third castle comes in but it was too dark and rainy to stop for pictures) and Petworth. Both of these we think are worth a return visit.

And three castles, three piers and 300 miles later returned home having enjoyed the most fun and random road trip ever.

  1. Longest blog yet. Lol. Really enjoyed reading it though. :)

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