Bad luck in Matlock!

Bad luck in Matlock!

A 2-day stay in Matlock in Derbyshire to see family and friends showed considerable promise when I spotted the Oxfam bookshop directly opposite our Airbnb! And just a few shops down there was another second hand bookshop, too!

Picked up from the station, we had a light lunch at the home of our relations for the first reunion. But it was downhill from there onwards as a violent sickness bug took hold at the end of the day. Earlier in the week little Iris had been unwell and it looks as if I had picked up her bug. The next fifteen hours were the worst of the worst and we were unsure whether I would be able to travel home the following morning. Fortunately I was.

St Pancras looked magnificent – the photo below was taken on the way up.

However I never got to see much of Matlock or get to visit the bookshops or participate in the main, family reunion. Next time….

The magnificent St Pancras Station

Wells-Next-The-Sea

A busy month – two funerals, flu and covid jabs, dentist and optician appointments, a car breakdown followed by scrapping and replacing the car. For a change of scenery we made a last-minute decision to visit the Norfolk town of Wells-Next-The-Sea. We always planned to travel there by public transport which took over 6 hours, involving a train, tube, two more trains and a bus!

A Monday to Friday stay in a rented house gave us three full days to explore and get in a couple of decent length walks. Wells-Next-The-Sea is a charming fishing and holiday town with magnificent sands (when the tide is out).

We managed long walks on two of the three days. The first day was sunny as we walked westwards from Wells to Holkham, catching a bus back to Wells. The second day was extremely windy and we caught the bus to Blakeney, walking eastwards to Cley before catching the bus back.

On the third day it rained but we were still able to revisit the magnificent sandy beach.

Fish and chips in the evening!

A holiday in Aldeburgh, Suffolk

A family (2+2+2 little ones) holiday to Aldeburgh on the Suffolk coast by train – how exciting! Train number 1 took us from North Surrey to Farringdon, then one stop on the super-duper Queen Elizabeth Line to Liverpool Street station, then a train to Ipswich and another to Saxmundham, before a bus to our destination. Less than 5 hours of stress-free travel. Phew (but we would do it again)!

We rented a fabulous home just a few yards from the beach. If we weren’t on the beach we were relaxing in the house and looking out to sea. Aldeburgh is a lovely, little town with mostly independent shops and cafes.

I would never have thought how much pleasure could be got from being on a pebble beach. We did much walking, particularly north, along the beach to Thorpeness where there is a wonderful, large boating lake.

Lots of smoked fish, lots of pastries and a very fine meal in a fish restaurant. The two little ones were, as usual, an absolute delight. A wonderful family holiday!

Eastbourne paragliders

We’re back at Eastbourne and our walk took us on a gentle climb along the lower level of the hill before a steep climb to the top. We’re hoping the weather stays fine for more cliff top walks. Today there were many paragliders, making for some rather nice images.

Eastbourne (last day)

Strolls along the promenade on a warm morning and a misty afternoon were a gentle end to our 9-day stay in Eastbourne. We’ve been blessed with wonderful weather, including a couple of days of gales and dramatic seas.

Best memory of our stay? This one at the top of Beachy Head. On two consecutive days I walked up there – what an absolutely fabulous location!


Beachy Head (day 5)

On a glorious day (what a contrast to several days of gales) a walk to the end of Eastbourne and up to Beachy Head on the South Downs. An absolutely wonderful morning. Some great images – thank you Sony Rx100 camera! Click on them for bigger pictures.

A steep climb at the beginning
What a terrific view to end the walk

Hastings (day 4)

Today’s outing was a 20 mile drive down the coast to Hastings. It wasn’t as windy as the previous days but it was a lot colder. Hastings Old Town is interesting and well worth a visit though the crowded street-parking made it pointless to take photos. There are lots of small, independent shops and cafés which on a warmer day we might have spent more time investigating.


Eastbourne & Seaford (day 3)

On a sunny and windy morning, two more images of Eastbourne beach, taken from the pier.

Ten miles down the coast from Eastbourne is Seaford. I’ve never been a fan of Seaford but we were looking for somewhere to drive that was not too distant. There was a gale strong enough to blow us away so we headed briskly towards the inviting cliffs. There are some rather colourful beach huts on the promenade and a lot of activity as large trucks redistributed shingle from the end of the beach to further up. I didn’t envy the digger working so close to the water’s edge as the gale did its best to wash it away!


Eastbourne (day 2)

What a wonderfully, windy morning it was as we walked the long promenade towards the Beachy Head cliffs. These images give no sense of the violence as the waves crashed in and the wind blew a gale. On our return walk, with the wind now behind us, the sun briefly came out. In the town there were plenty of people shopping, and a solitary, heavily armed policeman protecting us (but from what?).


Eastbourne

We weren’t expecting to be on holiday, but things change, and here we are in windy Eastbourne. There was torrential rain all the way down though we saw the sun for about 2 minutes once we’d arrived. Hopefully we can expect some improvement during our stay. Our incompetent prime minister is shortly to announce a national lock-down. How this will affect our week remains to be seen. Watch this blog!


My trip begins

Blogging from a small iPhone – is it possible? I’m on a trip with no laptop or iPad, so I’m evaluating the possibilities of travelling light.
The trip began with a train cancellation and consequently a squeeze to catch the connection in London, but it turned out ok. Another connection from Birmingham and then buses from Gobowen and finally from Oswestry took me to the lovely village of Llanrhaeadr. This final leg wasn’t without incident due to diversions that required the bus to negotiate even narrower country lanes than the normal route.
After a settling in at my holiday cottage, followed by an hour or so with my aunt, I picked up a few basics from the small supermarket.
Being a Saturday night, a pub meal for dinner seemed very appropriate, and a steak and ale pie and a Shiraz were duly consumed.

And now, the final episodes of Spiral.