Thursday, 4 April 2013

Easter 2013 - An English Adventure

Before having Miss G there had never been a bank holiday or Easter weekend that Mr H and  spent in London. The name of the game was jump on a plane and make the most of it. Now that the little one is over two, we feel that it is time to get back to how we used to be and feast our eyes on new scenery.

Annoyingly Miss G is now required to pay a full price plane ticket, so for Easter we decided to skip the foreign travelling and stay in England, a country that I have lived in for the past 13 years and that I have hardly explored. The reasons for this are many, but rubbish weather and my love of city breaks are perhaps the main ones.

With a last minute booking to a guesthouse, with wellies and hats packed, we set off to Dorset. Leaving a sunny London on Good Friday, we arrived in Christchurch, Dorset, three hours later. The afternoon was spent  at Highcliffe Castle and beach, which were as beautiful as they were freezing cold. Undeterred and layered with clothes to the point of not being able to move we went and explored. 

Dinner was an impromptu stop at The Lord Brute in Christchurch. We were all tired and cold and hoping for a fine meal. It turned up to be a huge mistake not to order starters as this threw the kitchen in total confusion and we had to wait 50 minutes for our mains, whilst watching people receiving their starters five minutes after they had sat down. More confusion came with regards to Miss G's allergies and it suffice to say that we paid no service charge for our delicious yet very late meal. It makes me so crossed that many upmarket restaurants can be so clueless on food allergies and yet high street chains are so knowledgable.

Despite the long day and the not entirely restful night, we set up a big treat for Miss G on the Saturday. We left Dorset for an enjoyable half an hour drive through the New Forest to go and visit Peppa Pig world. Luckily the sun did come up at times and, despite the Arctic temperature, we all had a lot of fun. Little G could not believe her eyes when her favourite character, Suzy Sheep, came out to say hi, but she did not appreciate us taking her to a fairly high water slide (evil parents!) but thankfully a £2 pencil case from the Peppa toy shop washed away the tears quickly. Phew.


Whilst Little Miss G earned a well deserved nap in the car, we drove all the way to Poole Harbour (beautiful!) and she woke up just in time to see us catch the chain ferry to the village of Studland in the Isle of Purbeck. The scenery was incredibly picturesque and the beaches looked beautiful, but we decided against the view (and the cold) and in favour of a warm and early dinner at the famous Bankes Arms pub. 


Owing to some previous commitments we cut the holiday short by one day and returned to London on Easter Sunday. Luckily the Easter Bunny remembered to bring a chocolate to Dorset and with a breakfast of chocolate in bed and our bags packed we spent our last day away from London exploring the New Forest

I admit that the deer watching platform and the oldest oak tree in the forest were a bit underwhelming for us, but the actual forest in itself was  charming and simply stunning. We had to cut our walk short when Little G set her mind on playing a game of hide-and-seek. We would probably still be there, police cars and all, if we did not strapped her in the car headed to Lyndhurst.


Lyndhurst is the main village in the New Forest and has a small and inviting high street. The highlight for us was the Old Apothecary. Before driving back to the Big Smoke, we visited the New Forest Museum in Lyndhurst which was pleasant and informative, if not rather focused on poo. From chocolate pony poo, to match the game of animal-footprints-poo, it seemed to us that those New Forest people have quite a lot of poo in their minds.


Luckily the drive back to London was smooth with no traffic and with a snoring toddler at the back of the car. The Easter bunny left a bag of presents in our living room, which was all Little Miss G needed to end the holiday on a super high. (I should add that the Easter Bunny was both smart and recession conscious and he made his money go a long way thanks to Peppa Pig hair pins, magazines and eBay goods. Clever bunny, indeed!)


We will return to these regions in warmer weather as it was obvious to us that there was so much more to discover and enjoy. Now, when is the next Bank Holiday again?

I've linked this post with Country Kids from Coombe Mill

11 comments:

  1. Looks like a wonderful break with lots of lovely outdoor time. Hope you will link up to Country Kids on Saturday.

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    1. Thanks for linking up, you did cover such a lot in a few days but it looks like you also managed to leave enough to make another trip worthwhile. That sunset photo is beautiful.

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  2. What a great post!
    I wanted to thank you for the post about "Searching for Sugar Man".
    I watched it last night with my husband and we loved it.
    Thank you again.
    Have a nice day!
    Lucia
    p.s. sorry for my English...

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Lucia, it is very kind for you to say this and I am glad you enjoyed it. It's a great film!

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  3. If you go back to the new forest Brockenhurst is a gorgeous little village (the next one down from Lyndhurst) with great places to eat, ponies and cattle wandering free all over the place and some gorgeous little shops and tea rooms, the next village down from that and on the waterfront is Lymington which is where the ferries go from to the Isle of Wight, it's another one with a lovely high street and a nice playground right on the waterfront, there's also a lido where you can have a paddle/swim in summer on the waterfront too - can you tell I used to spend a lot of time in the New Forest!?!

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  4. How lovely! I don't know that part of the world at all but I'm definitely keen to go now. The UK has a huge amount to offer - you should come to York sometime, it's fab (not that I'm biased). In fact according to The Times, the area I live in is the 9th coolest place to live in the UK! Not bad!

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  5. lovely photos it is such a shame this easter weekend wasn't warmer, normally Easter is such a lovely warm bank holiday.

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  6. i know the weather wasnt fantastic, but it looks like you all enjoyed a wonderful easter break. i have Peppa Pig World envy i have promised Burton that we will take him this year but its now a matter of persuading daddy to take some time of work so we can go in the week when less busy. i use to visit the New Forest a lot when i was younger as we loved in Berkshire then so that area is so beautiful as is Poole.
    next you must visit Devon and Cornwall x x
    ps. Miss G makes a beautiful Easter bunny x

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  7. I love the New Forest, looks like you had some lovely days out exploring in spite of the freezing temperatures.
    She looks so cute in those bunny ears.

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  8. I love the New Forest too, lots of hidden gems if you have the time to explore, found you through Country Kids

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  9. What? Peppa Pig has her own world??? Above all, I mustn't tell my son... I already did my good deed by taking him to Disney Land Paris. But it seems you had a great family moment. I'd love to visit the south of England.
    Bisous

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