Quick note: I’m still experimenting with my post formats. If you want to skip all the spiel and jump straight to a gallery and slideshow, click here.
I absolutely love Dorset. It is pretty much my favourite place in the world. I guess it’s the air, the amazing scenery, and the fact that for two weeks every summer I basically grew up there. In fact, I first visited Dorset some 23 years ago when I was only three, and have been back for at least a day virtually every year since.
We had such a return last week when, finding ourselves in Devon for a (really rather good) wedding, we decided we might as well stay in the area for a while, and booked into a campsite in Charmouth, near Dorset’s border with Devon. Wait, I’ve made that sound far more spontaneous than it actually was. Yes, we planned it. That’s why we had a tent with us.
Anyway, during the four days we were there, we popped into a few places along the coast (and inland for that matter), where I found occasions to break out my camera and take some snaps. Since you’re reading this here, you can rest assured they’re not just standard holiday pictures.
Our first port of call (well, more of a harbour, in fact) was Seaton, which we popped into on the way from the wedding in Devon to the campsite in Dorset.
Once we had the tent set up – fortunately the wind held off long enough for us to get it secured without it blowing away – we took a stroll down to Charmouth beach to take a look.
There, we found some people playing with R/C cars on the sand.
They were obviously using the opportunity to take some cool pictures of the cars themselves. I sat back and grabbed a few snaps whilst they were playing about:
The next day, we took a fossil hunting stroll along Charmouth beach, one of the world’s most renowned fossil spots (I myself have a few decent examples from that beach, including this fine little number).
Holly certainly got into the swing of things.
When we stopped for lunch, I decided to take a snap of the bottle of apple juice and tart it up a bit.
After our fossil hunt (we had a decent haul, admittedly mostly found by the wife), we found ourselves suddenly and unaccountably set upon by the sun, which had apparently been occupying itself elsewhere up until that point, so we decided to scale a local hill (where I took the shot of the beach at the top of this post).
We also had a flyby from a microlight, because that’s the sort of random thing that happens on the coast in Dorset.
To capitalise on the sudden good weather, we headed out to Lyme Regis in the evening, where I discovered they’ve apparently been poshing up their seafront a bit. They’ve put in some nice gardens up on the hill above the beach with a fancy, almost Kew Gardens-style walkway in it. Although, as far as I can tell, it’s only good for the photo ops.
On the Monday we accidentally wondered a fair way back into Devon. I had figured I had better do something other than ‘just’ Dorset whilst away, so we headed in a Devon sort of direction and before long we found ourselves sitting in Exmouth. I’ve never been there before, so I was impressed with its geography.
After a quick stop in the town centre for a rather enjoyable full English, we headed back out and found a little piece of home: a garden area by the water with dozens of tame squirrels.
Now, as anyone who’s read this blog before will know, I have a small penchant for photographing ostensibly cute woodland creatures. Especially in wooded areas where my tendency to shoot at a slightly quick shutter speed enhances the shadows and lighting for what I call the Alice in Wonderland effect (purely because the result reminds me of the cinematography of one of the adaptations of the classic tale).
After visiting the squirrels, we continued our drive deeper into Devon. We eventually got as far as Teignmouth, which seemed like a nice place until you looked at some of the road signs.
So with that, we returned to the familiarity of Dorset.
On our final day, we headed out via my favourite place to be stationary in Dorset (as there are some truly fantastic roads throughout the county), Swanage.
No sooner had we parked, I caught sight of a lifeboat going past the bay. If you were paying attention earlier, this is the excessive boat bit.
It costs thousands of pounds a day to run the RNLI, and despite the fact they are an emergency service they receive no government funding and are financed entirely by charitable donations. So, if you spend any time at all near or on the sea in the UK, go here and give them a few quid. Seriously. This post will still be here when you come back.
Anyway, from atop the windy cliff where I snapped the pictures of that lifeboat, I had a great view of the channel, choppy and splashing against the rocks at Peveril Point.
We weren’t the only ones enjoying the wind and the view. A few birds were making the most of the weather.
If you haven’t heard of Swanage, or Dorset, you at least should be familiar with one piece of its scenery, especially if you’ve ever opened a geography text book.
After that, I sat down and turned to taking some desktop wallpaper images. If there is ever any demand for such I thing I might release some of these at a more desktop-optimised size.
Swanage also has an excellent stream railway. We managed to miss the steam train photo opportunity twice, but there was a nicely regaled diesel locomotive parked at the station.
Finally, on our way out, I stopped and took a snap of Corfe Castle.
Well, that’s almost your lot. As I’m still experimenting with ways of displaying my images on this blog, you can see all of the above images (and a few more besides) in this gallery of the photos, or check out the slideshow below.