Well I suppose calling my outing adventures may seem over the top but when I was a child and I read the Famous Five books by Enid Blyton and other books by an author called Malcom Saville I longed to have adventures of my own. Then one day I realised that any outing could be an adventure if you approached it in the right spirit and this trip to Christchurch and Mudeford was something of a journey into the unknown! More unknown than expected!
I had planned to have had far more outings by this point in the summer but the uncertain weather and a certain sense of holding my breath until the garden was completed has militated against it.
But last week reading that the following day was going to be the hottest so far and knowing that the work on the garden was likely to begin the day after, I decided that it was the ideal time for a trip to the beach.
I went to the station to catch the 1024 to Christchurch but maybe all the heat was messing up the signal boxes because the train was about fifteen minutes late. A fifteen minutes standing up watching a steady increment to the expected time. So I was very glad when the train eventually arrived. A quiet journey knitting a bit more of my temperature scarf then a happy arrival at Christchurch Station. As I left the station one of the first things I noticed were these poppies by the side of the road. I love field poppies, so of course I had to photograph them.
I hadn’t taken a paper map but was relying on the map on my phone; however I began to realise that with the extremely bright sunlight not only was reading the map on the screen phone extremely difficult but also, without a viewfinder on my camera, knowing if the photographs were any good was going to be an issue. (I was pleasantly surprised to find that most of the photographs turned out okay, though the bright contrast of a sunny day is not ideal for photography.)
I had seen from the map that Mudeford, which was my ultimate destination, was about three or four miles from Christchurch but I thought that was a distance I could manage without difficulty.
On the way I saw many things.
There was this wool shop but I resisted the temptation to visit it as I have plenty of yarn in my stash and a long list of future projects for using it up.
There was also a sewing shop but again I resisted the temptation.
(These shops were both on the other side of the road and, with a steady stream of traffic, getting a vehicle free photograph was quite tricky.)
This display did get my attention however as I had noticed an influx of ants, some of them with wings, in my sitting room at the corner of the patio doors and I was out of ant powder! So I went in and bought some.
Reading the map, as I said before was difficult but I had remembered that the road I needed to take was a little bit north of Christhurch Priory and I had thought to visit for a quick look. It was only a quick look as time was getting on.
I had to photograph this more old fashioned sweet shop in spite of the reflections.and these ruins. So many reasons to come back another day.
I had to cross the river along Castle St and Bridge St, stopping to take a quick photograph as I did so. This was such a soothing and tranquil sight, I could have stayed there all day.
I took a quick view towards the harbour the other side but decided that crossing the road was unwise!
After this the road seemed endless as it curved gently round towards Mudeford.
I saw a few more items of interest though.
Stanpit Recreation Ground. Something to explore one day maybe.
And this sign
Just a tribute to the original not the real thing but it looked a peaceful place to rest if I had had the time.
My first view of the sea but the end was not yet.
Eventually I reached the beach and I saw there were people having fun with their dinghies but I was hungry and thirsty by now and lunch was my first priority. So I found a place in the shade. Half a home made scone based pizza and a banana. There should have been more olives but I had run out!
After lunch I looked at the steady stream of boats hurrying towards the harbour.
There were motor boats and sail boats and some that clearly had both. Although it was very hot, unlike the previous day which had been very humid, there was a cool breeze and the sea was quite lively as I watched it splashing up against the sea wall. and I walked along past a row of beach huts in muted, pastel colours then I ventured onto the beach and my eye was caught by this arrangement of sticks and stones as also by other detritus. I had been to Mudeford many, many years before and I didn’t recognise it. Then it had seemed a quiet beach where you could amble gently along to Highcliffe and beyond. Today it was heaving with people. I was told later that it had changed a lot in the past thirty years and it certainly seemed to have a lot more facilities (and people!)
It was very hot and I didn’t feel I could face all the crowds and the noise, and the sea seemed a bit rough for a paddle, so I decided to return to Christchurch and maybe visit the Priory. I had noticed a bus stop on the way there and didn’t feel up to the long walk back so I waited for the next bus. Maybe another time (if there ever was one) I should take the bus from Christchurch rather than walk.
I did indulge myself with a stem ginger ice cream (how can you have a summer outing without one and I am very fond of ginger!) before going and sitting in the Priory just taking in the silence and renewing my strength for the journey home. Aren’t these Norman arches beautiful?I took a couple of quick photographs, thinking that I may come back later for a proper visit.
Waiting for the next train there was a delay of about twenty minutes, as I had had in the morning, but there were a couple of trains in the other direction that were about an hour late: signalling issues again! So I suppose I should think myself lucky!
I was very pleased when it arrived.
I hope you enjoyed coming with me to Christchurch and Mudeford. As you can see, if you are ever in the area, there is lots to explore.