U.K.

British summer adventures on the Jurassic Coast

Ok. I realise it has been a LONG time since I’ve written on here. Like 7 months. And I promise I’ll catch up on posting about our recent travels soon, now that I’m on summer break, but in the meantime, I just wanted to share about our weekend in Dorset!

Over the weekend, Chris and I headed down to the Jurassic Coast of England for a low-key getaway. We spent two nights camping at the Rosewall Camping Park in Dorset (near Weymouth). I had never really been “car camping” at a private campground before, so this was a new experience for me!

We left on Friday afternoon (peak traffic time, of course) and stopped for dinner and a drink at a lovely little pub called The Rose and Thistle. Chris ordered a delicious chicken dinner with garlic sauce and potatoes along with a local beer, while I went for the bean and pepper crepe with a cheddar topping, side salad, and water… Oh. For those of you that don’t know yet, these Navigating Newlyweds (now celebrating our 2 year anniversary) are pregnant!!

After dinner, we drove on and arrived at the campground at around 9pm. We drove past rolling pastures and curious ponies on our way into the parking area. We checked in, then drove around for a few minutes, trying to find a good, flat spot with a nice view to pitch our tent. (Luckily, it was still light out as we were setting up and settling in, and got dark soon after.)

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Now, I hate to complain, but that first night of camping was the second worst night of sleep I think I’ve ever had. To be fair, we did prepare for this. Chris, knowing that I was about 6 months pregnant, had insisted I bring as much padding as possible to help me sleep. I had 3 pillows, a sleeping mat, and a padded sleeping bag under the sleeping bag I was in, and I was STILL extremely uncomfortable that first night!

(In case you’re wondering, the worst night of sleep I’ve ever had was also when I was camping with Chris. We were in Chisos Basin in Big Bend National Park in west Texas. After seeing warning signs about the local mountain lions and grizzly bears ALL day, I spent the entire night visualising a mountain lion dragging me out of the tent!!)

In the morning, we sleepily grabbed a banana and a fresh-baked croissant from the camp store, packed up our things, and headed out for a long walk. We walked past the Smugglers Inn Pub, where we’d later stop for lunch, and started up the South West Coast Path along the Osmington Coast. The views were astounding!

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Soon after starting our trek, we realised we weren’t the only ones enjoying the coastal path. We kept crossing paths with a bunch of trail runners doing a half marathon! They were quite polite as they passed, in typical British form.

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We hiked along the coast for a couple of hours, with the goal of getting close enough to Durdle Door for a great view, but unfortunately some crazy fog rolled in at an impressive speed, so we turned around, vowing to return to Durdle Door for a beach day the following day. (Our day wasn’t ruined though – the views through the mist were beautiful!)

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We headed back in the direction we had come from, stopping occasionally to watch the cows, check the views, and drink some water. We even hiked down to a beach to dip our toes in the water and snag a quick nap in the sunshine (no fog there)!

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Our hike ended when we arrived back at the Smugglers Inn Pub for a late lunch. The building is several hundred years old, and as one customer that Chris overhead remarked, “looks like the result of a successful craftsmen apprenticeship program, what with its multiple facades and roof types!” Indeed, the left part of the building appeared to be the original structure with stone and a thatched roof, the centre was brick and a slate roof, and on the right was a kind of stucco and tiled roof.  I ordered a grilled chicken salad, while Chris opted for a steak sandwich with chips (fries) and a beer. We may have had a bit of ice cream to cool down, as well. 🙂

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What a cool country pub! Loved seeing the cows grazing in the back.

After lunch, we showered and relaxed at the campground for a while before heading to a pub called The Springhead for dinner. It was in a quaint and lovely little part of Weymouth called Sutton Poyntz.

What a busy place! There was a wedding going on in the area out back, so wedding guests were everywhere, making the service reaaaaallly slow. Luckily the food was very good (wood-fired margherita pizza and crab mac ‘n cheese!), so we didn’t mind too much.

Back at the campground that second night, Chris pulled out extra padding (towels, clothes, etc.) to make a more comfortable “bed” for me. Luckily, between that and the exhaustion from hiking, the sun, and already being overtired from the night before, I slept much better that night!

In the morning, we grabbed a quick croissant from the store again before packing up camp and heading out. It was time to head to the beach!

We drove the 20 minutes to Durdle Door, a Unesco World Heritage site, and walked (along with looots of other “holiday makers”), down the dusty path to the beach. The views that greeted us as we descended the hill were amazing!

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When we got down to the beach at around 10:00, it was already pretty crowded. We picked a spot to set up our chair and towel, but after a couple of hours there, we had been surrounded by other people, so we walked further down the beach and set up in a quieter spot.

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Convenient shade on a hot day!

We did a little swimming (Chris was very excited to see how well his preggo wife floated). The water was quite chilly, but once we were fully dunked, it didn’t feel too bad. Eventually, when the sun and the crowds got to be a bit too much, we hiked back up the hill to the car.

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The view of Durdle Door when we left around 2pm

Before heading back to London, we stopped for an early dinner at a pub called The Mitre in an adorable little village called Shaftesbury. The steep hike up Gold Hill to the pub was exhausting after a long day at the beach and another hike, but the Sunday roast we shared at the top was worth it! Chris even got to watch the World Cup match from the pub!

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Heading back down the hill after our big meal, Chris told me to stop for a picture. “I feel big,” I told him, rubbing my belly. “That’s because you just ate a Sunday roast. And apple cobbler. With ice cream. And 2 jugs of water. Oh. Aaaand you’re pregnant.”

Ahhh the perfect ending to a lovely weekend. 😉

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