Yes, I’d recommend it to anyone.
Family Holiday Fun
We spent a week in a field in Dorset recently, staying at a Camping & Caravanning Club site a few minutes from the coast in Charmouth.
The site was excellent. Clean, welcoming, lovely big pitches with good drainage (a must in the British summertime), well-equipped shower blocks and a well-stocked shop. As a family, we enjoyed 7 nights of restful fun, helped by an almost complete lack of 3G signal which prevented me from checking in on work emails! 🙂
From a cyclist’s point of view, let me tell you that Dorset is hilly. Surprisingly hilly. I took a brief excursion onto the Sustrans NCN2 past Monkton Wyld, just behind the camp site, and was alarmed by the steep drop, which led me to abandon my plans to ride to Bridport and back. Instead, I turned back after a mile and a half and picked a different, flat loop which circled the site in a nice easy 5 miler. Wimped out.
But not before dropping my bike accidentally and smashing my rear light off. Two cable ties later it looks as good as new.
Lyme Regis is silly steep. It’s basically a drop down to the coast with streets scattered along the hillside. The roads are almost impossible to drive safely, so it’s a “point, hope and squint” experience! In the end, I parked a little higher in the town and walked the family down towards the beach, vowing never to return.
But return I did. It’s such a pretty place once you take it in away from the car. The day after our first visit, we went back for a lovely Italian meal and loved it. We stayed so late that they were cleaning up around us and presented us with complimentary Limoncellos by way of an apology. Limoncello’s lovely, once you get over the thought that it’s like drinking Flash kitchen floor cleaner.
Cycling in Devon
The Dorset coast isn’t really made for cycling. Far too hilly for an unfit bloke on an MTB plus a family of 4 other fairweather cyclists. So, we took a 45 minute drive West and headed to a river basin in Devon.
However, we bought a fantastic little £5 Treasure Trails guide booklet for a ride around the river Exe and the Exeter Ship Canal which took us on an excellent 11 mile loop of around 3 hours. The booklet presents a sort of treasure hunt, where you solve a puzzle by completing 21 clues. Then you can submit your answer to be entered into a prize draw.
The Treasure Trails books cover walking and cycling, and can be bought for most areas in the UK. What a brilliant little idea! Learn more about them here.
Hopefully I’ll post more about our adventures in the next few days, but I hope this gives you a taster. If you like the idea of the trails, please buy one and give it a try – I can’t recommend them highly enough if your kids have a short attention span! 🙂
Tell ’em Phill sent you.