out and about in southern England

What can I say? It rained, mostly. England was a having week of storms and it was my luck to be there sight-seeing. It was wonderful, though, despite a chest cough and lots of huge puddles of unknown depth that caused us to take detours.

Leaving London, our first stop was the New Forest, where I’d heard about the free range ponies and was excited to see some. The rain meant that we couldn’t go walking, so we stayed cozy in our inn, The Pig in the Forest. What a beautiful, rambling place, exquisite in every way.

Here’s one of the sitting rooms where we sat and played scrabble before dinner. Each sitting room had two fireplaces¬† around which guests gathered in individual parties, making it quite a intimate experience. I loved the bookshelf wallpaper.

and the hand printed wallpaper at the front desk.

Here’s more of the sitting rooms. I love the English style when it’s not too chintzy. My favorite detail was the floorboards. Wide and rustic but not so much that you might stub your toe.

The outdoors beckoned but it was raining mostly. Note to self: next trip to England, bring a raincoat.

The hotel describes itself as “a restaurant with rooms”. It’s all about the walled kitchen garden, which you can visit, and they serve entirely local meats and produce. Here’s the dining room in the morning, ready for breakfast.

with hand painted floor tiles, locally made.

Regretfully, we spent just one night there.

Next time I’ll spend a whole weekend so I can ramble about in the forest and talk to the ponies.

In the morning, off we went to the south coast and Lulworth Cove, where I half expected to meet some pirates.

The road down to the cove was so tiny that once we’d driven down, there was no place to turn around and Pete had to back the car back up, no easy feat in the rain, with three women’s luggage blocking the rear window of the station wagon.

The stream next to the road, where the ducks were happy.

 

A few miles on from Lulworth is this spectacular place.

You can walk across the green hills, following the coast. I have to say, I respect the English so much for the care they take to protect their precious countryside. These hills were remarkably free of buildings.

Here we are, me and my family, at Durdle Door.

Next stop Bath, my favorite town.

 

 

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