On tour at home and abroad with the Sumpners

The view below is Toad Rock, Tunbridge Wells

New Forest – 3-5 July

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Well –  it seems like a very long break since our last trip,  but 3 weeks of that time was spent holidaying in the USA – details are here in case you missed it. Which I doubt!

My Uncle – who is a key carer for my Mum – was off on a well earned break to Belgium as part of the 200th Anniversary of Waterloo celebrations. Mum usually comes to stay with us when he goes away (as he did in the middle of May) and she sleeps in the caravan, with its en-suite and very few steps. As she was coming to stay in the caravan anyway, we thought we might as well take her away for another little break and so I booked two nights at Lytton Lawn site, between Lymington and Milford on Sea.

We usually prefer a less family orientated site these days, but it was a good location and so an easy choice.We set off around 4ish for the short trip to the site and – considering it was a Friday evening –  we encountered very little in the way of traffic.

The check in process was swift and friendly and I ordered our morning papers from the well-stocked shop at the same time. Whether by luck or design, it seemed that all the folk with children (and mainly tents) were in one field and others, more senior let’s say, were placed in another. This suited us fine and we were very soon set up with the  dinner cooking  – new potatoes, runner beans, baked cherry tomatoes and salmon in case you are interested, followed by strawberries. Classic summer fare. We washed up and decided to go out for a little spin to while away the evening.

We drove to Keyhaven, where you can catch a foot passenger ferry to Hurst Castle (no road access for cars). This would not be suitable for Mum, but it was a lovely evening and we got a pretty good view.  The Castle is set on a spit of shingle and is an impressive edifice, built in 1544 – although modernised in the late 19th Century. It’s quite near to the Isle of Wight, with only a narrow (3/4 mile) channel separating the two land masses. It’s a great view from the sea.

We eventually arrived in Milford on Sea and parked in the car park, with great views of the Isle of Wight and the Needles. We sat for a while watching the marine traffic and people feeding seagulls (probably not a very good idea!) and then went home to the caravan. I got Mum ready for bed while Paul walked the dog and we all slept well.

1st class posts

1st class posts

The next day was very breezy and after a nice breakfast and a leisurely read of the papers, I prepared our picnic lunch and we drove down to The Needles Eye Cafe at Milford on Sea for coffee. Bracing!! We had to hang on to Ma so that she wouldn’t blow away! We then drove up the coast, popping into each bay/beach until we got to Mudeford. We have been there quite a few times but – oddly – never on a sunny Saturday. It was very busy indeed and finding a parking space overlooking the sea was like jumping into a dead man’s shoes. We eventually found one overlooking the shallow bit where people wind and kite-surf. Mum was really surprised to see someone fall off and then stand up in no more than thigh deep water. We sat here and had our lunch in the warmth and shelter of the car.

After lunch, we decided to go and have a quick look at a potential new car. This took us to Ferndown and we left Mum snoozing happily in the car while we looked around and made our decision. Watch this space! From Ferndown, we made our way to The Old Station Tea Rooms in Holmsley, where we had a cuppa and some scones/jam/cream. Yum.  Lovely place and dog friendly too. I’m sure we shall return – possibly for lunch – as we took a fancy to their “Station Masters Rarebit” – ham under Welsh Rarebit, topped with a fried egg.

We decided to make our way back to the van and sit in the sun and read for a while. It was actually nice to see Mum reading,  as she hasn’t done so for a while.

Nothing like a good book

Nothing like a good book

There may have been a bit of snoozing all round, too. Eventually, we started to feel a bit peckish and set off for the chippy in Milford – Mr Pinks. It had great reviews on Trip Advisor and clearly everyone else had also read them, as the queue was prodigious, stretching outside the shop and down the street. They were pretty efficient and worked their way quickly through the queue. We drove to the beach to devour them and all agreed that the reviews were well justified.

Suitably refreshed (stuffed actually!) it was back to the caravan and a film to finish off the evening. We watched “What We Did on Our Holiday“-  a Britflick that we all really enjoyed. A thunderstorm had been forecast and started just as we went to bed. Paul and I lay in bed with all the blinds open watching the progress of an amazing storm. The lightning was virtually incessant and carried on for ages. It was pretty impressive although not directly overhead. We believe Bournemouth (a little further down the coast) bore the full brunt of it.

One thing I omitted to mention earlier, is that someone – who shall remain nameless but who is male and who is responsible for remembering very little else –  forgot to bring the camera this weekend. Hence, very few pictures for this page. Normal service will hopefully be resumed in time for our next post, which will be from Oxfordshire, in August.

 

 

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