Sunday morning, breakfast over, bog and tanks emptied and filled then off. We could have spent the morning hanging about and putting it off but Cath wanted to see Lyme Regis and I wanted Halfords to get some gear oil due to an annoying leak.
Lyme Regis, pretty little, very busy, seaside resort with a lovely working harbour as opposed to a marina. We had a walk down the cliffs and along the beach then out past the harbour onto the harbour wall. Apparently some of Jane Austens ‘Persuasion’ was set there so Cath re-enacted falling off some steps! Fish and chipson a busy beach and a walk through the town and off we went again through Winchester for food, fuel and oil then to Burley in the New Forest.
We couldn’t find a wild camping spot, probably because we are too chicken to just park up, especially when the signs state we can’t so onto the satnav and see what is available. It has been a good 20 years since I was at Salisbury Plain so we set a route and found a parking spot just next to Porton Down, a place called Figsbury Ring. There were MOD No Entry signs all around and to be honest I wouldn’t want to go in there.
The next morning with no real plan except to head north we skirted round Salisbury then went on to the plain with the intention of getting a picture on a tank crossing.
Still at a loss on where to go we headed north until we came across Stratford Upon Avon, the birthplace of the beard or should that be bard? Who knows? I just know his tomes were forced on me when a student and I could never see the attraction – it’s not really english anymore.
A quick pint in the oldest pub in Stratford and northwards again – we just kept driving eventually finding a spot just north of Matlock Bath in the Peaks. It was dark and raining by now but Matlock Bath had their own illuminations above the river Derwent which gave the town a real holiday feel. We went back in the morning and it daylight it was a lovely little town with pubs, restaurants and amusement arcades all along the main street which runs next to the river. There is also a cable car going to a hilltop known as the Heights of Abraham, named after a battle fought in Canada.
Up on the Heights we had a good look round the displays and garden and had a tour through a cave. It seems that it was run as a lead mining business but some entrepreneur decided he could coax the rich Victorian visitors to the baths (Matlock Bath!) up the hill to see his attractions, all at the cost of the local business and workers – it is true that history just repeats itself but that is progress. Another quick pint then on to Bakewell where we sampled the local tart (!) which is known as a pudding and eventually found a quiet road up on Longstone Edge to spend our last night away. A wet and windy night we woke up to a beautiful view then buggered off home via Lancaster to visit son number 1 who is hard at work in Lancs Uni. Good lad!