At the weekend, we visited our lovely friends, who moved away and (let us use their house for a few weeks ) at their new home in Weymouth. We’d been meaning to visit them since February half-term, but, actually, I’m glad we waited because a) the seaside looks a whole lot better in summer and b) it gave them chance to transform their house and get it looking fabulous.
And I realised something about my family. We never stay with friends (I guess because three kids and staying with friends just doesn’t work, who has room to accommodate five people?) – we go on holiday and we stay at my mother-in-law’s, and that’s it. And I realised something else. There are no better friends to stay with. Because we all have a friend in their family – the two mums, the two dads, the two younger boys, and my eldest and their daughter. Only my daughter is on her own, but she fits in fine with the younger boys and, as my friend’s son pointed out, she is also my friend’s god-daughter, so my friend is always very happy to see her.
Our family loves the great outdoors, but our friends love it far more than we do – the countryside, the beach, the sea, hills, forests, they love them all. And with just over 24 hours in their company, they wanted to share it all with us. I’ve never been to Weymouth before, or even Dorset (apart from a performance with a horrible elitist teenage theatre group in Poole when I was 15), so I was excited to see it all. I thought Weymouth was a beautiful place – a bit more urban than Cornish towns, but still with a very ‘seaside’ feel to it – and the views are stunning!
We started off with a long trek into town, which included a walk along a very pebbly beach. From there, my husband and two boys had their greatest adventure of the weekend – a fishing trip (my daughter gets seasick so the ladies just wandered around the town). Just as their trip was coming to an end, my eldest, the wannabe fisherman, caught not one, not two, but THREE mackerel – all at the same time. That experience will have made not just his day, but his whole year. As a vegetarian, he wasn’t keen on the concept of them being killed, gutted and eaten, but that’s exactly what happened. Apparently they were delicious (as a vegetarian myself, I can’t comment).
The next morning we went a short walk up the hill, where we could see the sea all around us. It must be amazing to have that right on your doorstep.
Then it was a quick trip in the car to Portland, where the Olympic sailing took place. I was fascinated by the drive over there – by Chesil Beach and The Fleet – a long strip of sand which forms almost a bridge. I literally had no idea these things existed (geography has never been my strong point). The views from the hill by the Olympic rings were absolutely stunning.
Finally we headed to Portland Bill (anyone else remember the kids’ TV programme of the same name? I never realised it was a place!), where the rocks are rugged, the wind is strong and the views are stunning. The kids scrambled over rocks and ate chips. It was a really beautiful place to spend some time, have a walk and get lots of fresh air.
We loved our little stay in Weymouth and will definitely be visiting for A LOT longer next time!
Linking with The Gallery at Sticky Fingers. Pop over to see how others have interpreted ‘The great outdoors’.