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South Coast Road Trip: Part 1

South Coast Road Trip: Part 1

It’s holiday re-cap time! Is there anything better than going over your holiday snaps and writing about what a great time you had? I mean, maybe. A vegan pizza, a blanket and an episode of Friends spring to mind, but ANYWAY. It’s one of my joys.

This summer Luke and I decided to see more of the UK and take a road trip along the south coast from Cornwall to Brighton. Some people like to go swanning off to the Canary Islands for their summer holidays, where they lounge on beaches, read the contents of the Sunday Times Bestseller List, sip mojitos and generally look v glamourous. Well, not us. We crammed far too much stuff into our Honda, set off to the south and spent the week camping, getting rained on, and looking bedraggled. Just joking, it didn’t rain the whole time. Luke wanted to camp the entire trip, whereas I wanted to Airbnb it. As a compromise, we camped for five nights and Airbnb’d the final one night. On reflection, I feel I didn’t come off well with this deal. Perhaps I need to work on my negotiation skills. Anyway, I had a good time so I suppose I can’t complain.

We were away for six nights and seven days, and managed to visit all the following places…

The Places

Cornwall: Charlestown, Fowey, St Austell

Devon: Hope Cove, Sidmouth

Dorset: Weymouth, Lyme Regis, Lulworth Cove

Hampshire: Hayling Island

Sussex: Brighton

So as you can see, we saw a lot in the time we were away. I’ll get to my favourite parts later, but for now, the itinerary.*

*Fun fact: I am good at spelling. Can I spell itinerary? Absolutely not, have to rely on spell-check. I’m going to make it my mission to actually learn how to spell it by the end of 2018. If I can’t correctly spell it on my own by January, you have permission to slap me.

The Itinerary

Thursday: Drive to Cornwall
The aim was to leave home at 5am, but (obviously) we left at 6am because it took longer than expected to do all the last-minute things. The drive south took about four and half hours (including a break at motorway services), and we went straight to Charlestown, which is a village and port on the south coast of Cornwall. It’s a lovely little place, and we warmed to it immediately.

We had a mooch about the harbour, and then went for lunch at one of the prettiest restaurants I ever did see. We found Lovedays on Tripadvisor when looking for somewhere vegan-friendly, and it did not disappoint.

LOOK AT THIS DECOR.

I’ve decided I’m going to furnish my future house just like it. We had beetroot burgers with onion rings and chips, and it was the best meal ever. Plus the staff were super cheerful, so all in all it was an excellent visit and I’d happily drive four and a half hours just to go there for lunch again.

After lunch we set off to the campsite where we set up camp (literally). We stayed at Penhale Caravan and Camping Park, which is set in an area of outstanding natural beauty and overlooks St Austell Bay. There we stayed enjoying the scenery, and eating the fajitas that I’d prepped the day before.

Friday: Explore Cornwall

This was the day we first visited one of my all-time favourite places: Fowey. It’s pronounced like ‘joy’, FYI. Fowey is a gorgeous small harbour town with a fantastic community feel. Each year it seems they host a Regatta and Carnival Week, and we happened to be there at the end of it, which was really lovely. It’s got heaps of little independent boutiques where I picked up a couple of prints and the most fantastic mug with a mermaid tale for a handle. I know, go ahead and be jealous. We had a couple of smoothies in a retro cafe, and wandered the streets nipping in and out of shops and taking in the views across the estuary. Delightful.

Other events from the day included driving to Asda to buy a blanket and a wind breaker because we were freezing in the tent and cooking in the wind was proving difficult. We also made a brief trip to St Austell. Then we became that couple huddled up under waterproof ponchos while sitting in the boot of the car trying to cook pasta on a camping stove during a windy downpour.

Saturday: Paddle Boarding & Drive to Devon
On Saturday morning the sun was beaming down and we went for a paddle boarding session in Fowey that we’d booked a couple of weeks prior. Having never been paddle boarding before, and having the balance of a one-legged pony, I was anxious about what to expect, and whether I’d be able to stay on the board for more than a second at a time. Luckily, I was better than I’d expected, and was able to both kneel and stand on the board – someone give ya gal a medal. It was a brilliant way to spend a couple of hours on a Saturday morning, taking in the stunning views and basking in the sunshine while feeling like some kind of watersports Goddess. I cut my thumb on the stone steps whilst getting off the board at the end, but we won’t dwell on that.

If you’re interested, we used Fowey River Hire, and we’d recommend them.

After spending a bit more time exploring Fowey, enjoying the regatta and watching a cheeky dog steal a pastry from a baby, we set off to Devon.

We arrived in Devon late afternoon, and paid a visit to Hope Cove, which is a small village with beautiful beaches, again in an area of outstanding natural beauty. They were having a Family Fun Day, so there was a lot going on and the place was buzzing. We stopped for a drink in a pub, admired the beaches, and then went and watched some of the day’s activities, which included tug-of-war on the beach, and swimming races in the sea.

My original plan was to keep writing, however I’ve just spotted that this post is already over 1,000 words. If you’ve made it this far, well done. We’re only half way through the trip at this point, so I’m going to do a second part, when I’ll cover Dorset, Hampshire and Sussex. Until then!

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