Monday 6 September 2010

Hadriana's Holiday Pics


Little Miss H. Feeding Swans at Abbotsbury Swannery
Model Village at Wimbourne Minster
Ringo and the Rev. Awdry...he of"Thomas - the Tank Engine" Fame
Beach Hut Life & BBQ in sunny Whitstable, Kent

OK. So I admit it. I've battled with technology (I really am fed up with computers+stuff. I want to go back to wax and wooden tablets.) as the photos have not gone in as I would have wished but you are all grown ups or pretend to be so I'm sure you can work it all out.

We like Dorset so we went on holiday there for a week or so. We then spent a week seeing friends and family in the Southern bit of the UK.

As a helpful guide I can give you this running order:

Hadrian's Wall, A69, M6, various roads leading to Dorset, West Bexington beside the marvellous and very nice Beach Hive Cafe at Burton Bradstock...super fish restaurant on the beach and comes well recommended. AA Gill managed to say some agreeable things about it and so he should. Bridport, Abbotsbury, Dorchester (really had to restrain myself not to go and see the Roman stuff) so we went to see the Dinosaur Museum instead. We went to Maiden Castle, which is very picturesque, but made me realise how much I love the Roman stuff. The Romans, like 'em or not...left stuff behind to see!). Criss crossed the countryside several times so we saw Hardy's Monument a few times. Oodles of wonderful Dorset Ice Cream. Yummy farm shops (name check: Washing Pool Farm Shop and Cafe at Bridport).

What else?
Abbotsbury Pirate Play Barn (Loads of piratical history in the huge tithe barn plus play areas for children and grown ups, animal farm, horse rides etc. etc.) Plus Abbotsbury Sub-Tropical Garden and Swannery...kept us well amused for most of the week. Went to Weymouth was the low point of an otherwise unimpeachable  week as we were hungry and were kept waiting for nearly an hour for food. When we asked for our money back..the manager stated that "we had made a complicated order"!! Luckily we found a very efficient tea shop behind the unnamed place and they fed us quickly putting us in a better mood. Hope unnamed place improves service/manner in time for The Olympics.

Er. What's left to tell? Left our very comfortable self catering place and set off for Wimbourne Minster Model Village. Loved it but did REALLY love the whole history of how the Rev. Awdry dreamed up Thomas the Tank Engine stories...lots of fascinating photos on the walls. Done the old fashioned way. Hurrah! Peep! Peep!

Saw my best Spanglish friend in Newbury who's recently been made a Professor and her daughter was born ten days before my daughter. Ole! Well done to her on both counts!

Next day off to Surrey to see the Southern Relations.

From there we went to Kent to see our diving friend who is very proud of her beach hut in Whitstable. E is amazing. Mr. H. taught her to dive when she was 59 and she's travelled the world diving. She's my diving buddy. Her family plus us hung out at the beach hut for that one gorgeous night before we had to head back Oop North.

BTW - recommended Northern eating places, which I shall revisit, are: Piercebridge Organic Farm  Shop and Cafe (just off A1). Roman remains there too. Haydon Bridge - General Havelock Inn (good grub - barside and restaurant side...on the Tyne) and Blackfriars Restaurant in Medieval Newcastle. I'll come back to these recommendations because they are well worth talking about. Before I forget: The Feathers Inn - Stocksfield. Yum.

Children back to school tomorrow after a splendiferous week of sun up here. I've started guiding again at Vindolanda and had a very good crowd there on Friday. I do so like being there.

N.B.:Digging for Britain - Marvellous Archaeological Series. First episode - brill on Romans and Vindolanda. All well worth looking at. Dr. Alice finishes off with The Tudors this week.

Tony Robinson started a Geological Series on "The Birth of Britain" last Wednesday 10pm - National Geographic Channel. Not seen it as yet but it sounds very, very interesting.


Unknown said...

Bugger, this is the second comment as it ate the first one up!

Now what was it I wrote....

Ah yes, we are neighbours up here and I used to live between Weymouth and Dorchester (Upwey) when I was in the Navy back in the 1980's. I loved it down there. Went back 8 years ago and found it had changed a lot. I always said its where I would like to live when I retire.

Never seen anything of Kent other than the motorway to Dover and the Channel Tunnel.

(Have copied it this time!!)

the fly in the web said...

That looks fun!
The swannery photograph reminded me of my mother, who visited it with her sister a number of years ago, and asked what it was like commented
'Well, it's all right if you like duck fuddling...'
Whatever duck fuddling might be!

Sarah Cuthbertson said...

Sounds as if you had a busy holiday, but sometimes they're the best. I love Dorset (but not as much as Northumberland, obviously).

Do you ever get a chance to see how the new developments at Vindolanda are coming along? There doesn't seem to be anything up on the wedigvindolanda forum. I might ask for some info there. It all sounds very exciting!

Dumdad said...

Beach huts and Whitstable - great combo.

We were in Whitstable briefly in July. As I think I've mentioned before, I was a reporter on The Whitstable Times for three years or so many moons ago so I know the town well. It has certainly improved since I worked there - many more shops and restaurants; far more lively.

Caroline Gill said...

A great post. Have you been to the Roman Gold Mines at Dolaucothi in Wales, I wonder?

Maggie May said...

Amazing pictures of the swannery!
You sound as though you've had an action packed holiday.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

French Fancy... said...

I stepped in some cow poo in the field alongside that swannery - yes, a lasting memory I've had for about 20 years.

Lovely photos, C - glad you were able to get away.


Grumpy Old Ken said...

Smashing. Isn't this one hell of a country, warts and all!

The bike shed said...

What a grand time you've had. I know Abbotsbury well as my painting tutor used to have the studio there- lots of my best paintings were done from the top of the hill on the way to Bridport. Weymouth (yuk) - we must share same taste in towns

I watched the Alice Roberts doc on Vindolanda and kept saying to myself; I wonder if Hadriana is going to be in this. Very good I thought.

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Hello IO,

It is SO irritating when that happens. I am a glutton for punishment as I do it and then don't save it...when the comment disappears I swear at the computer. All my own fault really...Dumdad and Troy have mentioned very decent strategies for not losing work. I sympathise with you I really do....

Back to Dorset. We went through Upwey (extremely posh) I have to say...maybe you can shed light on a mystery. On the little road to Upwey...the one where you drive through Portesham (Winter's Lane)...aha! I have just found it: What an amazing looking house. It's there on Google satellite too (Winter Lane)...the website does not do it justice.

We had spotted a property in Dorset a few years ago:

Washing Pool House - Winterbourne St. Martin. It may still be for sale.

I love where we are but sometimes I dream of our parallel lives in other places.

Yes...I do like Dorset too and can see why you might like to retire there.

BTW do you have any further info on Waddon House? Looks brill...

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Hi Sarah,

Yes we were very busy. We enjoyed ourselves immensely. :)

Latest news on Vindolanda. Both Vindolanda and Roman Army Museum close at the end of October for complete renovation until the next season. Vindolanda site is open (the fort and vicus NOT the museum etc.) Nov, Dec and until 2nd Monday in January 2011. They are hoping that Vindolanda and RAM will be open mid March 2011.

There is more info too but I am sure that Vindolanda will do a press release soon and put it on their website!

It is all very exciting. RAM will have a 3D version of The Eagle Eye film as well!

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Hello Fly,

I did not miss you out deliberately - just that I am a teensy bit tired!

I'm looking after my wonderful 95 years young grandfather at the moment. He is brilliant and I'm hoping I have inherited his DNA...all there...still doing crosswords.

I've also been at Vindolanda every day this week...either guiding or taking friends there...

They must be sick of the sight of me! I'm there on Monday as well. Then they have a break until I am next on the rota. ;)

Hadriana's Treasures said...


We like Whitstable very much. It is very sophisticated these days. Our friend, E, moved there to be nearer to her family who have moved into the area. She used to live in London opposite a house which used to be Dicken's bank.

I like the synergy...Dickens, London, Kent.... you know...Dickens is my next obsession after the Romans....Must go to some of Dickens' haunts in other parts of Kent...

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Welcome Caroline to my blog! I will be over to yours very shortly. Promise.

I haven't been to those mines but would love to. I think I need to put together a world itinerary of Roman remains. They all sound so fascinating... :)

Hadriana's Treasures said...


It was so busy...we never stopped. We also managed to get to know the doctors at Bridport. That's another story...all well that ends well though. We found everyone so friendly. I liked Bridport...super second hand bookshop. I could have walked away with the entire contents.

Hadriana's Treasures said...


Thanks for that! How's Kent and the new job? Must pop over to see if you have started there....I'm waiting for my life to calm down at this end...(should happen mid next week)...

Hadriana's Treasures said...


I have to agree with you! On slightly rainy days my mind did wander towards the Continent but I'm sure we'll get over there sometime soon (as well). I'm greedy. I want to go everywhere and experience everything. :)

Hadriana's Treasures said...


You are definitely a man of many talents! Painting in Abbotsbury. Wow! It is a delightful place.

I did study "The Woodlander" for 0-level English. I did think a lot about Hardy whilst I was there. He paints with words...doesn't he?

Weymouth. Ah well...

The Alice Roberts' documentary...she is a really good presenter. I do envy her - her job! How lovely of you to think I would appear in it. I can dream...

They did do a super job. I had to keep rewatching the Vindolanda bits to absorb their finds. Somehow (although) I have heard about the finds already...when the camera is showing a close-up or bird's eye view it all makes more sense.

Or maybe I have a thick cranium????!!!

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Dear Dumdad,

I shudder when I make a mistake in your presence...

Dickens' bank

Definitely a case of NOT STET!!!!

PaisleyJade said...

Those swans are amazing!!

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Welcome to my blog, Paisley Jade!
Sorry for taking a while to reply.
Yes...seeing so many of them together was amazing. I was surprised that my daughter wanted to feed them. She wasn't fazed in the slightest.

The swans had all learned not to be aggressive either.

They was more of a scrummage amongst the children - all wanting to feed them. I think everyone got their turn in the end. :)

Shantel said...

It's very relaxing to be away in civilization for at least 5 days.

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