Sunday, 17 June 2012

The Isle of Portland Rocks

I cannot begin to tell you what a great day out we had yesterday in spite of the weather which was blustery, showery and, at times, cold enough to knock the balls off that poor brass monkey! So, let me tell you about the Isle of Portland where I'll be returning again and again.  Not during the 2012 Olympics though when it hosts the sailing events as I don't like sitting for long periods in my car or squished on public transport.  Neither will I be heading to my childhood  town of Southend at any time around when the mountain biking is taking in place in neighbouring Hadleigh.  Okay it's an  atmospheric location with its ruined castle painted by Constable but really the organisers must have mad when deciding on this venue that sits in an area that is already traffic congested at the best of time.

So, being a mini break weekend it was a late start so we didn't leave the campground until we were peckish enough for lunch.  Our friend Kay and her partner Rosie, who live in Weymouth count themselves as  locals and guided us to the Sugar Loaf Cafe.  Weird, weird decor and layout including a trip through the kitchen to use the backyard loo.  But an extensive range of superb homemade food, supremely kind staff and pickles for sale  made by Dawn,the owner made up for the fact that the building isn't a designer's masterpiece.

Onto the Island Gallery, a beautiful  craft and gift shop full of things made for coveting!  These gorgeous lamps would have been on my spending list if I needed any more lighting.  It won't be the last I see of these those.  Kay and Rosie are returning for some after they move into their new home in a month or two, so I'll be able to enjoy them again when we visit.  I parted with a few pennies to replace a broken motorhome mug with a natty one shaped like a camper van and a windsock which had its work cut out overnight attached to our aerial.  Mental note to self.  'Must remove before heading off.  Driving this thing is difficult enough without my view being obscured by a big coloured fish!'.

Then, down to the Bill, the tip of this tied island which is held to the mainland by just a ribbon of pebbles.    Wild and woolly does not even describe what it was like down there on this June day.  What happened to summer?  This boat winch was particularly photogenic but lots of other people thought so too and I bet their shots were far more amazing than mine!  This site is supposed to be a bird watchers paradise where often basking sharks,dolphins and seals are seen too.  Yesterday though all the wildlife were sensibly sheltered somewhere snuggly and were nowhere to be seen.

And finally Tout Quarry, perhaps my favourite spot of the day!  Head through an unlikely looking industrial estate, nip through a couple of barriers saying 'Warning Keep Out'.  Designed for car drivers as I think as the area can be entered legitimately from the road and coastpath.   This is a disused quarry where anyone with the tools can have a go themselves.  And it seems many have, including Anthony Gormley.  Louis counted around 150 'sculptures' although some only dubiously deserve the title.  We'll definitely be back with our fingers crossed that the weather is finer as this spot would be great for a picnic!

1 comment:

  1. What a fascinating place. Such a pity the weather wasn't better. I think summer has been and gone, don't you?
    Love from Mum