A Walk Around Eastbourne, Sovereign Harbour and Beachy Head

Another lovely weekend was had in Eastbourne.  Saturday was spent doing a few errands.  We went back to Nigel Greaves Gallery to collect the beautiful picture my Amor reserved a few weeks ago.  It was as lovely as I remembered it.  I don’t think that is the last that Nigel has seen of us.

eastbourne3That was cause for a celebratory drink (really, do we need an excuse?) and so we strolled over to Bibendum opposite the Town Hall, where I had sat outside with a coffee and the paper the previous weekend on Easter Sunday.  Bibendum is tastefully decorated with the restaurant off to one side and a very comfortable seating area to have drinks.  There are plenty of tables outside for the smokers and sun worshippers. Sitting on a corner the views are nice too with the Town Hall opposite and Our Lady of Ransom Catholic Church on the other corner.  The menu looks pretty good and is something to think about for the future, but most importantly, they make very pretty and tasty café lattes and serve the beer that we like.

After we finished our drinks, we walked over to Camilla’s Bookshop to see if we could find some books about the area.  This bookstore is an Aladdin’s cave of books.  You can spend months in there and still not go through everything as there are three floors full of books.  What I loved about the shop is that they also have books in shelves outside.  There is an honesty policy; if you want something and they are closed, you just pop the money through the letterbox.  Apparently it works!  Never would happen in London.  We found a few books that looked interesting to get us started.  We will definitely be coming back again.

On Sunday we drove over to Sovereign Harbour on the other side of Eastbourne.  At first glance the area looks pretty enough.  It may be next to the sea, but only a small proportion of the properties in the area actually overlook the sea.  Many of them overlook the harbour where the boats are moored.  I have to say that I was a bit disappointed in the area.  I am not sure that the quality of the restaurants or shops are really up to par for this type of development.  The fact that there is a Harvester restaurant doesn’t really do it for me.

I was particularly disappointed with the design of some of the buildings.  Although most of the properties have a balcony or terrace, there were some buildings with direct views of the sea that didn’t have any outside space overlooking that area.  Maybe the architects thought that one balcony was enough.  I sometimes wonder what goes on in their heads when they are designing something.

The best part of Sovereign Harbour was the beach.  We were going to sit by the rocks and just contemplate the sea, but we discovered a few lovely shells and took a little walk to search for more.  We came upon a pretty little mussel bed covered in baby barnacles.

sovereign-harbour-and-beachy-headWe left Sovereign Harbour in search of ice cream.  It is our quest to find the best ice cream in Eastbourne.  My last two cones at Favoloso left a lot to be desired in the flavour department.  Not enough.  It was suggested that we try Thayer’s, and so we did.  I went for an oriental ginger single scoop and was advised it might be spicy.  It was and I loved it!  My Amor went for the cappuccino and chocolate, one scoop of each.  The flavours were strong and the texture was creamy.  We were in ice cream heaven.  We took our cones to the beach, found a bench, and we sat there in creamy bliss watching the sea and the array of people walking up and down the promenade.

We eventually prised ourselves off our bench and drove out to Beachy Head.  I will let the photos do most of the talking here.  The view was breathtaking, with open views of the countryside on one hand the sea and cliffs on the other.  There were little wreaths, bunches of flowers and crosses dotted along the path were people have decided to hurl themselves over the cliffs; a morbid reminder to the depth of despair that some people will succumb.

sovereign-harbour-and-beachy-head1We headed over to the pub, imaginatively called The Beachy Head, for a drink before heading home.  Neither of us had been in here before.  It was nicely decorated and the smells coming from the kitchen were tempting.  We sat outside with our drinks and admired the view of the countryside and planned a future walk of The Seven Sisters to Beachy Head, with a stop for lunch at the pub, followed by walking the rest of the way home.  I think I may need to go on a few more walks to get into shape before we attempt this.

Before I knew it, the weekend was over and it was time to head back to London.  The weekends are just too short.  No sooner than they start, you are enjoying yourself, then they are over.  I want every day to be the weekend so I can do everything that I want to do, and take my time about it.

 

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A Walk Along the Bluebell Trail

After Monday’s glorious weather, yesterday seemed a bit grim in comparison.  It was hazy and slightly overcast.  Surprisingly, it was mild.  After getting off to a late start, we decided to drive to Arlington to have a look at the bluebells.  We had seen a small post in the travel section of the Observer on Sunday about things to do and which mentioned the best place to see bluebells.  Arlington is practically down the road from Eastbourne, so we hopped in the car to have a look.

There was a sign saying that the bluebells were a little bit late this year, but that we should see some colour.  We paid our money (£4 each), grabbed a map and off we went.  Fortunately, it wasn’t very busy.  I just love being out in nature.  I love the colours, the textures, the smells the scenery.  The walk didn’t disappoint.  It may not have been the most exciting thing I have done in awhile, but it was a lovely and gentle walk, very colourful and I had excellent company.  As usual, I snapped away with my little camera, but I have to say my Amor took the best photo of the day in my opinion.  He managed to digitally capture a peacock butterfly!   Apparently, they are not normally seen this time of year.  Imagine, getting so excited about something like a butterfly, but we did, and it was great.

The bluebells were not in full bloom, but there were masses of anemones carpeting the ground with the bluebells popping up here and there in between them.  I am always amazed by nature and how she can make something so small and yet so beautiful.

We meandered across fields to Cuckmere River where we sat on a bench and watched the water flow and listened to the birds.  It was really peaceful.  While making our way back we spotted some wagtails and came across some grouse making a racket.  The farmers tend to put out feeders for the wild birds.  Who knows, maybe one of those birds might end up on someone’s dinner table?

The walk took us between 1-2 hours maximum.  We weren’t in any hurry and were happy to just take our time and enjoy each other’s company while looking at the pretty flowers, birds, bunnies and whatever else caught our eye.

There is quite an impressive website, with an interactive map and a history of the walk.  So, if you get a chance, have a look at the bluebells.  They should be really looking good next week.

 

Springtime at the Seaside

eastbourne11I recently spent five days visiting my amor down in Eastbourne.  He had been on holiday, and as I didn’t have anything to keep me in London (I can look for work on the internet anywhere I am.), I packed for a month to spend a few days by the seaside on his return.  Except for winter gales, I have so far experienced a wide range of weather conditions, and I still love it down there.  I was left to my own devices for a couple of days while he was at work and I had the opportunity to explore at my leisure.

The photos above were taken last Thursday.  It started out a little hazy, but it soon cleared up and turned into a gloriously warm day.  I spent the best part of the afternoon sitting on the beach writing and contemplating the meaning of life while listening to the tide gently coming in.  I pretty much stuck to the downs (or Meads) end of town.

eastbourne21These photos were taken on Friday at the other end of town.  The other end of town is perhaps a little older and shabbier and I love it as much as the ‘smarter’ end of town.  I have never seen so much wrought iron in one town before.  The ironwork is really beautiful and gives the place a lot of charm and character.  I couldn’t help but take a photo of the ‘icon’ shop.  I would have taken more pictures, but it was actually a bit rainy that day and I didn’t want to ruin my camera.  It was a good day to go shopping.

eastbourne-090404On Saturday we retraced my route from Friday morning and carried on walking down towards Sovereign Harbour along the seafront.  Although the sky was overcast, it was mild and there were quite a few people out walking and cycling along the paths.  Eventually we turned around and walked all the way back to the other end of town.  By 1pm the sun had come out and burned off all of the mist and it turned yet again into another lovely day.

We had some coffee at the Meads end of town and decided to have a look at the new Towner Gallery nearby.  It had just opened the day before.  I will refrain from giving a critique here except to say that the space was pretty impressive (although there was nowhere to hang your bag in the loo) and apart from a few pieces that I thought were really lovely the rest of it was pretty pretentious.

There is a lovely view from the stairwell in The Towner Gallery of the International Lawn Tennis Center which hosts the International Women’s Open every year.  I believe that this year they will also be holding a Men’s Open tournament.

By the time we returned home, we had pretty much walked a complete circuit around the town.

eastbourne-0904052Sunday was another lovely day and we explored more of the Meads end of town.  We went into the Nigel Greaves Gallery which I had been into earlier in the week.  My amor was looking to buy some paintings for his new flat.  Apparently it was lethal for me to take him into Nigel’s gallery as there were many lovely paintings to choose from.  Eventually a piece was chosen and we celebrated by having an ice cream cone from the Favoloso Cafe (there is a photo of the cafe in the first collage at the top of the page).  We wandered around streets that we hadn’t been to before on the way home.  I just loved these cherry trees and this gorgeous Magnolia tree.

I can’t believe how quickly five days had passed.  I have heard that time flies when you are having fun.  How true that is.  I feel more at home in Eastbourne each time I visit, and although there are many streets to still explore,  the place no longer feels  so strange to me.