Last weekend, we ventured down to the south coast of England for my sister-in-law's wedding in Highcliffe Castle. In the morning, prior to the ceremony, we decided to check out the venue and discovered that beyond the raindrops pooling into miniature lakes in the car park, was a small woodland which offered some steep steps down onto a beach. Hoping for dry weather the next day so we could further explore, we went off and did 'the wedding thing' like dutiful family.
The next morning was one of the most beautiful days of this Autumn so far; brilliant azure skies with wispy clouds, sunlight glistening on a turquoise sea, and diamonds sparkling in the golden sunlight. We raced down to the castle's car park, debated wellies and donned them in case of squelchy mud, and then headed through the woodland where we found the best climbing tree we've seen in a while.
Locating the steps down to the beach, we trotted down them and discovered an astounding view across the English Channel from the Needles to Hengistbury Head. This is when we discovered that the wellies had been a good decision.
As we walked along the water's edge towards the beach huts of Friar's Cliff, dogs raced around us picking up pebbles and balls thrown by their owners, excited to be allowed on the beaches again. The Boy hunkered down and decided to build a sandcastle, digging down with his bare hands to his uncle in Australia. He didn't get very far, mittens aren't the best tools for sandcastle making it seems.
At Friar's Cliff, the beachward drift has been haltered with groynes which are perfect for little boys to practise their balancing arms!
It was a magical hour or two, really refreshing after the excesses of the day before. We've been so intent on finding trees for climbing and collecting conkers from, that we've forgotten how magical the beach is at this time of year; the tourists have gone, leaving the locals to enjoy what's on their doorstep.
Linking to Country Kids.