Last month, on a bright Saturday morning, Mr SLT surprised me with a weekend away to celebrate my birthday. So with car packed full (for only two days!) we headed out of London, to the New Forest and the beach. We were lucky with the traffic and made it to Chewton Glen (what an extra special treat! Read my blog on Chewton Glen here) in 2.5 hours, which is good going on the M25 and M3!
Here in the UK we are never too far from the sea and a beach and I think it’s safe to say us Brits have a yearning to be by the sea, if we can’t live by the sea then we love nothing more than to spend a day at the beach, even in the winter. In fact, winter days walking on the beach can be better than in the summer, you aren’t stuck in traffic for hours, you don’t struggle to find parking, it’s less crowded and it means that you can take your dog for a walk on the beach.
Chewton Glen is just a 1 km walk down to the sea, through Chewton Bunny Nature Reserve, an ancient 5 hectare woodland valley (bunny is the local name for valley). Following the Walkford Brook, past the old Mill House (now a private residence) takes you to the beach.
The coastline opens up in front of you (what looks to be a dry river estuary) to the sight of the sun glistening on the water, it is magical. Turn right, towards Mudeford, (a very long walk and busy at the weekends) or left along Chewton Bunny beach, a quieter dog friendly beach with nothing to see but the coastline and The Needles in the distance. We left Chewton Glen after breakfast and had a peaceful walk through the woods down to the sea, the tide was out and Barney was off! But no amount of enticing (sausage treats) could encourage him to go for a swim, not that I blame him, it was windy and chilly, I can only image how cold the sea was! But there’s nothing better than, with the sun breaking through the clouds, pulling your hat down over your ears and heading off into the distance, finding rock pools, and secret spots where you imagine pirates from days gone by would have set down their stash!
The bracing sea air and walk tired me, so with coffee and hot chocolate waiting for us, we headed back to our treehouse, I felt so happy and calm, the sea seems to do that to you doesn’t it? Barney’s paws covered in sand and salty sea air in my hair, we fell in love with the beach and hope to head back soon.
Whilst I was writing this blog, I was reminded of a poem I learnt at school, for a Speech & Drama exam, I thought I would share it with you, I hope you enjoy it as much as i do.
“Sea Fever“ by John Masefield
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way, where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover;
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.