Given the dreadful exchange rate, we decided to stay in the UK this year, and chose Dorset as our destination.
This was partly because of my love of celebrated children's author, Enid Blyton... What has that got to do with Dorset? Blyton took holidays in the Purbeck area for many years, and this location forms the background to many of her books. Five years ago on our first visit, we went to the wrong end of the County to experience the Blyton connections, so this time I made sure we were in the right area.
This is Corfe Castle - the inspiration for Kirrin island in the Famous Five series. There is also an Enid Blyton themed shop, Ginger Pop, in Corfe village, but I only had time for a quick glance in it.
The local geology is very spectacular. Dd had studied the Old Harry formations in KS3 geography, so was interested to see them for real. I was glad ds was safe in a beer garden with dh at this point, as otherwise I would have been consumed with anxiety. The cliffs on the headland were towering - about 180 ft of almost sheer drop. Other impressive natural features we saw included the Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove.
We had a good seaside time on various beaches. Here's ds getting down to some sand action at Swanage. I was enchanted to find a traditional Punch & Judy show on the beach there, although they had sanitised it slightly- i.e Punch did not beat Judy nor the baby, and nor did he cheat the hangman's noose. But he did caper up and down hooting "that's the way to do it!" in the proper fashion.
We stayed in a charmingly cosy thatched cottage - with gable eaves, an inglenook fireplace (we lit a fire one evening, but only for ambiance - it was far too warm to need it), a roll-top cast-iron bath and an aga (unlit - definitely too hot).
Although I took my knitting with me, I hardly did any of it. The Regatta shawl border is proving rather complex and making me swear. So I abandoned knitting in favour of holiday fun. Now I'm nicely relaxed, hopefully I'll be more inclined to knit.