A sunny Saturday at the seaside – 24th March 2012
Today had been planned for some weeks that we would go down to Bournemouth and meet up with Freddie and Jen and their two girls for the day. What we hadn’t been able to plan was the weather for the day!
The day dawned somewhat hazy with the promise of sunshine breaking through.
We were up too early for a Saturday morning and managed to be organised with breakfast etc to be able to leave in good time.
With a quick top-up of oil and water for the Blue Beauty, we were away by about 8.05am.
Following a drive down to Bournemouth which was marked by a lack of traffic congestion, the overtaking of a snow plough and with Rebekah tallying up various lorries spotted en route, we arrived in the sunshine by around 9.40am.
Freddie turned up a few minutes later and we all headed down to the beach.
Regular visitors to Bournemouth will be aware of the seasonal nature of the toilets by the pier. In the summer, there is a large area opened up with numerous facilities available. During the winter months, this is blocked off and visitors have far fewer options available to them. Despite the expected crowds this weekend, it seems that Bournemouth was still firmly ensconced in winter mode leading to long queues – particularly for the ladies!
We made our way down to look at the giant deckchair, in place over the weekend, which was built by artist Stuart Murdoch and stands some 8 metres high! It seemed to be doing the desired job of drawing in the crowds!
The beach was relatively quiet during the morning, but soon got busier around lunchtime and Sarah had to queue for some twenty minutes in order to procure our lunch from Harry Ramsdens!
After lunch we headed into town to look around some of the shops before returning to the Winter Gardens for a long-promised ice cream in the sunshine.
The one consolation of Bournemouth being in ‘winter mode’ was that the pier was open without charging and we took full advantage of this unexpected largesse. The girls enjoyed playing on the various rides at the end of the pier before we headed back into town to visit their favourite sweet shop.
With another hour to run on the car-park and the weather keen to remind us that despite the sunshine, it was only March, we ventured to the cafe in the basement of House of Fraser. Given the lateness of the hour (5pm), it was a little surprising to find that they were still dispensing hot drinks.
I opted for a hot chocolate while Sarah chose a tea. A jug of water with glasses was a great idea and proved ideal for all the kids – as well as saving money!
We settled down on comfortable sofas in an almost deserted restaurant to reflect on the success of the day before making our way wearily back to the cars.
It had been a great day in the sunshine, a chance to catch up again with good friends and for the girls to enjoy playing together. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to do it again soon.