We decided to head down to the sea shore for a mini vacation.
Now since the isles are surrounded by all sorts of beaches, I did a little research to where I’d like to go, and I chose the Jurassic coast in the south.
A little research turned up this gem of a B&B, The Abbey House in the quaint little village of Abotsburry.
We will definitely stay here again next summer.
Here is our luxurious and ever so comfortable bedroom, complete with an ensuite with soaker tub and separate shower fluffy towels and beautiful boutique toiletries.
I also chose this B&B because it is right beside the biggest and possibly the best preserved 14C tithe barn in England. (It was useful to Henry 8th so wasn’t destroyed during the reformation.) And close to a monument called St Catherine’s chapel. (Which also wasn’t destroyed because it was useful as a beacon for mariners.)
So we dropped off out overnight bags in our room, grabbed out beach gear and headed off to the nearest beach along the Jurassic coast.
Now I must admit that the child in me felt like we were going to find fossils at every turn, and the adventurer in me felt like I’m not going to stop searching till I do!
The first beach we came to was called Chesil beach and I fell in love with the beautiful polished rocks there.
Glorious, glorious little polished pebbles.
We had a swim and I gathered up handfuls of pebbles to take home for possible rings, and decided to drive to an other beach.
It was afternoon by the time we left Chesil beach, and as we drove along the Dorset coast, a fog started to roll in in the most romantic way over the bucolic countryside.
The we arrived in a little “Doc Martin” seaside village called West Bay and stopped at the beach there.
Wow! This beach!
We were advised that fossils could be found in the sandstone and shale cliffs and so decided to take a look for ourselves.
We saw tons of people with their little geological hammers digging into the sandstone, and then remembered that last year a part of the cliff fell down and killed a woman.
As a matter of fact, as we were talking to someone, a rock tumbled off the cliffs and landed with a thump a little way from us. The woman said, “Oh yeah, the cliff slides bring the rocks down.”
Umm, we called this the Darwin Awards Beach! And stepped away from the cliffs.
We didn’t find any fossils here, but we had fun looking.
Soon it was time to head back to our B&B and think about supper.
We pointed the car towards St Catherine’s chapel and the little hamlet of Abbotsbury, and walked into town to the pub for fish and chips.
After supper Robbie felt like having a rest and I wanted to go explore the hamlet.
I started off with the church right next door to the B&B.
This little church is built on the ruins of the Abbey of St Peter.
It wasn’t spared during the reformation and most of the windows are Victorian stained glass, except for this one of Mary the virgin, which was found and pieced back together. It is most probably a small part of a medieval window.
I walked to the tithe barn and walked around the pond.
Then I walked out of the garden gate and up the hill to St Catherine’s chapel.
On the way up the hill I met a woman walking her dog. I stopped to say hello and she told me she got married in the chapel because it’s such a special place.
Looking down on our little hamlet and the B&B, I would agree with her.
The inside of this chapel is bare ground and dove roosts. So simple and so magical.
I stayed for the sunset…
…and walked back through our sleepy little hamlet to the B&B.
The next morning we had breakfast, said goodbye to our hosts, and went off in search of a new beach and some fossils.
We were told that Charmouth beach was the most famous of the fossil beaches on this Jurassic coast, and so we headed straight down there.
Instead of soft, yellow sandstone, we found hard clay and shale.
And tons of people beachcombing for fossils.
This beach did not disappoint.
There were several huge boulders along the beach with fossils in them. Like these ammonites.
And this: apparently a prehistoric turtle shell.
We spoke to some fossil hunters and they showed us some ancient fossils called belemnites: calcified remains of a prehistoric squid type creature.
So while we collected a bunch from among the rocks, other people had other ideas!
We’ve had the most amazing time this little holiday get-away. We visited a new part of England I’ve never been to and discovered some new and wonderful things.
Here is a little video I made for you. Hope you like it. Sorry about the smudge on the camera lens. I didn;t notice it till editing.
We’re already planning to come back here next summer. 😀