With storm Diana in full swing and no sign of improvement in the forecast, we were contemplating cancelling our long weekend away. But after some deliberation we came to the conclusion that if it was going to continue raining horizontally we’d much rather spend the weekend bunkering down in a cosy caravan than stuck inside at home. But did this end up being the right decision?
Not wanting to go too far afield for a weekend away we stayed within the beautiful Dorset countryside- Hunters Moon Caravan and Motorhome club site in Wareham, to be precise.
As always at this time of year we forget how early the daylight escapes us so we ended up arriving and setting up in the dark. At least for now, it was dry.
Opening the skylights the next morning expecting to see gloomy grey clouds we were surprised to be greeted with such a gorgeous blue sky overhead. Not sure how the weather was going to turn out we hadn’t made any plans, but we knew that we should make the most of it while it lasted, and quickly formed ideas for an afternoon walk in one of our favourite little seaside towns- Swanage.
Although a tad breezy, storm Diana was nowhere to be seen and we enjoyed a lovely stroll along the shore, taking in the fresh air and watching the world go by.
Catching little glimpses into other people’s worlds as we wandered past, couples walking hand in hand, dogs playing in the sand and grandparents on the phone to loved ones back home. It reminded me of the opening airport scene in our favourite festive film, and something we were looking forward to seeing later that evening- Love Actually.
It has become a tradition for Stephen and I to watch it every Christmas, so when I saw that it was being shown at a local theatre with a live orchestra performing the music, I just had to get tickets! And it did not disappoint. The audience laughed and cried as the orchestra played beautifully, receiving a well deserved standing ovation at the end. It was a magical evening and now it really felt like Christmas was officially starting!
After the soothing pitter patter of rain on the roof overnight, it stopped just in time for us to head out for a delicious pub lunch with family. For the first of December it was surprisingly mild, and having filled up on lunch we found ourselves wanting to continue the adventure, so we made our way to somewhere we’ve been wanting to visit for a while- West Bay.
Despite being mild it was rather breezy by the beach and the air was filled with a cloud of sea mist. Bundled up in coats with the taste of salt on our lips, we took a stroll along the shore, admiring the view of the towering cliffs overhead and briefly stopped at the appropriately named “Windy Corner Cafe” to pick up a warming coffee before carrying on our stroll. We made our way around the quay where groups of fishermen were catching their dinner, and found ourselves walking along the harbour wall, carefully sticking to the centre to avoid getting soaked from the dramatic waves crashing up over the sides.
The sun began to sink low in the sky so we made our way to the car and headed back to our “home from home” for a cosy night in. Looking forward to the day ahead.
Waking up the next morning it was clear that storm Diana was still lingering around, the wind was gusty and it was raining heavily. We used this as a perfect excuse to have a relaxing morning in the caravan, before heading out for lunch. And as if by magic it stopped raining just as we stepped outside! Wanting to make the most of our last day of the trip and our amazing luck with the weather, we headed to Lulworth Cove where our first stop was Finley’s Cafe. The staff there were lovely and friendly and we filled up on a delicious and very festive bacon, brie and cranberry panini, before wandering down to the cove itself.
As I sat enjoying the view from the edge of the cove Stephen ran up the hill to get some pictures from the viewpoint. This was somewhere I’d always loved seeing photographs of but never imagined I’d be able to visit myself because it just didn’t cross my mind that it might be accessible. I was thrilled just to be sitting on the edge, watching the huge waves outside the cove turn into small ripples as they made their way in.
But when Stephen quickly returned from the top he excitedly told me that there was actually a pathway that looks good for wheelchairs, leading all the way to the viewpoint! So we made our way back to the visitors centre and the start of the chalky path. Although it was a little steep in places it was perfectly manageable in a wheelchair and we were rewarded with the most stunning views from the top.
It was a fantastic end to a wonderful weekend away but it was time to head back for one last cosy night in the caravan before going back to reality the following day. Although it had been windy and rainy at times, storm Diana had been extremely kind to us and not stopped us doing anything we wanted to.
So was it the right decision to go away?… Most definitely!