Ever since we touched down in the UK we have been on the move, spending most of our 5-week break travelling around our island nation. This short Home Diaries series will document our England based adventures.
Destinations visited: Chichester, West Wittering, West Dean
You can’t get more British than a day spent by the sea. Almost every British seaside resort transports you back to the 1950’s. The beaches are busy with lobster red bodies being protected by roaring winds and the odd rain shower by rainbow-striped windbreaks and pop-up tents. Bikinis and swimming trunks are worn by all whatever the weather.
I started my family break to the South coast with one of the most traditional seaside destinations of all, West Wittering.
Despite the moody skies and gale-force winds, we mustered up some British spirit and settled in for a full-blown picnic and optimistic sunbathing session.
We crunched sandy sandwiches and read our books wrapped up in every layer we had brought with us.
When our make-shift camp had come to resemble one of the sand-dunes, we called it a day and went in search of our rental cottage down narrow country roads.
The next day we left for the Roman cathedral town of Chichester. The city is drowning in English charm and dressed up to the nines in bunting and colourful blooms.
Chichester is extremely reminiscent of our beloved university town of Canterbury. The tiny winding streets, ancient buildings and looming cathedral are almost identical to Canterbury’s – although I still have a clear favourite…
Despite Canterbury stealing my heart, Chichester does a very good job at playing runner-up. The cathedral grounds are stunning, the vicarage cottages shown above being my favourite spot.
Chichester doesn’t attract the same crowds as Canterbury so you can spend the afternoon free of gaggles of French school kids or over-excited tourists blocking the roads as they take pictures. The cathedral is also free to enter and is definitely worth the visit.
Making the most of the clear, warm weekend we spent our final day doing something a little different.
I’ve already touched on it in one of our Snap of the Week posts, welcome to West Dean’s Chilli Fiesta!
A slightly culturally inappropriate festival celebrating everything chilli related with an extra latin kick. The festival takes over the popular West Dean Gardens for a whole weekend and includes a packed schedule of music, dance and cooking demonstrations.
Between watching a range of acts on stage, we strolled through the immaculate gardens and sampled fiery chilli products from the hundreds of stalls in the grounds.
The reasonable day entry price of £16 includes access to the gardens and their celebrated greenhouses which alone cost £9.40 to enter in peak season.
The gardens are well worth a visit, especially on a perfect summer’s day.
The long weekend had been a round-up of the best of British summertime. Shoes full of sand, awkward tan-lines and days spent soaking up history and culture.
It’s good to be back!