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Dorset: Day 7 – 29.05.2020……..No map required!

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

Today is the last day of our social distancing-lockdown-staycation and after our gruelling day walking and getting lost yesterday we’ve decided to chill out today and do as little walking as possible. Today’s outing has been suggested by Sue, which was recommended to her by a colleague and involves a lake, and as we haven’t incorporated a visit to a lake on this weeks staycation, todays the day. In fact, the recommendation is to do the 5.5 mile walk and then end up at the lake, but we’ve opted to walk the walk another day and just sit around the lake today.

As yesterday was a very long day we agreed we’d have a lie in, participate in our respective yoga and keep fit challenges and then meet up at 11.00am. Today, we’re off to the village of Little Bredy to walk around Bridehead lake and enjoy a relaxing picnic. The good thing is we know how to get to Little Bredy so there’s no chance of us getting lost!

We found the church, as per the directions, bagging the last parking spot on the grassy verge and headed past the church where we found the lake, just like that. No map required, no compass required, it was so simple to find that even we found it! We would have given ourselves a high-five but the government haven’t said we could do that yet, so we gave each other a socially distanced thumbs up instead 👍. The area was lovely, rolling grassy slopes full of trees and a stream with a little waterfall that led up to the lake. We wandered on up to the upper bank to view the lake. We didn’t really know what to expect but I think we both thought the size of the lake would be similar to that of Stourhead, in Wiltshire but it was about a quarter of the size, but of course size doesn’t matter and it was still a beautiful lake.

There were quiet a number of families settled on the grass already so we chose our picnic spot wisely, away from the kiddies and found a lovely spot in the sun just in front of a small copse of trees. The picnic rugs came out, the bunting was strung across the bushes and we sat down to relax. Surveying the scene we realised we should have brought Marvin with us today. It seems everyone had either babies or children with them and Marvin would have fitted right in. But he’s at home, still getting over the squirty cream in a lay-by challenge from the other day!

Maice remembered to bring the playing cards with her so for the first time in a long time we played gin-rummy, our favourite card game and one which we have played every holiday except for the last two or three. Our rummy tournaments are great fun, lasting the full duration of our holidays, the winner being crowned at the end of the holiday. Of the six years or so that we’ve been holding these tournaments we believe we’re neck and neck! We’re not scoring today as neither of us have thought to bring a pen or paper, so todays games are just for fun!

We enjoyed a leisurely lunch; bread sticks, beetroot salad, hummus, crisps and hurrah, we finally finished off the spinach and cheese pies which have been on the menu since day one. Bananas and grapes for dessert completed the final lunch of our social distanced-lockdown-staycation. After a little lie down we left after a couple of hours as it was getting too hot so we deliberated our next move. On our planning day last Sunday we added Rhodedendrum Mile, just outside Puddletown to the list of things to do so, no time like the present we packed up and headed off to Puddletown.

Following our friend Janes directions, which we remembered from memory, we found it straight away. No deviation, no driving round in circles, no map or compass required…….hey, we’re getting good at this! To be honest we were slightly disappointed when we drove down The Mile as it wasn’t as either of us had remembered. We can both recall the roadside being chocablock full of rhodedendrum bushes cascading over the road forming a canopy but it has changed so much that we didn’t notice them at first, they were so far back from the road. We remembered someone had told us they’d been cut back to stop ‘various activities and goings-on’ going on, which is a such a shame. We stopped to get a few photos and wandered over to where they were but I have to say, wearing flip-flops in the forest is not advisable! So we gave up and headed back home, dropping Maice off on the way. And that was it, our socially distanced-lockdown-staycation had come to an end.

Who’d have thought you can have so much fun on a staycation. It really is amazing what you can find on your door step and all it needs is a bit of planning. The great thing is you don’t need to spend a lot of money on a staycation. We’ve spent no more than twenty pounds, which covered our food and the little petrol we used. We packed a picnic everyday and to give our picnics that cheery, holiday feel, we packed the bunting.

Making every effort to plan your staycation really helps and asking friends for suggestions gave us some great ideas of places to go. We’ve explored so much of our local countryside, found new pathways and bridleways, and had all sorts of adventures…….most of them captured on camera. Like any of our overseas holidays our brains abound with so many good memories; who can forget trying to capture our joint tree hugging on camera using my new selfie-stick come tripod and who can forget the dip in the sea that lasted all of ten seconds it was that cold, and who can forget seeing the smile on Marvins face as he too came on an adventure with us and ended up having a lay-by named after him, and who can forget sitting in Marvins lay-by for three hours having lunch and attempting the squirty cream challenge, Maices attempts looking like she’d been dive bombed by a couple of seagulls …….all captured on video. The list of memories is endless and too many to capture here. The most simplest of things are usually the best and we haven’t let the current government restrictions and circumstances get in our way. A selfie stick-come tripod, purchased before our staycation has enabled us to take socially distanced photos whilst we’re living under these strange times.

The biggest ‘Shout Out’ however must go to Mother Nature for letting the sun shine everyday and providing the most amazing backdrop to our adventures. Walking with nature, seeing her in all her glory has been amazing and we so appreciate how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful part of the country.

So this is the end of our staycation. Our feet ache, our limbs ache, we’ve laughed so much we’ve had tears running down our faces, but what’s different about this staycation is that we’ve consumed very little alcohol, we’ve not succumbed to jet lag and it’s been a ‘green’ holiday in more ways than one. We highly recommend it…….it’s great fun.

Until our next staycation………

M&A xx

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