And so the travelling starts in earnest: Dover to Findon via Hastings, Eastbourne and Brighton.
We had every intention of stopping in Hastings, but the initial shock of those teensy, tiny, narrow roads meant that we just weren’t in the right headspace. We know that a drive through is not a visit; sorry Hastings.
A couple of things were non-negotiable, however. The Farmer had requested a visit:
This is a family run business which gave our train enthusiast a great many ideas. The rest of us smiled politely, rode the train in good humour, and some of us even had a go at the maze.
In all truth, this is a great place if you are in to that sort of thing. It’s rammed full of Thomas the Tank Engine, train rides, model railways and even has a fishing lake and the aforementioned maze. In fact, the only real issue I had with it was the joylessness of the train driver. In my experience, train enthusiasts love nothing more that seeing that spark of locomotive-joy in another generation; this guy – not so much.
The second stop was at the request of Princess Nikita and prompted by a favourite movie of hers: Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging. Our brief was to eat fish and chips on Eastbourne Pier while “stalking for boys” as per the movie. Well, we’re not ones to pass up a feed of fish and chips
and these two were on full stalking mode, but the boys seemed few and far between on Eastbourne Pier.
In fact, the addition of us Homesteaders appeared to lower the average age of Pier Lurkers to about 70 which didn’t quite fit the brief but didn’t make the fish and chips any less enticing.
Then it was time to hit the road again; this time to our suburb’s big sister.
Sadly, our timing was a little out so we hit it right on 5pm and it was so so so busy that our visit was cursory. Finding a park proved impossible.
Then it was on to our accommodation for the night, one that we hadn’t really been looking forward to: The Findon and Worthing Pit Stop. Finding it, in the rain, was an adventure in itself, getting into it just added to that (it was one of those places you never see your host, rather you get codes for all the doors and let yourself in) but we got there in the end and, although basic, it had all we required, was clean and we all slept soundly. We were woken in the morning by the sound of horse’s hooves on cobbles and a quick peek out the window showed us we had been lodging in the middle of an Enid Blyton story.
A jolly jape all-in-all.
14 thoughts on “Hitting the Road”
I had never heard of Findon so you increased my knowledge of my own country!
It’s a really pretty village …and motivated too. The place was buzzing with activity as they are reopening the local shop and running a hue *shop locally* campaign
Brought back a few memories of the Eastbourne Pier. Looks exactly the same. Think I took my own boy last time I was there.
Just as well as it was slim pickings😊
Shame you missed Hastings, the old town there is really worth a visit, along with all the fishermans huts along the beach.
Then there’s ‘Battle’ if you like a bit of 1066 history! Enjoy the rest of your trip!
It’s a fickle business this travelling and unfortunately Hastings arrived when we were definitely not in the right head space. We know this is definitely our loss
In the middle of an Enid Blyton story? What a cliff hanger…which story? By the sea, so I’m guessing Famous Five. And Brighton? Did it measure up to New Brighton?
Definitely Famous Five, but no special story…possible Five Have Plenty of Fun (the first one I ever read). Librarian that you are, you have once again read my every word and taken my “how am I going to finish this blog so I can join the rest of the crew working their way down the wine bottle” as a point of interest (which, don’t get me wrong, is very flattering). The Enid Blyton aspect was the little village complete with tea rooms in which the food is displayed on pretty, gilt edged plates and a “farm butcher” who actually cut the meat for you! As we drove out there were several “Farm Shop” signs outside rustic gates and I could just imagine Julian and Co cycling up and coming out loaded with tomatoes, lettuce, strawberries, fresh cream …and lashings of ginger beer 🙂
New Brighton is a little less crowded and a little more rustic than the original.
Findon – on the South Downs? It’s lovely there! I know those narrow Hastings lanes, some of them quite steep too! I think there’s a shift change on Eastbourne Pier at about teatime. The elderly go home and the young people take over. It’s a pity you got to Brighton at rush-hour 😦
Findon was beautiful…once we got over the shock of squeezing our van between the wing mirrors of other vehicles.
We embarked on this adventure knowing some things we had assumed were going to be wonderful would no deliver, and the gems will be the things we hadn’t even contemplated…this day proved that to be very true 🙂
I am pleased! Yes – narrow lanes and village streets are quite a surprise for many visitors and take a bit of getting used to! 🙂
Your collective ability to negotiate parking spaces where I see none is a constant amazement although a NZ based English friend assures me it is a talent you quickly lose when faced with NZ conditions 🙂
Hastings was our nearest seaside town when we were young so you have brought back many memories. Looking for young people in Eastbourne? Were you mad?