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.