Six of us decided to go away for the weekend so after a bit of research on the internet, we decided to go to Swanage in Dorset.
As we were only going for the weekend we set off early doors on Friday and headed out towards Oxford and then picked up the A34 towards New Milton. The weather was cloudy when we set off but it wasn’t raining.
We had just got to the other side of Oxford and it start to drizzle but we carried on regardless and arrived at New Milton about mid morning. At New Milton is the Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum. Sammy Miller is a motorcycling legend who has been British Champion 11 times and has won over 1400 events and is still winning competitions more than 50 years after his first victory.
The Museum has a collection of fully restored motorcycles, including factory racers and exotic prototypes, with new bikes acquired and added to the collection.
This is a living museum with almost every motorcycle in the museum in full running order and Sammy Miller himself regularly demonstrates the bikes at the museum on event days and also at race circuits in the UK and Europe.
The museum also has a cafe which we went into for breakfast. The food there is amazing and the portions are big so we were hoping that this breakfast/lunch would keep us going ‘til dinner.
We spent a good couple of hours after eating going round the museum which was really interesting and the staff there were really happy to talk about the exhibits and about Sammy Miller himself and recount stories.
A brilliant place to visit, I would definitely recommend it. We had a coffee before getting on our way.
Well the drizzle had now turned to rain. We debated over whether to put our waterproofs on and in the end decided we would. This turned out to be a good decision!
We left the museum and headed down to Sandbanks in Bournemouth to get onto the chain ferry across to Studland and then onto Swanage. The rain had now turn into persistent heavy rain. We were glad of the waterproofs and just kept up a steady constant pace in order to get to the ferry. To say it wasn’t pleasant is an understatement!
We arrived at the ferry and waited for the next ferry. The chain ferry crosses the entrance to Poole Harbour between Sandbanks and Shell Bay and is the shortest route connecting Bournemouth and Poole with Swanage saving over 25 miles on a return journey from Poole to Swanage.
You drive onto the ferry, stay in your car or on your bikes during the crossing, which only takes about 4 minutes, and then drive off the other side. It was quite interesting to see how it works.
We headed for our accommodation in Swanage where we had found a bungalow big enough for us all in a quiet cul-de-sac – or at least it was quiet until we turned up on our bikes!
We took off our wet gear and hung it up to dry in the garage. After some R&R and unpacking the rain had eased and it was back to drizzle so we headed into Swanage which was only about a ten minute walk away to find a pub and some food.
The following morning it was pouring with rain so we wondered into town again to find breakfast and decide what we were going to do. Luckily by mid morning the weather had improved dramatically, the rain had stopped and the sun was shining so we got on the bikes and headed out.
We followed the coastal road towards Lulworth, stopping at Corfe Castle on the way to take in the scenery and have a walk about before carrying on to Lulworth Cove.
Lulworth Cove is a cove near the village of West Lulworth, on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset and we parked in the car park and walked down to the cove which is very picturesque and, thankfully, has a cafe at the bottom overlooking the sea which did this amazing blueberry flapjack. I had decided there and then that I could go back every day just for some of that flapjack! My leathers would be tight by the time we were due to go home!
After refreshments and having a leisurely wonder around and maybe an ice cream and quite possibly some fudge (leathers are definitely not going to do up!) we went back to the bikes and headed out of the cove and back onto the coast road. A couple of us needed fuel so we were on the lookout for a petrol station.
After about half an hour of riding the petrol situation was becoming critical for Stephen but we could not find a petrol station. We turned down a road only to discover after a few miles that the road was in fact closed and you could not get through so we had turn round and go back. Stephen’s fuel light had been on for at least ten miles now so things were getting a bit anxious but luckily we found a petrol station amazingly in a little village. Phew!!!
We headed back home to shower and change before walking into town again to find dinner and beer.
The following morning the weather was good so we decided to head to Lyme Regis and a walk to the Cobb, which is a protective harbour wall built during the early years of the port providing an artificial harbour and a protective breakwater to shelter the town from storms.
It’s a beautiful town with lots of little shops and eateries so after a walk around we found somewhere for a nice leisurely lunch whilst looking at the views across the sea. What a perfect way to spend your time, riding your bike, eating and chatting with your mates.
After lunch we headed out of Lyme Regis stopping on the way at Weymouth for a coffee and cake (sadly no blueberry flapjack!) before heading back the really, really long way to our accommodation.
We headed into town for our last evening in Swanage for, you guessed it, beer and food. It was so nice being able to leave the bikes at our accommodation and walk into town and then stagger back after a beer or two.
The following morning we packed up and tidied up before heading off for home. We didn’t particularly want to go straight home so we decided to go via Lyndhurst to find some breakfast or what was really a late breakfast and very early lunch by the time we got there.
We found this lovely little cafe that did these huge breakfasts and I was hoping that this was surely going to keep me going ‘til dinner!
After breakfast we headed onto the A35 and got back onto the A34 to take us back home.
A great weekend away to a really beautiful part of the UK. Ideally we would have liked more time there as there is so much to do and see. Definitely on my got to go back to list!