The Jurassic Mule to Seaton

I apologise for the total lack of posts recently – it’s the school holidays, so with working, teenage holiday jobs, teenage trips to the bright lights to go shopping, the odd meet-up and lots of daily life, we haven’t really been co-ordinated enough to go anywhere yet this holiday. (Don’t feel sorry for me though, we’re about to have two weeks very exotic holiday!)

However, today we all had a free day, so we met up with friends and had a proper, grockle-style day out. Everyone around us is on holiday having fun, so today was our chance to be tourists on our own patch. And it was brilliant! I can see why people come here year after year after year.

Starting from Newlands Holidays in Charmouth, we caught the Jurassic Mule open-top bus along the Jurassic Coast. With a Jurassic Coast Card you get a free child place for each paying adult – this sort of thing is often no good to us as our kids are teenagers, but the Jurassic Mule is 3/-15yo for kids, so it was a bargain!

It was such a fun way to travel, being able to get views over the coast and fields, into back gardens and waving at buses coming the other way. Travelling in an open-top bus somehow makes you into an instant 1950s child! Going through Lyme Regis was great, and although we were heading for the beach at Beer, we decided to hop off in Seaton for a quick coffee & ice-cream stop (tickets are hop-on,hop-off). I’m very sorry Beer, but Seaton beach turned out to be so perfect we never made it any further! 

After a delicious lunch in The Hideaway (Halloumi Fries were a revelation and the spinach & feta pie was lovely), we walked a hundred yards or so west along the beach and set up camp on the pebbles. It’s a nicely shelving beach, so you get deep enough to swim quite quickly (probably not ideal for little children), and the shelter of the cliffs by Beer meant that there was barely a ripple. 

The sea was SO clear – even well out of our depth we could see every little detail on the seabed, and it felt very unlike the usual green, sometimes slightly soupy English sea. In fact, the phrase “it’s just like being on holiday” came up about every ten minutes! I kept feeling a bit jealous of everyone having such fantastic holidays, but then kept reminding myself it’s all ours any time we want it!

I have always felt a bit sorry for Seaton, as it does have some ugly buildings in the centre, and is often quite empty, but it is definitely my new favourite beach, and would be equally good for fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding as it is for swimming. There were lots of paddle-boarders out, mainly hiring from the beach, and gangs of first-time kayakers testing their skills along the shore. 

Lyme Regis has the atmosphere and hustle & bustle, and West Bay has great food and ice-cream etc; Sidmouth has the shopping & restaurants, Charmouth has fossils and West Bexington & co have the fishing – every beach around here has its strong points, but Seaton will definitely be my swimming beach from now on!

We got so relaxed that we just couldn’t be bothered going to Beer, so we lazed about until the last bus home. Coming down the hill into Lyme Regis, with the coast all laid out beyond, was a fantastic sight, and added to the festive feel of a brilliant, old-fashioned day out. Simple, just beach, swimming and ice-creams, and a lot of chat, laughing and messing about. It WAS just like being on holiday, and we resolved to get out and do more days being tourists at home. There are still many things on the Jurassic Coast Card list that we haven’t tried, so there’s definitely a few more days like that to be done before summer is over!

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