Making the most of coast and country

WITH tight deadlines to stick to, Bank Holidays often go unacknowledged in newspaper offices, but this year I managed to take the full four days off for the Easter weekend, enjoying time to catch up with family, friends and soak up the sunshine.

Lyme Regis was packed to the gills – the busiest Easter holidays I can remember. I’m not one to complain about the crowds – it’s all good for business – but I did swap my usual seafront walks and afternoons spent lounging on the beach for a little peace and quiet in the East Devon countryside.

On Thursday evening Dad and I started with a walk along the recently-improved river path out to Uplyme, and then on to Cannington Viaduct, with a quick pitstop at the Talbot Arms on the way home. And on Good Friday I headed over to Salcombe Regis, near Sidmouth, and walked from the village down to Salcombe Mouth beach.

I was back in Dorset on Saturday as my friend and I headed to Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens for Dorset Food & Drink’s first festival of the season. No avoiding the crowds here – the event was packed! As well as feasting on the wide selection of food and drink on offer, we enjoyed a walk around the gardens – an attraction I’d never visited before – and the stunning views across Chesil Beach.

On Easter Sunday it was back across the East Devon border for a delicious roast lunch at the Fairwater Head Hotel. Hidden away in the leafy lanes of Hawkchurch, the elegant hotel offers stunning views across the Axe Valley and will soon be opening its stylish Laura Ashley Tea Room – can’t wait to try it!

Meanwhile, celebrations in Lyme were in full flow with the annual Easter Bonnet Parade and you can take a look at the impressive entries in the LymeOnline Photo Gallery.

Walking off lunch I headed up to Spittles woods, just below Lyme Regis Golf Club, and was met with a breathtaking sea of bluebells that seemed never ending. Don’t miss your chance to visit while the flowers are still in full bloom!

How lucky we are to have such beautiful scenery – both coastal and countryside – on our doorstep and I hope you all managed to make the most of it over the sunny Bank Holiday.

The four-day weekend was topped off with a cup win for Lyme Regis Rovers, who beat Combe A 3-2 in an exciting final to lift the John Fowler Cup on Easter Monday. Celebrations at the Davey Fort went on to the small hours of the morning – something I quickly came to regret when it was finally back to work on Tuesday morning!

Woodmead Halls
About Francesca Evans 2622 Articles
Francesca grew up in Lyme Regis and has worked in community journalism in the area since 2011, having gained a First Class Honours degree in journalism and her NCTJ qualifications at Southampton Solent University.

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