Posts Tagged With: visit britain

Seven Sisters : Trek from Seaford to Eastbourne

March’15

A bunch of crazy people of a trekking group randomly meet from different parts of England to spend a day walking from one town to another crossing one of the most iconic natural landmarks of the country.

This is the account of a day long trek of the cliffs of Seven Sisters in East Sussex. And I was one of those crazy trekkers.

Seaford

We all met at Seaford station near the Martello Tower. Led by our guide Lana, we walked towards the seafront. Seaford is a lovely seaside town, east of Brighton and west of Eastbourne, right at the foot of the rolling hills of South Down in East Sussex. It has scenic beaches and is a perfect spot for lazy summers.

It was a cold, misty and cloudy day. Too add to the fun, it was quite breezy.

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A view of one of the beaches of Seaford in South Downs.

South Downs National Park:

Our walk commences into the South Downs National Park which is home to the white chalky cliffs of Seven Sisters with the dreamy blue waters of English Chanel washing their feet. The  The walking trails are clearly defined.

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Commencing the walk. The ascent to the cliffs was right in front of us.

Due to some parts of the South Downs being closed, we had to take a diversion, bit of a roundabout to Cuckmere Valley Park crossing beautiful scenery of Cuckmere Haven

And some stopped by Cuckmere Valley Inn for a quick refreshment

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The beautiful and cute Cuckmere Inn huddled among green bushes and trees.

Continuing our walk, we now approach the majestic chalky cliffs overlooking the vast expanse of the English Channel.

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The Seven Sisters

The Seven Sisters are seven cliffs. All of them have different names. They are in a nice sketchy pattern with gradually declining arches. The names of the cliffs from west to east are: Haven Brow, Short Brow, Rough Brow, Brass Point, Flagstaff Brow, Bailey’s Hill and Went Hill.(Source : http://www.visitsoutheastengland.com/places-to-visit/seven-sisters-p274481)

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Birling Gap : A beautiful spot with a restaurant of National Trust from where you can admire some really scenic views and click some envious shots.

Next few hours was trekking up and down all seven cliffs. My pace was falling, so were my legs. The views are worth every painful muscle.

Few shots along the way, a misty and cloudy day throughout with sporadic drizzles.

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These rocks seemed to have the side face of a haggard man. Rather many side profiles. Interesting work of nature

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We can see Beachy Head at a distance which is the highest cliff point. While it looks near, we have a good distance to walk upto it.

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There is a red lighthouse here, very similar to the cliffs of Dover. In contrast to the chalky cliffs and lovely blue waters, this is like a bright color brush stroke on a mundane painting.

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Beachy Head :Chalky Headland on English Channel. Also known as Suicide Point. (No wonder)

 

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The undulating terrain of the cliffs is its real beauty. A motor-able road for those who want to take it easy and chilled out.

 

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Another angle of the winding roads

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The sun is slowly settling down. There are breathtaking views as it plays a hide and seek behind the clouds.

As our lovely walk nears closure, we could get the first sight of the beautiful town of Eastbourne from the vantage point of the South Downs park. We have to walk all the way down to that road. As we walk we decide what to do next in the town, and needless to say the unanimous choice is to rest our limbs and treat our famished self at some very well known fish and chips local joints.

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Eastbourne. Very European, red roofs, terracotta shades and some lovely beaches.

Oh, what a day it has was. As I boarded my train from Eastbourne for a long journey of 2 hours back to my home at Reading, I relaxed and reminisced the day long walk , the strain in my calves and tingling numbness in my toes actually felt very rewarding. I would surely come back for another trip probably in summers when its less windy and we have more sun.

Vital Stats

How to reach Seaford or Eastbourne : Both these stations have railway stations which connect them to London and many other main stations. If you are coming from London, you can take trains from London Victoria to Seaford. There is a change that you have to make at Lewes. The change time is very short and you have to change platforms. So be quick. To book tickets and see timetables refer http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/

When to visit Seven Sisters : Even if you are driving up to the South Downs National Park, it will be advisable to visit during summers i.e June-August time frame. If its too wet and windy, it may get difficult to walk around.

Where and What to eat : Both Seaford and Eastbourne are coastal towns and have a great selection of sea food delicacies at their local joints. We had fish and chips in Eastbourne at Qualisea Fish Restaurant which has been dishing mouth watering seafood delights since 1964.

 

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Categories: Chalky Cliffs, Cliffs, England coastline, europe, seven sisters, solo travel, travel, travel blog, travel europe, Uncategorized, visit britain, visit england | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A day at Blenheim Palace, Woodstock England

I have been in England for about two years now. Taking a stock of the places I have explored here, I realized that I have been more of an outdoor person; trekking and hiking the cliff paths, seaside, walking across towns on long hiking trails. As fate would have, my knees caught up with over stress and have been very bad last one month. So no climbing, no hiking for next 2 months. Apparently the only travel I have been making is from home to office and back. In this gloomy scenario, my good friends lightened my dull life with a day out to Blenheim Palace in Woodstock near Oxford in England. I have never spent one full day in just one monument, this was exceptional and I still felt when we left at 6:30pm that I didn’t have enough of it.

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Entrance to Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has so much of historical significance for the English, most of which was not known to me before I visited.

This is a grand palace; built from 1705AD to 1733AD. The battle of Blenheim was won by the Duke of Malborough, John Churchill; to celebrate the success, this Manor house and parkland was gifted to him with £240,000 as a gift from Queen Anne. After this began the construction of the Palace that we see today.

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Palace grounds from inside

Designed in old English Baroque style architecture which had a short life; however the magnificence of the architecture is evident in every corner of the Palace. It resembles the Palace of Versailles in France in terms of its overall layout and architecture. I certainly could relate the similarities between them.

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The skyline with statues in typical Baroque style

The palace belongs to the Marlborough lineage. Another major reason why this palace is so significant and hogs much historical limelight is because Sir Winston Churchill was born in this palace. From his birth to his childhood, his days of youth, entering wedlock, this Palace has been witness to the life of one of the most powerful and renowned statesman the world has seen so far.

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Sculpted – Sir Winston Churchill

In the backdrop of Marlborough family tree and the life of Sir Winston Churchill, you would tour the whole palace. There are royal rooms and apartments which are open for public viewing. The rooms spell richness and royal splendor with precious collections of furniture, porcelain, tapestries, silverware and other antiques.

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One of the state rooms

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The room in which Winston Churchill was born

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Beautiful painted ceiling of one of the rooms

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One of the official Rooms of the Dukes

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The royal dining place

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And my favourite room, The Library!

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The ornate and massive organ is placed in the entrance of the Library

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The base of the organ has these operational knobs.

Last hour in the palace, we attended a 30 minute of audio-visual tour titled ‘The Untold Story’. A very enthralling dramatic set up in the Eastern Wing of the Palace which has puppets and a story that plays as a dialogue in the background. The story is of the Marlborough family set in the Palace.

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One of the rooms with the puppet

The palace sits in acres of lush green parklands and a beautiful lake.

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View of the castle from the gardens. Retro look!

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The gardens

While the palace interiors will take most of your time, there is a lot to explore outside as well, specially if you are with kids and pets. The large parks have great spaces, rose garden, botanical gardens housing exotic plants, butterfly garden which is a very cute greenhouse observatory with lovely butterflies and humming birds, a green shrub maze, a small toy train to ferry passengers, a large lake with sloping grassy lawns; you will be really spoilt for choice here.

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The beautiful scenic lake

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Lovely view of the palace from the parks

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A small toy train ferries passengers from the front of the Palace to the Pleasure Gardens

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The Maze at Pleasure Gardens. Its fun. It will take you 25-30 min of running around to find your way out.

I am sure you would have got a fair idea that how we spent one full day in the palace and its green ambiance. The Blenheim Palace is a treasure trove of English heritage. Its a must visit for anyone who is looking at visiting a great monument, a world heritage site, a wonderful family day out and learn more about the British history.

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My last shot before leaving the majestic Blenheim Palace. This photo shot reminds me of Palace of Versailles and certainly there is a similarity in both

 

Note to Travelers

  • Travel : The Blenheim Palace is not easily accessible by Public transport. Its outside the city limits. You must come to Oxford Station and take a Bus to Woodstock and further ahead a taxi. Its best to drive if possible. There is ample car park space in the Palace.
  • Food : There are quite a lot of options in the Palace. From coffee shops to restaurants there is a decent spread of quite bites and elaborate lunch options.
  • Walking Shoes : There is a lot of scope of enjoying the green spaces by walking around. Ensure you wear your walking shoes or very comfortable flats.
Categories: castle, castles of europe, palaces, travel, travel blog, Uncategorized, visit britain, visit england, weekend trip | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Chalky Cliffs of England : Isle of Wight

soutEngland has an envious coastline spreading miles enveloping this beautiful little country. As they say the English are blessed with everything best and luxurious and i cant agree enough; its coasts are bountiful with scenic beauty and many splendors of nature.

If you browse thru the Must Visit Places in England, its chalky cliffs would definitely appear as a Not to Miss sight. There are various places on the English Heritage Coastline that you can have a view of the chalky cliffs, however some are really popular ones with breathtaking scenery. Chalky Cliffs are limestone rocks, very calcium-y in nature, thats how they get their white color. Well, I will stop here as Iam not a geologist neither do I have a profound interest in this subject; there are many learned souls who have published the How and Why of the ‘chemical side’ of these alkaline wonder; as as admirer of the wonders of nature, my post would showcase three sights that I visited in last one year of the Chalky Cliffs and trust me some of the sights blew me off.

Isle of Wight

More famous for the Isle of Wight Festival, this small county is located in English channel off the Hampshire Coast. It has been a favorite summer resort since Victorian era. Apparently Queen Victoria breathed her last moments of life here at Osborne house. Travelling to Isle of Wight is easy. You can reach Southampton or Portsmouth which are well connected by trains from anywhere in England. From here you can take a ferry to Isle of Wight. I did the former, Southampton route and took the Red Funnel ferry to West Cowes in Isle of Wight

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The view of one of the Pier and the Isle of Wight Mainland.

For ease of navigation, i took a bus tour which took me to the Chalky Cliffs area called ‘The Needles’ and a complete round of the Isle. In retrospect it wasn’t a bad choice tho i dint walk quite a lot. The views from the Bus of the highlands, the sea, and the lush green pathways was exquisite.

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View of one of the streets opening to the Sea

The Cliffs

Enroute the views opened to the beautiful chalky cliffs in the English channel. Spread across few miles, these cliffs look were also checkered with green vegetation patches.

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The first views as the Bus took a turn onto the path to Needles

There are many small towns enroute where one can stop to admire these cliffs. However the route on which i planned my journey took me all around these cliffs till the south point of the Isle. There were limited photo opportunities however got to capture some great views thru my eyes.

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Walk along the coast in any of the small towns along the coast

The last bit of my ride along these kind of tree tunnels. The photos clicked from the moving bus created this whirlpool effect.

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Tree Groves and Tree Tunnels enroute to Yarmouth

When you dont have a high-end camera, the easy way out is to sit in the upper deck of the Bus. From this top perched seat i could get great views and some decent photos to preserve memories of this trip

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Lush green scenery enroute

And finally a much more beautiful view of the Chalky Cliffs.

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Glistening under bright sun the white chalky cliffs of Isle of Wight

Yarmouth

Finally I alight from the Bus at Yarmouth. A small town and one of the oldest in Isle of Wight. Famous for its Pier, Castle, a transport hub and a retirement destination. I did enjoy few hours here.

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Yarmouth

Right on the banks is a long wooden Pier. It opens up on the English Channel.

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Check the names written on each wooden plank

After a day of lovely views, my stomach ached for some good food. And what a delight to sit in one of the most well known Cafe of Yarmouth overlooking the Sea with some lovely mac and cheese and french baguettes. The Gossips Cafe, a quaint Cafe. What a lovely name and well yes i did manage some Gossips here with my friend who accompanied me on this trip.

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The lovely Gossips Cafe

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A well deserving meal at the end of a day of overdose of Cliff views

I prepare to catch a bus back to West Cowes. And then a ferry to Southampton. A long journey ahead.

What a lovely day it was and I regret to have made such a short trip to this beautiful place. There is lot more to discover here and spend some days at leisure at one of the beautiful beaches like Shankhlin. Its a romantic getaway and spending a day or two would be my recommendation to everyone.

My last click before the sun rests for the day. To come back again!

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From the Pier of Yarmouth.

Note to Travelers:

Links for booking Ferries to Isle of Wight

http://www.wightlink.co.uk/iow/

http://www.redfunnel.co.uk/

Read more about Isle of Wight and also the Isle of Wight Festival

http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/

http://isleofwightfestival.com/

Link to my Trover Album featuring some of the pictures on my Blog as well.

http://www.trover.com/u/theredbagandpurpleshoes

Categories: Chalky Cliffs, England coastline, ferry, hampshire, southampton, visit britain, visit england, visit isle of wight, visit yarmouth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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