Sunday, 2 February 2014

Hurst Castle, and Alex Got Wet Again

There was sun today.  You know, the big shiny round thing in the sky that used to come out and brighten the world.  Well it came out today and I decided to make the most of it.  I wanted sea and Mum and Alex are always up for going to the beach so we picked a bit of coast on the map between Milford-on-Sea and Lymington called Keyhaven and headed out with a picnic.  It was a beautiful drive down through the New Forest with ponies, buzzards and trees to look at.

As we drove through Milford-on-Sea I spotted an English Heritage sign and we worked out that it must refer to Hurst Castle.  Hurst was originally one of Henry the Eighth's castles.  It sits at the end of a spit of land which you have to walk along to get to it.

Hurst Castle and the light house

Keyhaven nature reserve seems to be popular with all sorts of people.  We saw kite surfers, walkers with and without dogs and people like us on day trips.  Mum decided to stay in the car and knit while Alex and I headed out.  Alex was very pleased with himself when he realised how far he'd walked.  It's about a mile and a half.  I got some nice shots of the Needles, off the Isle of Wight.  Alex got to wear my hat as it was freezing in the wind.

Mum knitting
The Isle of Wight and the Needles

Kite surfing in the sea

Nice Hat

Hurst castle was fantastic.  Luckily I have my English Heritage card in my purse so we got in for free.  It's much larger and more extensive than I had first assumed.  There were lots of additions made to the castle, up to and including during the Second World War.  We had the usual battle about who was going to be Indy and who was going to be Short Round (I won) and spent a very happy hour exploring all the nooks and crannies.  There are lots of artillery pieces, shells and an excellent exhibit about the lighthouse, including a replica light house living room.  We're going to go back and do more because we ran out of time.  Short Round managed to get his feet soaked in a flooded passage.  He also got hypnotised by a light from a light house.  Well, it was spinning round!

You are getting very sleepy

View of the spit we walked along from the castle roof

a different view from the roof

Part of the Henry the Eighth bit

The Walls

We caught the ferry back, a very reasonable £5.50 for the both of us.  I love travelling on small boats but I was sat right by the engine so I resisted the urge to trail my hand in the water.  It's a 15 minute walk back to the car along a footpath through a bird infested swamp.  Alex managed to leap into the middle of a stream.  He assures me he was trying to jump across but it was father than he thought.  Of course it wouldn't be a day by the sea if he didn't end up having to change clothes at least once.  I do wonder when he'll grow out of this need to soak himself to the skin at every opportunity, although he has now decided that I've jinxed him by assuming he'll fall in the sea/river/stream/puddle.

Boats from the boat

Harbour

More boats

Curlew (possibly)

Bird infested swamp

Oyster Catcher

After the death defying leap

bird

Stalking swans

We had an uneventful journey back and fish and chips for tea.  Can't wait for the next appearance of the sun!

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