My children are all grown up – my daughter lives in Bournemouth, Dorset – which on a good day, takes around a 2 1/2 hour car journey to reach from our little town close to London. On a bad day, it can take up to 4 hours!
My daughter has travelled extensively and lived in Thailand twice. She is independent and i’m proud of that fact. I’ve worked hard as her mother, to encourage her to dream, reach out and build the life she wants to live. Yet that doesn’t for me, take away the heart ache of her not being around on a daily basis, so we can go for coffee together – or a yoga class, a shared interest. That I miss and am getting used to not having in my life.
So when we’re able to spend time together as a family. Both me and her dad, find that enjoyable and precious. She is and always will be my baby, at the same time as earning my admiration as she develops in womanhood.
So spending time with her and partner Karl out on the water was bound to be an interesting experience. Their boat is moored on the River Stour, across the water from Christchurch. Bournemouth reminds me of Australia at times, and this location is definitely one of the places which reminds me of Runaway Bay on the Gold Coast, the most. With its river side houses – eclectic and traditional. The body of water allows for paddling boarding and near their house, i’ve discovered a way into the river for swimming, although haven’t yet taken a dip.
Jumping on the vessel, we chugged down the river towards the sea, the speedboat engine itching to be let loose – past the church at Christchurch, a quaint little english village, where previously we’d sat outside the Captains Club Hotel & Bar, watching the water worshippers sail by. Our undulating wake leaving swans bobbing around. As we made our way seawards, we spied wild horses feeding on the marsh bank and piled high in the harbour, observed stacked lobster pots in Mudeford quay and watched people climb off the ferry which takes you on a short ride from harbour side to beach across the spit, where a beach hut can be sold for £275.000.
If you take the ferry across, you can enjoy a wonderful walk along Hengistbury Heights and enjoy stunning views of the Isle of Wight. Windsurfing and sailing are both popular past times and having a boat is definitely a plus.
From Tuckton Tea Gardens, Wick Ferry and Christchurch Quay you can hire boats to explore the water course yourself and enjoy all its wonderful wildlife. Or you can eat and drink sitting next to the river at The Riverside pub and restaurant and watch other expend their energy in doing so. I found both equally enjoyable.
Leaving the safe waters of the harbour, we made our way out into open sea, flashing by the anchored lobster pots and kayaking fishermen. Finally the roar of the engine took over, as wind and spray battered us, we made our way to moor off Bournemouth.
On dropping the anchor, I noted the water was a beautiful shade of green and very clear but wanted Vin to jump in first to see his reaction to its temperature. I felt a bit vulnerable once in, being so far from the beach as I jumped but soon my swimming and dipping developed its natural state. The water was temperate and ok for a short while, we didn’t stay dipping for too long and I’m glad I’d brought a jumper with me to put on, during the boat ride back. Its salty stickiness layering my skin and clinging to my hair.
I wasn’t so enamored with the glimpse of the sea from the skybar, when we enjoyed a drink at the Hilton in the town. I know I’ve been spoilt with 360 degree views over Bangkok at The Octave Rooftop Bar & Lounge, 52 floors up in a Marriott hotel on Sukhumvit Road, but cleanliness I do expect and having watched the waiter clear the table and ignore all the rubbish surrounding it on the floor – it didn’t impress.
Bournemouth is a great place to stay in Dorset to explore your surroundings. From venturing into the New Forest, to driving the winding country roads which lead across the hills into Wiltshire. Take a ferry ride across to Studland Bay and enjoy nature at its best but for me staying with my daughter is what always makes the stay extra special.