For all of my Australian friends I have one word that can simply describe the small seaside town of Southampton. Ready…?
Yep. I guess I should consider myself lucky that we were only here on tour for four weeks. Everyday I would see at least one person with pink hair, two with blue and the rest covered in tatts. Then there was the rat that I made friends with every night on my way home. To begin with I thought it might have been the same rat. My new little pal I had named Larry. That was of course until the time when I saw Larry and his dead friend on the same day. Yep – it appears Southampton was a lovely home for all the rats of the World.
However like Frankston, Southampton is surrounded by beautiful towns and forests. So this blog will focus on the places that I escaped to during my month by the sea…
For my first weekend I was lucky to be visited by my dear friend Jacqui. We jumped on a train and headed West to the New Forest where we hired bikes and spent the afternoon riding through the cold air. With a known reputation for being host to the wild ponies, Jacqui and I competed to see who would be the first to spot one. The competition was wasted when we both turned the corner to be welcomed by a herd of horses nibbling on someone’s front garden.
They were incredibly friendly and comfortable around us. In fact I’m quite certain that I was more frightened of them then they were of me. We stood there admiring their beauty and cautiously patting their noses before hopping back on the bikes and warming ourselves up in the local pub.
With a wood fire crackling in the background we challenged each other to a game of Scrabble whilst enjoying a Sunday roast. It was the perfect touch to a fun day of exploring.
I have always wanted to visit Brighton! I’ve tried to plan a visit countless of times only to cancel last minute due to bad weather. But this time I had a wonderful excuse for my visit – to cheer on my dear friend in the Brighton Marathon. Unfortunately after spending the previous day incredibly unwell I managed to sleep through my alarm and miss her crossing the finishing line. However thankfully that didn’t stop us from having a lovely day with friends for a few drinks by the sea. Luke and I happily spent Monday morning walking through the pouring rain as we discovered the cute little lane way shops. It was glorious to trawl through the cute independent stores, share conversations over cups of tea and hear the sound of sea gulls again. If only we could have stayed for longer.
I was so glad to squeeze in a last minute trip to the town of Winchester. On our final day in Southampton I snuck away from work and took a quick train ride North. I loved visiting the Great Hall, the Winchester Cathedral and exploring the local markets. I enjoyed having a traditional English afternoon tea before surrounding myself with the heavenly smell of second hand book shops. I may have only spent a few hours there but I absolutely loved it!! It was the perfect way to end this chapter of the tour.