We have been down to Bournemouth today to visit Carol's mum and dad. The last time we went was in August 2013 when we came back from our holiday in Ilfracome and tied in with Chloe and Steve's wedding in Ipplepen. We were due to go last Wednesday but Carol had developed a really bad sore throat and we didn't think it was a good idea to visit due to the possibility of infecting them with the bug. I was also threatening a similar thing but thankfully it didn't develop into anything.
We left Milton Keynes at around 7.a.m. and drove steadily towards the M40 and then onto the A34 just beyond Buckingham, the same route we took the other day when we drove for our day out at the National Trust property at Basildon Park. We hit roadworks on the way at the turn-off for Reading and were held up for a while but then the traffic began to flow steadily and we were able to maintain quite a good speed all the way down south. We stopped at a service area near the roundabout which lead westward towards Highclere Castle, another location for the television series Downton Abbey and also further on to the village of Burghclere which we visited several years ago when we went to the Sandham Memorial Chapel which houses painting of Stanley Spencer and also managed by the National Trust. We bought ourselves coffee to share in Costa Coffee and the drove on and eventually arrived at Carol's parents flat in Moordown, just outside Bournemouth. From there we all drove to Hengisbury Head for a walk along the seafront. This is a famous visitor spot in the area between Poole Harbour and Bournemouth and forms part of the main division between Poole and Christchurch Bays. We walked along the patch and stopped briefly at the newly-opened visitor centre. It was quite a walk and we went through some really attractive wooded areas and saw a lot of families with children and dogs enjoying the sunshine. We eventually arrived on the sandspit opposite Muddiford and the Beach House Cafe where we stopped for lunch, by which time we were well and truly ready for a rest and sit-down as it had been a good half-hour walk or more to our destination. I can, for one recommend this as somewhere for families to eat. The service was good and the food excellent, considering how busy it was. On the return to the car-park Carol's mum and dad decided to walk but myself and Carol returned using the land-train which was a pleasant way to travel. I don't, in all honesty, think we would have been able to walk back ourselves as by now we had been driving and walking more or less non-stop since very early this morning so a sit down on this mode of transport was well in order. We left the carpark once Carol's mum and dad appeared and got back to their flat a little while later. We left Bournemouth at around 6 p.m and I drove some of the way back on the A34 and got home to Milton Keynes a little after 9 p.m.