Wednesday, 17-06-2015 & Thursday, 18-06-2015.
Days 301 & 302.
After we left Brighton on Wednesday, our next goal was Stratford-upon-Avon where we were meeting some friends from Los Angeles for a few days. We could have made the drive in one go, but we decided to take the long way around and check out the Jurassic Coast. Before that, however, we had to stop off in Mapperton Gardens, where an old friend of Samantha's was living.
Driving in the U.K was challenging (especially when you're in a left-driving car on the left side of the road), but this place in particular wasn't the easiest to find. I mean, the area only has a population of about 60.
The Mapperton Estate is currently owned by John Montagu, the 11th Earl of Sandwich, which is pretty cool. We spent a little time there hanging out and chatting with our friends. We ate dinner there, too—no, we didn't have sandwiches. We ate some nice meat pies instead.
We couldn't stay too long; we wanted to get on the road before it started to get dark. We still had an hour's drive ahead of us to get to our bed & breakfast in Charmouth, a small town right on the famous Jurassic Coast.
We arrived to our bed & breakfast after the sun had gone down, so all we really had time to do was check in and go to sleep. The next morning (Thursday), we enjoyed a full English breakfast before we took as short walk down to Charmouth Beach so we could check out the Jurassic Coast proper.
The Jurassic Coast is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (under the name Dorset and East Devon Coast), and it's most famous for its fossils of the Mesozoic Era, and one of the most popular activities on the beach here is fossil hunting. The tourist shop at the beach rents hammers so you can walk along the beach and harvest your very own fossils of ancient creatures—potentially as old as 185 million years . If you're not much up for the hunting yourself and would just prefer buying or looking at fossils that have already been found, then the shop has plenty of fossils for sale.
We really didn't spend too long here, however. We were due in Stratford-upon-Avon later that afternoon and still had a drive of a few hours ahead of us. So we left the beach behind, walked back to the B&B, and set off for the town where William Shakespeare was born.
The drive was uneventful, and before too long we found ourselves in Stratford. We checked in to our little cabin on the grounds of the YHA Hostel and soon met up with our friends and headed off for dinner at a real English pub.