Although I have nothing at all against those who love the camping experience, I know that it’s never going to be something that I get excited about, I’m definitely a home comforts kind of girl. However, this year wanting to save some money, we decided to borrow my parents motorhome for some long weekends away to break me in gently to the outdoors life.
We booked the Friday off work and set off early on our adventures, having had the motorhome the night before to pack our things in. Praise goes to my parents who have it nicely stocked up with pretty much everything we could need, we thought the paper plates were a good trick to avoid much washing up. Dad also gave Mr Mack a quick tour of how things work and a quick driving lesson as he hadn’t driven it before.
We had chosen to stay in Weymouth to make use of our Merlin Annual Passes as there is a Sealife Centre and the Jurassic Skyline Tower there, both included on the pass. We’ve had lots of fun using our passes this year, we used them around London and also visited Chessington World of Adventures.
We set off nice and early to try to make the most of the day and all was going well until, around about Bristol area (60 miles from home), Mr Mack shouts into the back to ask if I’d picked up the food from the kitchen, oops! We’d both managed to forget the packed lunch we’d made along with all the food I’d packed for the weekend including breakfast things, snacks and treats. Team Mack -1 point!
After a pitstop on the motorway we continued into Weymouth and parked up, Mr Mack getting used to manoeuvring the motorhome around a bit by this point. Most of the car parks we used over the weekend had suitable spaces for the motorhome and if you are in the area for the week you can buy a parking pass online to use in all the council car parks which would be worth investing in.
We headed towards the seafront and walked along the beach to get to the Jurassic Skyline, which is a tower at the end of the pier with a pod that goes up to the top and rotates around 360degrees giving you amazing views of the coastline. Luckily it was a beautifully clear day and we could see really far.
We then walked back along the seafront for a play on the beach and a paddle in the sea, which was actually a good temperate for paddling in. The beach was really clean with lovely soft sand and plenty of things to do including fair rides, water sports and a lovely traditional Punch and Judy show which Mini loved watching.
We then headed to Pebble Bank Campsite for the night, after a quick dash around Aldi to replace the food we’d forgotten. I had booked 2 nights on an electric hook up pitch however on the journey I was contacted to say there had been a computer error and there wasn’t an electric pitch available for the first night, only the second night. It wasn’t ideal but we had to make the best of it as we knew all other campsites in the area would be booked up at this time of year. Also when we arrived onto the electric pitch they’d allocated us for the second night on Saturday there was somebody in it and I had to go to speak to Reception to sort this out, which was another bit of a faff. We found the campsite very clean and in a beautiful location over looking Chesil Beach however I was disappointed at how they responded to us being messed about and didn’t even offer us a free drink in the bar.
We ate at The Fat Badger onsite, which was great food at reasonable prices with a fantastic view looking straight out to sea, my G&T went down rather nicely after a long day of travelling and exploring.
Heading to bed, Mini was excited to be sleeping in her “den” bed above the cab and set it up with her teddies for the night. As we had no electricity we pretty much had to go to sleep the same time as Mini but it was 9pm by this time and we were all exhausted and drifted off quickly.
Mini slept til 7.30am which is practically a major lie in for her, woo hoo, the sea air must have worked its’ magic. After breakfast we headed out to the Sealife Centre, which is situated in Lodmoor Park, which we didn’t get chance to explore this time but certainly looks worth checking out if you’re in the area. We’ve used our Merlin Annual Passes to go to a few different Sealife Centre’s this year and we all agreed that Weymouth is by far the best we’ve been to. It was well laid out and spread out so it never felt too busy or crowded. There was a great splash park, which we didn’t use but looked like lots of fun. We loved the Octopus, the Turtles, the Penguins and the Seals. Mini also loved stroking Starfish in the rockpool area. She then had great fun playing on the brand new Caribbean Cove play area, whilst we dived into the Costa. The play area was fantastic and included a sandpit, loads of slides and plenty of things to climb on.
We then moved the motorhome to park nearer to the town for the rest of the day and set off in search of lunch, the obligatory holiday Fish and Chips. We walked along the harbour, which was absolutely beautiful, lined with boats and lots of hustle and bustle of people sitting outside enjoying the sunshine. We got takeaway lunch from Bennetts chippy which was totally delicious, although huge portions, too full to squeeze in the deep friend crème eggs they had on offer. We sat on the harbourside and watched the town bridge rise to let the taller boats through.
After lunch we took a slow walk back towards the beach for a pedalo ride to burn our lunch off. Things were going great until I dropped my backpack into the sea whilst trying to get my phone out to take a photo, queue some ferocious back peddling to retrieve it and thankfully no damage as my bag was mostly waterproof.
We then took a slow walk back along the beach, with our feet in the water, towards the pier as we had promised Mini she could have a go at crabbing as she’d seen people doing it off the pier on our walk earlier. Armed with a bucket, net and some bait she waited patiently and was so very excited with her catch of 6 crabs. She proudly pointed them out to passers by and named them after her friends in nursery.
We popped back to the motorhome to freshen up and headed back out to town for some dinner although Mini persuaded us to stop for a few rides at the fun fair on the way. We chose to eat at The Anchor in the harbour after passing it earlier in the day. We managed to find a table with an open window over looking the harbour, it’s always nice to eat with a view and the food was good too.
After clocking up nearly 13,000 steps we headed back to the campsite and quickly settled into bed for the night, although I was tempted to strangle the very yappy dog in the tent next to us at one point as he was still barking away at 10.30pm.
Another 7.30am lie in woo hoo! We were lucky all weekend with the weather but Sunday morning was a particularly blue sky and it was lovely to eat breakfast and admire the beautiful view.
After packing up we headed out to Chesil Beach, which is a very thin strip of land leading the Portland. The road to Portland has an amazing vista of being able to see the sea in both directions. The beach is a pebble beach and Mini enjoyed the noises she could make marching along.
We then headed towards Portland Bill, a working lighthouse at the very most westerly tip of Portland. I’ve always found lighthouses intriguing and somewhat romantic and this one was no exception. Unfortunately Mini didn’t meet the 1.1m threshold to climb up but we agreed we’d come back again when she’s big enough. Instead we had fun exploring and climbing the rocks along the cliff edge, searching for fossils and enjoying the breath-taking views out to sea.
We had lunch at The Lobster Pot restaurant next to the lighthouse, we realised how lucky we had been to have eaten all of or meals over the weekend with sea views. The food was really good, Mr Mack particularly enjoyed his Portland Crab sandwich and the cream tea that we shared was delicious too.
We had another quick explore along the rocks after lunch and Mr Mack decided to climb up a large rock looking out to sea, which Mini was sad to hear she was too small to follow him up, although I have no doubt she’d have made it up, I’m not sure my nerves would’ve remained intact.
Sadly it was time to head home but we all agreed we’d had a fantastic few days and had packed lots in to our short break away. I know we didn’t exactly rough it, but I was still proud how well we’d coped and I really enjoyed our break away and am already looking forward to the next one.