Camping in Folkestone, Dover

Friday, May 18, 2012

And so, we went camping.

It wasn't as nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I was expecting freezing cold nights with the rain beating down inside of our tent. I was expecting bugs and creepy crawlies coming at us from every direction. I expected that we would give up after the first night and make the long trip home.

But it wasn't at all like that.

This is the view from our pitch. In fact, it was rather lovely. And yes - those are the white cliffs of Dover you see in the background.

We had a little whistling kettle for tea.

We had twirly swirly marshmallows which we roasted over a coal fire.

And I had managed to pack in my knitting, too. By the by, this is entrelac. It's rather lovely. That yarn is King Cole Riot in the moors colourway, and it is a variegated blend of purples, pinks, blues and greens. Mm. It's going to be a bag. The more I look at it, the more I think it's less suited to bagness than it is to cushion-coverness, but a bag it shall be.

We stayed at this campsite (here) which is perched quite literally atop a white cliff. This is the beach below, and you can hear the waves crashing all day which is arguably one of the best sounds in the whole world. We went for an early hike on our first morning: we went down the cliff, along the beach, up that folly you see in the distance, down the other side, and across Folkestone Harbour to the end of the town far, far in the distance.

It took us quite a while to do the entire walk, but we did get stop to admire the view and take a few photographs!

It's all so different from the white-sand beaches we're used to. This is much prettier, although I wouldn't like to walk barefoot on those stones. There's so much texture on every surface and there's a story behind everything. As you walk along the beach you happen upon chunks of brick wall that come from who-knows-where, with railway sleepers lying about, and even bits of iron. There was a man with a metal detector and a collection of spades walking up and down the beaches looking for treasure, too.

It's amazing how nature has just taken over all of the man-made objects - like the wave-breakers and erosion prevention thingy-ma-bobs. This has such incredible texture to it! This bit of iron scaffolding was much taller than I was, and as you can see, the tide obviously comes in quite high. We had to climb down off of the walkway to get to the beach and luckily it was still walkable when we came back!

It's such a rare sight to see this much blue just outside of London.

And possibly, inside of Folkestone Harbour too. As the tide washes out it leaves behind a legacy of crabs, shellfish and small fish that get caught up in the debris. The seagulls in Folkestone are enormous with all of this food around! They're easily the size of cats or small dogs.

The town itself was very well-looked after. There is quite a touristy bit just above the harbour called the Creative Quarter which is bustling with coffee shops, small art galleries and shops selling designer décor and homely things.

We happened upon a little coffee shop called Fresh & Easy. It was quite charming and quirky with fun serving dishes and some really beautiful pastries in the shop window. They served me my toast in a VW Camper bus which I rather liked, the milk came in a cow-shaped jug, and the salt and pepper shakers were mini Vespa scooters. There was an extensive collection of shakers behind the counter, so I'd imagine that they serve different ones for each table.

We were absolutely spoilt with brilliant weather and - can you believe it - we both got quite a bit of sunburn!

All in all we rather enjoyed our little camping trip out in the countryside.

It got a bit cloudy on Sunday, but that's was okay because we had to leave anyway.

... but not without a stop-off in Dover proper and a trip to the Battle of Britain Memorial!

This fellow sits and looks up at the skies all day. He's a WW2 Pilot (as you can see from his uniform, of sorts). Perhaps he's thinking about his fallen comrades and the atrocities of days gone by (things that rather make me feel quite ill when I find myself thinking about them), but I like to think that he's rather enjoying a spell of sunshine and he's pretty glad he doesn't have to head back to London for another week of work.

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