Friday, 20 July 2012

2012 - Day Out 11: Weymouth and Parkstone

Date: Friday 15 June 2012

It was that time of the year where we go for a mini-break to Weymouth which also coincides with the Vintage Bus Running Day held on a Sunday, giving us a couple of days to explore the Dorset area.

Our train to take us down south!
With the case packed, I make my way to Wollaston to get the first and what turns out to be the only bus of the day, National Express West Midlands service 276, which arrives on time at 07:56, I send the standard text to Mr UKBuses to let him know we are on the way, and at 08:02 the bus turns up at his stop, Mr UKBuses gets a bit of exercise in as I see him running to the bus stop so that he does not miss the bus. Mr UKBuses has a few minutes to get his breath back before we arrive at Stourbridge Interchange and change onto the "Stourbridge Dodger" to take us to Stourbridge Junction. We arrive and only have to wait a short while before a London Midland train arrives and takes us to Birmingham Snow Hill where we alight in time to have some breakfast. We decide to go to J D Wetherspoons, "The Square Peg" where we sample the delights of their Bacon Roll, we devour it as quick as it arrives just in case there is a certain Mr Tonks around. With breakfast over, we make our way to Birmingham New Street, stopping off along the way at W H Smith to get us some reading material for the journey ahead and also time for a quick "fresh air" break which I make the most of as I won't get another one until we arrive at Weymouth. It is nearly time for our train so we make our way down to the platform to catch the 10:03 Arriva CrossCountry service to Southampton Central, pictured left.

He thinks he is an Angel!
We take our seats and we are off ready for our weekend which looking at the BBC Weather website before we left it looks as if we are going to have a wet weekend. We pass through Oxford (with me saying hello to work colleagues as we pass Didcot Power Station), Reading and Winchester and after a journey of over two and a half hours we finally arrive in Southampton Central at 12:51. There is no time for a "fresh air" break, so we stay on the platform and stretch our legs but we have a little longer to wait as our connecting train is delayed. At 13:01 our Stagecoach South West train pulls up and we board and take our seats for the final leg of the journey which will take us just under an hour and a half passing through Bournemouth and Poole before arriving in Weymouth at 14:25, I leave Mr UKBuses in a cloud of dust, despite him trying to stop me getting off the train, as can be seen in the picture right looking like an "Angel with his halo", as I make my way to the front of Weymouth Railway Station so I can get a long overdue "fresh air" break, also it looks like the weather report was wrong for today as the sun is shining brightly in the sky. We have a few minutes around the station and we cross the road so we can look at First's depot in Weymouth before making our way to the seafront and across The Esplanade / Dorchester Road arriving at The Alendale to drop our cases off and have a quick freshen up.

Cheers! From The William Henry, Weymouth.
After a change of clothes and change of room between Mr UKBuses and myself (which meant that I had the same room that I had when we stayed here three years ago, which has since been refurbished) we decide to stay local this afternoon and have a walk around Weymouth Town Centre with us taking a few photographs around the main bus terminus at The Kings Statue and disaster strikes when I turn my camera on, I find out that the LCD screen on the back of my camera is broken, with a big black line down the middle and a big white spot along the top left hand corner, it looks like someone has either banged my camera or stood on my coat whilst it has been in my pocket, so the rest of the weekend it looks as if I will be pointing my camera and hoping for the best. I console myself by going into the nearest J D Wetherspoons which is right opposite, "The William Henry", where we sample our first pint's of the weekend and also decide to have a bite to eat with Mr UKBuses opting for his BBQ Chicken Melt - without the "melt", and myself opting for the Gammon and Chips. After we eat our food we have a few minutes to recover, as can be seen left, before heading back to the guest house to refreshen up ready for our evening away from Weymouth.

It takes a while for Mr UKBuses to finds his Brylcreem so I have a head start and head down to an old favourite public house of mine which is situated around the corner from the guesthouse and one that I haven't visited for a few years, "The Waterloo", where I have a pint before going back to the guesthouse where Mr UKBuses is finally ready. We make our way back to Weymouth Railway Station (not to go home), to catch a train to Parkstone, which is a journey time of just under forty minutes passing through Hamworthy (apparently there is a good chip shop there) and Poole along the way. We arrive at 18:47 and we plan to visit a couple of pubs in Parkstone, the first being "The Cow" , which is just a couple of steps away from the railway station. We have a couple of drinks in The Cow before moving to another pub, "The Bermuda Triangle", which we nearly get lost in along the way to find the place, we have a couple of more drinks in here watching England play on the big screen. Whilst in The Bermuda Triangle, I do pop out for some "fresh air" and Mr UKBuses is stood next to an open window, so he could have got another drink in and passed it me! It is time to make our way back to Weymouth, so we walk back through the lovely village of Parkstone and past The Cow to arrive at Parkstone Railway Station in time for our 21:35 train back to Weymouth, arriving just after 22:15 we make our way back to the guest house to get a good nights sleep ready for our tour of Dorset tomorrow, well Mr UKBuses does, I have a nightcap in The Waterloo before retiring.

An excellent if not relaxing first day in Weymouth, expecting it to be wet, the weather was quite good to us with the sun shining down on us all afternoon and evening, hopefully another couple of good days ahead.

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