Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Swanage Day 1: Friday

Over the years (with a few slight changes in personnel) we've honed the annual Swanage weekend to a pretty fine art. I'll break it up into its constituent days so as not to make it too indigestible for you.

Friday breaks down like this: we pack up in Bristol and head off in the biggest car we can find (which in this instance was Andy's Subaru Forester), down the A36 and A350 to Blandford Forum, where we ransack the local Tesco's for as much beer and meat as we can fit in the car. Then it's off south again, for the first major attraction of the trip....

The Spetisbury Bumps

Turn right off the A350 in Spetisbury onto the B3075 (signposted to Wareham). Take a right/left chicane across the A31 and carry on down through Morden. Take the left/right chicane across the A35; this brings you onto the road across the nature reserve at Gore Heath. Almost as you pass the first picnic area on the left, the road straightens up into a half-mile stretch of dead-straight undulating road, all dips and humps, like a giant tarmac rollercoaster. At this point, assuming you haven't got someone crawling along looking for a picnic spot in front of you, you floor it and fire off the top of the bumps as fast as you dare with a large 4x4 estate car full of fat blokes and lager. Actually taking off is the thing to aim for here, ideally without removing the entire underside of the car when you land.

Once you reach the crest of the final bump you're nearly in Wareham. From there we branch off to Worth Matravers and the next attraction....

The Square and Compass

There is a Facebook group called "Is the Square And Compass the best pub in Britain?". Now, granted, there's probably a similar group for a number of other pubs, some pretty undeserving, but I can see where they're coming from here. The first time I came here, when I was about 15, it was run by a couple of lavishly bearded elderly brothers, who may very well have been ZZ Top's dads. Apart from the old blokes being gone the place hasn't changed at all. Everything you want in a proper rustic British pub is here - real ale served straight out of the barrel over a little hatch, skull-crushingly low headroom and murky lighting, random dogs sleeping in corners, etc.

After a cheeky pint here we head off into Swanage, book into the campsite at Priest's Way, crack open a couple of tinnies, get the tent up, and then head off down to the first Official Swanage Pub of the weekend....

The Globe

This is the nearest pub to the campsite, so it's ideal for easing into the weekend gently. Very nice Ringwood Best and Fuller's London Pride, and a pool table ideally suited for a pool marathon. At closing time it's a short stumble across the road to the Golden Bengal Indian restaurant to pick up a take-away curry.


Andy said...

Sweet. Let's do it again!!

electrichalibut said...

Er, yeah. Give me a few weeks to recover first though.