A ferry, a castle and an inn

Weekend plans anyone?

The January Brussels gloom is upon us so D and I are planning a road trip to England!

This is where the ferry comes in: I am going to attempt to drive on the left side of the road this weekend. First will come a two hour drive down to Calais, followed by a few coffees on the ferry ride over to Dover (needed after the wake up call.)  Our arrival, I imagine, will look something like this:

The plan is then to drive along the coast, past Eastbourne (whose pier is pictured below)

Perhaps a little tour of the Brighton World’s Fair Pavilion followed by a walk along the water.

And then we’ll go North to Maresfield to stay at The Chequers Inn. The newly referbished restaurant, Wheelers of St James, has been modelled off its London namesake.

Spent half the day considering staying at The Griffin Inn, which also looks spectacular… but was on the pricier side… The Griffin is located in Fletching, just next door to Sheffield Park (pictured below) – famous as the home of Winnie the Pooh.

The real problem was we could not find a place that looked like The Lamb at Hindon, an adorable, friendly place for a great meal and comfortable night’s sleep. On the day we stayed there, a couple had found a stray dog wandering around the town and was going from house to house inquiring whose dog it was… several hours later we heard the staff at the town shop gossiping about the “lost dog” and still lack of owner… everything about the stay was adorable and we’d return in a heartbeat.

Back to the weekend trip! Sunday the plan is to head east to Robertsbridge to visit Bodiam Castle.  I grew up facing a photograph of this castle every night from where I sat at our dinner table, after my Dad fell in love with the place during his semester in England in college. It is one of the best preserved moated castles in the country, dating back from 1385 when Kent was busy fortifying in fear of French invasion. The history of the castle is a little on the sad side, rumoured to having surrendered without much resistance to Richard III during the War of the Roses, it was then sold off at the start of the English Civil War in 1641 by Royalist John Tufton to pay for his fines to Parliament. The castle was dismantled and left as a ruin until it was bought by John Fuller in 1829. It has been part of the National Trust since 1925.

Now off to figure out how one books a ferry trip… have a great weekend!

Photos from Wikimedia, Runnerskitchen and Wyrdlight unless otherwise noted. 

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