Thursday, 15 March 2018

New Forest Trip

For Christmas Mum booked us an overnight dog friendly stay with Dinner, Bed and Breakfast at Woodlands Lodge in the lovely New Forest. Incredibly for early February the weather forecast was pretty good and we headed off on Sunday morning to make the most of the daylight.

After a nice if rather boggy walk around the aptly named Martley Bog we headed to Woodlands Lodge to check in and relax a bit before dinner.
On route we came across a large herd of ponies crossing the road so I took the opportunity to stop and take some more photos. It was good to see them wearing reflective collars to help keep them safe on the roads.

The room was great with a really lovely deep bath and we were provided with doggy towels and blankets and a couple of treats for the girls. Dinner was good, a limited menu but with a good selection. Although we couldn't take the dogs in the main restaurant we ate in the conservatory /bar area which was lovely.
After a good nights sleep I left Justin in bed and headed out into the frosty morning before breakfast with the dogs for a quick explore.

                      View of Woodlands Lodge from the garden.

The moon was still up and it was a proper crisp frosty morning.

         Another hotel view later in the morning once the sun was out.

After breakfast we headed out to make the most of the daylight . We stopped across the forest at the Wilverley Plain car park on the Burley Road.

The sun was actually quite warm so I think the ponies lying down were catching some rays whilst sheltering from the cold wind. They certainly weren't bothered by our approach

Our last stop  was through Lymington to Keyhaven for a quick wander before heading back across the forest and off home. The Lymington and Keyhaven Marshes Local Nature Reserve
runs between the two places and it is a 4 mile walk from one to the other. 

We parked up in the small harbour area and just had a quick look with my binoculars to see if there was any interesting bird life around. I spotted a Little Grebe diving, some Gulls, a Sandpiper and Oystercatchers.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Trip To Bracklesham Bay And End Of The Agility Show Season

At the beginning of the year our aims were to try and win into Grade 4 and to achieve our Silver Agility Warrant. As we reached September I was starting to think that it just wasn't going to happen.Then at the 2nd to last show of the season we won into Grade 4 by a convincing 3 seconds. At the last show we not only won again proving that the previous weekend had not been a fluke but managed to get the last points we need for our Silver Warrant!

The middle weekend of September we headed off to Wave Runners KC Show with plans to stay at nearby Bracklesham Bay. We opted for a dog friendly chalet booked through Waves Chalet Rental which we found on the Dog Friendly website.
We set off on Friday morning with a stop off for lunch at the lovely Black Rabbit pub near Arundel.
The food was really good and the pub is set right on the banks of the River Arun. After lunch we walked from the back of the pub car park up along the river to the next village with great South Downs views in all directions.

The River Arun (View from the Black Rabbit)

View back towards Arundel Castle

The Black Rabbit

The South Downs

South Stoke village

Arundel Castle

We made it to Bracklesham Bay late afternoon  just in time for it to tip with rain so we relaxed in the chalet for a few hours until it brightened up. The sun was low in the sky when we headed out to explore. The beach was only 5 minutes walk and another 10 minutes or so east along the seafront we were into RSPB Medmerry Reserve (One of the RSPB's newest reserves)

                                    Bracklesham Bay at dusk

                                    RSPB Medmerry at dusk

We wandered back down to Medmerry first thing the next morning before heading to the show. It was so peaceful, just the noise of the birds and no one else about.

The girls had great fun at the show over the weekend. They had 7 clear rounds between them and Jazz won into Grade 4 on the Sunday. We had a nail biting hour or so to wait as we ran early while we kept our fingers crossed that we held onto the lead!


Our prizes!

Our 3rd place run on  Saturday


Jazz winning into G4!

We finshed quite early at the show so as the weather was still reasonable we headed off to  West Wittering Beach. The parking is quite expensive if you are just stopping for a short while but it is worth it if you are planning a day out. There are a few dog restrictions in summer but during the winter dogs are allowed on the whole beach. Be aware though that the tide comes in really fast.

Lovely sand as far as you can see!

Moody sky but the weather did hold!

 On Monday morning we decided not to head straight home but make a day of it. We headed down to Pagham Harbour firstly having a walk from the small visitors centre which is found on the way down the road to Selsey. We headed off towards Sidlesham. When we reached Sidlesham we continued on a footpath which headed East. The path was a little wet in places and a short way along we came to a bit of path completely under water and decided to turn back. It was only when we retraced our steps and found the path to be wetter still that it occurred to us that the tide was coming in! Thank goodness we turned round when we did!

                                         The flooded path!


After a spot of lunch we headed round to Pagham itself and had another short walk on the opposite side of the reserve before heading back home.

Little Egret in flight

A flock of Redshanks

On the following weekend we headed down to Nedlo Agility near Romsey in Hampshire for the last show of our summer season. We were in the 25 day overlap period after our win so we couldn't go up another grade at this point. The plan was just to relax and enjoy the day, no pressure.
Jazz was on great form and as if to prove we were ready for the next grade went clear in all of her runs. We ended up with a 1st, a 2nd, a 3rd and a 7th.  What a superstar!