A weeklong DK Exchange programme in the London office – that's how my much-awaited voyage to UK began. Having read that, if you're expecting another run-of-the-mill travelogue of London straight out of a travel guide, delete the thought! This isn't about my tour of the city, but the journey beyond – into the picturesque English countryside I had only virtually travelled until then.
After an amazing week in London, I decided to go on a short trip to South England. Pulling out a map, I first plotted my route to the popular seaside town of Weymouth and the highly recommended beauty of Lulworth Cove nearby. Located in the Dorset, Weymouth is a 3-hour train ride from London. My initial plan was to leave early on day 1, spend a night in Weymouth, visit Lulworth Cove the next day and head back to London by the end of day 2.
As planned, I took a train from Paddington Station in the morning and reached Weymouth around 11 am. The glorious Weymouth Bay is one of the finest on the south coast of England and offers plenty of attractions, including a 17th-century harbour. Located at the centre of the Jurassic Coast, it covers 95 miles of the stunning coastline and contains rocks recording 175 million years of our natural history.
While I was enjoying the spectacular view of the coastline after lunch, it started drizzling (typical English weather) and continued to do so till midnight. But even though I was completely drenched, I still wanted to explore the town. Weymouth looks fantastic when in the evening lights.
Early the next day I went for a walk along the coastline and explored Weymouth, as much as I could. Travelling on foot, I reached a small village called Preston. It was warm and sunny. If, like me, you love clean air, sweeping cliff walks and breathtaking views, then Preston is the right place for you.
After lunch, I was set to leave for Lulworth. I took a train from Weymouth to Wool station. This is the closest that you can get to Lulworth by public transport. But unfortunately, the train journey didn't go as planned.
On the way to Wool, a fire broke out on board the train. There was smoke everywhere and all passengers were asked to evacuate. The entire power grid of this track was shut down. As I, along with many other passengers, waited three long hours for the next train, the weather started to change. Soon it was drizzling. It was 6:30pm by the time I reached Wool and managed to take a taxi to Lulworth Cove.
A prime attraction in Dorset, Lulworth Cove was formed naturally approximately 10,000 years ago and is still evolving. To get a better view of the cove from a height I asked around as to which path I should take up the hill. I was advised not to go as it was about to rain and I could get stuck up there.
Well, I'm stubborn. Even though the journey wasn't easy (strong winds tried really hard to push me back), I did manage to reach the top. Fortunately, I was carrying a raincoat.
I sat there for about an hour eating chocolate and listening to Lisa Gerrard's Now we are free and other OSTs. The magical view, Lisa's voice... Ah, truly ethereal!
After exploring Lulworth, I decided to spend another night in Weymouth. I completely fell in love with that place! Fortunately, the rain god didn't play a spoilsport, and I headed towards the beach.
Finally, it was time to take the train back to London. The end of a wonderful and memorable trip: the best so far.