Monday, 19 August 2013

Taking the Wild-time Challenge - Ticking off 5 and bit #50things in one go at Birling Gap!

 A post from Rebecca, our volunteer member blogger, about trying our 50 things Wild-time challenge. She's going writing about our adventures with her family all summer.

Oh we do like to be beside the seaside…..!

What a fantastic day we had at Birling Gap!  The smell of salty sea air, the waves crashing against the shoreline, rock pooling, fossil hunting….I could go on and on and on…  The views alone had us all in awe!  On a special seaside mission to complete at least 3 of our #50things list, we were determined to enjoy every bit of the late August sunshine. 

First stop after a long journey: the new NT café.  Trying it out was a delight.  Of course, what could be set us up more for an afternoon of #50things adventures than that British seaside classic, fish and chips?  Tasty and all locally sourced too.  I am sure you can tell from the expressions on Big Tot and Little Tot’s faces that it was a winning choice!  Perhaps one of the best things of all about the café was the fact that dogs are made to feel so welcome….a rarity these days and brilliant if like us, you want to take the whole ‘family’ out.  Our puppy, Monty, was very happily installed in the conservatory with us and his bowl of doggy nosh as well as a few cheeky chips to keep the ‘wolf’ from the door.  Of course, after the fish and chips, it was only polite to sample some of the freshly made cakes on offer too!!! 

Next stop, the fantastic shop to kit ourselves out with all the necessary seaside explorer gear: buckets and spades, nets for rock pooling and a bouncy beach ball which LT bounced right out of the shop door.  The shop has everything one might need for rainy or fine weather and the staff are some of the friendliest and most helpful we have ever come across at a National Trust place.  There was even someone to help get us started on our exploring.  Lee, one of Birling’s fantastic rangers was on hand to give advice to little (and BIG) people about what to look for when hunting for fossils and bones on the beach and to show us what had already been found on the shoreline.  

Once on the pebbles, our #50things adventures began.  Ticked off the list in one visit alone: No. 7 Fly a kite, No. 20 Jump over waves, No. 24 Go on a walk barefoot (although a bit tricky over the pebbles so we didn’t manage very far!), No. 26 Hunt for fossils and bones, No. 37 Check out the crazy creatures in a rockpool.  We found a cuttlefish bone, made seaweed wigs, built a castle from stones, used out nets to scoop out rock pool sea monsters and generally whooped with delight at being so close to the sea!  Where else could you cross off so many #50things?  With No. 42 Go swimming in the sea, BT and I managed to brave the chilly water up to our knees until a warm hot chocolate called us back to the café! Surely that still counts?! 

A truly brilliant day - Birling Gap definitely gets the thumbs up from all of us.  Check out some of our seaside #50things adventures!

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