Thursday, 21 July 2011

A Perfect Day

There are some days in your life when everything goes right. This was one of mine. I had planned a day out on the Isle of Portland in Dorset with friends. The itinerary was good but unforseen events made it tip-top. For a start, the weather held up and was sunny all day.

We never intended to begin our trip in Weymouth but it was lunchtime and we were hungry... Well! when we got to the old harbour, a folk festival was in full swing. There were country bands playing and morris dancers prancing everywhere.

My particular target for the day was St George's Church at Reforne on Portland which I had glimpsed on a previous visit. Built betwen 1754 and 1766, it no longer functions as a church but is run instead by the Churches Conservation Trust. The gravestones dotted about tell fascinating stories of local smuggling and shipping disasters in the 18th and 19th Centuries.

St George's was built to replace medieval St Andrew's Church at Church Ope Cove, destroyed by a landslip. Game for anything, we went in search of it. A difficult path led down past the ruined church and tumbled down graveyard and there, at the bottom, was this hidden gem - Moonstone Beach. It was the cherry on the cake, which of course we also managed to fit in, along with a pot of tea, at a cafe overlooking the 2012 Olympic sailing venue in Weymouth Bay.

A perfect day indeed.


  1. Moonstone Beach - I don't think I've ever heard a more romantic name for a beach. And it's beautiful - so peaceful looking. St. George's looks so austere - I almost expect to see an angry ghost wandering through. :)

  2. Given some of the events recorded on the gravestones, Bronwyn, neither would I!
    I was amazed to find such a beautiful beach on the island because it has been extensively quarried for its stone - Portland stone - since Roman times.

  3. The beach is gorgeous and St. George's is stunning.

  4. Hello again Simone,
    One of the photos I left out was of the lighthouse at Portland Bill. It's at Portland Bill that all the 'twitchers' (birdwatchers) gather in spring to see the first British touchdown of the migratory birds which have flown up from Africa. And of course, the birdwatchers gather again in autumn to catch another glimpse of them before they fly out again.