Sandwich & St. Margaret’s Bay

Another great day out and a fine opportunity to take beautiful photos. There is plentiful amount of charming villages around the United Kingdom and one either knows about them from past trips, stumbles upon them by a pure chance or is luckily told about them. Being the latter for me, I was introduced to Sandwich, a small, charming, and semi-coastal village just east of Canterbury, a stone’s throw away from the meeting point of the water bodies; English Channel and North Sea. To make the visit even better, at the time of our visit, the festivities of the Le Weekend were taking place; French themed market, street music and can-can dance kept us all a good company.

Cancan

After a quick satisfaction of the food craving, we strolled through the cobblestoned streets and admired the coziness of this place. Misshaped houses, beautiful mansions, local cafes or bakeries, amusing signs, well kept entry doors and window panels, and a wedding crew being escorted to its party location in a classic double decker bus. Glamorous? Tacky? You take your pick.

Bus-wedding

It wouldn’t take longer than an hour to walk the streets criss and cross but each time, you would discover yet one more detail that slipped your au courant eye the first time around.

Streets of Sandwich

Sandwich Street

No Name Shop on the No Name Street. How clever. And a stranger that did not get the hint when I stood in front of the cafe for few minutes trying to take this photo. In the end, his macho posture gave the photo a unique kick. Thank you sir, aka no name man.
No Name Shop on the No Name Street. How clever. And a stranger that did not get the hint when I stood in front of the cafe for few minutes trying to take this photo. In the end, his macho posture gave the photo a unique kick. Thank you sir, aka no name man.
Sign
I think I want to work for the Royal Mail! Lunch delivered so often, they need a special delivery office for that. I really enjoy words play and this one was spot on.
Wisteria House
Beautiful house covered in my most favorite plant, Wisteria. Its vines twining their stems around the pipes and attaching to the pores of bricks form an enchanting addition to the façade. Wisteria is very famous in Japan but quite spread out in the UK as well.
ham-and-sandwich
Another great example of words play. True villages located close to each other. Word out there is these signs do not last very long before they are sacked.
cobblestoned alley
Beautiful cobblestoned alley with two crows hanging out.

Doors and Window of Sandwich

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Window

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St. Margaret’s at Cliffe

Upon the conclusion of our visit to Sandwich, we make our train and local bus way to St. Margaret’s Bay to check out the white cliffs near Dover and the local landmark – South Foreland Lighthouse, the first lighthouse to use an electric light. There was of course a reward for the windy and crisp climb up the hilltop – a cream tea over magnificent views.

cliff
View from the beach with a DFDS Seaways ferry approaching the port of Dover, most probably from Calais.

The other side, east of this cliff, was the original site of St. Margaret’s Village with its villas, hotel, and tea room and before being succumbed to the destiny of the WWII. Interestingly, many of the bui destroyed not by the enemies, but by the local British Army using the site as its training grounds. Great history of the bay can be found on the St. Margaret’s Village Archive site. Just look how ravishing the bay once used to be.

st-margaret's-village
Credit of St. Margaret’s Village Archive
village-postcard
Credit of St. Margaret’s Village Archive

Walking up the cliff and heading west, we make our way to the lighthouse. To our surprise, there was not a single sign signaling the correct way up there. Quite hard to believe, considering it’s a landmark. After consulting three groups of passers by, and each giving us a slightly different indication of the anticipated distance, we make a last turn and voilà, there it was, standing not so high but proud.

lighthouse2

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field
Great views of the rapeseed field overlooking the Strait of Dover, the water body connecting the English Channel and the North Sea.
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On a way back, we chose to walk along the cliff side which offered a magnificent views of the eastern side.

Just before climbing up the steep hill to the bus stop, I see a small crowd of people gathered by the edge of a bushy area and as curious as I am, I make a sharp turn to find out what it’s all about. To my joyous surprise, I find myself face to face with a family of animals I cannot 100% name at first. If it wasn’t for the piglets I would have placed the parents into the sheep family. Let me introduce you to the rare kind, a sheep pig, or correctly known as Mangalitzas. I was happy to read that I was not the only one officially confused – read about it in this article.

pig

And its adorable piglets, tons of them jumping and playing around, the happiest creatures in the world. It put a great smile on my face.

piglets

The day coming to its end, our feet sore and our faces left with a soft rouge blush from the sea winds, we make a last stop in Deal, just few minutes ride on a bus and take a quick stroll on the beach. Weathered boats and barcas, roughly scattered around, I wondered how many are actually functional. But signs offered them for fishing trips so I thought of the Bubba Gump shrimping expedition in the Forrest Gump movie and accepted the state of the boats as standard.

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Boats on beach beach2

Till next time …

Rose

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