Our Sunday entertainment concluded on the sceptered Isle of Portland, a 90 minute walk from the Wyke Smuggler. It would have been an hour if we’d stuck to the path, rather than the sand and pebbles, but where’s the fun in that ?
Here’s a delightful bit of OS map. Note how the straight lines out at sea delineate the Craft exclusion zone.
I’d characterise Portland as Sheppey with pebbles. Which means it’s interesting and unpretentious, and unscathed by gastro pubs.
So you’re greeted by a fun fair at the foot of the hill that leads to the prison.
And the shops sell things you need, like this model of Noel Edmonds.
The villages are gritty rather than pretty,
but I find the stonework attractive.
As Mrs RM would tell you, the streets leading up from Chesil Bay to Fortuneswell, the “big city” here, are very STEEP.
Mrs RM really didn’t want to walk up the hill to Portland Social Club (aka Royal British Legion). And I’d be lying if I said the austere exterior won her over.
With more folk on the smoking step than inside, she needed some bribery to be persuaded inside (“I’ll get TWO packets of crisps“).
But you won’t get a warmer welcome in Dorset, or a cheerier bunch of locals.
A pint of Exmoor, a soda and two packets of crisps were £4.40. In Dorset. I would pay double for that exact combination a day later. Clearly the money they save from using basic but comfortable furnishings is used wisely here.
My notes on the Exmoor say “Excellent. NBSS 3.5. Who’s drinking it though ?”.
It was a jolly 20 minutes, despite the irritation of the Chelsea v West Ham match no-one was watching. If you haven’t got takers for Chelsea v West Ham I suspect you don’t need Sky.
Instead, folk were chatting to their partners, or playing snooker against them, albeit badly.
It felt like a backstreet South London pub, and I can’t say fairer than that.