I love Bank holidays because who doesn’t love a three-day weekend? It’s also the perfect opportunity to explore parts of the country I’ve not yet seen.
My friend Shelley and I were trying to find somewhere to go for a day trip that wasn’t too far from London and that didn’t cost a fortune to get there. Because the weather was so lovely, we had our heart set on somewhere like Folkestone or Margate, however the last minute train tickets were ridiculously priced (one thing I hate about the UK. How is over £30 for a journey that takes less than an hour, justifiable?). So Shelley did some research and suggested Emsworth in Hampshire, which was just an hour’s drive from her house. I’d never heard of it but it sounded lovely. So, off we went!
Emsworth is a small fishing village in Hampshire and lies on the shore of Chichester Harbour. There are also two tidal millponds, to the east and the west, which are host to a variety of wildlife. If you like to walk, there are lots of walking trails for you to explore.
Once famous for its oyster industry and boat building, Emsworth now attracts artists and those who love art. In fact, there was an Arts Trail when we visited with over 77 locations set around the village where you could see local art and meet the artists.
If you are a fan of architecture, then you’ll love Emsworth, which was once a Saxon village. There are several architectural styles around the village, but I just loved the colourful cottages!
The old flour mill, which is a grade II listed building, caught my eye. I think it’s now either apartments or businesses – it’s definitely not a working mill. How cute is it? I just love the brick work.
After walking around a bit, it was time for lunch. Despite Emsworth being quite small, there was a variety of places to eat. We settled on Driftwood because it had a gorgeous outdoor garden area so we could eat outside. I tried to be healthy and ordered a salad (although there was loads of mayo!) and Shelley had a toasted sandwich. The food was good! The cakes looked really good too – especially the lemon meringue (which you don’t often see) – but we were too full to order any.
Although my salad was really filling, there was no way I was going to pass up a soft-serve! There’s something so wonderful about eating an ice-cream by the sea, isn’t there?
After our ice-cream, we walked to Emsworth Yacht Harbour where there were some artists who were part of the Arts Trail and were showcasing their work. We were even offered the opportunity to tie some sailing knots! We discovered The Deck, a restaurant with some lovely outdoor space, overlooking the marina, but obviously we’d already eaten… but we’ll remember it for next time.
Whilst we’d been walking around the town earlier in the day, we had spotted a lovely wine shop – Vin Wine Merchants – where you could also enjoy a glass of wine in their garden. So before we left, we had to go and have a glass of bubbles. Isn’t the garden adorable?
There’s only three tables but luckily there was a free table when we arrived. We ordered a glass of British Rosè sparkling wine with a bowl of olives. They also give you complimentary snacks, which I thought was a lovely touch. The wine was absolutely gorgeous and a bargain at £6 a glass. If I lived in Emsworth, I would be a regular visitor! They also do wine tasting but Shelley was driving so we had to be good.
We had such a lovely, relaxing day in Emsworth. Whilst I love London, it’s so nice to escape the city every once in a while and go somewhere where the pace of life is slower. We enjoyed walking around the harbour, the mill ponds and the town and checking out some local art.
If you’re looking for some suggestions of where to go for a weekend, that’s not too far from London then check out this blog post.