Today we are off to Yeovil, taking advantage of South West Trains’ “Midsummer Madness” £10 tickets. We did rather well and reached Waterloo by 8:20 and although there were plenty of people about, there wasn’t the crush experienced on our previous two visits. Tigger bought tickets from one of the machines and then we went looking for breakfast.
We went for breakfast in a funny little Thai cafe we know near the station. After breakfast we strolled back to Waterloo station (and I took the above photo on the way) and looked at the departures board. The board said we should travel in the 3 front carriages. Also that we should travel in the middle 3 carriages. Confusing. We went and sat in the front carriage.
The train left on time and we are now trundling through the outer reaches of SW London. The sky is grey but every now and again, the sun breaks through for a quick smile and then disappears again. Perhaps the weather is better in Yeovil. Or worse. We’ll soon find out.
Although we had tickets for Yeovil, we got off at Sherborne which we also wanted to visit. It was either that or go to Yeovil and take a return bus ride back to Sherborne.
The area is rich in a building-quality sandstone similar to that used in Bath. When the sun shines on it, it glows with a golden or honey colour. The grey sky was not showing it off to its best effect today.
Sherborne is known for its castle, built by Sir Walter Raleigh from 1594. In fact, this is the second castle of Sherborne. Ruins of the original Old Castle can still be seen.
We started our explorations by walking across an open green area called Purlieu Meadow. This belongs to the castle and is maintained by it but has been opened to the public, which we thought was very generous.
We went as far as the entrance to the castle grounds but didn’t go in. We had noticed that the garden centre (which, I assume, also belongs to the castle) has a restaurant and we thought we might find a cup of tea there or even have lunch. In the end, though, we decided to push on into the centre of Sherborne.
Sherborne is a pleasant market town with many beautiful old buildings. I was glad to have seen it. We roamed around the town taking photos and then had lunch at the Three Wishes Cafe Bistro.
It would take many photos to give an adequate impressions of this charming little town with its abbey and market place. The four pictures below are the merest sample of what there is to see.
We enquired about a bus to Yeovil and found a stop. It turned out that there was one bus an hour and we had just missed one. Ho hum. So we waited for nearly an hour for a bus. This carried us to Yeovil.
What can I say about Yeovil? Perhaps it was unfortunate that the bus took us to the bus station which is right next to the Glovers shopping centre. This in turn is like shopping centres everywhere, devoid of any aesthetic appeal.
We made our way up the hill to the abbey and sat on the grass for a while. We had plenty of company as the old graveyard, now cleared and grassed over, is a popular gathering place for young people.
Around 5 pm we resumed our wandering and photogaphing and I began to have a better impression of Yeovil, though it’s not as pretty or as pleasant as Sherborne.
Having consulted a map in one of the squares we set on on foot to find the station. We followed signs pointing along a path beside the nature park. This path, to judge by its width and gentle curves must once have been a railway track.
Eventually, the station came in sight but we realized that it was the wrong one, Pen Mill instead of Junction. At a nearby pub we asked how far it was to Yeovil Junction and they said it was quite a way and along a dangerous road. So we decided we had better take a cab.
The taxi collected us and transported us to Yeovil Junction in good time for the 19:20 train to Waterloo. Across from the national rail platforms we saw the platform for the steam railway. Perhaps we’ll get a chance to ride on that another day.