It’s Saturday and another fine sunny day, so we are off south. Or at least I think so. The truth is that I am not sure where Tigger is taking me. We took the bus to London Bridge and, as usual, I went off to Upper Crust to buy baguettes and coffee for breakfast while Tigger engaged in a heart-to-heart with the ticket machine.
We then went through the barrier to platform 9 and boarded the Brighton train. It is aboard this that I am writing these words, in a crowded carriage full of people off to the seaside.
We are not going to Brighton, however, as Tigger has mentioned that we have to change at some point. All will be revealed later.
We changed at Haywards Heath, taking the Littlehampton train but I gathered that Littlehampton, haunt of wolf spiders1, would not be our final destination.
We branched off before Brighton and passed through Hove and Shoreham, crossing the estuary where Lancing College stands out pale against the surrounding green and brown. We pause at Lancing station and then are off again.
We did in fact travel all the way to Littlehampton, but only to change trains, so I only had time to take a photo of the modernized station before we were on our way again.
The next train right took us to a town once so much in vogue as to be chosen as suitable for a Royal convalescence, a patronage its name still recalls. I speak of Bognor Regis, once a fishing village, then a genteel resort. Today, when it is no longer possible for towns to be genteel and survive economically, Bognor is a seaside town like many another, with a long shingle beach and the usual amenities.
We had visited Bognor before and despite it having a few interesting features (see the drinking fountain, below), we did not find much there to detain us either then or today. Well, not unless you count lunch.
Where once cattle were grazed (yes, really: look it up), today there is a luscious bowling green and we found a tournament in progress. More important for our purposes, however, was the fact the the Bowls Club has a cafe that is open to the public. And there we lunched to the click of colliding woods.
So we moved on. A bus carried us inland to another famous town – a city, in fact – of West Sussex. This city has, among other things, a historic cathedral with the bishop’s house within extensive grounds…
…a justly famous market cross (the clock is right too!)…
…and The Buttery, of course!
I expect you think I am going to say we had a cream tea. No, we just had tea and toasted tea cakes. We were being good for some reason.
Chichester is a beautiful and interesting town that you spend can a lot of time exploring. Tigger, though, was keen to get back to the sea so, off we went on the bus, this time to Selsey./p>
If you expect noise, amusements, fish & chip shops and candy floss at the seaside, don’t go to Selsey. But if you like a quiet, virtually unspoilt shingle beach with views along the coast and colourful boats riding at anchor, then maybe you will enjoy it.
Evening was coming on and in order to return to London, we had to repeat our journey but in the reverse direction. First we took a bus back to Chichester. The city was looking handsome in the evening sunlight and we could not resist having another look around.
From Chichester, we returned to Bognor and there took the train to London. We had clocked up quite a few miles but it had been a good day out, lit by glorious summer sunshine.
1Wolf spiders: We discovered what we then called "beach spiders" on a previous trip to Littlehampton as recounted here. I was was sufficiently interested in them to contact the British Arachnological Society. The reply they kindly gave, identifying them probably as wolf spiders, is reported here.