The best thing about a scooter rally for me is the riding. I like seeing old friends over a few drinks like most people but more than anything I want to ride my vespa and see places. Just as well the VVC usually pick great locations and arrange rideouts amongst some lovely countryside, villages and towns.
Swanage is situated on England's south coast in the county of Dorset. This turned out to be a real bonus due to us having perfect warm, sunny weather for the entire weekend! Thursday morning came and after collecting my orange Motovespa from Retrospective Scooters in London, where it was in for some maintenance, I headed out to Denham, Buckinghamshire to meet a friend I was riding with. After coffee and planning a scenic route on minor roads, we set off for Swanage around midday. Our journey was pleasant enough, stopping occasionally for photo opportunities in Windsor, the New Forest and Wimborne Minster before arriving around 5pm at Ullwell Cottage Park, just outside of Swanage and the base for the weekend. Most visitors were staying in static caravans but not me as I had my 'bijou', tiny 2-man tent; I prefer camping anyway - more of an adventure! After pitching the tent, the night was spent at the park's onsite bar/restaurant catching up with friends before heading to bed around midnight.
I woke early and headed out on a coast walk as the sun was rising in a clear blue sky. Being a fan of 35mm film photography, this was a good opportunity for fotos and not be missed as far as I was concerned. I got back to the site at 8am after a walk up to 'Old Harry's Rocks'; two pinnacles of weathered chalk rock on Dorset's Jurassic Coast. After breakfast, the 40-50 vespas and their riders assembled outside the park's reception area ready for the day's ride, starting with Studland Bay where we caught the ferry across the narrow stretch of water to neighbouring Poole. We had an hour's coffee stop before setting off along sunny country lanes until we reached Wareham, our venue for lunch. I grabbed a few shots and a bite to eat and then it was on to Kimmeridge Bay followed by Corfe Castle along yet more scenic roads. A few fotos later, I joined the others up by the castle and spent some time soaking up the sun until we headed back to the holiday park. I stopped off in Swanage, wanting to get some images of the scoot on the seafront & pier. Dinner was a traditional steak pasty and pint of local pear cider at the Square and Compass pub, in the village of Worth Matravers overlooking the sea; it doesn't get much better than that! As dusk approached we rode back into Swanage for a coffee at one of the seafront bars before heading back for the night and a couple of drinks in the bar.
Saturday was another early start, this time walking in to Swanage for a takeout coffee and croissant on a near deserted beach under another warm sunny sky. With no one around and the low, rising sun it was perfect for photography. Once back at the site, we left shortly after for what was an excellent day's riding visiting Lulworth Cove, Weymouth and East Lulworth along some truly stunning B-roads and lanes through valleys and along the coast. We arrived back at Ullwell just before 5pm, in time for the planned evening meal at Swanage's Quayside restaurant. I walked in to Swanage along the beach & managed a quick swim in the freezing cold sea despite the sun! I met up with the others at the restaurant where we enjoyed some good food and conversation over a few bottles of wine, followed by a warm late evening stroll back up to the site.
Sunday dawned bright and sunny again. I wanted to make the most of the fine weather and took one last walk along the beach to Swanage for breakfast before returning to pack up and say my goodbyes and thanks to the organizers, for what had been a superb weekend. I rode back home to Tring in Hertfordshire along the A338 from Bournemouth to Newbury; an excellent scenic, twisty riding road, before picking up a nice B-road for the rest of the way.
So that was the Swanage rally - some great riding, scenery and friends all under sun filled, blue skies - brilliant! Thanks to all at the VVC for putting on such a great event.
All pictures can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gs3vespa/sets/72157644763997184/
Text and photos - Paul Hart (vespamore photography).
Mai 22 2014, 11:04