The clocks are about to go forward, the evenings are lighter and warmer and those campsites are looking increasingly attractive... I just love twilight walks on coastal paths, or sauntering through a seaside town with all its smells, sights and sounds.
The maid and the chauffeur enjoy people watching with a cup of tea and a snack outside a café, while Ted and I check out the other canine companions walking past at shin height. To tell the truth, Ted does the checking while I gaze up with big, watery brown eyes just in case one of my two-legged companions drops a sliver of cheese or a crumb of cake.
There’s something magical about soaking up the atmosphere of a seafront after the cafés have closed, and the crowds that packed the beach and promenade have left for home.
It’s fun when the amusements are in full swing, the candyfloss machine is spinning and the sun beats down so much that Ted and I need a drink of water, but I also adore the cool evening air when we all go plodding along the prom listening to the gentle swoosh of the waves lapping on the sand. It’s as if they too are winding down after the day’s exertions.
Of course, many hundreds of years ago my ancestors would have perched on a rocky outcrop, watching the stars twinkle while howling at the full moon. I have my own little howl, but not for the moon – it’s usually a greeting to the maid or chauffeur, that sounds a lot like “ha-roooo”. I don’t know why I do this, but they seem to find it amusing, and it earns me a cuddle or sometimes a tasty treat.
We’ve already visited some super sites from which to enjoy a pre-bedtime amble, where the waves lull us to sleep. One of my favourites is Drefnewydd Farm at Aberaeron, Ceredigion, West Wales, where the site is only a short slope away from a fantastic promenade that leads to a pretty little town.
Our visit to Drefnewydd Farm was one of my first jaunts with my new family after joining them in June 2010. As usual, the maid and chauffeur had no idea where they were going - it was just a pin in a map, their usual way of choosing a campsite. But it was a bullseye as far as they were concerned, as the Yorkshire-born chauffeur doesn’t like paying for facilities he doesn’t use (such as club house or amusement arcade) and the site is just a farm field. The location is great - right next to a delightful coastal walk to the town of Aberaeron, which has multi-coloured Georgian houses and lovely little shops. The maid enjoyed a trip to a small ice-cream kiosk with an array of flavours in almost as many colours as the houses.
Going back to facilities, the maid and the chauffeur only use their ’van loo in emergencies, and never use the shower, opting instead for the site’s utilities block. I can only imagine the hoo-ha (or ha-roooo-ha) if Ted and I needed the toilet and didn't make it outside. So quite often we all end up trekking across the grass for a ‘visit’ in the middle of the night.
It was on such a night, and a lovely site at Cromer in Norfolk, where we all witnessed a magical spectacle. Being a clear night and with no nearby streetlights, the conditions were perfect for us to enjoy a fantastic view of the Milky Way.
The only Milky Way I’d previously come across is the one I’m not allowed to eat – even though its noisy wrapper sends me scurrying into the kitchen when I hear one being taken out of the cupboard – but the celestial version was something totally different. I saw
more stars than I ever thought it was possible to see.
I bet the Club Site at West Runton, just outside Cromer, offers stunning star-scapes too, and it’s also perfect for pet pooches like Ted and I. Speaking of Ted, here’s one of my favourite pictures of him. Do you see a resemblance between my playmate and Sergei, from the ‘Compare the meerkat’ TV adverts (comparethemarket.com)?
Next month I’ll tell you about another great site for stargazing that’s also ideally situated for some of the bright lights of England’s south coast.
Travelling terrier Ted, together with his maid and chauffeur, visit campsites around the UK with Milly the caravan in tow. Ted offers tips for places to stay and shares some of his holiday capers.