Ah, Bank Holidays. The bliss of that extra 24hours making all the difference to the weekend.
I headed home to the coast for a little R&R and for some time out. Yes, whilst most people were heading to Ibiza/a festival/the nearest pub, I was hitting the M4 – my yellow brick road – to have some time with the parents and the puppies and the problem-free world of my very own Oz. Yes, at 20-something I still head home to be looked after by my Mum; don't tell me you don't enjoy it either.
The New Forest is a beautiful area where we're spoilt by having the best of both worlds – acres of National Park to ride and walk the dogs in and not see people and the freedom of being near the sea. Haven't been? Quick tips: Head to Lymington for bloody marys at The Haven looking at the yachts; check out achingly cool hotel, Limewood for, well everything, especially it's music festivals Smoked & Uncut (blog post here) and drive into the depths of the Forest to check out a pub called The Royal Oak at Fritham – it's literally a living room with a bar and it's brilliant.
When I get home though, the first thing I want to do is head to the sea and on a sun kissed evening, we head off, wine-in-hand to a little not-so-secret stretch of beach called Tanner's Lane.
There isn't a great deal there – which makes it perfect. In fact it's so perfect, some lucky person has their house right on the front, flirtily gazing over the stretch of water to the ever-so-close Isle of Wight.
It was a popular inlet during the area's chequered smuggling past and you can imagine the glamorous figure of Tom Johnston who was adored "by women, children and animals" (clearly a bit of hero of the Beckham mould of his time) unloading 'free goods', shaking his black pirate curls out of his face and ruthlessly dodging the authorities.
You can wade into the shallow waters, walk in the surf with the dogs and bravely look for adders in the sun traps closer to the fields which almost run down to the sand. And there's a rope swing, which I can never resist. It is pure Famous Five innocence – well apart from the bottle of bubbles sustenance that Family Stilettos In The Sticks has in their knapsack.
If you're local, then you'll know all about Tanner's Lane, but if you're not then...well I'm not too sure if I want to give you the exact location. As with all treasure, it's not worth its weight in gold bullion if you don't need to sniff out a map to find it. But do find it, because X does mark the spot and it really is worth it.