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  1. I’ve wanted to walk the Lawrence of Arabia Trail for a while so I decided to do it as my Memory Walk for the Alzheimer’s Society.

    When you Google the Trail, every website suggests parking at the Tank Museum but you can only park there if you are going into the attraction so I asked for permission to park at The Walled Garden in Moreton with the promise of coming in for tea and cake when we finished.

    The main loop on the trail is just over 4 miles and once we left The Walled Garden we walked to the Ford nearby and started the trail by going over the bridge.  I begged for my husband to come along because I have a terrible sense of direction but actually the trail is really well signposted at every turn so I’m pretty sure I would have made it back without him anyway (although the company was much appreciated).

    Lawrence of Arabia Trail Moreton 2021 1

    Walking through Moreton Plantation was lovely, we hardly passed another person and it was really nice being out in the fresh air wandering through heathland.

    BeFunky Lawrence of Arabia

    Once we hit the section where you need to go on the road (turn right) I kept up on the grass verge as much as possible and because of this stretch I really wouldn’t recommend it for families with a buggy.  Luckily we didn’t need to go far and then we reached our first ‘Lawrence Landmark’ which was Clouds Hill.  The Cottage is now cared for by the National Trust and we met Gayle and Ray who very kindly let us take a couple of photos outside.  Ray was a wealth of information and keen to tell us about T.E. Lawrence and then we bought a few souvenir postcards from Gayle before begging to use the toilet haha.

    BeFunky Lawrence of Arabia 2

    Further down the road (approx 200m away), there’s a lay by and this is where you’ll find the memorial marking the crash site where Lawrence sadly lost his life in 1935.  The story goes that he was on his motorbike going over the brow of the hill and swerved to avoid 2 young boys on bikes.  Conspiracy theorists believe though that he was assassinated on the orders of the British Intelligence community after powerful figures opposed Sir Winston Churchill’s plans to install him as the new head of the organisation.  Either way, the accident was very sad and a shock to all of those who admired him.

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    After a nice picnic we crossed the road and took the path which is almost opposite and walked through woodland meeting several horse riders and walkers.  Keep an eye on the signposts and more or less keep going right until you get back to the path which you should recognise from the beginning and then take a left - unless you want to do it all again of course.

    BeFunky Lawrence of Arabia 3

    Before you know it you’ll be walking back over the bridge and then before you get to The Walled Garden you’ll see a sign on your left for St Nicholas Church.  With there being a small churchyard here we searched every stone for Lawrence’s grave and it wasn’t until we noticed a postcard inside the church which looked nothing like the graves outside that we knew he wasn’t here. I sheepishly asked a member of the public if they knew where he was and they kindly informed me that we was actually not at his final resting place and that we needed to walk further up the road to the Churchyard.

    BeFunky Lawrence of Arabia 4

    Our walk took 2 hours 45 minutes which is quite long for a 4ish mile walk and this was mainly because the grandparents had the kids and we weren’t in a rush to go home hehe. It was quite nice not being asked for a snack every few minutes and being able to talk to strangers without hearing ‘I’m bored’ in the background!

    To congratulate myself we went in The Walled Garden for a cream tea which was delicious and because my husband isn’t one for tea we went to The Seven Stars after so we could sit by a roaring fire while he enjoyed a pint.

    The Walled Garden Cream Tea 2021

    About the Charity…………

    Somebody develops Dementia every 3 minutes, it doesn’t discriminate, it devastates lives and right now there’s no cure.  The Alzheimer’s Society provides information and support, funds research and are creating a dementia-friendly society so people living with the condition can live with fear and prejudice.

    I was thrilled to raise £110 for The Alzheimer’s Society and I’m very grateful to everyone who donated to this deserving charity.  Thank you all of you.  Fiona xxx

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  2. A little while ago our family enjoyed a hot tub at home from Hoppin’ Hot Tub Hire and we’ve missed it every day since it’s been gone haha.  Hoppin’ Hot Tub Hire was set up during the pandemic and is run by 2 local mums and their families who understand the importance of taking time out to unwind and relax.

    The customer service from booking to collection was brilliant and we were told that if we needed any advice or assistance during the hire period that they would be on hand.  The set up was fairly quick and easy but of course you need to wait a few hours for the water to warm up to the right temperature.  When the children got in from school I warned them that it was still a bit cold but they didn’t care and jumped in anyway.  When I checked it in the morning I was so excited to see the steam and feel the hot water.  I had planned for my mum to come over because I know how much she loves bubbles and we spent a good couple of hours sat in it.  We did chuckle when I got out to go make us a cup of tea and realised it was actually time to go and get the children from school so we had to fly around like headless chickens throwing our clothes on so we wouldn’t be late!

    Luckily the children were going to stay at their grandparents that evening because myself and my husband were celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary so we planned an early dinner at a restaurant so that we could be back at home in the hot tub by 9pm.  This was probably my most favourite time of the week, it was dark by now so we had the lights on and with the water turned up to hot hot hot neither of us cared that it was cold outside.  I was well rehearsed in having towels and dressing gowns ready and along with our plastic camping wine glasses I popped open the bottle of Processo which came with the hot tub.  We were again out in the garden for a few hours and did nothing but talk and enjoy each others company.  It was by far my favourite anniversary and certainly beat the half dead supermarket flowers I normally receive!

    The following morning I had a friend over and with us still being child free we had the time to catch up on life before we went to a festival (arriving late again because we lost track of time haha).

    For everyday thereafter, when the children were at home they begged non stop to go in and I’d have dinner prepared so that we could all go in straight after school for an hour before I started cooking.  We were given a cool hammock which the kids took turns playing with and I found a couple of inflatable camping pillows at home which were good to lean on.  The children preferred having the bubbles off so we’d switch every now and again so that I could enjoy it as much as them.  Once the darlings were in bed my husband would sneak out there and enjoy some time on his own.  He’s never actually been one for enjoying jucazzi’s but said that because the air was cold he could enjoy it without getting too hot. 
    The fun memories we created during that week will certainly stay with me for a long time.  The children just loved every second of being in there and always whined when it was time to come out.  I have already hinted to my husband that it’ll make a nice treat again for my winter birthday so fingers crossed he doesn’t forget.

    BeFunky Hoppin Hot Tub

    Hoppin’ Hot Tub Hire have very kindly offered a Back to School promotion with 20% off bookings in October and November 2021 when quoting Dorsetmums.  They operate throughout Dorset so regardless of whether you have a special occasion coming up or not I’d really recommend them.

    The team will set everything up for you and give you clear instructions, leave spare filters, chemicals and other things you might need plus hot tub cover to keep the heat in, cup holders, a funky light for in the water, gazebo (with sides if you would prefer privacy or no gazebo at all if you’d like to stare at the stars), pool hammock, fairy lights and of course a bottle of bubbles which you can share or keep to yourself.  At the end of the hire period they will kindly ask for you to empty the water (they’ll provide what you need) and will clean and pack everything away. 

    If you would like more information, please visit Hoppin Hot Tub Hire or email [email protected]

    Dorsetmums Hoppin Hot Tub Hire