British Coastal Road Trip

Day 41 – Highcliffe to Weymouth

On day forty-one we are continuing our road-trip along the Dorset coast from Highcliffe.  We will then follow the beautiful Jurassic Coast (a World Heritage Site) from Studland Bay, as we continue to Weymouth.

 

Photo of the day

Coastal Road Trip, Durdle Door
Durdle Door

 

Highcliffe

Coastal Road Trip, Highcliffe Castle
Our first stop of the day at Highcliffe Castle, considered one of the best remaining examples of Romantic and Picturesque style architecture in the country.
Coastal Road Trip, Highcliffe, Beach, Lifesaver, Steamer Point Nature Reserve
Early morning views looking east along Highcliffe Beach.
Coastal Road Trip, Highcliffe, Beach, View to Avon Beach, Steamer Point Nature Reserve
Looking past the Steamer Point Nature Reserve towards Avon Beach and its rows of colourful beach huts.

 

Mudeford

Coastal Road Trip, Mudeford Quay, Telescope, Mudeford Sandbank, Hengistbury Head
A tranquil Mudeford Quay.  We had never seen it so quiet (tip – go 8am in the morning!).  On the other side of the water, the tip of Hengistbury Head and its pricey beach huts.
Coastal Road Trip, Mudeford Quay, Fisherman Cottages
Fisherman cottages at Mudeford Quay.
Coastal Road Trip, Mudeford Quay, Fishing Nets, Lobster Pots
The local fishermen were busy getting ready for the day.  Lobster Pots, buoys and fishing nets piled high on the quay.

 

Christchurch

Coastal Road Trip, Christchurch, Dorset, Church, River Avon, Norman House
The Norman House and Christchurch Priory alongside the River Avon flowing through Christchurch.

 

Boscombe

Coastal Road Trip, Boscombe, Beach, Overcliff Drive, Beach Huts
Looking east from Overcliff Drive above Boscombe Beach.  In the distance you can just make out The Needles on the western tip of the Isle of Wight.
Coastal Road Trip, Boscombe Pier
A touch of Hollywood in Dorset… Boscombe Pier was recently used in the filming of Dame Joan Collins’ latest film ‘The Times of Their Lives’.

 

Bournemouth

Coastal Road Trip, Bournemouth, Pier, Beach
Bournemouth Pier with Studland Bay and the Isle of Purbeck in the background, where we will be heading in the afternoon.

 

Branksone Chine Beach

Coastal Road Trip, Branksone chine beach
It had been a glorious morning until we arrived at lovely sandy Branksone Shine Beach, when suddenly grey clouds started forming above our heads.

 

Sandbanks

Coastal Road Trip, Sanbanks, Poole Harbour, Boats
We looped around Sandbanks to nosey at the flashy houses (one the most expensive areas of real-estate in the UK).   Unimpressed, we had a quick stop at Sandbanks Beach, then continued around a rather grey Poole Harbour.

 

Wareham

Coastal Road Trip, Wareham, Market, Church Green, The Old Granary
Stopping for lunch at Wareham’s Saturday Market by the river.

 

Corfe Castle

Coastal Road Trip, Corfe Castle
Corfe Castle in the middle of the Isle of Purbeck.  It was a really busy day at the National Trust property.  Lots of families were out enjoying the sunshine that had gratefully reappeared.
Coastal Road Trip, Corfe Castle, Teddy Bear Zip Wire, Sign, National Trust
How cool is this!  A Teddy Bear Zip Wire.  Now we know why it was so busy at the castle 😉
Coastal Road Trip, Corfe Castle, Teddy Bear Zip Wire, Flying Bear, National Trust
Kids were queuing up to send their teddy bears (at quite some speed) down the line.
Coastal Road Trip, Corfe Castle, Leather Smith, Demonstration, National Trust
There were also traditional craft demonstrations, including this leather smith.
Coastal Road Trip, Corfe Castle, Pumpkins, Halloween, Jock-o'-lantern
As Halloween was around the corner, the castle was suitably decorated.

 

Studland

Coastal Road Trip, Road from Corfe Castle to Studland, B3351, Poole Harbour
Heading back to the sea at Studland Bay, there were great vistas back over Poole Harbour.
Coastal Road Trip, Studland Beach, Knoll Beach, Studland Bay, Sandbanks Beach
Studland Beach was surprisingly busy with walkers.  The beach stretched passed Knoll Beach, all the way around Studland Bay and Shell Bay, almost back to Sandbanks on the other side of the Poole Harbour entrance.
Coastal Road Trip, Studland Beach, Dragon's Teeth, National Trust
The Dragon’s Teeth behind Studland Beach were used as defences against possible enemy tanks.
Coastal Road Trip, Studland Beach, Coastal Road Trip, Studland Beach, Old Harry Rocks, National Trust
Old Harry Rocks at the south end of Studland Bay.

 

Swanage

Coastal Road Trip, Swanage, Beach, Bay
Looking back across a calm Swanage Bay.

 

Durlston Head

Coastal Road Trip, Durlston National Nature Reserve, Durlston Bay, Swanage Bay, Old Harry Rocks
Waiting for a coffee and a cake at Durlston Castle, allowed us time to take in the great views back along the coast past Durlston Bay, Swanage Bay and the Old Harry Rocks.
Coastal Road Trip, The Great Globe, Durlston National Nature Reserve, Durlston Castle
The Great Globe, at Durlston National Nature Reserve.  One of the largest stone spheres in the world.  It was constructed in Greenwich from Portland stone in 1887 then shipped to Swanage.
Coastal Road Trip, Anvil Point Lighthouse, Durlston National Nature Reserve
Anvil Point Lighthouse right on the southern tip of the Durlston National Nature Reserve.

 

Kimmerage

Coastal Road Trip, Kimmeridge Bay, Smedmore Estate, Toll Road, Lane
Rolling landscape driving down a small toll road through the Smedmore Estate to Kimmeridge Bay.
Coastal Road Trip, Kimmeridge Bay, Smedmore Estate, Clavell Tower
Clavell Tower above Kimmeridge Bay.
Coastal Road Trip, Kimmeridge Bay, Cliffs, Beach, Smedmore Estate,
Bands of clay and bituminous shale crumbling down the Jurassic cliffs around the bay.
Coastal Road Trip, Kimmeridge Bay, Canoe, Cliffs, Beach, Smedmore Estate,
Canoe lessons in the sheltered bay, which is part of the Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve.

 

Steeple

Coastal Road Trip, Steeple, Creech Grange
The rather grand Creech Grange near Steeple on the way to Lulworth.

 

Lulworth

Coastal Road Trip, Lulworth, Cove, Cottage
Cute holiday-let cottages in the touristy village of Lulworth Cove.
Coastal Road Trip, Lulworth, Cove, Panorama
Parking in the village was expensive, everyone at the ticket machine was moaning and joking at the cost, which is a bit of shame when you feel ripped-off before you’ve even visited the place.  We weren’t really impressed with the shops or information centre either.  Shame the land isn’t managed by the National Trust.  OK rant over… 😉
Coastal Road Trip, Lulworth, Cove, Julian, Jarno
Anyway, the actual cove itself was stunning.
Coastal Road Trip, Lulworth, Cove, Stair Hole
Amazing rock formations above Stair Hole.

 

Durdle Door

Coastal Road Trip, Durdle Door, Man O'War Beach, St Oswald's Bay
Our final stop of the day at Durdle Door, before driving to Weymouth.  More stunning coastal landscapes and views, looking down on Man O’War Beach and St Oswald’s Bay.
Coastal Road Trip, Durdle Door
Walking down a steep coastal path and steps, we arrived at Durdle Door.  Fortunately it wasn’t too busy, as it was the end of the day.
Coastal Road Trip, Durdle Door, Bat's Head
Back at the top of the cliff, even more stunning views to Bat’s Head.

 

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