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
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.
Early morning views looking east along Highcliffe Beach.
Looking past the Steamer Point Nature Reserve towards Avon Beach and its rows of colourful beach huts.
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.
Fisherman cottages at Mudeford Quay.
The local fishermen were busy getting ready for the day. Lobster Pots, buoys and fishing nets piled high on the quay.
The Norman House and Christchurch Priory alongside the River Avon flowing through Christchurch.
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.
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 Pier with Studland Bay and the Isle of Purbeck in the background, where we will be heading in the afternoon.
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.
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.
Stopping for lunch at Wareham’s Saturday Market by the river.
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.
How cool is this! A Teddy Bear Zip Wire. Now we know why it was so busy at the castle 😉
Kids were queuing up to send their teddy bears (at quite some speed) down the line.
There were also traditional craft demonstrations, including this leather smith.
As Halloween was around the corner, the castle was suitably decorated.
Heading back to the sea at Studland Bay, there were great vistas back over Poole Harbour.
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.
The Dragon’s Teeth behind Studland Beach were used as defences against possible enemy tanks.
Old Harry Rocks at the south end of Studland Bay.
Looking back across a calm Swanage Bay.
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.
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.
Anvil Point Lighthouse right on the southern tip of the Durlston National Nature Reserve.
Rolling landscape driving down a small toll road through the Smedmore Estate to Kimmeridge Bay.
Clavell Tower above Kimmeridge Bay.
Bands of clay and bituminous shale crumbling down the Jurassic cliffs around the bay.
Canoe lessons in the sheltered bay, which is part of the Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve.
The rather grand Creech Grange near Steeple on the way to Lulworth.
Cute holiday-let cottages in the touristy village of Lulworth Cove.
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… 😉
Anyway, the actual cove itself was stunning.
Amazing rock formations above Stair Hole.
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.
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.
Back at the top of the cliff, even more stunning views to Bat’s Head.