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



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.



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.



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



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’.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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


Daily video

Day 40 – Worthing to Highcliffe

On day forty we started the next of our mini four day Coastal Road Trips, this time from Worthing in West Sussex to Plymouth in Devon.   Today we are heading as far as Highcliffe in Dorset, and the weather looks super for the end of October.


Photo of the day

Coastal Road Trip, St Leonards Grange, Sunstar, Sunbeam, Lane, Road, Tree, Brockenhurst, Hampshire
Dappled sunlight along the coastal country lane between Buckler’s Hard and Lymington.


Bognor Regis

Coastal Road Trip, Bognor Regis, Beach, Pier
We tried to make Elmer, west of Worthing, our first stop of the day, but we couldn’t find a way to the beach (seemed private access only).  So we continued passed the local Butlins to Bognor Regis Beach, with views west towards its pier.
Coastal Road Trip, Bognor Regis, Beach
Further along Bognor Regis Beach, and the view towards Pagham.



Coastal Road Trip, Selsey, East Beach
We then drove down the Manhood Peninsula towards Selsey Bill.   Doesn’t the beach look familiar?   To be honest many of the beaches along the West Sussex coastline seemed quite similar, nothing wrong with that, but just made the photos look quite similar too!
Coastal Road Trip, Selsey, Grafton Road, Tower
An interesting tower above what turned out to be a care-home, overlooking the most southerly point of Selsey’s Beach.


East Whitering

Coastal Road Trip, East Whitering, Beach, View to Porstmouth, Bracklesham Lane, Bracklesham Bay
Catching our first glimpse of Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower in the distance as we looked west along the coast from East Whitering’s Bracklesham Bay.



Coastal Road Trip, Chichester, Bill's, Coffee, Sister, Julian, Jarno
Dropping in for a quick coffee with Julian’s sister and brother-in-law in the county town of Chichester.  We ended up with a bit of a family day as we stayed with Julian’s parents in the evening, and also popped into visit one of his brother’s and his family.



Coastal Road Trip, Hayling Island, Beach, Seafront, View of Portsmouth
Hayling Island’s seafront, with the Funland Amusement Park just further down the beach.
Coastal Road Trip, Hayling Island, Beach, Seafront, Beach Huts
Yay, more beach huts to add to our beach-hut-photo-collection 😉



Coastal Road Trip, Eastney, Beach, Seaguls, Esplanade
Plenty of Seaguls at Eastney Beach.
Coastal Road Trip, Eastney, Beach, Beach Huts, Esplanade
A pair of legs enjoying the October sunshine!
Coastal Road Trip, Eastney, Royal Marines Museum, Statue, Sculpture, Esplanade
The Yomper Statue outside the now closed Royal Marines Museum (which will be moving to Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard).



Coastal Road Trip, Southsea, Southsea Castle Lighthouse
Southsea Castle from the 16th century, and its lighthouse from the 1820s, overlooking the Solent.
Coastal Road Trip, Southsea, Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Southsea Common
The Portsmouth Naval Memorial on the front of Southsea Common as we entered Portsmouth.



Coastal Road Trip, Portsmouth, Harbour Entrance, Solent, Yacht, Ferry, Pilot Boat
The Solent and the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour were bustling with activity, with all kinds of boats, ships, yachts, ferries…
Coastal Road Trip, Portsmouth, Harbour Entrance, Solent, Hovercraft, Yacht, Fort Monckton
… and hovercraft, sailing off in all directions.
Coastal Road Trip, Portsmouth, Harbour Entrance, Solent, Spitbank Fort, Yacht
Spitbank Fort sitting in the Solent, now a luxury hotel and venue.  We checked the price for a night stay, it was a little on the high side…. but afternoon tea is a little more reasonable 😉
Coastal Road Trip, Portsmouth, Spinnaker Tower
One of Portsmouth’s latest landmarks, the Spinnaker Tower that was opened in 2005.  We then drove past Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard.   There seemed to be a lot to see and do, so we’ll be back when we have more time to explore properly.



Coastal Road Trip, Calshot Castle, Calshot Spit, Fawley, Calshot
We then skirted around the Southampton Water, past Hamble, Southampton and Hythe and back down to Calshot Castle at the end of a spit overlooking The Solent.
Coastal Road Trip, Fawley, Refinery, Calshot Spit,
The views of Fawley Refinery, reminding us of Day 2’s view from Pembroke to Milford Haven.
Coastal Road Trip, Calshot, Redjet, Hi-Speed ferry, Yacht, Solent
Calshot Castle was a great vantage point for viewing the busy Solent.



Coastal Road Trip, Lepe, Lepe Country Park, Solent, Yacht
Our next stop at the Lepe Country Park.  The views across the Solent to Cowes on the Isle of Wight (and into the sun, hence the glow!).
Coastal Road Trip, Lepe Lighthouse, Beaulieu River Millennium Beacon
Lepe Lighthouse (AKA Beaulieu River Millennium Beacon) sticking out above the trees, just after Lepe Country Park.



Coastal Road Trip, Beaulieu, Mill Dam, River, The Mill House
Crossing over the Beaulieu River, we stopped to take pictures across the Mill Dam at Beaulieu.


Buckler’s Hard

Coastal Road Trip, Buckler's Hard, Beaulieu River
Buckler’s Hard on the west side of the Beaulieu River.
Coastal Road Trip, St Leonards Grange, Sunset, Fields, Meadow, Tree, Brockenhurst, Hampshire
Continuing on the coastal road from Buckler’s Hard, there were beautiful views across the fields near St Leonards Grange.
Coastal Road Trip, St Leonards Grange, Sunstar, Sunbeam, Lane, Road, Tree, Brockenhurst, Hampshire
Loved the soft sun-rays, and the dappled light on the country lane as we continued to Lymington.



Coastal Road Trip, Lymington, Harbour, Marina, Yachts, Boats
As we continued into the New Forest, we arrived at the major yachting harbour and marinas at Lymington, home to several world famous sailing regattas.
Coastal Road Trip, Lymington, Quay Street
The cobbled Quay Street.



Coastal Road Trip, Keyhaven, Boats, Hust Castle, Milford on Sea, Lymington
We stopped by Keyhaven near Milford on Sea, as we were curious if we could see Hurst Castle in the distance (we couldn’t).  The ferry to Hurst Castle leaves from Keyhaven, but we had missed the last one of the day.


Milford on Sea

Coastal Road Trip, Milford on Sea, Milford-on-Sea, Cliff Road, View to Hengistbury Head and Swanage, Sunset, Jarno
Jarno filming from the top of the cliffs at Milford on Sea, towards Hengistbury Head and Swanage.


Barton on Sea

Coastal Road Trip, Barton on Sea, Marine Drive East, View to Hengistbury Head and Swanage, Sunset, Dusk
As the sun set, we made our final stop of the day at Barton on Sea, before continuing to Highcliffe for the night.


Daily video