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.
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
Dappled sunlight along the coastal country lane between Buckler’s Hard and Lymington.
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.
Further along Bognor Regis Beach, and the view towards Pagham.
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!
An interesting tower above what turned out to be a care-home, overlooking the most southerly point of Selsey’s Beach.
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.
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.
Hayling Island’s seafront, with the Funland Amusement Park just further down the beach.
Yay, more beach huts to add to our beach-hut-photo-collection 😉
Plenty of Seaguls at Eastney Beach.
A pair of legs enjoying the October sunshine!
The Yomper Statue outside the now closed Royal Marines Museum (which will be moving to Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard).
Southsea Castle from the 16th century, and its lighthouse from the 1820s, overlooking the Solent.
The Portsmouth Naval Memorial on the front of Southsea Common as we entered Portsmouth.
The Solent and the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour were bustling with activity, with all kinds of boats, ships, yachts, ferries…
… and hovercraft, sailing off in all directions.
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 😉
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.
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.
The views of Fawley Refinery, reminding us of Day 2’s view from Pembroke to Milford Haven.
Calshot Castle was a great vantage point for viewing the busy Solent.
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!).
Lepe Lighthouse (AKA Beaulieu River Millennium Beacon) sticking out above the trees, just after Lepe Country Park.
Crossing over the Beaulieu River, we stopped to take pictures across the Mill Dam at Beaulieu.
Buckler’s Hard on the west side of the Beaulieu River.
Continuing on the coastal road from Buckler’s Hard, there were beautiful views across the fields near St Leonards Grange.
Loved the soft sun-rays, and the dappled light on the country lane as we continued to Lymington.
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.
The cobbled Quay Street.
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
Jarno filming from the top of the cliffs at Milford on Sea, towards Hengistbury Head and Swanage.
Barton on Sea
As the sun set, we made our final stop of the day at Barton on Sea, before continuing to Highcliffe for the night.