Guided tour from Bournemouth
From Bournemouth, I did a guided tour to visit Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door and Corfe Castle. The itinerary was: Ferry from Poole Harbour to the Isle of Purbeck - Studland Beach - Swanage - cliff top walk at Durlston Country Park - Corfe Castle - Kimmeridge (fossil hunting) - Lulworth Cove, Durdle Door, Man O'War.
It was a beautiful day and I enjoyed everything we saw and did, it was simply stunning and the itinerary was very good. Unfortunately, though, the guide was not good and in fact one of the worst guides I ever had. However, I still believe that it is a good company. They sent a questionnaire about the tour afterwards and I wrote that the guide was not good, and they got back to me asking for further details. They were very friendly and promised to talk about it with the guide. I had the impression that they really cared about my feedback. Thus, I would definitely book with this company again.
I did the "Jurassic Coast" tour with them, but they also have a few others on offer, for example one to the Isle of Wight, one to the New Forest, and several "Express Tours" to places like Oxford and Bath. All tours leave from Bournemouth. The tours are small group tours in a small bus with no more than sixteen passengers.
Their website is: www.discoverdorset.co.uk
As you can see, Studland Bay is a stop on this tour and we spent about twenty minutes on the beach. It was a good stop because the beach was so nice, but as obvious we did not see anything else of Studland. I am happy that I got this small impression, but to really explore the area you need to come here by your own or a hired car, and need to spend much more time here.
Picture 1 & 2: Man O'War and Durdle Door in Lulworth
Picture 3 & 4: Corfe Castle
Picture 5: Clifftop Walk in Durlston Country Park, Swanage
Studland Beach is formed of different sections, namely Shell Bay, Knoll Beach, Middle Beach and South Beach. The stretch where we stopped was Knoll Beach. It is something like the main part, because there is an information point, a BBQ area, bathrooms, a parking lot, a small shop and a first aid room. Most of this was closed on this morning in March, though, and we were almost the only people here, apart from some lonely walkers.
It was a beautiful morning, very cold, but sunny and clear. The beach just looked fabulous - had I seen a picture, I would never have guessed that this was in England! So white was the sand and so blue the sea!
From the dunes, we had a wonderful view of the sea and the stretch of sand, and down on the beach it was perfect for a walk. There were large patches of some kind of seaweed which you shouldn't walk on because it is rather dirty, but I don't know what it was.
- Hiking and Walking
Ferry to Purbeck Island - Poole Harbour
In the beginning of the Jurassic Coast day trip, we took the ferry from Poole Harbour to the Isle of Purbeck in order to get to Studland and further.
Poole Harbour is a large natural harbour and with 36squ.km, it is one of the biggest in the world. Our guide told as that it is second only to Sydney Harbour - I am not sure because there are evidently several huge harbours in the world, but well, Poole Harbour is certainly one of the larger ones. It is only very shallow, though (the average depth is only 48cm).
There are several islands within the harbour, the most popular one being Brownsea Island. It is not an important harbour for trading anymore, but there are still ferries stopping here, as well as yachts and small private boats. While the town of Poole is located in the northern side of the harbour, the others sides are mostly nature reserves and protected areas.
As mentioned before, we took the small car ferry to the Isle of Purbeck. The passage only takes a few minutes, and it is much faster than driving around the whole length of the harbour would be. While we waited for the ferry, we had some time to wander around the shore and have a quick look. It was quite chilly and I did not feel good because I still recovered from a heavy cold, but I enjoyed the atmosphere.
From Bournemouth, this is definitely the quickest way to get to Studland!
Old Harry Rocks
From the beach in Studland, you can see Old Harry Rocks, two big chalk stacks that you can see from almost every point at the coast in this region. I took another picture from Bournemouth, where they were also visible very well.
Old Harry Rocks are located on the Isle of Purbeck and they form the most easterly point of the Jurassic Coast - this world heritage designated area starts here and goes all the way up to Exmouth in the west. Here in the east, there is the youngest part of the coast, and Old Harry Rocks are about 65 mio years old. The rocks were made by erosion - the permanent movement and pressure of the sea slowly erodes the coast and parts of it break down, while some parts that are sturdier are left to stand. These rocks originally were an arch, the middle part of the arch broke down, though and left only these few pillars.
Old Harry Rocks is quite a funny name, I think. There are two theories as to how this name developed: One is connected to a story of the devil who slept on these rocks, Old Harry is just another name for the devil. Another story says that the rocks were named after a pirate who lived in Poole.
Train to the Castle
We took the steam train into Corfe and visited the castle. We did this the last time we were here, but it was in a driving rain storm. This time we walked around to the visitor center which was very nice. We also ate our lunch on the grass inside the castle walls. After we'd seen all we wanted to, we took the train back to Swanage,
- Family Travel
- Castles and Palaces
Go for a walk!
Studland bay is not only a phantastic beach, it is also a Nature Reserve. Instead of heading straight for the sea walk through the wild landscape and enjoy the change of scenery.
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel