The Purbeck Breezer

We’re heading down to Weymouth for a huge family get together at the weekend – so decided to have a couple of nights in Poole, en route, in order to fit in a day’s coastal walking .. and a ‘U’ for the parkrun alphabet!

Our original plan was to walk 14 miles today but at the last moment we replanned this to an 8 mile walk. To be honest, I am still feeling the after affects of the covid I had 4 weeks ago – can’t believe how long the general lack of energy lingers. This turned out to be a fabulous decision as we both said this had been one of our favourite walks to date. It had everything – hills, woodlands, cliffs, sun, sea and sand, blue skies, pleasant walking conditions, a gentle breeze … and a lovely boat to round it all off.

We left our airbnb at a reasonable time, rather than the crack of dawn, and caught the ‘Purbeck Breeze’ bus to Swanage. We sat upstairs to admire the amazing Dorset countryside views (there’s nothing like it) and we travelled through beautiful places like Wareham (my place of birth), Corfe Castle and Langton Matravers, finally reaching the beautiful seaside town of Swanage.

As we walked along the Swanage promenade we could see a vision of steepness ahead – oh goody! When we reached it there was an initial climbing of steps but after each phase of ascent there was an equal distance of flat. Turned out it was as the guide had suggested – ‘undulating’ … I love that word, I get great satisfaction out of saying it!! Having said that, the final uphill bit was a trifle gruelling but definitely mustn’t grumble as the rest of the day’s walk was a total breeze.

We followed the Purbeck Way along to the stunning spectacle of Old Harry Rocks – quite a crowd today, half-term walkers. One legend said that the devil (Old Harry) slept on these rocks! A bit dodgy getting near to the edge but we were oh so brave.

After a spot of picnic lunch we hit the Studland Woodland path which led us to the fabulous Studland Beach – a sheltered bay with golden sand and beach huts. We couldn’t believe it was the end of October – it could have been a summer’s day. Warm and sunny, so many children playing in the sand, plenty of swimmers – just generally busy. So wished I could have stopped for a swim.

On the way to the beach we had passed “The Pig at Studland” restaurant with rooms – looked fascinating. Would definitely like to try it out one day.

It was a long trek along Studland Beach, passing the notice which informed us of the Nudist section. Being a bit chilly it wasn’t heavily populated – but we did see amongst the sand dunes one chap in a cap, but nothing else, braving the elements.

And so we made it to South Haven Point where we caught the ferry over to Sandbanks which was, as usual, basking in its microclimate sunniness.

From there we hopped onto a ‘Purbeck Breezer’ back into the town of Poole, enjoying the luxury views of Sandbanks and Canford Cliffs on the way. Back to our humble Airbnb which has disco lighting, no heating and a list of rules as long as your arm!

We’ll be up early in the morning to tackle the Upton House parkrun – a ‘U’ for the collection – hopefully it’ll be a breeze.

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