I am afraid I went backwards today! Racked by guilt at having done the Swanage bit before finishing Bournemouth, I was keen to get out early. The logical thing, given car complications was to start in Swanage and go east. Jane and I set out at about 10.30am. The first leg was a steep drop and then up again onto the headland which leads out to the Needles. The cliffs were quite different from yesterday – less wooded and flatter.
It was a beautiful day and there were plenty of other people on the walk. From the headland, we could see all the way down to Studland, Poole Harbour and Southampton. It seemed odd to be walking with sea on my right and the sun behind me.
We came down from the cliffs and reached the beach at Studland around 11.30. From there, it was 3 miles or so of beach – trying to keep to the firm sand at the water’s edge, rather than the soft sand which is difficult for walking. The sand was much paler than that at Bournemouth, which is quite golden. We crossed Poole Harbour on the incredibly noisy chain link ferry, and then continued along Sandbanks and Bournemouth beach before heading back up to the station. The houses overlooking the sea at Sandbanks are very grand – apparently extremely expensive too, but I preferred Swanage. It was an uneventful day – I am quite blasé about naturists now and took the naturist beach completely in my stride. Having felt yesterday as though I were finally in the south west, I felt right back in a semi-urban world again – very keen to start travelling west again – in the right order and direction!