Monday, 31 May 2010

Sandbanks to Harry's Rocks

Second Day. Early start today, places to go, lots to do. A filling breakfast at the hostel. I was entertained by an amusing grey squirrel performing acrobatic manouvers just outside the dining room window on a hanging bird feeder. I quite like these cute 'tree rats', as some people call them.

I wasn't sure about parking at Sandbanks so I asked the chef for advice. He said ignore the large car park as you get there and carry on round the loop at the end, it is free parking with no restrictions on the road. He was right. I would have thought that all the posh residents would be up in arms about every Tom, Dick, or Harry parking right outside their multi million pound homes. I could see why they weren't that bothered though, high walls, electric security gates with intercoms, and tall trees giving ample screening to their investments. Once they have barricaded themselves into their little fortresses they couldn't give a toss about what was going on in the outside world.

Right at the end of the loop, at the entrance to Poole Harbour is a ferry which takes cars, buses and people travelling by any mode they wish, the short distance to the other side. It is very busy because it is a heck of a distance for anyone wanting to go to Swanage and the Isle of Purbeck by road. Just as I arrived it was getting ready for off, I quickly put my one pound coin in the machine and got a ticket.

This drive on drive off ferry is quite interesting, it does not travel across the water by it's own means, but is pulled by huge chains which go under the water. If you want to read more about this, here is the web site

The man in his crows nest driving, or is it piloting, the ferry.

It has room for 48 cars.

The huge chains which propel the diesel-hydraulic craft.

Stepping off the other side at South Haven Point, the view across Shell Bay.

I had intended to stay an hour or so there, just so I could say I had been on the ferry, but when I saw this sign for the South West Coast Path, I had to explore a little further.

I walked along the beach for over an hour and saw the white cliffs in the distance. In my dream like state and enjoying the glorious sunshine, I hadn't noticed the warning signs. Looking across to the sand dunes, I blinked and looked twice, then quickly looked away. It was a surprise to see people without any clothes on. Oh well, each to their own I suppose. I was more interested in the coastline up ahead.

Passing through the lanes of Studland I came across this pretty pub, The Bankers Arms, which was almost totally covered in a creeping ivy like plant. No time to stop, must press on, I have some ground to cover if I want to get back and take the other ferry to Brownsea Island.

It seemed a long trek to Old Harry, as the white rocks are named, I kept stopping briefly to admire the view. I came across two men with huge cameras on tripods who were filming right close to the edge. Me being nosey I asked if they wanted to film me, never one to miss an opportunity, ha ha. They said they were filming for a local TV news station because a dog had fallen over the cliffs a few days before. I wish they hadn't told me that, it certainly put a dampener on my day, the poor dog. Why are people so stupid as to let their animals wander loose in such a dangerous place.

I tried to put the dog to the back of my mind and took some more photo's. The scenery was certainly stunning.

These are The Pinnacles, just around the corner from Harry's Rocks.

I asked a nice young lady to take a photo of me, modelling my new sun visor.

The ferry coming out of Poole Harbour on it's way to France.

Time was getting on and I needed to get back pretty sharpish if I was going to Brownsea. I backtracked to Studland and took the footpath past this Norman Church.

At the other end I came out onto the road, aha, a bus stop. Oh good, there is a bus in ten minutes, lucky I have my pass with me. I hopped on and was back on the ferry in ten minutes, still on the bus. Did I get to Brownsea? Keep reading.


  1. I must go there! what a beautiful place and such a well written piece of travel writing.

  2. Wow! Loving your photos and story of your adventures, you take such great views. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Great photos, Ilona. Looks like the weather ws kind, too.

  4. I used to go camping on the Isle of Purbeck, with my kids, a tent and bikes in tow. We explored the whole island on the bikes, then. We loved holidays there. We also know the Sandbanks Ferry crossing very well. These pics bring back memories!

  5. Absolutely beautiful photos of the fantastic scenery Ilona. Glad you got to visit the beautiful Studland Beach (Shell Bay). I laughed when you said you saw the nudists LOL. A few years back I took some friends there with Clint and Kellie. I totally forgot it was a nudist beach! I got a shock when we came face to face with an old naked man. It didn't help that Kellie was only two at the time and kept pointing at him and calling him Dadda LMAO. I think this part of the country is the loveliest on the whole south coast.

  6. What a wonderful day you had and great photos. Just a beautiful location. I'm so looking forward to your next post:) Linda