Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Day 3 Bournemouth, Corfe Castle and Swanage, ( Monday Bank Holiday, May 27)

Our third day, we had planned on another early start, but it turned out, I wasn't feeling well in the AM.  JT walked off to see Maiden Castle, a pre-Roman hill-fort outside Dorchester,  while I got some more sleep, and he took some lovely photos.
On his return, I was feeling better, and we took the train to Bournemouth.   

Bournemouth was rather a surprise- JT said it reminded him of Waikiki- lots of modern tall hotels, with a vast sweep of beach in front of them.  Bournemouth sits on a cliff beside the harbor so we walked down a long switch-backed trail to get down to the waterfront.  The wind was very strong and chilly.  There were intrepid English beachgoers out on the sand...but it was noticeable that the only ones actually sunbathing were the ones with windbreaks so they could huddle in their lee.   And only a few children were doing more than wading in the water.
We walked along the beachfront to the pier, and I got a sandwich.   JT found nothing that interested him, and we turned back to the train station, to move along to our planned coast walk.  Serendipitously, however, we found street fair with food, and JT was able to get an intriguing spicy meat and rice dish which was much more to his taste.  
Back at the station, we took a train to the charming small village of Wareham, where we found a tourist information point at the local library, with a helpful librarian who found us trail maps and gave us useful local knowledge about buses.  We bought bus tickets to Swanage (another seacoast town) and back, but got off to see the stunning ruins of Corfe Castle, which was blown up by Parliamentarian forces in the English Civil war.  The force of the blast has left the ruins at crazy angles- it's an eerie off-kilter sight.
We walked round the outside of the castle, but the day was getting later and the castle was filled with people hosting a dog show, so we bypassed the tour and picked up the Purbeck trail, a hiking trail that led to the coast.
The scenery was fantastic, but we lost the trail and emerged on the road to Kingston.  We walked into Kingston on the road, which was rather harrowing (since it was one of the narrow sort with heavy traffic and no shoulders), and took a much quieter road out of the town down toward the sea.    We passed more fields of sheep and finally picked up the coast path within sight of the sea.  
At that point I was forced to admit that I was running out of steam, between having felt unwell in the morning and only eaten lightly.   We took the coast path along as far as Worth Matravers, where I finished the food I had with me, and then crossed along the hilltop road to Langton Matravers, and took the bus the rest of the way to Swanage.    The view along the hilltops was amazing.
We were both disappointed not to get more walking in, and I must give JT superior husband points here, as he was very supportive.
Swanage proved to be another charming seaside village, but already on the point of closing down.  
We had a snack and some hot chocolate in a coffeeshop and returned to Wareham for dinner, where I encountered (and defeated, with some assistance from JT) a club sandwich of inordinate size.   We again returned late to Dorchester and most uncharacteristically the sky dripped on us on the way back to our hotel.  We were somewhat nonplussed, as we have rarely had this experience in England.
And here are more photos:
rfholly's Day 3 album on Photobucket

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