Poole to Swanage – a Photo Essay
Two hours by train from London is Dorset. This attractive region has plenty to offer, such as the hills of Dorset Area of Natural Beauty, the Jurassic Coast and Corfe Castle.
Me and a friend set out on a day trip to Poole, Dorset where we would take a sea cruise to Swanage. From there, I would hop on the steam train up to Corfe Castle.
It was a beautiful day at the start of October. The perfect day for a trip on the sea.
We arrived in Poole around noon and still had about an hour to spare before we were expected on the boat. We walked around Poole a little, but did not find many interesting sights. On the other hand, we found that Poole is good for shopping, as it has a long shopping street almost all the way from the train station to the quay. Including an indoor shopping center. Further down towards the quay we did find ‘historic Poole’, which has a number of beautiful buildings.
Our trip started around 1PM and we made our way from Poole Harbour to the sea. Along the way, we saw quite a few stately mansions, yachts and the odd fishermen.
Most interesting to see in the harbour was Brownsea Island, home to Brownsea Castle. This is the largest island in Poole harbour and is inhabited by a large variety of wildlife. It can be reached by public ferry and has several beaches as well.
Brownsea Island is also the place where Scouting was ‘invented.’ Robert Baden-Powell invited boys with different backgrounds from London to stay on the island for a week in 1907. The boys learned activities like camping, observation, woodcraft and lifesaving. The Scouting as we know it today was born.
Old Harry Rocks
Once exiting Poole Harbour, Harry Rocks quickly came into view. These three noticeable chalk formations are located on the isle of Purbeck. This is the most eastern starting point of the Jurassic Coast. This Unesco World Heritage Site stretches from Exmouth in East Devon to Studland Bay in Dorset.
Harry’s Rocks were quite a magnificent sight to see and many of us also took out their cameras for an attempt to capture the perfect shot. The blue skies above definitely helped creating success!
We soon enough arrived in the harbour of Swanage. Here we got off the boat and started to explore the area. While this charming town used to be a thriving fishing village in the Victorian era, now it mainly has visiting tourists on its grounds.
Swanage is perfectly catered to welcome tourists into town. There are ample of hotels, restaurants, tea rooms and shops. There is also a beach with colourful beach houses more to the west of the harbour.
After I had said goodbye to my friend – she had to head back to London – I made my way to Swanage railway station. I was very excited: this would be my very first time on a steam train! It sounds dull, I know, but steam trains are so much part of the British culture, that it was something that I had put on my UK bucket list.
Only a few minutes after my arrival, the steam train drove into the station. Steam came out of its chimney and it announced its arrival by sounding its ‘horn’ (what is the correct word for this?!).
Off we went! The journey up to Norden took the train about thirty minutes. Along the way I observed the green hills of the nature reserve near Swanage.
We also passed Corfe Castle. This was probably the highlight of the ride. In some sort of flashback I realised that I visited the site years ago with my family. Completely forgot about it. However, this time, the steam train, the beautiful weather and the castle on top of the hill created a memory that will stick with me for a long while to come. I am sure of that!
In order for me to catch the last boat back to Poole, I unfortunately did not have time to get off the train to take a look around. Therefore, I stayed on the train until it returned to Swanage and took the last boat service back to Poole.
Have you ever visited Dorset? What was your favourite part?