I have recently finished walking the English coast. This blog is meant as a help/guide for someone doing the same thing.I hope to complete all the posts within the next 6 months. Go to the archive of past months and years to access all previous posts. Composite, rather amateurish photos are on the early walks as I had not acquired a digital camera. Any corrections of errors/ additional facts gratefully received. Enjoy the coast!
Thursday, 6 February 2014
Walk 111 Bournemouth to Poole (Dorset)
Bournemouth to Poole (Dorset)
(Second leg of
English coastal walk – Broadstairs to Lands End)
Map: L/R 195
Distance: 13 miles or 20km approx.
Difficulty: quite easy
Terrain: paths/ pavement
Access: Parking at both ends
Public transport: Rail and bus links Bournemouth/Poole
Start the walk at Bournemouth Pier. Follow the cycle route
along the coast as marked on the OS map.
The first main feature is Alum Chine. It gets its name from
an unsuccessful attempt to mine alum (a fixative used in the dye industry) and
copperas (a black die used in ink). It proved uneconomical and mining ceased by
the end of the 17th century. If you enjoy gardens, look out for the
Alum Chine Tropical Gardens which can be viewed from a special platform.
There are a few chines (wooded valleys) along this stretch
including Flag Head Chine and Canford Cliffs Chine. The valley at Branksome
Chine cuts inland for about 1.5 miles.
Continue walking to Poole Head then follow the cycle track
over the B3369 where it continues towards Sandbanks. Take a stroll along here
where the view is to Brownsea Island and Poole. Much of the coast around
Sandbanks is inaccessible because the gardens of some very expensive housing
run down to the beach. This area has one of the highest (probably the highest)
property values in the UK. I understand several celebrities and Premiership
footballers live here.
After the stroll turn around and follow the road (a bit of a
route march in parts) around to Poole then walk around Parkstone Bay following
the cycle route. The entrance to Poole Harbour is soon reached.
Poole has been a port since the 12th century
prospering during the height of the wool trade to become one of the busiest
ports in the UK in the 18th century. It also prospered as a base for
privateers (had a licence from the government to act moreless like pirates) and
in 1405 was sacked (attacked and plundered) in vengeance by the French and
Spanish. During World War 2 it was one
of the main departure points for the D Day landings. Sixty cutters of the US
Coastguard Rescue service were stationed here – they were completely made of
The harbour, the largest natural one in Europe, is full of
extremely expensive looking boats – some under construction. There is a double
high tide which means it remains high for more than half the day.
On the harbour side, look out for the seated figure of Baden
Powell. This is a memorial to the man who organised the first scout camp at
nearby Brownsea Island. (Details on next walk). A sculpture called ‘Sea Music’
by the artist Sir Anthony Caro is also at the edge of the harbour. The HQ of
the RNLI together with the lifeboat college can be found further round on the
walk to Holes Bay with its odd sculptures on the harbour side. At Holes Bay
return to Poole centre and bus/train/car.
Snaps show: coast near Branksome Chine; 'Sea Music' sculpture, Poole; a view to Sandbanks; Poole Harbour.