I have the opportunity to explore Dorset as my son is now living there. So far I have visited twice, once in December and then more recently at Easter. The photos are from both visits, both times we were fortunate to have enjoyed some lovely sunshine, but also some pics are rain splattered-apologies but such is the English weather. I am sure I will be able to add to this thread in the coming months but for now here is just a taster. My son lives in Wimborne Minster, a market town in East Dorset mostly known for its … Minster and its model town which I have yet to visit. The Minster was built in Saxon times , added to by the Normans . It houses a chained library and a an astronomical clock, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wimborne_Minster_astronomical_clock
The twin towers of the Minster dominate the town,
The 14th century clock..
Wimborne street life
I lost count of the number of pubs, so many for such a small town,
The above is also a hotel, and I stayed here at Easter- great value rooms at £55 a night
Last Edit: Nov 15, 2015 19:55:14 GMT by bixaorellana: Changed title to reflect that thread was up dated Nov. 2015.
Close by is Poole – one of, the largest natural harbours in Europe. I first travelled on the chain ferry which cuts road distances across the harbour in December. To get to the chain ferry you travel down Sandbanks, a sand spit with some of the most expensive property in the UK.
A conservative estimate puts the collective value of this architectural hotchpotch ( much loved by the footballing fraternity) is around £60 million plus
But what stunning views they have
On board- the crossing takes just a few minutes at the cost of £3.50 per car
On the other side is Shell Bay beach, perfect for a walk on a December day when the sun is shining.
The beach huts are closed for the winter, the kayaks locked up too, and the yachts hauled out of the water
But the café is open, it’s a nice place to have a drink, admire the views and watch the wildlife
Old Harry’s rocks, ( the start of the Jurassic coast)
Good views can be had of the Isle of White and Bournemouth
Crossing the harbour by way of the chain ferry again this Easter we past Shell Bay and continued on to explore more of the area and the Jurassic coast. jurassiccoast.org/
Our first planned stop was slightly inland from the coast to view Corfe and its castle. However we took the opportunity to stop to admire Poole harbour from a view point. The chain ferry crosses where the sea narrows to almost touching and can be seen on the photos below,
Corfe is a very pretty Dorset village with many of the houses constructed from the stones of the castle,
For ex Enid Blyton fans
The castle itself is now just a ruin, but is pretty impressive
There were various events being held in the grounds …
…but we did not join in, choosing instead sat in the garden of a café and enjoyed the sun, views and a Dorset cream tea, with a difference. Cheese scones, onion marmalade and cream cheese served with a pot of tea of course.
Fortunately the calories were worked off quite quickly at our next stop.
We travelled back to the coast through the Isle of Purbeck, which is not an island at all, nor is the Isle of Portland although these photos explain in part why the inhabitants of Portland call themselves islanders.
It was a steep climb down (and of course an even steeper climb backup) to our goal, but the views also took our breath away.
Parts of the path have had to be re-routed following large landslides during the Winter storms,
The colours of the sea were almost Maldive like at times
The good weather meant that kayakers were out in force
So …finally our goal was Durdle Door
I did not take many pics on the way back up! Just one as I admired the variety of shades of sand.
That is all for now but I will add more to this thread over the coming months as I re-visit this lovely county.
Wow, Lugg, that looks absolutely spectacular. I agree with you that the colours of the sea remind one of the Maldives, but I suspect that the temperature of the water is not quite the same.
I always find the look of those little English towns so interesting. In a way, they are exactly like the little French towns while being totally different. I think that if all of the shop signs and other distinguishing items were stripped away and replaced by French signs instead, most of it would look like Picardy, so the two cultures are not as different as they sometimes think they are. One thing that is identical on both sides of the Channel are the chalk cliffs.
I don't think that I would accept to pay the price of those houses in Sandbanks. They must be really spectacular inside because from what I can see of the exteriors in your photos, they don't seem particularly impressive -- and they seem a bit crowded together, but that might just be the effect of the zoom. I know that in Le Touquet (where a vast number of the expensive houses are British-owned), each mansion seems to set on an individual hectare of gardens.
Arriving very late to this fabulous treat of a thread, but now look forward to going back & enjoying it again.
Bjd mentioned Martha Grimes. That's not the writer who immediately came to my mind, but all of the coastal pictures seem to come out of any number of English novels I've read. What a thrill to see how closely they match what I'd imagined. And of course, speaking of books, the Enid Blyton place would be the icing on the cake. I should also mention how really beautiful your pictures of the cliffs, coves, and sand are.
Looking forward to your next visit and report. Be careful around that castle, though!
I'm late as well to see this fantastic photo-essay! Absolutely wonderful Lugg. I love the pale azure blue and aquamarine of the shallow sea because of all the white chalky cliff breaking off. I am happy to say I have a lovely chunk of it with my stone collection! I recognise all the names of the places you mention from reading "The Sea On Our Left" by Shally Hunt. I know the coast path to Durdle Door was where you followed in her and Richard's footsteps.
In your second photo in reply#1 you can see in the distance (just on the horizon) the gentle rising silhouettes of the Purbeck Hills beyond the heathlands of Studland. Shally and Richard were here sitting on a bench waiting for the chain ferry at Sandbanks on the 9th day into their walk around Britain and their 550mile South West Coastal Path from Poole to Minehead. Every chapter starts with a poem - This started Chapeter 2:
"The great inviolate place had an ancient permanence which the sea cannot claim. Who can say of a particular sea that it is old? Distilled by the sun, kneaded by the moon, It is renewed in a year, in a day or in an hour" THOMAS HARDY
My son and his partner are still living in Dorset and so I spent another few days there this October with my daughter. He is now living in Bournemouth, which despite its past reputation as a place to retire to, now has quite a lively young scene due in part to the university specialising in arts. A big plus is that his flat is only a 50 yd walk from the beach and he can walk to work. Bournemouth is relatively young, only becoming developed as a town from the mid 1830’s. It then grew rapidly during the later decades as its reputation as spa town and a place to recover from ill health developed. A number of large hotels; some of them very luxurious at the time and a sanatorium were then built. Centres for entertainment and leisure such as the Winter Garden were also developed. The Pleasure Gardens which still run through the centre of the town were also laid down around this time and include “Invalid Walk” illustrating the towns past.
This is not my picture as the original (in the photo) and its successor were both demolished; The original started its life as a “winter garden” post the Chelsea Exhibition but then became a concert hall. Unfortunately the acoustics in the original were not great and this in part led to its demolishment.
So here are a few photos I took in the town centre, I realise now that I have not done justice at all to the town and that next time I need to take more of the Victorian and Edwardian buildings..... however there is a lot of Victoriana to come later in this up-date.
Leaving the town square we headed towards the sea front. The Bournemouth Eye situated in the Pleasure Gardens was firmly tethered to the ground – you can see it flying in one of the photos earlier on in this thread
I think this is the only rectangular bandstand that I have ever seen,
The somewhat ugly Pavillion theatre dating from 1925
And so to the sea front;
Like every seaside town of its time the obligatory pier
The weather was starting to brighten just as the sun was setting. A rainbow stayed fixed in over the sea for 10-15 mins and as the sun set it emitted the most beautiful display of coloured light. I am a bit disappointed that my camera / me were not able to capture it exactly.
We headed along the sea front and then back up the cliff to complete our circular walk.
We stopped to take an almost “obligatory” selfie along the way
The funicular was not running so we had to continue to the next path back up the cliff
Half way up and a look back to the pier
Next day … first a wander around Westbourne a suburb of Bournemouth
Victorian arcade …
Unfortunately most were closed which meant I avoided buying the orange dog thing
…although I might have been tempted by this apple core !!
Apparently the arcade houses the UK’s smallest cinema, we could not check it out as it was closed but due to open later for a rugby match
So after a nice lunch in one of the many eateries in this area we headed back to Bournemouth town centre to see some Victoriana at the Russell – Cotes gallery and museum situated on the top / built into East Cliff – stunning views on a stunning day ..
I had no idea what to expect, my son had suggested it but he too had never visited , in fact I was blown away, and I will definitely visit again as one visit is not enough to take in and fully appreciate all the treasures housed here. East Cliff Hall was built as a birthday present by Sir Merton for his wife Lady Russell-Cotes but the intention always was that it would house all the artefacts they had collected in their travels, as well as being their home. Just prior to her death the house and it’s contents were bequeathed to the town of Bournemouth
I have to say now that the photos I took inside the house really do not do the place justice at all – of course I could not use a flash and also many of the rooms were barricaded against any sunlight to protect the contents. So I will restrain from posting many of my photos but here are a few …
You can see from the previous photos that the up-keep of the house requires on-going work. In the summer there is no entrance charge but when we visited in October donations are welcomed in lieu of a charge
So into the house – Probably my favourite aspect of the house … A sequence of its wonderful ceilings …
If you are enjoying this please check back - more photos of the house to follow as soon as I can.
An excellent addition to the thread. I really like the peacock coving and the stained glass. We had some happy family holidays in Bournemouth many years ago when our children were young, so this brought back good memories.
Man is not lost, only temporarily uncertain of his position
Beautiful scenes of sunset, dusk and twilight followed by beautiful scenes of a bright sunny day! All of the architectural quirks are a delight, and East Cliff Hall would have been worthy of its own thread since it is a standout.
Really fantastic Lugg! You make me want to do another trip around the UK! Your photos of the glass ceilings and interior decor of East Cliff Hall are superb...SUPERB! Looking forward to more. I hope you found that book. If not I can send you mine - with pleasure.
I am a species of idiot, as I thought I'd responded to the latest wonderful additions to this fabulous thread, but no.
Well, at least finally noticing it allowed me to enjoy it all over again. Truly stunning pictures. I am in awe of your ability to capture natural light in all its moods, a crucial element in showing waterside locations. It's lovely to see how that area really treasures everything that has made it a vacation destination for so long. It really has a mellow, not a cutesy look. Speaking of which, thank you for this great report and for showing the lovely mellow selfie. You all look so content.
I came back to this thread to post a brief up date following a recent visit and discovered that somehow I had not up loaded the final internal shots of East Cliff .
Such a small fire box for a huge, grand fireplace –
It seemed that other fireplaces were the same – the house must have been cold in winter
Inside the house is a hotchpotch of objects and paintings some of which were collected on their travels in 1880s This wine cooler came from Napolean’s house on St Helena but purchased years after their visit to Longwood
Carved ivory from Japan – the cat and mice are so tiny
There are a lot of paintings displayed within the house most which I found were not particularly interesting as I did not like the style of many but this painting seemed to excite many when it was first put on display
A few more random photos to finish
Lady Russell-Cotes’ wedding dress
I guess the view from the window is generally timeless - at least in this direction
The Victorians were odd and obsessive, weren't they? Lucky for us, as they left these incredible collections.
That domed room-within-a-room, just after the wonderful stained glass swallows, is amazing, especially as it must have been a retrofit. Also amazing, on an entirely different scale, are the exquisite ivory carvings.
The wild success of the Flight into Egypt painting was probably because that was the heydey of "Orientalism" and the piece must have been quite titillating in its time.
Re: the small fireboxes in the great big fireplaces ~ I think it was either on the series "Victorian Farm" or "Edwardian Farm" that they showed an old fireplace being re-fitted for use as a coal grate. This made for a small fire area within a rather large fireplace. Perhaps that was done in East Cliff Hall.
In a particularly lucky bit of serendipity for me, last night I got a glimpse of Bournemouth on a tv show and wanted to know more. Lo and behold, this thread -- which I didn't realize was also about Bournemouth -- really delivered!
At any rate, better late than never and I'm so glad I finally blundered into the rest of this excellent thread. Thank you!