The Isle of Purbeck, Dorset. Our first outing.
As we neared our destination of Swanage we were surprised to see that TomTom had taken us to the car ferry at Sandbanks, with its mega expensive properties! That was exciting chugging across the sea. As we didn’t want to arrive at our guest house too early we drove along the country lanes towards Wareham. I spotted a fox with a rabbit in its mouth, probably to feed cubs. We weren’t impressed with Wareham so, after a walk round we set off for Swanage and Glenlee Guest House. OH spotted another fox standing next to a horse in a field! We passed Corfe Castle and eventually arrived to be greeted by Bob, our friendly and helpful host.
The next morning we drove to Durlston Country Park and went to the Visitor Centre to pick up a map of the walks. We set off on the coast path and OH spotted this Painted Lady on the path.
The views were just breathtaking and it was love at first sight looking at that coastline. Here is OH looking happy as he stands by the Durlston Globe,
Stunning cliff views and banks of thrift.
Guillemots playing in the sea and a yacht especially for Karen.
Tilly Whim caves which are now closed up as dangerous…….and more cliff views.
After a coffee we set off for the heathland walk.
There were a lot of these orchids and other wild flowers which I wasn’t acquainted with. Here is a mine with the apparatus for the donkey to pull the stone up a slope.
We heard a loud “slap slap” sound and when we looked out to sea we saw the military racing along in these.
Scary cliff walks and I was beginning to wonder when we would reach the heath but we soon turned inland after walking up a steep slope.
I don’t know what this yellow flower is, perhaps Lynn knows?
It really was a wildlife paradise and there was birdsong everywhere. My head was turning from side to side trying to spot the birds. They love to hide in the bushes so whenever one showed itself I clicked the camera. I apologise for the poor quality of some of the photos, I didn’t have time to focus properly before they flew off.
This looks like an orchid but I can’t find it anywhere……any ideas? There were several wildflower meadows on the way back to the castle visitor centre, they were beautiful but the camera couldn’t catch it properly.
We came across some cows and calves and I couldn’t resist this little chap. Just managed to capture this Whitethroat.
We arrived back at the visitor centre for some lunch. What a fabulous morning’ The sun was warm and the scenery was stunning and there were miles and miles of walks in such diverse scenery. Dog walker and wildlife spotter heaven!
After lunch we set off for Kimmeridge Bay, renowned for its fossils. Unfortunately the weather broke and it turned wet and miserable. We had to pay £5 to drive down to the bay. Hoods up we left the car and looked at the view which was pretty depressing as it was a shingle beach and everything was grey! A chap started chatting to us and I thought of Bean and Karen as he came from Glasgow but moved to Bangor. N.Ireland 40 odd years ago. He was very amusing but we had to terminate the conversation as he would have chatted for hours! We walked down the steps to the cove and looked for fossils…..in vain!
Wild carrot at the top of the cliff and a lone Oystercatcher in the water.
You can see where the cliff has eroded and shown the strata.
Cuttlefish, a strange green and brown seaweed and “arty farty” rain on pebbles!
We headed off back to Swanage for a cuppa and cake and a look round the town before relaxing back at the guest house and reflecting on our day.