English weather is known for being moody and changeable. Going for a walk when it’s grey and cloudy can make you feel nostalgic or melancholic, but not when you’re walking with your friends. Even on a cloudy day, walking from Old Harry Rocks to Swanage Beach and back can be an exciting and pleasant stroll. Admiring beautiful scenery from the cliffs, eating Cornish pasties during a break in Swanage and finishing a 13 km (8 mile) walk with some comforting food at a cosy pub sounds like a good plan for a Saturday afternoon, doesn’t it?
We drove from Bournemouth to Studland and parked our car next to the Bankes Arms pub. You can get there by ferry from Sandbanks or via Wareham, which seems like a longer drive but it actually takes the same time (approximately 50 minutes) and it does not include the time waiting for a ferry.
Coming close to the edge to take a picture is both scary and thrilling. You won’t see the beautiful view if you don’t get closer, but I think it’s better to crawl. There have been incidents of people and dogs falling from the cliffs – some of them miraculously survived. You can read some articles about it here and here.
Our way back to Old Harry Rocks. It was obviously much harder to climb the hill than walking down to Swanage, but believe me, the feeling of satisfaction after a climb is worth the effort. I took this picture of my walking team when I was left far behind. Ah well, it was my fault as I took pictures of everything I encountered – the tough life of a blogger!
The climb from Swanage beach back to Old Harry Rocks was rewarding but quite challenging and it left me in pain for all of Sunday and Monday! It was windy, foggy and it was slowly becoming darker, but I loved it.
At 7 o’ clock in the evening, Old Harry Rocks were covered in a mysterious mist and you could hardly see a living soul. Legend says that the Rock was named Harry after a devil with the same name slept on it.
At this point we had almost reached the Bankes Arms where we started our journey. I looked up and saw how creepy this tree looked. We also heard an owl in the background. I did not want to be part of a horror story or have a close encounter with Harry the Devil, so I was extremely happy to be approaching the pub and was looking forward to some comfort food.
Walking 13 kilometres feels like a good excuse to eat whatever you want and however much you want! The Bankes Arms Inn welcomed us with very tasty food and generous portions of my favourite classsic fish & chips, hot dog with chorizo and a game casserole with pheasant, rabbit and venison.
A walk from Old Harry Rocks to Swanage and back was a great adventure and I would definitely recommend it if you would like to make some more physical effort and challenge yourself. So what are your favourite places to take more demanding walks?