One year into the pandemic and going abroad is still risky, forbidden or the options are very limited! But, the question is: are we really ‘stuck’ in Bournemouth and the surrounding areas? The opposite! I think we are lucky to visit or live here. In this blog post, I’ll suggest some places near Bournemouth which will make you appreciate this beautiful part of the UK.
Perfect for a short one-day excursion are two seaside locations: The Isle of Portland and Weymouth.
Once in Portland, visit the biggest man-made harbour in the world, which played an important part in the First and Second World Wars. Make sure you stop at the viewpoint to admire the stunning views over the whole peninsula.
Other places worth checking in Portland are the Portland Bill Lighthouse and a coastal feature located just next to it called Pulpit Rock, which was formed in 1870s. Be careful, when it’s windy and you may get splashed by the water…yes, it has happened to me!
On your way back from Portland, stop at a town called Weymouth. It will enchant you with its seasidey atmosphere with nice boats and yachts and colourful houses; their doors are decorated with nautical knockers, which I find very original.
If you are hungry, eat a mackerel burger at Bennett’s Fish & Chips – you won’t regret it!
2. Sculpture by the Lakes
I had the pleasure of visiting this absolutely magnificent park with hand-made sculptures last year for the first time, and I wrote a long blog post about it here. This year I revisited with no regrets, as there were some new sculptures to admire. Remember you can spend the whole day there, have a picnic by the river, and listen to the calming sounds of the flowing water. Truly relaxing!
3. Hengistbury Head and Mudeford Beach Huts
One of my favourite places to go for a beach walk and more. It is a site of international importance with lots of archaeological excavations telling us what people’s lives used to look like in this part of the world. There is a visitor centre where you can read much more about the history of this amazingly rich in wildlife nature reserve.
Walk or cycle towards the colourful Mudeford beach huts – which by the way cost an arm and a leg, because of its secluded location and the unspoiled view over the Isle of Wight (read my full blog post about the beach huts here).
4. New Forest
Contrary to what the name suggests, the New Forest is anything but new. It’s actually an ancient woodland which will stun you with its beautiful landscapes and wild animals like horses, deer and pigs. It became a National Park in 2005 and is an absolute “must go”!
5. Red poppy field close to Badbury Rings
Poppy fields are one of the most photographed locations in Dorset, but have unfortunately also become extremely popular among thirsty Instagram influencers wanting to take photos among the crimson poppies…Well, there is nothing wrong with it as long as you are careful not to step on the flowers or (God forbid!) lie on them. I wrote an article about the importance of respecting poppies here.
Did you know that Badbury Rings (next to the poppy field) is ”an area of great historical interest, with evidence of Bronze Age, Iron Age and Roman occupation. It is mostly known for the Iron Age hill fort” (nationaltrust.uk)? So remember that after taking beautiful photos among the poppies, have a walk at Badbury Rings.
6. Jurassic Coast Walks
I have written about the Jurassic Coast walks many times, and you can find my favourite routes here compiled in one blog post. In order to encourage you to visit this beautiful English coast, I’ll just leave you with these magnificent photos.
Which places would you add to the list?