Monday, 22 June 2015

Wakey Wakey, Paddle and Breakie in Studland

13th June

This may have been the weekend of Jurassic World the movie, but this weekend I explored the Jurassic Coast of Dorset with a little help from the National Trust.

I'd discovered the kayak and breakfast morning whilst researching local events for work, and knew this would tick all the boxes for the perfect birthday gift for my husband. Outdoors; check! Scenic; check! Workout; check!

It was an early start to be at Knoll Beach for 8.15am, and the pressure is always on when you realise you're meant to be there at 8am! So, unprepared and over dressed we arrived and slid ourselves into wetsuits and joined the rest of the pack. We'd not thought to bring swimwear so prayed we didn't fall in.

The beach was sodden with seaweed which made for a crunchy then spongy walk to the shoreline with the kayak, and up there with some of my worst nightmares, especially with no scuba shoes! Finally though I was in my kayak and remembering how to get myself moving. Then I heard a splash and realised Mark wasn't getting on so well, and was off kayak, in the sea and starting what would become a bit of  a habit!

With the wind behind us, we coasted along the bay quite pleasantly, taking in the sights of the old and sea worn beach huts, and a World War 2 pillbox, a quite uncommon sight given the Dorset coast's involvement in WW2 training.

Slowly the beach broke into cliffs from the Cretaceous period which led all the way to Old Harry Rocks, one of the most famous sights in Dorset. The water was shallow and clear and despite the overcast weather the cliffs were illuminated.

At the base of the cliffs next to Old Harry, we were able to explore the "beach" make from smoothed rocks from natural erosion. Here we were able to swim and explore the rocks, or, if like me you're scared of seaweed, be dragged gently to a safe spot. It was wonderful to finally be up close to the rocks which have dominated my view as a resident of Bournemouth and Poole across the bay for a lifetime.

After resting our arms, we clambered back into the kayaks (Mark fell in again) and we circled Old Harry and continued towards Swanage before cutting back through a cave and back into Poole Bay (3rd and final swim for Mark). The wind had picked up on the other side, and we were now battling against it, the taste of bacon on our lips. Courteously, I kept watch at the back of the pack of 20 or so other adventurers, bringing up the rear in my usual way.

As we neared the beach the wind calmed and we slid towards the sand with the sun on our backs and the birds singing. What a wonderful way to start the weekend!

Find out more about the National Trust events at Studland and book yourself a Dorset adventure now!

Explore a real Jurassic world at