Thursday, 24 March 2016

Walking Dorset's Coast: Sandbanks to Middle Beach

Over the summer we will be walking the c.100 miles of Dorset coast in training for our 4 day hike in Peru. Keep track and find inspiration in our Walking Dorset's Coast series, covering routes, handy pubs and fuss-free camping.

Mark and I have both run the 7 miles of Bournemouth and Poole's sea front countless times, so we're giving these miles a miss in favour of more challenging spots, and after braving Hengistbury Head a few weeks ago we took on the sandy shores of Studland.

Parking in Sandbanks and taking the ferry (£1 per person from Sandbanks to Studland, free on the return journey) across the mouth of Poole Harbour to Studland, we walked 3 miles to Middle Beach; the end of the sandy road. From here the South West Coastal Path continues up along the Jurassic Coast.

Studland is famous for it's nudist beach, but I think you'd have to be pretty ballsy to brave the sea on any March day, let along in the nuddy! The craziest thing we saw was a handful of ultra runners competing in the Jurassic Coast Challenge. They were in the last few miles of a marathon, having done 2 marathons in the two days before. I was glad we were spreading our challenge out this time! Being able to walk at a conversational pace, hand in hand with Mark makes such a difference from the strain of running, where we're often miles apart.

With the 3 mile walk back and a chilly wind in our minds, we re-fuelled at the National Trust Knoll Beach Cafe with hot tea and sumptuous slices of cake whilst warming our nipped fingers and dusting the sand from our boots.

On the return leg, the tide started to come and I spotted these little jelly droplets in the sea floor's ripples. If anyone has any idea what they are please share!

By the end of the walk I was ready to put my feet up (6 miles on sand will do that) but felt the sun's effects on my cheeks and am already looking forward to tackling more challenging walks over the coming months. 

Sandbanks to Middle Beach Walking Route Map