A long weekend in Dorset
This is my first post about Dorset but I doubt it will be the last, it’s one of my favourite places in the UK. It has a fantastic coastline, the South West Coast Path, good campsites and lovely places to visit.
Preparation and Drive
One Thursday two weeks after buying René I was packing him up for a weekend trip, he was almost ready as I’d been spending on equipment for a while (kettle, cups, plates etc) and I had quite a lot of camping gear from my tent days. His renovation was in progress, see about René but not complete. Everything was packed in tightly to prevent any rattles and I finalised the important bit….food and drink!!. I live in East Sussex and my drive was going to take me past several traffic black spots including; Worthing, Arundel and Chichester so I left work at 3pm, this clearly wasn’t early enough as I arrived at the campsite just outside Bournemouth at 8pm after a drive that should have taken 3 hours. Luckily he’s comfortable to drive.
I choose to stay at St Leonards Farm Caravan and Camping Park as it was close to the places I wanted to visit, not too expensive and looked great. I wasn’t disappointed. This is a great little site on a working farm, it’s just outside of Bournemouth and is easily accessible from the A31. It’s quiet,has EHU and a large clean shower block in the lower field. I was able to try out all of the camper’s equipment including the driveway awning he came with. I put up the awning and managed to reverse accurately each day when returning to the campsite.
Dorset is such a beautiful county, I stuck to the coast line because, well I love the sea! Over 3 days I visited and swam at Dancing Ledge which was wonderful but freezing (I also advise some good walking shoes to get up and down the cliff…it’s a bit of a climb). Swanage, a gorgeous little seaside town with some great galleries and shops where I bought a crab jug by Neil Tregear in the Mulberry Tree.
I also visited Studland. This is a lovely long stretch of wild looking beach with a great cafe in Purbeck, there’s sand dunes and woodland to explore and even a naturalist beach if that’s your thing. Unfortunately I was too late to take the ferry to Poole which cuts out a long drive and is a quick hop to Sandbanks which is another amazing stretch of beach.
I had breakfast at Branksome Chine and then it was time to go home…right through the New Forest.