Jurassic Coast of England

22:28 Alyson Tart 0 Comments

I've decided it is time to re-visit my much neglected blog.

And with the recent release of Jurassic World, the timing couldn't be more appropriate to tell you all about our recent(ish) weekend at the Jurrasic Coast! (I promise I will still make it back at some point to tell you about everything we've done in 2015, and some of that 2014 stuff like SE Asia. Yikes am I behind!!)

For the second year in a row, Paul's participated in a charity fundraiser with his work. Typically focused around team building and/or some type of physical challenge, last year, he tackled Snowdonia with biking, running and kayaking. This year, the task sounded simpler - a 26 mile hike on the Jurassic Coast, all done in 1 day.

While I was in no condition or of the inclination to walk 26 miles, I was curious about the Jurassic Coast. It is in fact named after the era when dinosaurs used to roam here and where fossils are often still found, from ichtyosaur skeletons to sea monsters. So, with explorations in mind, I tagged along on the weekend "getaway."

Belle and I started off enjoying a bit of the local area of Swanage. As luck would have it, that day was a big day for rowing there. All morning, the boats were headed out to row across the bay.  We grabbed a seat near the beach and tried (only somewhat successfully) to follow what was going on.

Not content to sit all day, Belle and I decided it was time for lunch. All day with a dog can bring somewhat of a challenge, but luckily, the weather was gorgeous, making it a perfect chance to sit outside. We found a local seafood place with picnic tables overlooking the water and set down for some people watching.  After lunch, Belle decided it wasn't necessarily to wait 30 minutes before swimming, so she got a quick dip in the water before we continued our explorations.

As we had crossed over on the chain link ferry into Dorset, I had noticed a beautiful sandy beach.  It was quite a walk, so Belle and I took the bus over to Studland Beach.

Not only is the beach beautiful, but it (like many random things you may stumble upon in Europe), has a history to it as well. This area was a training ground for Allied forces leading up to D-Day, and many troops departed from this area in Dorset to Normandy.

Nowadays though, there are few reminders of its history, other than signs warning you to watch for unexploded ordnances upon your walk.

It was a beautiful day, perfect for walking barefoot and dipping our feet (and paws) into the water. I made plenty of stops to rest, relax and enjoy the scenery. Further along the walk, the naturist portion of the beach came up.  Unawares of what I was walking into, we continued through.  I have to say my education of differences between American and British English was expanded that day!

After 2 miles, Belle was spent - at least that's the story I'm sticking to! Luckily, there was a lovely cafe at Middle Beach where we snagged another outdoor picnic table, along with afternoon tea & scones.  While I had wanted to head to get better views of Old Harry's Rocks, I realised that Paul was probably nearing the end of his walk, so Belle and I went to cheer him over the finish line.

The next day was our day to head back to London, but I figured it wasn't fair to leave without Paul getting to see any sights! Instead of hitting the beach this time, since they had walked quite a few miles there the day prior, we decided to head a town over to Corfe Castle.

Not much remains of the walls of this castle, which is understandable given it's 1,000 year history. The castle's towering keep (think the Red Keep from Game of Thrones) still shows how imposing this castle was back in the day, especially set up on the hill looking over the surrounding town.

During our visit, there was a falconry display putting us into the mood of what people may have experienced all those years ago, although wandering the ruins, it's hard to truly imagine how people lived there.  Half an hour was all we needed to roam what's left, then we were back out past the falcons, through the gates and onto London.

It was the perfect weekend trip and reminded me how much England has to offer (and how much more we have to explore!)

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