100 Things to do in (and around) Bournemouth 78 – Poole Beer Festival

Tonight we’re off to Poole Beer Festival. This annual festival, organised by CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale), is being held for the 23rd time. The event takes place at St Adhelm’s Centre in Branksome, just 3 miles west of Bournemouth, on the main (A35) road to Poole. It would, theoretically, be an easy place to drive to. But who drives to a beer festival? The M2 Bournemouth to Poole bus stops right outside the centre. Particularly convenient at the end of the night with not too far to stagger to get home.

Poole Beer Festival
Poole Beer Festival

The festival runs over four sessions; Friday and Saturday afternoon and evening and costs £10. This gets you entry to the event, a programme, souvenir glass plus two half pint beer tokens. On Saturday evening, this also includes live music.

Poole Beer Festival - Beers
Poole Beer Festival – Beers

The choice of beer is pretty impressive, boasting over 85 cask ales, plus bottled and keg beers, ciders and perries to choose from. Unfortunately, as we opted for Saturday evening, the final session, when we arrive, are were already a lot of empty barrels.

Poole Beer Festival
Poole Beer Festival

Having perused the extensive menu, I set forth for the cider section. The cider had been particularly popular, so my first choice; Tutti Frutti (sweet exotic cider with cherry and pineapple) is not available. On to my second choice; Cherry Cider, also finished. Third choice; Stormy Lemonade (Sweet retro cider with a lemonade tang), none left. And finally, fourth time lucky, a pint of Dorset Strawberry Sunshine (with New Forest Strawberries).

Poole Beer Festival - Wringing out the Cider
Poole Beer Festival – Wringing out the Cider

It is a similar story with the beers, but finally we have our drinks and find a seat in the marquee, to enjoy our beer/cider whilst bemoaning the reduced choices available. Once alcohol has been imbibed, we find in hilarious to complete the ‘beer of the festival’ slips for our first, second and third choices of drinks, none of which we have actually drunk. Well, it was funny at the time…

Poole Beer Festival
Poole Beer Festival

According to the programme; “If you are lucky enough to have Saturday evening tickets, you have the chance to experience the one and only one man band extraordinaire that is Andy Smooth.” That’s some build up. Turns out Andy Smooth has a guitar and sings covers. But he sings them well, so we enjoy his set before returning to the marquee for another drink.

Poole Beer Festival - Andy Smooth
Poole Beer Festival – Andy Smooth

By now, even my fourth choice of cider has finished and I’m not keen on real ale, so I commit a cardinal beer festival sin and purchase a bottle of lager, which goes into my souvenir glass so I don’t look like a saddo drinking lager and a real ale festival.

Poole Beer Festival -  Beers
Poole Beer Festival – Beers

The end of the evening is nigh. The event finishes at 11 pm, so I depart just beforehand to catch the 10.56 bus back to Bournemouth. They must be anticipating some leftovers at end of the evening, as on the way out I spot an advert for a ‘Beer and Hymns’ church service on Sunday evening. Unsurprisingly, there are lots of other people at the bus stop, none of them particularly sober, which makes the journey home all the more entertaining. Overall, we had an enjoyable evening and shall be back next year, but at a session earlier in the weekend.

Beer and Hymns
Beer & Hymns

100 Things to do in (and around) Bournemouth 70 – Canford Heath

Introduction

Canford Heath on the outskirts of Poole is the largest area of heathland in Dorset. The 850 acre site is situated approximately 6 miles north west of Bournemouth. It is home to snakes, lizards, dragonflies and birds and is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Criss-crossed with trails and with its elevated view it make for a pleasant outing.

Canford Heath
Canford Heath

Getting There

Just north of Poole and close to Turbary Retail Park and the entertainment complex of Tower Park, Canford Heath is easily accessible by car and public transport. There are several entrances to Canford Heath, including at Gravel Hill lay-by and on Culliford Crescent and Francis Avenue. There is no actual car park, however there is free parking available on many of the surrounding roads. Buses No 18 from Bournemouth and 5/6 from Poole stop at The Pilot next to the heath. The bus stop is named after the adjacent pub, so handy if you work up a hunger/thirst during your exertions on the heath.

Canford Heath Map

Trails

There are trails running through and around the edge of the heath which make for a lovely scenic walk/run with views across the heathland to Poole Harbour and beyond.

Canford Heath Trail
Canford Heath Trail

Trails are also suitable for cycling, although a little bumpy for my liking. Note that I am, in fact, a wuss.

Canford Heath Trail
Canford Heath Trail

We chose a lovely autumn afternoon to take a walk around one of the trails.

Canford Heath
Fire damaged trees

The area was devastated by a large fire earlier in the year, but is starting to regenerate. The russet tones of the autumnal foliage have started to creep above the charred black embers below.

Canford Heath
Autumn Colours
Canford Heath
Autumn Colours

On a good day, you can see right across to Poole Harbour and Brownsea Island with the sea glistening on the horizon.

View from Canford Heath
View to Poole Harbour

In the other direction is Tower Park with its distinctive water tower and the equally distinctive Parkstone water tower further to the left.

View from Canford Heath
View to Tower Park

Note: Dogs must be kept on a short lead between March and July and under close control at all other times of the year.

100 Things to do in (and around) Bournemouth 75 – Saltwater Sauna

The Saltwater Sauna is a Finnish sauna in a trailer located on Sandbanks Beach, 4 miles west of Bournemouth. Sandbanks is at the end of the Prom, so easy to reach on foot or by bike. It is well served with public transport (the 50 Breezer bus stops here) and there is a large Pay & Display car park, although it is a very popular spot in summer and spaces can fill up quickly.

Saltwater Sauna on Sandbanks Beach
Saltwater Sauna on Sandbanks Beach

The sauna accommodates up to 8 people, depending on your booking type. Bookings open 3 weeks in advance and sell out very quickly. You can opt to reserve the whole sauna for 65 minutes, which costs £75 for up to 8 people or for 35 minutes, where the booking limit is 5 people and costs £50. Alternatively, you can book a 65 minute individual slot which costs £15, where you will share with up to 5 others.

Saltwater Sauna
Saltwater Sauna

According to the website, the sauna provides stunning views to the sea through a panoramic window where you can enjoy stunning sunrises from the comfort of a luxury beach-side sauna. It recommends 10-15 minutes in the sauna before a dip in the sea and repeat… Sounds amazing!

Saltwater Sauna
Saltwater Sauna

I was really looking forward to my sauna experience earlier in the year, but a positive Covid test the night before meant I wasn’t able to attend. Today, I finally got round to my first seaside sauna and we (my daughter, her boyfriend and I) set off on our cycle towards Sandbanks.

Saltwater Sauna
Saltwater Sauna

We arrived, and after a briefing, were able to enter the sauna with the other three people who had booked the 9 am slot. It’s quite intimate with six in the sauna, but as everyone is in and out to the sea all the time, this only happened once at the very beginning. After that, we staggered our sea dips and were able to stretch out on the steamy pine and enjoy the view of the sun rising over the bay.

Sauna with a view
Sauna with a view

It’s much more fun that the traditional sauna/cold shower/sauna routine; descending from the sauna, then running across the sand for a dip in the sea. Our one hour allocated time passed really quickly and all too soon the attendant was knocking on the changing room door (a bit like an episode of Mr Benn) and it was time to leave.

Saltwater Sauna
Saltwater Sauna

The company currently has two further permit applications pending to place more saunas along the Bournemouth coast. I really hope they are successful because (a) I really enjoyed my sauna and would love to do it again and (b) it’s a 13 mile round trip from my house and my daughter made me cycle and I was exhausted!

Cycling to Sandbanks
Cycling to Sandbanks

100 Things to do in (and around) Bournemouth 69 – Poole Quay

The historic Poole Quay, once used to moor ocean going ships, is now the home of harbour cruises and pleasure boats. The half mile log stretch running west to east from the Lifeboat Station at one end to the Old Lifeboat Station at the other is now a popular tourist destination. Lined with bars and restaurants with seating providing great views across the Harbour, catering now to tourists rather than sailors and pirates.

Poole Quay
Poole Quay

Poole Museum

Housed in a former grain storage warehouse, Poole Museum is the place to go to learn about Poole’s History. It also houses the Tourist Information Office. More about the museum can be found here.

Poole Museum
Poole Museum

Poole Old Lifeboat Museum

At the eastern end of the quay is Poole Old Lifeboat Museum. This former lifeboat station is now a museum telling the story of Poole’s lifeboats. It houses the Thomas Kirk Wright. This retired lifeboat not only saved lives in the harbour, but was one of 850 ‘little ships’ which sailed to Normandy in 1940 to rescue Allied troops trapped on the beaches. More about the museum can be found here.

Poole Old Lifeboat Museum
Poole Old Lifeboat Museum

Sea Music Sculpture

This huge sculpture by artist Anthony Caro invokes memories of cascading waves, sails and the echo of the sea. It is surrounded by an elevated walkway for better views of the sculpture and the quayside.

Sea Music Sculpture
Sea Music Sculpture

Restaurants

There are plenty of restaurants and cafes along the quayside. But for me, the seaside (quayside) is synonymous with Fish & Chips, so the obvious choice is Harlees. This award winning chip shop also sells plant based alternative; Vish & Chips (battered, deep fried jackfruit marinated in seaweed).

Harlees

Bars

The bars along the quayside were once the haunts of smugglers and pirates. The pirates may be gone, but many of the building retain their old charm. The uniquely green tiled Poole Arms is believed to be Poole’s oldest pub dating back to the early 17th Century.

Poole Quay Bars
Poole Arms

Baden Powell Statue

Sitting on a bollard overlooking Brownsea Island is a statue of Robert Baden Powell, founder of the Scout Movement. It was on Brownsea Island in 1907, that Baden Powell held his first scout camp.

Baden Powell Sculpture
Baden Powell Sculpture

Harbour Cruises

From here you can pick up a boat to set sail on a Harbour Cruise, or further afield along the Jurassic Coast to Swanage. There are a number of operators with ticket booths on the quayside.

Departing on a Harbour Cruise
Departing on a Harbour Cruise

The Brownsea Island Ferry also departs from here.

Brownsea Island and Ferries
Brownsea Island and Ferries

Sunseekers

Across the water, you can admire the work of Poole boatbuilders Sunseekers. Something for the shopping list?

Sunseekers
Sunseekers

Events

There is plenty going on around Poole Quay in the summer months. Annual events include Harry Paye Pirate Day, Poole goes Vintage and Poole Seafood Festival. I shall add next year’s events to the table as they become available.

Annual Events

MonthDate for 2022Event
September
October
November5thFireworks
December19th November – 2nd JanuaryChristmas Maritime Light Festival
MonthDate for 2023Event
January1stNew Year’s Day Bath Race
February
March
April
May14thMini Steam on the Quay
June3rd – 5thPoole Seafood Festival
JuneHarry Paye Pirate Day
JulyPoole Goes Vintage
August
September
October
NovemberFireworks
December

Weekly Summer Entertainment

In addition, during the summer there are events which take place on a weekly basis. You can wander along the quay admiring classic cars and bikes, enjoy live entertainment and firework displays.

DayDates for 2023Event
Monday
TuesdayPoole Dream Machines
Wednesday
ThursdayFireworks
FridayQuay for My Car
Saturday
Sunday
Bikes on Poole Quay
Bikes on Poole Quay

100 Things to do in (and around) Bournemouth 68 – Poole Old Lifeboat Museum

Poole Quay and Old Lifeboat Museum
Poole Quay and Old Lifeboat Museum

Poole has a long and colourful maritime history, which is in evidence as you walk along the Quay. There has been a lifeboat based at Poole for over 150 years, with the current and former lifeboat stations located at either ends of the Quay. On the eastern end sits Poole Old Lifeboat Museum. The building, which was the Lifeboat Station between 1882 and 1974, is now a museum charting the history of Poole’s lifeboats and their crews.

Poole Old Lifeboat Museum
Poole Old Lifeboat Museum

The museum is open daily between 10.30 am and 4 pm and is free to enter, although obviously donations are welcome. Or why not purchase something from the well stocked nautical themed gift shop?

Wellyam
Wellyam

A walk round the former Lifeboat Station will tell you all about the history of the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution – a charity which keeps British waterways safe) in general and in Poole specifically. You can learn about the lifeboats stationed there over the years and the bravery of their crews. You can even try on old and current lifeboat crew kits. I can’t resist a bit of hands-on learning!

Lifeboat Crew Kit
Lifeboat Crew Kit

Thomas Kirk Wright

Most of the museum is taken up with retired lifeboat the Thomas Kirk Wright, which was operational from 1939 to 1962. In addition to its regular duties, the Thomas Kirk Wright was among the 850 ‘little ships’ which sailed to Dunkirk in 1940 to rescue Allied troops stranded on the beaches there. As the records on display show, it made a total of three rescue missions to France before finally being hit and having to be towed back to England.

Thomas Kirk Wright
Thomas Kirk Wright

The museum is quite small, so a visit won’t take more than an hour or so, but it is interesting to delve into the maritime history of the town and maybe say a little thank you to those brave men and women who risk their lives to keep others safe at sea. And, of course, those brave men who risked theirs lives even more so to rescue others during World War II.

Thomas Kirk Wright
Thomas Kirk Wright

100 Things to do in (and around) Bournemouth 67 – Poole Museum

Poole Museum is housed in a former Victorian flour mill and grain warehouse on Poole Quay. It tells the town’s story through artefacts and displays, some static, some interactive. It opens daily from 10 am to 5 pm between April and October and is free to enter. There is a fee for temporary exhibition.

Poole Museum
Poole Museum

Ground Floor

Exhibits are housed across four floors. The museum is entered via a modern glass and steel atrium where you will find a gift shop and also Poole’s Tourist Information Centre. The remainder of the Ground Floor starts Poole’s story with the the formation of Poole Harbour. On display are some artefacts discovered in the harbour, like the 8 metre long carved rudder from 17th Century shipwreck, The Fame. On a nearby screen, the rudder’s talking head tells its own story.

Rudder from The Fame
Rudder from The Fame

The Poole Logboat

Dominating the ground floor is The Poole Logboat; a 10 metre long boat carved from a single oak tree over 2,300 years ago. Apart from being incredibly old, it is also unique in that, after many years of trying to work out how to preserve it, experts came up with the idea of soaking it in sugar and immersed the boat in a solution similar to that used to make cola.

The Poole Logboat
The Poole Logboat

First Floor

The First Floor tells the story of the development of the town and port of Poole. Displays include this collection of seaside souvenirs though the ages.

Poole Souvenirs
Poole Souvenirs

The First Floor also focuses on the town’s maritime history with more old boat parts on display, like a 17th Century binnacle (housing for a compass) adorned with sea creatures which was salvaged from a locally based ship.

Binnacle
Binnacle

Second Floor

The Second Floor tells the story of the people of Poole in general and focusing on some of the area’s most noteworthy figures. Displays include an interactive 1950s kitchen together with some products of the era. I was particularly intrigued by the Quaker Oats which are so simple that ‘even a bride can prepare’!

Food through the ages
Food through the ages

People connected with the history of Poole include Robert Baden Powell, who set up the Scout Movement with a camp on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour in 1907.

Scout Memorabilia
Scout Memorabilia

Third Floor

The Third Floor displays pottery either found or manufactured in Poole. The bulk of the exhibit tells the Story of Poole Pottery. Pottery was made by hand on the quayside for over a century, starting in 1873. The company started out manufacturing tiles and and architectural ceramics, before branching out into decorative pottery. I’m sure, like me, most locals have a piece or two of the iconic art deco pottery displayed in their home. And those that don’t are likely to have seen its works displayed, as Poole Pottery tiles were used to tile many of the stations of the London Underground.

Decorative Ceramic
Decorative Ceramic

The cafe and toilets are also located on the Third Floor.

Decorative Ceramic
Decorative Ceramic

Temporary Exhibition – Hardy’s Wessex

The current temporary Exhibition; Hardy’s Wessex is part of a larger exhibition spread across four museums. In Poole, the focus is on the coastline which inspired Thomas Hardy’s writing. There is an additional fee of £5. We haven’t been to this exhibition yet, but it “explores the coastal themes in Hardy’s life – from first meeting his wife Emma on the wild cliffs of Cornwall, to his fascination with the Napoleonic wars.” The key piece is a Constable painting of Weymouth Bay.

Constable - Weymouth Bay
Constable – Weymouth Bay

Scaplen’s Court

Across the road from the Museum is Scaplen’s Court, a medieval house with herb and physic garden. Scaplen’s Court is managed by the museum and opens during the summer to visitors. Although, with a shortage of volunteers, its opening is not guaranteed. When we visited at the weekend, it was closed.

Scaplen’s Court

100 Things to do in (and around) Bournemouth 66 – Angel Sausage & Cider Festival

We went to the Sausage and Cider Festival at The Angel Pub in Poole at the weekend, having seen it advertised online. The Angel is an 18th Century former coaching inn situated in Poole old town. Twice a year, it holds a Sausage and Cider Festival, which promises sausages and cider galore, plus a DJ.

The Angel Pub
The Angel Pub

The use of the word ‘Festival’ was a little ambitious, as it was basically just some boxes of cider placed on the bar, a man out front grilling sausages and a DJ in a corner of the bar. However, there were 20 different ciders on offer (19 by the time we arrived an hour into the event). All were sourced from either here in Dorset or neighbouring counties.

Cider Menu
Cider Menu

I opted for Lilley’s Mango Cider which was very, very good. I’ve not heard of Lilley’s before, but a quick Google search tells me that it’s a family run business based in Somerset, with an interesting range of ciders. From the more traditional to a range of fruit ciders (I know, an apple’s a fruit) a seasonal selection (enjoy the flavours of autumn harvest before heading into winter with some mulled cider). They also have a ‘Whimsical Creations’ range with flavours such as Colider (cola and cider), chocolate apple or lemon & ginger. These weren’t on offer at the cider festival, but I shall certainly be investigating further. In fact, Lilley’s offer their own ‘Mini Festival in a Box’, which consists of 10 different 500 ml bottles of cider, two glasses, coasters and a lanyard for that festival feel all for £29.99.

Cheers from The Angel Cider Festival
Cheers from The Angel Cider Festival

It was a sunny day, so we sat out the front on benches to have our drinks. This meant that we couldn’t actually hear the music from inside. So it was less a festival, more stopping at a pub for a glass of cider.

Sausage Menu
Sausage Menu

The sausage menu consisted of 12 different sausage options. An interesting selection, unless you’re a vegetarian. Then it’s just plain old vegetarian sausages. Next…

100 Things to do in (and around) Bournemouth 64 – Tower Park

There’s so much to see and do in Bournemouth on a warm, sunny day. But when it’s wet and windy, less so. One place with plenty of indoor activities on offer is Tower Park. Situated around 5 miles to the north west of Bournemouth, this entertainment complex was, according to Wikipedia, ‘one of the first leisure complexes of its kind in Europe when it opened in 1989’. Translation; has seen better days.

Tower Park
Tower Park

There are a number of different entertainment venues across the complex catering for both kids and adults, plus various food outlets. To be honest, it’s not really my thing. I have been there once or twice on auntie duty. But not since the time when my niece climbed to the top of the water flume, then refused to slide down and had to climb back down the ladder against the traffic. Twice.

Tower Park
Side of Nandos

Bingo

Buzz Bingo is easy to locate; follow the smoke from the gaggle of bingo players who’ve popped outside for a cigarette.

Tower Park
Buzz Bingo

Water Park

Splashdown Water Park markets itself as the ‘UK’s biggest and best waterparks!’ It has 13 flume rides. As you can see from the car park.

Tower Park
Splashdown Water Park

Cinema

There is a cinema complex consisting of 10 main screens and 6 studio screens. Personally, I prefer to watch my movies at 40,000 feet…

Tower Park
Cineworld

Bowling

There’s a Hollywood Bowl with 24 lanes.

Tower Park
Hollywood Bowl

Gym

Sandwiched between Burger King and the all-you-can-eat buffet is a PureGym.

Tower Park
PureGym

Lemur Landings

Lemur Landings has a soft play area and climbing wall for under 11s plus a role play villa for under 7s.

Tower Park
Cineworld and Lemur Landings

Food

All the junk food is represented at Tower Park. Pizza Express, Pizza Hut, Nando’s, Taco Bell – it’s all here. There’s even a Burger King, despite the best efforts of a former, disgruntled employee who burnt the original restaurant down. There’s also Day’s world buffet. And if all that lot hasn’t done enough damage, there’s Candy Cabin.

Day’s

100 Things to do in (and around) Bournemouth 63 – Festival Coast Live

Festival Coast Live consists of a range of predominantly free events across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. Activities take place throughout the year, bur focus on the summer, starting at the beginning of the school holidays in July and culminating in the Bournemouth Air Festival on the first weekend in September. The programme incorporates live music, outdoor cinema, children’s entertainment, festivals, fireworks and more.

Red Arrows arriving at Bournemouth Air Festival
Red Arrows arriving at Bournemouth Air Festival

Music

A whole host of musicians perform throughout the summer at a number of locations across the three towns. Pictured; a fun Sunday afternoon at Christchurch Harbour with a diverse selection of musical entertainment. First up; Mr Eversley, a Cuban whose music is distinctly Caribbean and quite serious. Followed by the Jimmy Hillbillies with their infectious enthusiasm. One minute we’re listening to songs about Cuban freedom fighters, the next – chickens on moonshine!

Jimmy Hillbillies at Christchurch Bandstand
Jimmy Hillbillies at Christchurch Bandstand

Outdoor Cinema

A giant screen shows family friendly movies throughout the day. The screen makes appearances at a variety of locations during the summer.

Entertainment

Street entertainers can be spotted wandering around the three towns, maybe on stilts or perhaps with flowerpots on their heads. There are also a range of activities for children on offer, like circus workshops.

Stilt walker

Bournemouth

Incorporated into Bournemouth’s Festival Coast Live festivities are Bourne Free, Friday Fireworks and Bournemouth Air Festival. In addition, there is regular entertainment in various locations (Lower Gardens, Seafront and town centre).

Bourne Free
Bourne Free

Christchurch

In addition to live music in the bandstand, Christchuch’s entertainment includes Christchurch Food Festival, Stompin’ on the Quomps Jazz Festival and Mudeford Arts Festival.

Entertainment in Christchurch Bandstand
Entertainment in Christchurch Bandstand

Poole

In addition to the above mentioned music and entertainment, Poole’s offerings include weekly car (Quay for my Car) and motorcycle displays (Poole Dream Machines), food and music festivals, Poole goes Vintage, SandPolo and Thursday Fireworks. Summer entertainment takes place on Poole Quay, the High Street, Poole Park and Ashley Cross.

Arts by the Sea

After a couple of weeks to draw breath, entertainment resumes with Arts by the Sea in Bournemouth and Play in Christchurch.

Arts by the Sea
Arts by the Sea

Christmas

Festival Coast Live returns later in the year with Christmas Tree Wonderland in Bournemouth and the Maritime Lights Festival in Poole.

Christmas Tree Wonderland

100 Things to do in (and around) Bournemouth 58 – Poole Harbour Cruise

Poole Harbour is the second largest natural harbour in the world covering an area of 14 square miles. There are a number of options for cruising in the harbour with stalls along the quayside advertising the various trips.

Preparing to board at Poole Quay
Preparing to board at Poole Quay

We opted for the City Cruises Harbour Lights Cruise, which was due to depart at 7 pm for a 90 minute cruise around the harbour. The cost of the cruise was £11.50. In addition, City Cruises offer trips further along the coast to Swanage (with option to disembark and return on a later boat) and the Jurassic Coast, plus special cruises such as the Thursday Firework Cruise, Murder Mysteries, musical evenings etc.

Drinking wine on Poole Quay
Drinking wine on Poole Quay

It took a little longer than anticipated to find a parking space, so we didn’t have time to buy dinner beforehand, only just making it to the quay by 7 pm. When we arrived, we were told that our cruise had been combined with the 7.30 pm Fish & Chips cruise. So, we sat in the sunshine on the quayside and had a couple of glasses of wine before boarding.

Brownsea Island
Brownsea Island

Once on board, we set off in a clockwise direction around the harbour towards Brownsea Island. The tour has an informative running commentary, so I now know that Brownsea Island is the largest of five islands situated in the harbour. It is owned by the National Trust and is open to visitors between March and October.

Ferry
Ferry

We need to stop briefly to let the chain link ferry, which crosses the mouth of the harbour between Sandbanks and Studland, go past. Meanwhile, those who booked the Fish & Chips Cruise are served their food. I’m starving, so it’s tortuous watching other passengers eating their dinner. The smell wafts across the deck making me even hungrier. There’s only one thing for it – finish the wine my friend has secreted in her handbag, together with a bag of crisps (it’s a big handbag).

Poole Harbour Jetskiers
Poole Harbour Jetskiers

We set sail again towards the Purbecks, chased by jet skiers racing across the bay.

Old Harry
Old Harry

We reach Old Harry; named after an infamous local pirate, this chalk stack is the last in a line of formations which mark the start of the Jurassic Coast. I’ve walked/run to the top of the cliff a few times, but this is my first view of the rocks from the other side, and it’s quite a view!

Purbeck Sunset
Purbeck Sunset

At this point, the boat turns and heads for home into the sunset, which provides us with a different, even more stunning view of the rocks with the setting sun behind them.

Purbeck Sunset
Purbeck Sunset

We cruise back towards the quay whilst enjoying watching the sun set beneath the harbour.

Poole Harbour sunset
Poole Harbour sunset

Our return voyage takes us along the edge of Sandbanks; dubbed Millionaires’ Row with allegedly the fourth highest property prices in the world, this row of 13 houses has a combined value of almost one hundred million pounds.

Millionaires' Row
Millionaires’ Row

We continue past plenty of yachts. Another reminder of how the other half live, as we pass by on our £11.50 cruise, sipping supermarket wine from plastic cups.

Poole Harbour sunset
Poole Harbour sunset

We arrive back at Poole Quay just as it is getting dark. We’ve really enjoyed our cruise around the harbour with its beautiful scenery and amazing sunset. Unfortunately, the chip shop has closed by the time we arrive, so we go in search of dinner elsewhere.

Poole Quay
Poole Quay