We had been “stuck” in Bournemouth for ages. It was as if we had been chained and anchored to the beach, like boats in a bay, but at last we were back; we were ready to slip our chains and catch the tide. We were looking forward to moving on again and heading out of Bournemouth, so when we saw a sign proclaiming that we were entering Poole we found a new lightness to our steps and a giddiness to our temperament. It was as if we were drunk on the sea air; the new-found enthusiasm was demonstrated by the bunny-ears which appeared in every group photo taken that day. This was started by my brother Alex, but as soon as he started everyone else joined in. Those bunny-ears bred like, well, bunnies!
As we walked into Poole we passed a fossilised tree trunk, reminding us that we were about to reach the start of the Jurassic Coast. The Jurassic Coast is a World Heritage site and a spectacular 96 mile stretch of geological wonderment and beauty. This stump was once part of a tree that was growing in Portland, 25 miles to the west, some 140 million years ago. At this time Dorset sat of the edge of a massive freshwater lagoon which covered southern England, the Channel, and part of France. It was then positioned much further south on the globe than it is today. It was a much warmer climate and rising water levels swamped and killed the trees. Heat evaporated the water, and so the minerals in the water became more and more concentrated. The stumps of the dead trees absorbed these minerals, particularly silica, which preserved them as fossils.
The stretch of coast we were presently on, however, was not the Jurassic Coast. That was yet to come. For now, we were in the heart of the Branksome seaside. Children frolicked on the beach.
Waterskiers zipped along close to shore.
And as we approached Poole Harbour two rather brave souls dived off a lateral mark close to the harbour entrance.
I got the feeling we were going to rather enjoy being back on the Coastal Path…
Points on this part of the walk (copy and paste the co-ordinates into Google Earth):
- Welcome to Poole: N 50° 42.576 W 001° 54.057
- Fossilised Tree Trunk: N 50° 42.422 W 001° 54.469
- Diving Off the Lateral Mark: N 50° 40.990 W 001° 56.605
Walk #74 Statistics (of which this post forms the second part):
- Date of Walk: 16 August 2014
- Walk #74 total distance covered (excluding ferry): 4.47 miles
- Coast of Britain Walk Total Distance Covered: 630.78 miles
- CLICK HERE FOR LINK TO INTERACTIVE MAP!!!
We just covered this stretch last weekend and I have to say that I’m dead impressed you are doing it all with children. My three like a good dog walk and both the boys have done some serious mileage with the scouts but whenever I mention the coastal walk their eyes roll. Saying that they have all agreed to come for the next stretch from Knoll Beach Cafe in Studlunds at least to Swanage if not further.
Well for what it’s worth we go through the same eye-rolling! Once we get going everyone enjoys themselves though. Good luck on your next stretch – we head back down in just over a week and I can’t wait!
Neither can I. We’re there over the Easter weekend camping near Corfe Castle with a big crowd, so you never know we might bump into you
Oh good! Loved the Norway series, but have been looking forward to you all tackling Dorset… I wonder what you will make of the widely touted and heavily promoted Jurassic Coast – and the ditto ‘Broadchurch’ section! RH