Bournemouth is blessed with a seven mile stretch of clean, soft golden sand. So if you’re searching for a weekend destination within easy reach of London and enjoy the simple pleasures of relaxing on the beach and swimming in the sea, then this is a safe bet for the family.
We recently booked a weekend break in one of the many beachfront hotels and were surprised by the vastness of this beach right on our doorstep. Bournemouth’s beautiful Jurassic coastline is under a shallow cliff edge that provides a milder microclimate than you might expect, making the sea suitably warm for swimming, surfing, kayaking and generally splashing about in!
If you plan to spend a whole day at the beach and don’t want to waste a precious moment popping back to your hotel, car or the shops, then you might consider hiring one of the 2000 beach huts that line the promenade, they not only provide shelter and privacy for changing, but there’s even a kettle and small gas cylinder for making a cup of tea or warming food – super convenient for families.
On our second day, we drove to nearby Sandbanks and took the 10 minute ferry trip across to Studland Beach.
Studland Beach (above) is another clean, golden sandy beach; we spent half a day here with our children building sandcastles, digging trenches and being buried in them!
Reluctantly leaving Studland Beach, we continued on our drive to the historic ruins of Corfe Castle, through heather moors and woodland, home to the almost extinct Red Squirrel.
The 1000 year old ruins of Corfe Castle are now under the care of the National Trust. Its strategic location as the only passing point through the Purbeck Hills for those who wanted to invade, made this site an invaluable fortress since early Anglo Saxon times. In 1068 William the Conqueror took ownership of it, and fortified the walls of his new Norman residence. Corfe Castle was eventually destroyed by the Roundheads in the English Civil War in 1646.
The National Trust run various medieval themed family entertainment within the grounds throughout the year such as archery, jousting and workshops.
View from the top of Corfe Castle with Swanage railway station with steam train (left) serves Corfe Village and Castle.
Written by Sonia Zubri
For more information about visiting and planning your stay in Bournemouth visit http://www.bournemouth.co.uk/
Corfe Castle National Trust http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/corfe-castle/visitor-information/