Swanage to Bournemouth
The day started with a steady climb out of Swanage, up the cliff and towards Old Harry Rocks. This point marks the end of the Jurassic Coast. For our walk it marked the end of the cliff top walking because from there we dropped down through woodland to the beach to continue around Studland.
After a while on the beach and a small bit of rockpool navigation we moved slightly inland to walk through heath and towards South Haven Point, aka Shell Bay. This marked the official eastern end of the South West Coast Path. It is also the place where the chain link ferry crosses Poole Harbour to Sandbanks.
After the crossing on the ferry (which is free for foot passengers in that direction) we soon found our way back to the sandy beaches of Poole.
It felt like the right time to release our feet from our boots and go for a little paddle in the sea to cool down, plus feel the therapeutic massage of the soft beach sand between the toes.
The weather continued to be stunning (as it has been throughout) and despite the forecast on our phones saying some rain was likely every day, we barely had a cloud in the sky the whole time. It has been super-warm for late March and the first day of April.
After quite a while on the beach it felt like the time had come to boot up for the final time and push on for the last mile or so and to our hotel for the night. We went to dinner via where we had parked the car on Thursday and picked up the spare clothes which we didn't carry with us. It feels strange wearing normal trousers again - made all the more noticeable because of the calf muscle sunburn from having been wearing shorts the whole time and accidentally neglecting that patch with the sun lotion.
Now here in Bournemouth we are already planning some more walking over Easter in Somerset. We have hit the 21% mark on our "walk 500 miles in 2019" challenge we decided to do this year. This Bridport-to-Bournemouth walk has been a significant chunk of that total. We had done a few day walks in London in January, but this was the first serious dent in the 500 mile target.
Only 392.5 miles left to walk by the end of the year!