My first proper holiday of 2020 has arrived. Finally, I get to switch off the devices and relax. The Covid-19 pandemic has made it complicated to go abroad this year, as quarantines come and go, so my wife and I have decided to holiday in the UK. Although I really enjoy going abroad and exploring other cultures, there is a lot to be said about having a stay-cation in the UK.
Best of all, this holiday is not really costing me anything, as I saved up for this holiday by doing DIY odd jobs around my home. I must admit, I did have a head start though on this one, as my kind parents also gave me access to their holiday home for free :-). Thank you. So, I only needed to cover the costs of food, transport, and activities.
One of the slight problems of having a holiday in the UK is the weather. After months of amazing sunshine and humidity that has made working in London occasionally challenging, we find the weather has now broken. I am sitting here writing this blog as our holiday home is lashed with driving rain. However, where we are staying really can have four seasons in one day. Yesterday we woke-up to a beautiful haze across the bay. Later there was rain, and by the afternoon it was amazingly sunny.
During our holiday, we took the opportunity to walk from Swanage, over the hill to Studland and back again. I would class this as an easy to briefly moderate walk (some steep uphill that is loose underfoot), and it takes about 5 hours round trip including a stop off at the pub half way for a quick drink. Much of this walk in on protected National Trust land, and it is clearly signposted.
The views on this walk are stunning, unfortunately let down by my poor photography skills. On a good day it is possible to see across the water over to the Isle of Wight in one direction, and Brownsea Island, and Poole Harbour, in the other.
One of the highlights of the walk is seeing Old Harry. Kind of like an old friend, this rock formation jutting out into the sea has been a place I have visited almost every year of my life. Normally I take the easier route from the car park in Studland, but the full walk over from Swanage is much more rewarding.
In particular, it makes me feel I have deserved a drink at the Bankes Arms Studland. This is a lovely traditional pub with nice views out to sea. If booking ahead, make sure you are contacting the correct pub, as there are a few pubs called the Bankes Arms in the general area. This is because the Bankes family were the early land owners and prominent landed gentry in Dorset for over 400 years. Of course, in the olden days it was less common to leave your local town or village, so having a similar named pub the next town over would not be a problem.
A walking in the UK countryside would not be complete without seeing some sheep. These sheep were very tame, letting us walk right by without running off.
During our time in Swanage I am hoping for some more walking, perhaps over to Corfe Castle or Arne Nature Reserve. Just need to pray for less rain.