A coastal walk in Swanage

There's something special about your first glimpse of the sea when you arrive in a coastal town isn't there? In our family, even now, there's a rush to exclaim who can "see the sea" first, and on our March trip to Dorset, seeing the sea brought the same feeling of wonderment and I don't think it was any coincidence that a trip to the coast was one of our first outings. And boy, did Swanage deliver. 

Looking across the bay at Swanage in Dorset

We'd arrived in the town by steam train, as you do, and although I'd been to Swanage on an earlier family holiday I had no recollection of the town. I remembered the headland from a more recent visit, but this was also my first steam train ride for quite a while too, but that's for another day.  

A first glimpse of the sea - does your family also do the "I can see the sea" call?

The textures of the railings against the sandy sea were mesmerising, but it wasn't all old-fashioned charm. This double row of modern beach huts added pattern and repetition to the front, in a way that more traditional beach huts wouldn't.  

modern beach huts on the front at Swanage in Dorset

It was March though, and despite being lucky with the weather for the time of year, it was apparent that it was still March. Very few, if any, beach huts were obviously in use, and the beach was pretty empty too.  

On the beach in March, the sun was out but the sand most definitely wasn't between our toes

Woolly hats rather than flip-flops were the order of the day, ironically much like the weather we're having now. In May. Let's hope the promise of warmer weather plays out, I'm keen to start wearing more summer-y clothes.  

 Leaving the beach behind us, we headed up towards the coastal path and onto Old Harry.  

Heading up towards the coastal path and heading towards Old Harry rocks

It wasn't long before I stopped to snap some unusual looking vegetation- I've no idea what it is, and it's most peculiar looking isn't it? 

Stopping to admire some slightly strange looking vegetation

The yellow flowering gorse bushes framed our view of the sea, offering peeks every now and then. 

But still some glimpses of the sea framed perfectly by the gorse bushes

And more so, as we looked back over to where we'd started.  

A look back to where we'd come from, again with the gorse framing our view

But onwards, and upwards- or rather along, choosing our walking "lane" with care.  

Walking along the burrows of the coastal path towards Old Harry rocks in Dorset

Remember I said it was windy, just look at the daffodils and see how they're coping.  

I told you it was windy - just look at those daffodils and how they're coping

And then some time to really admire Old Harry and friends, and really why wouldn't you? 

The wind was worth it though for the views of Old Harry rocks in Dorset
Wondering at the coast formations and how they've changed over the years

Instead of retracing our steps back to the town, we headed inland along the Purbeck Ridgeway where we learnt about Dorset winds. The wind before had nothing on this new wind, and we battled our way along this exposed path, with people in front and behind clearly as crazy and determined as ourselves. 

setting off back to our cottage on foot along the Purbeck Ridgeway in Dorset

My hands remained firmly gloved, and on my scarf, so pictures are few and far between. Heading off of the ridge was very welcome, and once again our views changed.  

leaving the Purbeck Ridgeway on our way back to the cottage

Just look at that patchwork of fields... 

looking inland across the fields and trying not to disturb the sheep with their lambs

A beautiful walk, in a beautiful county but the first cup,of tea back at the cottage was so very welcome!