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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
The yellow flowering gorse bushes framed our view of the sea, offering peeks every now and then.
And more so, as we looked back over to where we'd started.
But onwards, and upwards- or rather along, choosing our walking "lane" with care.
Remember I said it was windy, just look at the daffodils and see how they're coping.
And then some time to really admire Old Harry and friends, and really why wouldn't you?
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.
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.
Just look at that patchwork of fields...
A beautiful walk, in a beautiful county but the first cup,of tea back at the cottage was so very welcome!