24 June 2014

Outdoor Swimming: Knoll Beach, Studland

After a couple of days to rest after our wedding, we went for a short honeymoon (or as Lucy calls it; a mini-moon) to Dorset. On the first day we stopped at Sand Banks to eat our pack up by the harbour before taking the chain ferry across to Studland.

One of the great things about this area of Dorset is nature reserve rolls into nature reserve - and rightly so; it's a gorgeous part of the country. We decided to park at Knoll beach, which is part of Studland Bay and owned by The National Trust. As members, parking was free, but we've heard that charges change with the season. For members, as well as your car sticker, make sure you take your membership card. There is plenty of parking - all from no more than 20 metres from the beach.

Apparently Studland was Enid Blyton's inspiration for Toytown - a nice fact for any Noddy fans out there!

It was a bit cold that day, so I wasn't too keen on having my first outdoor swim of the year, but I eventually braved the temperature and got my swimming shorts on. Over the years I've found that the best way for my body to accept being in cold water, is to take it slow and steady when immersing myself. This wasn't a problem here, as I had to walk quite a distance for the water to be above my kidneys. The descent is very shallow and the water very clear.

Me and Old Harry.

As soon as I started swimming, I realised that it was the best thing to be doing. It was wonderful to be heading toward Old Harry Rocks and viewing the stunning Purbeck Hills to the right. To the left was Bournemouth, easily recognisable due to the massive helium balloon that is the Bournemouth Balloon!

Ahead of me, though, there was a surprise interrupting the never ending sea; the chalk cliffs of the Isle of Wight.

Isle of Wight in the distance.

It was such an amazing place to swim. While I was there, I noticed that the current gently took me towards Old Harry Rocks, which is fine as there's plenty of beach to aim for when you're ready to turn back.

Redend Point.

Afterwards a good cup of tea warmed me up sufficiently for a gentle wander along the beach, where we saw black-headed gulls and the odd crow. We also saw some people going through the rock pools with nets, but they didn't seem to be having much luck. What was interesting to us was the cliffs and what seems to be red-stained sandstone of the Poole Formation. As you can see there are lots of small holes in the stone. I did see some sort of bee enter one of the holes, but it didn't appear after a few minutes, so we moved on. Looking online it looks like the holes are made by burrowing mortar bees.

It was a wonderful day at Studland Bay, one I hope we will repeat in the future.

If you'd like to visit this spot, click here. Already been here? It'd be great to hear your experiences in the comments.

05 June 2014


On Friday 30th May, Lucy and myself got married! We had a wonderful and lovely day surrounded by our closest family. We had a short honeymoon in Dorset, which has given me lots of ideas to blog about!

As things become a bit more settled, I hope to return to some sort of blogging routine - and importantly getting back into reading the blogs that I follow. Until then, I hope that you're all well and enjoying the year!

Best wishes,