Anyone who has been captivated by
Dorset will relish this latest visit to one of Britain’s most
spectacular counties. Your journey begins at Studland, where we take
the Chain Ferry across Poole Harbour, first visiting the
millionaires’ playground of Sandbanks.
A stroll around Poole Quay reveals
how the town developed, largely through its trade links with North
America; at its peak in the 18th century it was one of the busiest
ports in Britain. In more recent times, it was a major embarkation
point for the D-Day landings of the Normandy Invasion.
After looking at some of Poole’s
most historic buildings, as well as Holes Bay and the national
headquarters of the RNLI, we take a majestic boat trip around the
second largest natural harbour in the world, which includes a view
of Brownsea Island, where Robert Baden-Powell set up the first Scout
Camp in 1907.
We then set sail on the world’s
last seagoing paddlesteamer, Waverley, which berthed at Poole for
the first time since 1987. As we reached Branksome Dene Chine, the
presentation was handed over to distinguished Bournemouth historian
and tour guide John Walker. John explains the history of significant
sites such as the Royal Exeter Hotel, once home of the town’s
founder Captain Lewis Tregonwell. You will also see St Peter’s
Church, where Frankenstein author Mary Shelley is buried, enjoy a
tribute to the town’s floral splendour, and visit the Pier, the
Pavilion and the Bournemouth International Centre.
There is also time to call at
Boscombe, Southbourne and the ancient town of Christchurch, famous
for its splendid 11th century Priory and its stunning quay, before
we finish our tour at Highcliffe, on the very edge of Hampshire.
Discovering Dorset Volume 1:
South East Dorset, Including Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch £14.95