10 June 2015

Weekend break to Bournemouth & Christchurch, UK

It's been beautiful weather for the last week here in Southern UK and so Mum and I decided to make the most of the weather and head to Christchurch for a weekend before I'm off to the USA. We packed Annie in the car, some ambitiously sunny-weather clothing and headed south.

First Stop: Hengistbury Head
Parking: We parked on Rolls Drive (Postcode: BH6 4NA) where there is 2 hours free parking, but there is plenty of paid parking around if you want to stick around longer. 

At this time of year there are wildflowers everywhere. Perhaps because I was abroad last spring/summer, I feel like I'm only really starting to appreciate the dandelions, the daisies and the forget-me-nots.
It was a particularly windy day when we went and I fell in to the trap of thinking I wouldn't get burnt (typical brit) so I am not a little red and peeling.

 There is no problem taking dogs to walk along the beach at Hengistbury Head, but make sure you have poo bags to clean up after yourself. Annie loves the beach, though she hasn't quite mastered the sea yet and prefers to sit down in pools of water that collect in the sand and shingle.
 There are a few paths you can take - along the cliff looking down on the beach (the paths are wide and clearly marked - see the photo below) or walk along the beach. We chose to walk along the beach on the way there and along the path behind the cliffs on the way back.
 Many people in their youth took the geography trip to Hengistbury Head to talk about erosion and coastal management. I hear some of you groaning at the thought and so if you're not interested, then feel free to skip the next paragraph.

Bournemouth and the surrounding area is victim to erosion, but the area is heavily reliant on the beaches for tourism. The council spends money on protecting them with groins (the piles of rocks the run perpendicular to the sea), adding sand and stones to beaches and securing the cliffs with plants and wire mesh. Feeling geeky? Information on Hengistbury Head coastal erosion.
 The cliffs are quite spectacular, particularly on days where the sky is as blue as it was for us. These photos are completely untouched. I couldn't quite understand why the beach was so quiet on such a beautiful day.
 Annie was proud of her sand moustache.
Walk along the beach and turn round the corner at the end towards the real gem...
 Keep walking...
You'll arrive at Mudeford sand spit with it beautiful sand and colourful beach huts. Rumour has it these huts can go for up to £250,000 which is rather steep considering they are glorified wendy houses.
 A lot have a little window in the eaves where there is a bed to sleep, unlike most beach huts in the area. I would love to rent one for a long weekend, but as we're talking about the UK you can't foresee the good weather, making it one hell of a risky holiday.
 Many beach huts have been in the family for years, explaining why when one comes up for sale people are chomping at the bit to own one themselves.
 I quite liked the pale blue one below.

Second Stop: Avon Beach & Friars Cliff
 Parking: BH23 4AN There is a pay and display car park right by the beach here but it gets busy and is very expensive. Full prices can be found here but two hours sets you back £3.10.
 We came early morning when there were plenty of parking spaces. I was impressed to see a girl on the beach doing a workout and it definitely made me wish I lived near the sea.
 There are beach huts at Avon Beach too, but they are behind the path which I think is a bit of a shame. As you walk along Avon, the beach turns in the Friars Cliff (you should see a sign) which is where you can let dogs off the lead.
 Though not as nice as Mudeford, the beach huts here can still fetch a hefty amount.
 On beautifully clear days (like last weekend) you can see The Needles just off the Isle of Wight.

I found myself repeatedly saying, how is this the United Kingdom? Where is your staycation destination?

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