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This Week's Walks - Archive

Please see the Saturday Walker's Club This Week's Walks page.

This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

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Saturday, 25 July 2015

Saturday Third Walk

Extra Walk 73:  South West Coast Path:  Branksome to Swanage or Corfe Castle – A Lovely Long Coastal Journey

Length:  11.6 miles to Swanage; 14.5 to Corfe Castle

Difficulty:  3 out of 10 to Swanage; 5 out of 10 to Corfe Castle

Train:  Take the 9:35 South West Weymouth train from London Waterloo to Branksome arriving at 11:29.  Buy a special “summer promotion” day return ticket (£20) to Wareham for maximum flexibility on the return journey.  According to the SW website, these can be purchased online, from ticket offices and from ticket machines.

In order to return from Swanage, you will need to take the number 40 bus from the Swanage bus station to Wareham (approximately 30 minutes) or a number 50 bus from various points along the sea front to Bournemouth (approximately 1 hour).  From Corfe Castle, take the 40 bus. The 40 bus leaves Swanage at 18:05 and 19:05 (and Corfe at 18:23 and 19:23); the 50 bus leaves Swanage at 18:25; 19:25; 20:25.  Return trains from Wareham are at 18:28; 18:53; 19:28; 19:53; 20:42 and 21:42 – the 40 bus coordinates well with the 53 trains.  These trains stop in Bournemouth at 18:59; 19:22; 19:59; 20:22; 21:12 and 22:12 – the 50 bus does not link well, and, you will have a 30 minute or so wait to peruse the nearby ASDA.  To maximize your time or take the 42 trains, you could also take a taxi from Swanage/Corfe to Wareham – Swanage Taxis 01929 421 122 or 01929 425 350. The quoted fare is £25 from Swanage and the trip takes about 20 minutes (or 10 minutes from Corfe).  Please make sure to call ahead.

This is a long and enjoyable summer outing.  The walk takes a hidden valley down to the sea and a long sandy beach.  It largely follows the coastline with plenty of opportunities for swimming.  At Sandbanks, you take a short ferry ride over to Purbeck and enjoy another long sandy stretch through Studland Bay with more swimming options. At the far end of Studland Bay, the walk climbs up to Old Harry’s Rocks and then either drops down into Swanage or carries along the ridge to Corfe Castle.  More information and the walk instructions can be found here.

There are a couple of lunch options on either side of the Sandbanks Ferry – the recommended one is the Shell Bay Cafe (01929 450 363) on the Purbeck side of the ferry.  Large groups should call ahead.  There are also plenty of places to enjoy a picnic.

Tea and other refreshments can be had at the National Trust kiosk in Studland Bay or at the Bankes Arms pub in Studland Bay.  Both Swanage and Corfe Castle have a few options for post walk libations.   

Enjoy the walk and fingers crossed for good weather!


Anonymous said...

anyone feel like getting a bit later train as in the 10.05 or 10.35 ?

Anonymous said...

I'll be going (If the weather forecast remains good)but will get the train suggested since it's a long day.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU so much for posting this walk/swimming location. I didn't want to leave!

Walker said...

n=18 on this walk, w=sunny-with-breezy-cloud, a fine day though not particularly hot. After Branksome Chine, the group split into swimmers and non-swimmers. The Non majority will have to make their own report, but of the seven of us in the rearguard, six had a lovely swim in the crystal-clear and current-free waters (out around the buoy for two of us), even though sea temperaures were a bit below where they should be.

We had lunch at the Shell Bay Cafe (a fish restaurant: fine views of Poole Harbour). Along the water line at Studland there were alarming numbers of dead jellyfish, which caused one of the party to retreat to swim in safer waters. We also lost another of the group on the busy beach (hope this was not our fault). Four us then had another beautiful but rather cold swim (encountering no jellyfish, I am happy to say), and warmed up over tea and ice creams.

By this time it was 5.30pm and we had to walk more briskly over the glorious final section past Old Harry Rocks and over Ballard Down to get to Swanage by 7.30pm. Despite finding the town en fete (some kind of festival) we managed to secure a taxi to Wareham and had nice oriental takeaways from food stalls while waiting for it. A long ride home then ensued on the stop-everywhere 8.42 train, ameliorated by red wine, chocolates and rather too much houmous.