Studland Beach – Dorset


View of Old Harrys Rocks from Middle Beach, Studland

Its been a busy week with family visiting…a lot to write about and STILL behind on prior travel I’ve wanted to write about!

So here’s a quick one as I wanted to share a new place we visited this weekend.

Taking advantage of the lovely weather we’ve had in England this week, we’ve done a number of beach days.  One was spent at Studland Beach on the South Dorset coast.

Studland is a National Trust Property and they maintain the coastline nicely.  As it is a NT site, having a membership is helpful as the car park is then free (usually £6).  There is no additional charge for the beach.



We visited Middle beach.  There is also a South Beach (with a great coastal walk to Old Harry’s Rocks) and a Knoll Beach….one section of the beach is also for naturists (further on the north side).

Middle Beach offers a nice sandy beach, toilets, cafe and ice creams!

Of course, with the weather being perfect, it was very busy.  Space on the beach was at a premium but we managed to find a spot and settle in.  In fact, we stayed all afternoon and opted not to make the walk to Old Harrys rocks this time.


As you can see, dogs are allowed on the beach.  They need to stay on leash but we swam our guy far out and took him off leash so he could swim.   The water is shallow for a log way out so its perfect for kids and dogs alike!


Family Frisbee


Family swim


Great game of frisbee with the dog


Cornwall – Carnewas

This is a follow up post to the Watergate post yesterday.   We rounded out our day after the stroll along Watergate Bay at another National Trust spot further North along the coast (just a few miles).   This was Carnewas.   This is home to the famed Bedruthan Steps.  Sadly we didn’t go this far as the crew was tired but for a short distance, the rewards were plentiful.  I’ll let the photos speak for themselves!


Idyllic setting


Views from the coastal path



View south down the coastline



Playing with camera filters allows for  moodier shot

Cornwall – Newquay


Gunnel at Cranstock Beach

This last weekend, we went to Cornwall for the weekend.   It was a cheap getaway that we booked just a couple of weeks ago.  I had seen an offer in the Daily Mail to collect the tokens and get away for just £20pp.  I dont often do offers like this but as a family of five and copious amounts of travel draining the purse, I thought this would be a great deal for us…and it was.

We booked into a camping resort – Parkdean, Newquay.  Again, never staying in a ‘holiday camp’ type of resort before this was a new experience but pleasantly surprised.   The unit we booked accommodated up to 6 people.  It was sparkling clean and had everything we could possibly need for the short stay…2 bathrooms, fully equipped kitchen, living room, diner, tv etc.  We are at the beginning of the season so I wonder how well the units would hold up through the summer but for us, it was perfect.   We opted to bring our own sheets, although, they do offer these as an extra charge.   With the newspaper deal, we paid under £50 for a 3 night stay!  WOW!  This is a brilliant deal and highly recommend anyone looking out for the deals when they are done again.  We paid an additional £40 for entertainment passes.  Not critical for us but we did use them and they did check the passes so with such a good deal, happy to spend the little extra.


Lounging around at the Camp site

Our first full day there was Saturday.  Having been weather watching all week, we knew that the weather wasn’t going to be great so we opted to do some driving/ touring around the area.

First stop was Newquay.  Don’t get me wrong, Newquay has some of the most beautiful beaches and best surfing spots in the UK but on a grey day we were less than enamored.  The town center/ promenade area was also disappointing.  Maybe we just didn’t hit the right spots?  Not sure…but with one way road systems, rain and no ease of parking we moved out of Newquay and headed South along the coast.

Our first pull over site was a National Trust location Crantock Beach.  We have an annual membership for NT so as it turned out, we were going to be fortunate to use it a number of times this weekend away.

We headed up and over the dunes onto a pretty sandy beach.  As I said, one of many in this lovely area.

We took a stroll along the beach watching the tide come in.   We opted to take a different path back to the car park.  There are many paths off the car park so by chance we opted to take an opposite path up and over into another cove.  This was beautiful!  Its clear where the water flows here and leads out to the ‘Gunnel’.


Dogs playing on Crantock Beach

If you go, take a walk over to the wooden bridge and cross over to a series of steps up.  166 in all.   Perched at the top, there is a delightful cafe with fantastic views.  Naturally, we took some tea and cake – what we do best 🙂


View of the Gunnel at the top of the steps/ cafe

After refreshments we set out North again to find another adventure.   Next stop was Holywell Beach (National Trust).

We asked the car park attendant for his must do at the beach and he told us to head to the far end and explore the cave…so that’s what we did!

For the walk back to the car park, we ventured through the dunes….all very picturesque!

Two beaches down, we opted for a little change in scenery – we headed into Truro for a look around.  I wont spend much time here on it as we only hit the shopping/ center.  From what we saw, it would be worth a return visit one day to explore more.  Shopping was pretty standard but the kids enjoyed a change in activity.   We grabbed a bite of dinner at Sams Bistro.  I would recommend the restaurant – the food was good and reasonably priced.

Final stop was back at Parkdean in Newquay – our camping resort.  In true holiday camp fashion, the resort offered plenty of evening entertainment.   So Bingo and quiz night it was before we headed off to bed!


Ringstead Bay, Dorset


Ringstead Bay

Spring is finally here in earnest.  We headed to the coast for the day this weekend so get a teaser of warmth and summertime to come along the Jurassic Coast.

We have been to Ringstead Bay once before,  late last summer.  A first time for me and I liked it so much, we thought it would be good to go back and also take some visiting family.  Knowing the weather wouldn’t support sunbathing and swimming, we knew that the walks and views were in themselves enough to take us back.

We parked up at the National Trust Car Park which is easy to find and at this time of year, not busy at all.  To our disappointment when we arrived, the fog was heavy…not expecting that at all but it did clear after an hour to allow us some splendid views.

During our visit, we got to watch some para gliders practice take offs.  Back last summer, I recall seeing the same at this spot so I would assume its fairly frequent.  Fun for the kids to watch and adds to the beauty of the location.  We took the paths down towards the ocean.  One path leads to the an amazing, tiny chapel overlooking the ocean.  Back in the summer, this chapel also served tea and home made cakes.  There was no-one there this time but something to bear in mind if you head up that way.  My guess is, in season, they serve afternoon tea most weekends, so be sure to have a few pounds in your pocket…its worth it!

We headed down to the beach and just let the kids be kids and dog be dog…paddling and swimming (dog only).


fog lifting over the beach


post paddle stroll


foggy view from the top


a dog and the ocean….happy dog


splendid views from every angle

The hike back up to the car park is steep in places but we strolled back up at the end of the afternoon, sun kissed and rosy cheeked from our day out by the sea.

Kingston Lacey


Snowdrops in bloom

Another day trip we made during half term was to the National Trust Property of Kingston Lacey.


Kingston Lacey House


Grounds of Kingston Lacey


Views from Kingston Lacey

I had heard the Snowdrops were in full bloom and i thought it would be nice to see….being from Maine, bulbs don’t typically sprout and flower until May so an early Spring is a treat.  We had a spare day so I packed up a picnic, the kids and the dog and headed out.  Just a short(ish) drive to Wimborne Minster, Dorset from where we live.

Kingston Lacey is a National Trust property.  A country House and estate dating back to the 17th century.  The grounds are extensive and what I particularly liked was the fact I could take the dog!  They will provide you with a map where dogs are permitted which was ample and we took many of the forest trails too which led to Kids playgrounds allowing the younger 2 to burn off some energy.


Chester the Golden enjoying the trails

The Snowdrops and daffodils were in full bloom and coupled with some sunshine made for a please few hours out.

The house is currently closed (except for 2 rooms), so we didn’t make it inside (opting to stay outside while we could!).  I am sure it would be worth a return visit though.

As with any National Trust property, we rounded out our afternoon with a Cream Tea in the tea rooms.  Nicely done in the old stables/ stable yard of the house.