Some photos from our week away in September 2011, staying at South Lytchett Manor. Situated about 5 miles from Poole, it provided an ideal base for touring the local area. A lovely, clean campsite, with good facilities including a shop with off license, and free wifi near reception.

South Lytchett Manor campsite

Brownsea Island was first on our list. After parking the car at Sandbanks, we caught the Brownsea Island Ferry. It runs every half hour, and costs £5.50 per person. Admission to the National Trust managed island costs a further £5.80 per person. We were visiting in the hope of spotting a red squirrel, as the island is one of the few remaining places where they survive, and we were fortunate enough to spot several of them on the Woodland Walk immediately behind the church.

A Red Squirrel on Brownsea Island

Poole Quay is well worth a visit, with plenty of shops, bars and restaurants along the quayside. After browsing round Poole Pottery’s gift shop, a drink at the Jolly Sailor to watch the world go by and the sunseeker motor yachts being built on the opposite side. We went back to the Quay on Tuesday evening, to see the ‘Dream Machines’ – the quay is closed to traffic, and gradually fills up with motorbikes of all shapes and sizes.

Stuart opposite the Sunseeker factory, Poole Quay

The Swanage Railway is within a few miles of the campsite. Running for about 6 miles from the Norden park and ride, the journey to Swanage takes just under half an hour. An adult return ticket is £10.50, and the dogs cost an extra £2 each. Swanage is a pleasant little seaside town, and the fine weather lasted long enough for us to enjoy a coffee at a bar on the seafront overlooking the small harbour. On the return journey we got off the train at Corfe Castle station, and after a brief look around the village we continued on foot the short walk back to Norden. The route home took us through Wareham; another quaint little riverside town, with plenty of shops to browse and restaurants to bear in mind.

Deborah at Corfe Castle

Lulworth Cove is also within easy reach of the campsite, perhaps half an hour’s journey away. A mile further along the coast is Durdle Door; car parking tickets are valid for both locations. Continuing inland, Dorchester is just another short drive away. We visited the Terracotta Warriors Museum, followed by a walk through the busy pedestrianised shopping streets in the centre of town.

Deborah at Lulworth Cove

Bournemouth has miles of sandy beaches, several of which are dog friendly. We drove out towards Boscombe, and let the dogs run loose on the beach for a while. Then on to Lyndhurst in the New Forest, for a browse round the shops.

Luna on the beach at Boscombe

Some other local attractions we hoped to visit, but simply didn’t get time:
The Blue Pool
The Tank Museum
Oceanarium
Walford Mill Crafts
Beaulieu Motor Museum

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