I'd heard that the chain ferry from South Haven Point at the end of the trail to Sandbanks on the other side of Poole Harbour was having its biennial refit. This was a shame, as I'd intended taking the ferry, sleeping overnight in Poole, then catching the train at Poole's main line station to London and thence to home. I didn't want to arrive at a non-existent ferry at the end of the day miles from anywhere and with nowhere to go. So I had to form quickly an alternative plan. From Corfe I would walk a cross-country route to South Haven Point, arrive around midday, trace the Coast Path 'backwards' as far as Swanage, stop there the night, and next morning catch a bus to Wareham, which also has a railway station on the main London line. And this is exactly what I did.
|A steel sculpture marks the end of the Coast Path at South Haven Point. The design is a pair of sails mounted on a compass, and the silhouettes depict scenes from the trail. My backpack and walking poles are resting against the sculpture.|
|The ferry slipway at South Haven Point. No ferry, of course. Sandbanks, on the opposite bank, is, unbelievably, one of the most expensive places in the world to buy property.|
|Still no ferry. One could wait a long time.|
|I set out for Swanage along the lonely shoreline of Shell Bay.|
|As you can see, hundreds of naturists thronged the strand at Studland Bay. There were bits of bodies dangling and bouncing all over the place. I didn't know where to look.|
|I passed the Old Harry pinnacles and stacks on The Foreland.|