West Ower Photos

Surrounding Area & Places Of Interest

The rural surroundings of the Isle of Purbeck are filled with a wide variety of attractions.

The area is a paradise for birdwatchers and only minutes away are such well renowned sites as RSPB Arne that can provide wonderful views of Marsh Harriers and vast flocks of Avocets and other waders. Durlston Country Park, where one can marvel at the numerous seabirds on the cliffs, is a great place for a walk along the dramatic coastline, where the keen-eyed may even spot Dolphins.

The area is very well known for its spectacular scenery and thus provides a wide array of opportunities for walkers. Most noteable is the South West Coast Path. Purbeck encompasses the eastern end of this 630 mile trail and the stunning views it affords have led it to be described as one of the World's best walks. Some of it is taken up by the World Heritage Jurassic Coast. Running from Old Harry Rocks in Dorset to Exmouth in Devon, this geology- and fossil-rich coastline also includes the delights of Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door.

There are many other places to walk, through a variety of landscapes - not least, one can stroll just across our quiet country lane where a bridleway leads to the hilltops. This affords a glorious view across Poole Harbour, a very large natural harbour containing several islands. Brownsea Island is well worth a day trip for the magical scenery and fantastic birdwatching opportunities, and it is also a good place to see the endangered Red Squirrel.

From the hilltops one also has a great view of the whole valley running from Corfe Castle to Swanage. It is an easy and enjoyable walk into Corfe, and it is possible to see Dartford Warblers, orchids and lots of other wildlife on the way. Once there, an exploration of the castle is recommended. The village also has several pubs, all of which serve good food; and below the smallest Town Hall in England is a little museum with many local artefacts and fossils on display.

After a cream tea in the 18th century tea room, it could be time to return to Harman's Cross by train, from where it is an easy stroll back to West Ower along the lanes. This picturesque steam railway occasionally operates speciality weekends, where one can enjoy meals served whilst travelling through the Purbeck countryside.

The train also continues to the popular seaside resort of Swanage. This scenic town has many attractions including the Victorian pier, a summer carnival week with lots of fireworks and many good restaurants and cafes. Not least though, it has a lovely sheltered and gently sloping beach which is perfect for taking a dip, or just for a stroll.

Another beach in the area that's well worth a visit is at Studland. This wonderful 4-mile stretch of sand has gently shelving bathing waters and beautiful views, and is ideal for many water sports. Behind the beach is a nature reserve and designated trails through the heathland and sand dunes allow one to see a wealth of wild flowers and other wildlife, including all six of Britain's reptiles.

Some images of the surrounding countryside:

Bacon Hole

Aerial of Poole Harbour
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