The entrance to Shell Bay
We last did this walk on New Year's Day last year and we thought it would make a good tradition - we're just a bit late however, OK four weeks late. We park at the National Trust car park and walk towards the beach along the wooden walk way. Twisted trees grow in the wet marshy area like some mangrove swamp.
Walking along the beach we notice this intriguing vessel. Presumably it's dredging the channel to Poole's notoriously shallow harbour.
We gradually realise that something is different today. Why haven't we noticed this breakwater and posts? It seems that the tide is much further out than usual. There is a name for it too, but I haven't managed to track it down. It was a dramatic sight!
Further on there is the familiar view of Old Harry Rocks. You can just see a small hole in the bottom of the right-hand stack. At some point in the future that stack is destined to divide into two.
Later there was a spot of brightness and the chalk cliffs by the Needles on the Isle of Wight glowed brightly for a short while.
And that was basically it. We stopped at the Knowle Beach cafe for a drink and walked back to the car park.
Conditions: Mainly cloudy. Cool.
Map: Explorer OL15 (Purbeck and South Dorset).
Distance: about 5 miles.
Rating: four stars. Always a delightful walk.