The Easter school holidays meant that it was time for our annual UK beach holiday! After two wonderful trips to Tenby in Wales, we decided to try somewhere new and explore the Jurassic Coast in Dorset. We’d left it pretty late to book, so struggled to find accommodation near the coast, but then we found Tillys – a Victorian villa minutes from the waterfront in Swanage. It was a perfect location with more than enough room for us all, plus Katharine and Emilia who joined us for the week.
After a ridiculously slow and busy drive down, we were so thrilled to see the sea – Swanage is in a beautiful position, the bay surrounded by cliffs and with views out to Old Harry Rocks and the Isle of Wight.
We arrived in the early evening, so took the kids straight out for fish and chips on the beach! They ate it as quickly as possible so they could go get wet!
Sophie almost immediately fell over and got went and sandy, but she was so excited about being in the sea she didn’t mind!
We dried them off and gave them a quick shower, before heading out for a sunset wander along the seafront.
Just above the pier, and really close to our cottage, was the Durlston Country Park so we climbed up into it to watch the sun set. It was stunning, and so relaxing – the perfect start to our holiday.
The first day dawned bright, sunny and warm – so we headed straight to the beach! The gang was complete with the arrival of Emilia the evening before:
The kids got straight into their swimming costumes and immediately set to work constructing sandcastles!
Despite the glorious sunshine, the water was freezing – but that didn’t stop my crazy duo who headed right in for a good splash! We stayed safely on dry land, basking on the beach and catching up with each other!
Later in the week, we found ourselves back on the beach. The weather wasn’t quite so sunny, but that didn’t stop the kids donning beachwear and playing in the waves. I love this picture of my silly children in their cossies buried in the sand, and Katharine wrapped up in a warm hoody!
We were drawn to the water every evening – mostly for stone skimming after dinner! Matt is training up the children well!
We enjoyed a wander around Swanage Pier one afternoon – the scene of a crazy scuba diving weekend back in Matt and my university days! Alex was disappointed not to see any fish from the boardwalk – he can’t wait to start diving!
We did drag the children away from the beach on one of our Swanage days, and took them for a cliff top walk from Durlston.
We were soon in lush woodland where the children followed their own trail along a dry riverbed, collecting sticks and exploring.
We stopped for ice cream at Durlston Castle, and then wandered back to Swanage on a more inland route looking for wildlife. We spotted some deer in the hedgerows…
And met a little herd of friendly donkeys!
The children did brilliantly on the long walk!
Despite the lovely beaches and glorious walks, I think the highlight of Swanage for the children was the afternoon tea at “Love Cake etc”. The mini cake, scone and sandwich tiers (accompanied by hot chocolate and marshmallows) was irresistable – so much so that we went twice during our week!
Swanage was a great base for our holiday – but we did enjoy some fabulous days out as well. But more on those in a later post!