portland bill lighthouse (2) c
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Holidays in Swanage: part 2 – Geography class remembered

Who says holidays can’t be educational?  Certainly not me, and I think I’m turning into my mum with the geography class as we’re on the move!

When she took us on holidays in the UK, she would point out all the geographical features – rivers, meanders and oxbow lakes, dry stone walls, glacial features and more.  We would moan and mostly ignore what she was saying, but the subliminal advertising obviously worked as I ended up with a geography degree, and my brother also enjoyed the subject.

But now I hear myself saying the same as she did, trying to open N’s eyes to what’s around him.  So our second day on holiday in Swanage was on my checklist for visiting various geographical features I’d read about in my geography classes.  Typical it was quite a windswept day, looking like it might rain.

Portland Bill

We headed first of all to Portland Bill.  It really felt like going to the end of the world, so that feeling must be even greater at John O’Groats or the like.  If it had been warmer weather and less windy we might have done the 3 lighthouse walk, although neither the OH or N sounded thrilled at the idea of this.  I always think lighthouses look spectacular, and N knew just what a lighthouse did thanks to Peppa Pig!

portland bill lighthouse (2) c

With the dark sky, it looked so striking.  We also walked a bit along the coast to look at the cliffs and the storm battered rocks and stacks.

waves pounding the rocks at portland bill c

I love being there having the cobwebs blown away.

coastline at portland bill c

N seemed to just enjoy watching the sea, although he didn’t want to get too close to the edge (or for either of us to do so).

wild coastline at Portland Bill c

Chesil Beach

After a short blowy time, we headed back to the car and down to Chesil Beach.  After studying coasts in my geography lessons, I always wanted to see Chesil Beach, so there was no way I was missing seeing it.  It was amusing because we seemed to be following a coachload of school children around as they’d been at Portland Bill, and were then just leaving Chesil Beach as we arrived.

All of these places had parking nearby.  It annoys me having to pay every time you go somewhere different, but luckily most weren’t too expensive.  It does seem a bit ridiculous when it’s off peak and there’s about 3 cars in the car park.

Chesil is pretty amazing.  It’s entirely pebbles, and stretches for 18 miles alongside the main coastline.  Behind it is a lagoon and nature reserve, although it was so windy, we didn’t actually see any wildlife.  The opposite side of the road had people windsurfing which was amazing to watch.  One person on his board was travelling the same speed as us in the car – N was really interested in watching them as we drove past.

blowy on chesil beach c

It was a hard slog walking up the pebble ‘hill’, and at the top it was definitely what could be termed blowy.  N wasn’t too keen and wanted to head straight back down again.

walking on Chesil Beach c

It really is a spectacular beach, but I couldn’t get a decent photo of the length as the weather just wasn’t playing ball.  So it was time to head back to Weymouth and grab some lunch.  It was a good job I didn’t want to actually walk along it as if you want to do so, there’s lots of advice to read on where is safe to walk for personal safety against the waves and wind, as well as where you can walk for environmental reasons.


Like most children, N loves sand whether it’s on a beach or in a sandpit.  Weymouth was again a bit blustery, but even without his bucket and spade (the OH refused to let him pack it in the car – sad face!), he made the most of making shapes and getting sandy.

Weymouth beach drawing c

We wandered along the promenade to find somewhere to eat lunch, but decided we’d grab a sandwich and sit on a bench on the beach front.  It’s lovely just watching the world go by, and even in October there were plenty of people out and about.

weymouth promenade houses and clock

The only thing we missed out on was ice creams, as it really wasn’t the weather,  Plus I always think it’s a shame going to buy from a local ice cream maker, only to then find they don’t have dairy free options.  I think N would be gutted to not have one after being promised.

It was a busy day, with lots of in and out of the car, but worth it so I can say I’ve been to the places I used to study in geography class.  It’s a shame we didn’t make it further along to Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove, but the weather was so up and down and always threatening rain so we tended to head back to the cottage in the afternoons for a breather before dinner.

The verdict on the day was definitely ‘blustery’.

Do you have places that you want to visit after studying them at school?

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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    1. We did. I’ve still got lots to write up (mostly because I want to upload all my nice photos), but taking my time. Thanks for stopping by

  1. That shot of N and his dad on the beach is fabulous, one for a frame. Looks like you had a great time despite the weather. The storm battered rocks at the lighthouse are quiet impressive! #CountryKids

    1. Was really pleased with so many of the photos I took this holiday. Really shows how much you can pick up from watching and listening to others, even if only using a phone

  2. Great way to see the contrast between the beaches. Regret that I dropped Geography at school. Not out of choice, but due to timetable. It does mean I read more about it now and love seeing in context. #CountryKids

    1. Shame when you have to pick one subject over another. I had that in the ‘art’s section that there were several I wanted to choose.

  3. That looks like a great and busy day exploring 🙂 I don’t know about places I want to visit after studying them at school, but I do know that I too have turned into my mum! I find myself doing things with my kids that I used to moan at as a child :)x #countrykids

  4. Your beach day looks rather like our last surf club day! the winds have been so strong it has been hard to walk on the beach, still as you say lovely to get a fill of that sea air and how wonderful to retrace your geography school days. I always point out the geographical features along the cornish coastline to my children too, it’s a great way to learn. Thank you for sharing your 3 in 1 beach tour on Country Kids

    1. yes, southcoast got hit really harsh. Not helped by it being generally windier on the coast anyway. At least we missed most of the rain Thanks for stopping by

  5. There must be something about these places – I too visited them on Geography field trips and ended up doing Geography at degree level! Great places to take kids though – something very humbling about realising we actually have no real control over nature. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!:-)

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