Episode 10: A Loop Of The UK’s Côte d’Azur

Decorative fountain under the night sky in Poole Park.

21:48 on Wednesday, 3 August 2022 Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Harbour, England

  • Distance:- 16.54km
  • Moving Time:- 47:24
  • Elevation:- 66m
  • Weighted Avg Power:- 126W
  • Total Work:- 292kJ

Strava Link

There’s a feeling that’s hard to pin down when you go for a relaxed ride along the Poole Harbour beach on a balmy summer evening. It’s kind of magical and serene, mixed with that feeling you get when you arrive at a holiday destination in a far-flung warm country late in the day, after a long flight and airport transfer.

Through Poole Park

The short, familiar loop through Poole Park is as pretty as a picture. It takes you past the ‘millionaire’s strip’ through Whitecliffe and Lilliput towards the chain ferry at Sandbanks, then brings you back, circling the largest natural harbour in Europe.

The sounds of clacking masts, the splash of water, the lights chasing up the hillside and radiating from the whitewashed mansions with their chrome and glass – this is very Côte d’Azur.

I stopped occasionally to take in the harbour lights and snap the odd night photo.

The traditional Poole Harbour cottage

There is one very lonesome old traditional house on the return section of the ferry loop. It has withstood the relentless march of the monied properties. I was keen to steal its image, as it stood all alone in a small plot protected by the gate with its “Private No Access” notice, surrounded by royal yacht clubs and super cruisers. I hope it survives.

You can understand why John Lennon bought a house here for his much-loved Auntie Mi Mi.

The return through the park, past the public exercise area, the mini railway, the derelict outdoor velodrome, the swans in the water, and the crazy golf course, leads you back into the sharp contrast of the classic 60’s architecture of Poole Bus Station. From there, it’s a tiny hop to where the family is visiting the grandparents for a short summer break.

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