The 630-mile South West Coast Path starts from Poole Harbour and runs around the shores of Dorset, Devon and Cornwall to the town of Minehead on Somerset’s north coast. The very first section of the path is a seven and a half mile stretch that begins at the Sandbanks ferry end of Studland Bay and ends at Swanage pier. You start by following the beautiful sandy Shell Bay, backed by dunes, to the pretty village of Studland, from where the path leads up to the headland of Old Harry Rocks, with vertiginous views over the Isle of Wight, Poole Harbour and Bournemouth. The path then climbs steeply over Ballard Down, before descending into the lively Victorian seaside resort of Swanage, where you can catch a bus back to the ferry.
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