We are very lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world, with plenty of beautiful places to visit on our doorstep.
Last weekend, we headed to Wareham to visit Arne Nature Reserve.
Arne is situated on the west hand side of Poole Harbour and celebrated for its lowland heathland and its wildlife including Dartford warblers, nightjars, all six species of British reptile, butterflies. moths and its beautiful Sika Deer.
As we arrived, we were guided to the Covid-secure welcome point, where we paid for parking (£5) and invited to take a photo of the map, so we could refer to it if we needed to.
We took the Shiptal trail, which takes you from the carpark and through wood and heathland to the beautiful Shipstal Beach. Make sure you stop and look out from the picnic area for gorgeous views of Corfe Castle in the distance.
With so much rain recently, the pathways are quite muddy underfoot, so I recommend a pair of wellies or walking boots if you plan on visiting.
The walk to Shipstal Beach takes about 25 minutes from the carpark and is well worth it for the peace and tranquility, as well as the views over Poole Harbour and its islands.
The kids really enjoyed practising skimming stones and paddling in the shallow water, albeit with their boots on.
The sweep of sand carries on around the corner and then you can climb over the top of the heathland for views from above.
We didn’t see many birds on our visit, but we were followed round by a friendly robin. What we did see, was a couple of Sika deer.
My husband spotted them first, but I have to admit I could not see them – there are actually two in picture above – can you spot them?
Thankfully, as they started running, their little white heart shape bottoms were clearly visible as they bounced across the field.
Once the deer had disappeared from view, we continued our walk, stopping for the kids to explore or climb a tree.
There are seven different trails to follow, although a few pathways are currently closed. Eliza was most amused by one being called the Dumbledore trail, but we did discover that a Dumbledore is the Dorset name for a Bumblebee.
I am definitely going to use Wopsy for a wasp from now on – that sounds much less scary!!
Due to lockdown, the bird hides and play area are closed, however, the public toilets are open and cafe is open for takeaway refreshments.
I highly recommend Arne as a place to visit for a socially distanced walk. The carpark was full when we arrived, but it is such a large place that we only saw a handful of people whilst following the trails, although it did get busier as we approached the car park.
Have you visited Arne before?