Get away from it all on Brownsea Island

When I wrote about the boat trip to Brownsea Island, (the post can be seen here: http://tinyurl.com/lu3tqs3 ) I refrained from taking you on a guided tour around the island itself, because I didn’t want to spoil it for you. But with the glorious summer that was 2013, I figured you are bound to have been, so I won’t ruin the surprise this little pocket of paradise has to offer.

baotAfter the fun of the boat trip across the bay, you step onto a wooden jetty then into the National Trust reception area to either show your pass or pay your due as you pass through the gateway to the island.entrance

Your first port of call is likely to be the lavatory – well worth a visit given the only other loo is on the other side of the island!

As you walk along the path, a bust of Lord Baden-Powell stands like a discreet but authoritative figure on your left, a subtle reminder of the importance of this minute island.baden

You may decide to visit the bird hide or the wildlife reserve, however if you have young children this may not be so popular as it requires a certain level of patience, quiet and perseverance, three words not often found in a child’s vocabulary!

The likelihood is you will stop for your picnic lunch on the huge green that is a bit further on. Plenty of space for a picnic and peacockenergetic children who will doubtless take great pleasure in chasing the Canada geese and peacocks that hang around the area ever hopeful of a few crumbs!

After your lunch, head off either to the left or right. Most go to the left, must be something in our psyche that makes us do everything in a clockwise motion!

This summer they had the 50th anniversary celebration of the Brownsea Island Open Air theatre entranceTheatre http://www.brownsea-theatre.co.uk/ A wonderful form of entertainment if the weather is reasonable, so everyone was sure to have enjoyed it this year!

conesAs you walk across the island you cannot help but marvel at the huge array of different trees, shrubs and other flora.

A slightly less welcome but nonetheless frequent re antsight is the island’s red ant army who are billeted in enormous ant hills that vibrate with the intense activity of the unit.

If you walk down to the shoreline for a paddle, you will see plenty of evidence of the once thriving pottery industry with bricks scattered along the beach and the remains of the kilns.kiln

There are various pathways leading down to the beach, some are better for wheelchair/pushchair access than others.path

You are bound to find the official scout encampment (where you will find the other loo if you’ve beenstone hanging on) with scout shop and island information. There is also the huge Scout Stone that commemorates Robert Baden-Powell.

If you go at a time when the camp is empty and the area quiet, you may well see one of the island’s more timid inhabitants, the red squirrel.

tree carving

The inspiration of Pining for you

explains heartsThe ‘Pining for you’ project is a clever bit of artwork. Mike Fletcher was inspired by a message of love that had been carved into a tree and he along with ‘Unlocked’ – a group of Dorset youngsters, created ‘Heart Wood’; a modern interpretation of the more traditional carving of initials in a tree.

heart as one

Now you see it…

love heart sep

Now you don’t…

St Mary'sAs you walk back towards the harbour, you will find St Mary’s church, a charming Victorian church that has that same ‘happy’ feel about it that is not only the philosophy of the island but seems to exude from every corner of this beautifully preserved little corner of England.statue

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About Sophia Moseley

Freelance Copywriter, Feature Writer and Author. Looking for that illusive job that every working mother craves but surviving, just, on what I can find. My writing and poetry keeps my sane. Watch this space.
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