Friday, 8 July 2016

Hengisbury Head

 If you're in Dorset and looking for a lovely day out, I can highly recommend Hengisbury Head near Christchurch.

You can follow the paths that lead over and around the nature reserve which is also important archaeological site.  In the Bronze Age Hengisbury Head was a cemetery, with barrow burials.  Then later Iron age people settled and exploited the ironstone found in abundance there.  There is an excellent visitor center where you can explore the history and natural history of the area.




 To one side of the headland there is ample opportunity for skimming stones and watching the boats in the shallow, calm waters of Chritchurch Harbour.  On the other side there are miles of sandy beaches.
 The wooded areas are a big draw for the boys, with excellent climbing trees and steep banks to explore.  The bird population really loves it too, and Ollie especially loves to climb up a tree and sit watching the woodland birds busy collecting food for their chicks.
 Toby finds plenty of trees he can access to, and his favourite is when we sometimes get a ride back on the land train from Sandbanks to the car park.  He also loves to peer over the fences into the ponds, which are home to rare Natterjack toads.
No visit is complete without a trip into the visitors center enjoy the hands-on exhibits and learn about the extensive archaeological finds from the area.


All in all, for the price of a car park ticket (which you can avoid if you don't mind parking a little way further along the entry road), this is a pretty special place to visit.











Notes:
Good buggy and wheelchair access over much of the site.  Toilets, including changing facilities at the visitors center.  Cafe.  Ample pay and display car parking.  Good cycle routes around the area if you're coming by bike.