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    Swanage - June 2007

    I've just been on a boat trip in Dorset from the pier at Swanage Bay across to Bournemouth. It was on Dorset Belle cruises and at �8 per person for a return ticket it was great value and a very cheap way of getting from Swanage to Bournemouth for a day out shopping. The boat has an open deck at the bow where many people went to get a seat believing they would have the best views, however by far the best vantage point was the large open stern deck, this is because the bow was so high that you have to stand up out of your seat to really see ahead, whereas at the rear of the boat I had an almost 360 degree uninterrupted view. The boat trip takes about an hour and a half to Bournemouth depending on the route it uses. There was a clear and commentary on the various sites and features of the coastline, provide by the skipper. The boat took us around Old Harry rocks past Studland Bay and into Poole Harbour, where there was a brief stop at Brownsea Island for some sightseers to disembark. On departing Brownsea Island we had a tour of Poole harbour and along the coast to Bournemouth Pier. As it was a clear day the Isle of Wight could be clearly seen along with many of the Needle rocks. You have the option of returning from Bournemouth when the boat departs after a 45 minute lunch stop or you can catch the later return trip after a few hours of shopping in the town. The return journey took about 1hr and I made use of the Internal seating area and onboard refreshments as I found it was easy to get sunburnt without realising. It is definitely a good boat trip for families and kids young and old, but make sure you pack some sun block and a picnic if you fancy lunch on the beach at Bournemouth.
    Chris, Rochdale

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