Scenic views of Hengistbury Head
Last weekend weather conditions along the south coast of England were perfect for photographing “big sky” landscapes with white fluffy clouds set in a rich blue background. So it was time to grab the wideangle lens and hop across the Hampshire/Dorset border to Hengistbury Head.
In case you don’t know Hengistbury Head is a sandstone headland lying between Poole Bay to the west and Christchurch Harbour to the east. It’s important from both a human and natural history perspective, containing both important archaeological sites as well being an SSSI.
The lower lying areas on the northern side that adjoin Christchurch Harbour are a mix of saltmarsh, reedbeds and brackish lagoons which are home to a wide variety of birdlife. Just on this one day Little Egret, Grey Heron, Shelduck, Oystercatcher amongst others were all showing well.
In the centre of the headland lies Quarry Pond, a remnant of Victorian-era mining activity, surrounded by gorse-laden heath. The diversity of environments in such a small area is for me the defining quality of the place.
At the far end of the Head lies Mudeford Spit with its famous beach huts, some of the most desirable property in the area for their location if not for their size!
From atop Warren Hill, the highest point of the Head, you can get a much better vantage point of the huts stretching out along the spit guarding the narrow harbour entrance.
Looking south from Warren Hill you get a great view of the Needles in the distance at the western tip of the Isle of Wight and then out into the expanse of the English Channel beyond.
The final part of the loop path gives equally stunning views back across both Christchurch and in the other direction towards Boscombe and Bournemouth with Old Harry Rocks visible on the far side. Having brought you a look at the landscape view in this post I’ll follow up soon with a further look at the wildlife of the area.