[Illustration: SAND AND PINES, BOURNEMOUTH.]
Bournemouth will be found a convenient centre, or rather starting point, for the exploration of the beautiful Wessex coast. From the pier large and comfortable steamers make the passage to Swanage, Weymouth, Lyme and further afield. Another advantage which these large towns have for the ordinary tourist is that he may generally count upon getting some sort of roof to cover him when in the smaller coast resorts lodgings are not merely at a premium but simply unobtainable at any price.
[Illustration: CORFE CASTLE.]
POOLE, WIMBORNE AND THE ISLE OF PURBECK
The South of England generally is wanting in that particular scenic charm that consists of broad stretches of inland water backed by high country. The first sight of Poole harbour with the long range of the Purbeck Hills in the distance will come as a delightful revelation to those who are new to this district. The harbour is almost land-locked and the sea is not in visual evidence away from the extremely narrow entrance between Bournemouth and Studland. A fine excursion for good pedestrians can be made by following the sandy shore until the ferry across the opening is reached and then continuing to Studland and over Ballard Down to Swanage.
Poole town is a busy place of small extent but containing for its size a large population. The enormous development of industry in the surrounding districts during the Great War must have brought the number of folks in and around Poole to nearly 100,000, thus making it the most populous corner of Dorset. This figure may not be maintained, but a good proportion of the work concerned with the waste of armaments has been transformed into the commerce of peace. One cause for the modern prosperity of this old town is its position as regards the converging railways from the west and north as well as from London and Weymouth.