Daytrip to Dorset

Old Apr 13th, 2014, 07:52 PM
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Daytrip to Dorset

I am travelling to UK for the first time and planning a daytrip in Dorset area from London. I am travelling alone by public transport and as my budget is limited in terms of both time and money, I would like to do the difficult job of maximizing travel time and minimizing cost. What I would love to do is to explore the coast as much as possible and visit Corfe castle. I was planning the following itinerary for the trip, and as I have no idea about UK the transportation system at all, I would like some advise if it is feasible or should be modified.

London - Bournemouth (National Express Bus) leave in early morning

Bournemouth - Studland (Bus 50: http://www.morebus.co.uk/bournemouth-and-poole.shtml)

Hike to Old Harry Rocks from Studland (1.5 hrs?)

Studland -Swanage (same bus)

Swanage - Corfe Castle (Bus 40)

Visit Corfe castle and the village (2 hrs?)

Corfe Castle - Wareham (Bus 40) (hopefully there will be a daypass type thing for all the buses)

Wareham - Wool (train)

Taxi to Durdle door (Is it costly?)

Hike to Lulworth Cove

Taxi back to Wool

Wool - London (I think the last train is at 8:40 pm)

I was thinking if I get to Bournemouth by 10 am (I think the first bus reach at 9:30) I would leave for Wool around 5:30 pm having total 7.5 hrs for the first part and 3 hrs for the Wool/Durdle door/Lulworth cove part. Is there anything really interesting nearby I can/should accommodate?
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Old Apr 13th, 2014, 09:46 PM
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There may be someone coming along better able to advise you on the minutiae of travelling round Dorset.

The general strategy for this kind of trip is to do the big bits by train. It's usually substantially cheapest to book in advance, which in principle means booking an Advance return to Wareham from London (www.nationalrail.co.uk), getting off outbound at Bournemouth, paying cash for the Wool-Wareham bit then using the prebooked ticket for the Wareham-London trip (the last train for which advance discounts are available is 2034, though trains, requiring a change after 2134, run till midnight)

As a near-universal rule, going one way by bus and returning by train is a false economy.

On trains operated by the Stagecoach group, which monopolises services on this line, you can save a lot more booking through the Megatrain site (http://uk.megabus.com/megatrain.aspx). This requires you to book a return to Weymouth, getting off outbound at Bournemouth, catching the return from Wareham (booking the appropriate departure from Weymouth) and paying cash for the Wool-Wareham bit (for a map of the relevant network, see http://www.network-railcard.co.uk/cl.../files/map.pdf )

Megatrain prices are available only on train likely to be very empty. In practice, this might make you break the usual Iron Law of always booking a return: it might make most sense to book via Megatrain outbound just to Bournemouth (usually about £5) and book an Advance single (the English for the ticket some dialects call "one way") return from Wareham to London. Again: pay cash for the Wool-Wareham ticket.

If I remember rightly, Wool station isn't manned all day, so you need to buy a ticket from the machine at the station before boarding. Stagecoach (trading in this case as Southwestern Trains) are absolute buggers about insisting on their right to impose fines on passengers travelling without a ticket. Do not succumb to the temptation of believing you can buy a ticket from the on-train ticket inspector.
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Old Apr 13th, 2014, 09:49 PM
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Here is the correct link (you included a trailing ) http://www.morebus.co.uk/bournemouth-and-poole.shtml

I have only traveled in these areas by car (several times) . . . But my initial reaction is this is a totally unrealistic plan. I'd personally plan on one night/two full days to fit in those hikes/etc. And that would be staying in the area, not traveling down from London.
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Old Apr 13th, 2014, 10:28 PM
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My initial reaction is to disagree strongly with janisj

People have been making daytrips to Dorset from London for nigh on 200 years. A HUGE proportion of the world's understanding of palaeontology, and some of the earliest breakthroughs in evolutionary theory, were based on the fossil tourism in the area that burst out when trains were invented (though in fairness to janisj, most Americans appear still to be in denial about scientific facts the real world accepted 150 years ago.)

When you go through the details of your plan, you'll probably have to cut bits out. But the basic principles of getting a train to Dorset, getting buses to a few sights, then getting the train back all within the same day, is easy-peasy - and remains the way loads of London-based walkers travel year round.

Many stations along the Bournemouth-Weymouth line have bus stops, with real buses visible as the train arrives. Those buses are there for a reason: people travel from London an d its suburbs to get on them, travel round, and return home the same day.
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Old Apr 14th, 2014, 07:44 AM
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Oh - I agree a day trip to Dorset is totally doable. But not a complex/ multi destination day trip w/ hikes/taxis/several buses/trains. That was all I was saying.
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Old Apr 14th, 2014, 08:08 AM
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I just saw you started two threads - be sure to check the responses on both . . .
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Old Apr 14th, 2014, 05:23 PM
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Thanks for the information, I am thinking of doing just Corfe castle and Durdle door-Lulworth hike and chuck the old harry rock hike. Does anyone has any suggestion which hike should I pick if I have to choose between Durdle door - Lulworth and Studland to Old Harry rocks?
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