A rather non-committal sky greets us this morning, covered with a seamless layer of grey. There is no sign of the sun nor of rain. Will it stay like this or jump one way or the other?
After breakfast we walked down the road from the hotel to the steps. The steps lead down into Alum Chine, which presents as a long narrow wooded valley with a metalled footpath at the bottom. It slopes gently towards the sea front. It also leads to the terminus of the 24 bus.
The next bus would leave at 9:50 and as we had three quarters of an hour to wait, we went down onto the seafront and sat on a bench with views of the beach and along the coast in both directions. The sun was breaking through in some places but there were also patches of mist, providing very mixed views.
The bus took us into Bomo where we had a walk which took us to the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum. This curious and curiously beautiful late Victorian building, together with collection housed within it, was once the home of Sir Merton and Lady Russell-Cotes.
East Cliff Hall, as it was called, was anything but conventional, responding to Sir Merton’s own flamboyant and eclectic inspiration. It is crammed with art treasures from all around the world and many cultures. While it is arranged as a museum, certain traces of the design and building process have been revealed and there is information about purpose and use of each room when the Hall was a dwelling.
Unfortunately, photography was not allowed at all inside the building.
We followed this with lunch at the nearby Harbour Lights. After the clouds and mist of the morning, the sun broke through and the weather became hot and sunny.
After buying train tickets at Bomo station for tomorrow’s outing to Weymouth, we bussed it to Poole bus station, where you can take Route One for only £1 and go on a circular tour of the town. The ticket allows you to get on and off the bus as you please.
Thus we went to Poole Quay, an area which I had not seen before and which changed my impression of Poole for the better. We had a stroll (custom house), had a rather expensive Italian coffee and walked along the High Street to the bus station. On the way we crossed the railway line by this London made bridge which saves waiting when the level crossing is closed.
The 1C bus took us back to Westbourne Circus where we dined on Contadini pizza at Enzo’s Italian restaurant. As we had missed the hourly 24 bus, we once more returned to the hotel on foot.