Brownsea Island

I’ve always wanted to go to Brownsea Island. Islands fascinate me. The idea of being totally cut off from the rest of the world, surrounded by water and completely peaceful.

Brownsea Island is owned by the National Trust and is basically a nature walk that spans the length of the island – about one and a half miles. It’s famous for being home to red squirrels, a species that is pretty much extinct except for those on the island.

The first thing that struck me was how quiet it was. There were other people there, obviously, and they were chattering away. There were some seagulls and at various points on the island you could hear the water sloshing against the shore, but that was pretty much it. There were no cars and that made such a difference to the noise level. Imagine a world without any cars, with lots of trees, how perfect that would be. That is, until I saw a National Trust landrover and the illusion was lost.

Perusing the map of the island, it looked like there were a couple of exciting things to see on the island – Pottery Pier, Maryland Village and Brownsea Castle (although this is not open to the public).

But…

The Pier was down a whole load of very steep steps… so opted for a cliff and a great view of the other islands around Brownsea instead. Maryland Village is the remains of a village and if I hadn’t been studying the map carefully, I’d have walked straight past. It was basically a few bricks covered in moss.

We didn’t see a single red squirrel but there were some baby peacocks running along with a full size one. It was quite cute.