Brownsea is the largest of eight islands in Poole Harbour and is reached by a cheerful little yellow ferry, the voyage taking about twenty minutes.
I think if I had visited during those years it would have become a regular haunt - with a National Trust membership as the fee plus the ferry return trip adds up. Or, perhaps it might have been worth buying a tiny boat and traversing the straight myself - or not - the swell from a larger vessel cutting across in the other direction was quite impressive . . .
Amongst many other historical facts on Wiki, I was interested to learn that the whole island was purchased in 1927 by Mary Bonham-Christie for 125,000 pounds, and as she was a recluse by nature, ordered all other inhabitants to re-locate to the mainland. Nice.
Nowadays the island is a carefully preserved nature reserve and home to many water birds, bats and red squirrels - not that we saw any. But we did enjoy the walk, the peacock flocks, the views of sparkling not-at-all brown sea and an excellent National Trust cream tea.
I had a sudden longing to live on a very small island as the ferry left - just the sight of those waterside houses - bit of fishing, tend the salt-brave plants, sit outside and watch the sun disappear over the sea's horizon and later listen to the wind buffeting the pine trees in front of a evening fire.
Birches - I think
A relaxing peacock
A tree's life
View from the departing ferry