I’m going to be completely frank – driving over to Poole on a sunny morning when I have pretty countryside running routes on my doorstep felt a little foolish. I also knew I wouldn’t get a proper workout. I rarely run fewer than 5kms and I’d have to stop and start to Instagram.

But the universe stepped in to make sure I had an inspirational start to the new moon and my concerns were quickly allayed.

I parked easily and not too expensively in the Dolphin Leisure Centre car park (incidentally, where I often go swimming but that’s a blog for another day) and was minutes away from the water’s edge in Poole Park. Just like my experience at Compton Acres, the water and sunny skies seemed to carry any tension and stress away. I was now looking forward to this run and I had logged a rough idea of the route but knew I’d have to follow my nose to an extent, which is somewhat thrilling.

Close up of smart running watch

I started on a narrow, waterside path in good company as upwards of five runners passed me before I’d finished my warm-up. I soon passed beneath the railway and into Baiter Park which has unrivalled views of Poole Harbour. As a local, I’ve always known where Baiter is but I’m struggling to remember visiting it before now. What an oversight! The footpath through was stunning and clearly popular with dogs and their walkers.

The path continued on to Whitecliff Park and I was getting into my stride – my heart rate was settling and I was loving life.

That’s when I decided that rather than failing to record a PB, the real cause for regret would be not capturing this route to share on social media. This was escapism at its finest and I realised I was running with a big smile on my face (not always a given). Other runners, cyclists and walkers, as well as watersports enthusiasts and members of Poole’s Radio Yacht Club, were smiling back as we all revelled in our choice to spend the morning in these glorious surroundings.

Back under the railway bridge and into Poole Park, I interrupted a gaggle of geese who were lazing about, equally pleased with themselves for choosing to meet up in such a spectacular location.

I took a few little detours around a couple of immaculately landscaped areas, which were being tended to by a team of volunteer gardeners. The palms and vivid flowerbeds nestling amid lush green grass evoke the distinctive beauty of a traditional British seaside town.

By now I was full of the joys of summer and keen to sprint to my own personal finish line so that I could sit and soak it all up before heading home.

A neat, tempo run for someone who tends towards longer distance but this was a cheeky little treat away from my standard routes and one that I fully intend to revisit when I need a spiritual step-up.

Map of run around Poole Park




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