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Portsmouth Gunwharf Quays

GQ1This is my favourite outlet shopping centre. It has so much going for it- there are plenty of stores targeted at the male fashion buyer, so my husband can enjoy shopping there as much as I do. The stores he favours are Hugo Boss, Ralph Lauren and Lacoste, although there are plenty of others that he will happily browse in. The biggest problem is usually keeping his purchasing within the household budget.

There are plenty of shops to attract my attention as well- from the handbag heaven that is Michael Kors, to the shoeaholic outlets such as Kurt Geiger and Ugg.GQ7

There are fashions to suit all ages, with Vans, Animal, Nike, Diesel and Jack Wills all catering to the younger end of the market.

In addition to all the lovely retail therapy that can be had, there is a wealth of entertainment available, including cinemas, restaurants, wine bars and cafes. There is a common area is the central square that house special events- such as craft fairs, and brass band concerts. The whole Quay area is also used for special events such as rally car shows.

GQ6The setting is beautiful, with the waterside features enhancing the whole shopping experience. There are special activities for children on the water at certain times of the year- for example Zorbing in the enclosed area that borders Saltrock and Animal.

There are fun features such as the ship figureheads that add a nice nautical flavour. The Quay itself is beautiful, and if you are a lover of boats, yachts and ferries, there is always something to see. There is also the famous Spinnaker tower with its viewing platform that can be visited for a small admission charge.

This is a shopping centre for a full day out. It is the most restful place I know that you can go to shop and indulge. I love visiting, and go as often as I can. It has never disappointed me yet.

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Durdle Door

IMG_0312 Location: Durdle Door is just west of West Lulworth on the B3070. It’s an interesting journey as you pass through land owned by the MOD, and there are places where it is necessary to check if the firing ranges are in use!

Durdle Door is a natural arch made from Portland Stone, a type of limestone. The bay in which it sits has five different geological deposits, including Wealden clay and sandstone. The arch IMG_0309has been eroded by the action of the sea, and the natural arch created gives pleasantly choppy water for canoeists to navigate. It is a popular tourist spot of outstanding natural beauty. To the West, along the beach, is the beginning of a second arch.

On the approach to Durdle Door, on the East side, you pass Man-o-war Bay, a stunning basin with sheltered water. Once again, this is a popular destination for canoeists.

IMG_0311The cliffs are deceptively high, and it is necessary to be cautious as for the most part they are not fenced off, so a long drop could await the unwary. There are steps down to the beach that are well-maintained, although it is advisable to take care, and the steps are not suitable for those with joint problems.

The pathway down to the steps is also very steep, a 45% angle, and again poses problems for those with joint issues. The return climb to the car park is strenuous. The entire site is not easily wheelchair accessible, and there are no facilities for wheelchair users.

Further images of Durdle Door and Man-o-war Bay:

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