Written by Emma Brookes
BSc (Hons) Marketing
Bournemouth has much to offer the typical student, with plenty of options for social days and evenings out but Bournemouth is just a small part of the County of Dorset, and Dorset has many historic landmarks, beautiful coasts, and areas of natural beauty that can be explored.
Just on the edge of Bournemouth in between Muscliffe and Holdenhurst Village is one of the oldest local historical landmarks of the watermill days- Throop Mill. The River Stour runs directly through the location of Throop Mill and provides the perfect habitat for plenty of wildlife to thrive in. There is a weir that runs over the River Stour to control the flow of the river and had been through recent restorations in 2010, albeit that this was halted for some time due to bad weather conditions.
The Mill itself, has been present since the 12th century and is a Grade II listed building. Unfortunately the Throop Flour Mill has been closed for business since it stopped operating in 1972, however, the grounds are well maintained and this location still attracts many visitors on a daily basis. The nature reserve has a 7 mile walk route which I love to take my daughters on. Along this walk we can go animal spotting, pond/river fishing with nets, and there is even some hidden secluded beached areas on the side of the river that we love to lay some towels down and spend the day beside the river. This spots are perfect for if you want to have a picnic, chill out with some music, and enjoy the sun.
The history of Throop Mill comes with some tales of haunted sightings and in the evenings is particularly eerie due to the lack of lighting that is provided to the public. With many tales over the years of reported ghost sightings and creepy noises being heard coming from the old building, it certainly adds to the authenticity of the buildings age and history.
With ongoing campaigning from the public to get Throop Mill opened again for use the public (suggested as tearooms), perhaps one day we might get to make the beautiful building live up to its true full potential once more.
Another nearby area of outstanding natural beauty is the New Forest. Within the forest, companies host activities such as archery, cycling, paintballing, and horse riding, you can even share a paddle boat with a friend and cruise the rivers in search of some local pubs where you can dock your boat on the premises to grab a pint. Dorset has some outstanding locations to be visited!