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Around the Isle of Portland on The South West Coast Path

Portland Bill

Today was a slackpacking day 🙂 I left the Osprey Hornet 46 rucsac at Fosters and ventured out with my Sea to Summit daybag. I hopped onto a bus to take me to Ferry Bridge so I could walk along the old railway line by the road to Portland Bill. The Portland end has been totally revamped for the Olympics.

Seeing a diving type super store, I suddenly remembered it’s Jesus Green time again and I’ve been trying to find some neoprene swimming gloves for ages. In I popped and soon came out with a pair of T-Flex 2mm gloves from O’Three.

Favourite seat on the south west Coast PathIn Fortuneswell I came across two guys expertly descalloping scalops, fascinating to see skilled folks at work 🙂 Then it was the 300 foot climb onto the top followed by a pleasant walk along the cliff edges, I came across the best outdoor chsir come throne yet, and it was pretty comfortable. Really must remember to bring a small tripod next time, it’s so hard balancing the camera on piles of stones.

I soon arrived at the end of the island with it’s three lighthouses and conglomeration of old sheds scattered at random. the Lobster Pot cafe did a mean crab sandwich 🙂 Out at sea there was a Navy cruiser lurking on the horizon no doubt the source of the clattering helicopter that was circling around all day.

Everywhere there are small quarries with the scattered remnants of stone blocks obviously left overs. Plus lots of derricks used to lift the blocks onto barges etc. All very fascinating for a machinery lover 🙂

I took the preferred route for North East Portland as mentioned on Page 123 of the guide, which was excellent along an old jetty, rail line, prisons and the huge ramp that the stones were slid down into the harbour. On the ramp I met a fellow walker, Lee who thought he had already visited this blog 🙂

A really good day and would make a lovely15 mile walk for The Cambridge Rambling Club.

My photos are here and statistics here. Everytrail is below:

Around Portland Bill on The South West Coast Path at EveryTrail

Tomorrow is the penultimate day with a tough stretch of 20+ miles to Worth Matravers.



Abbotsbury to Weymouth on The South West Coast Path

Not such a coastal walk today as the route takes you behind the vast shingle bank of Chesil Beach and Europe’s largest lagoon The Fleet.

Cow mess need stileAfter a pleasant breakfast (with fresh fruit 🙂 )and homemade marmalade. I departed from The Peache’s. The route takes you past The Swannery then a meander through rolling fields, some of which reminded me why I don’t eat cows or drink their milk. The mess these animals make and the way they congregate need stiles is disgusting.

After this I came across the first red flags of the trip with a group of soldiers popping away at Tidmoor Point which meant a diversion quickly followed by a walk around the razor wire at Wyke Regis HQ and yet another campsite where you can relax to the sound of guns firing.

OystersI reached Ferry Bridge after 10 or so miles and then debated with myself about walking around Portland Bill. However, I spotted The Crab House Cafe offering very large and juicy fresh oysters at £1.58 each from The Fleet Lagoon and so that settled the matter. Even though it meant sitting out in the freezing cold wind as they were full inside. Yes, the wind and rain showers  have returned. However, I must remember a lunch time pint kills me for the afternoon.

So it seemed ages to get to the Fosters Guest House at the other side of Weymouth especially since the coast path follows quite a tortuous route past the old harbour etc. Oh and I got to see my first ‘official’ Olympic T shirts at £23 each.

Tomorrow I will get the bus back to Ferry Bridge and do the circular tour of Portland Bill. Then it will be a couple of days to the end, so i will probably finish on Sunday.

The photos are here, statistics here and Everytrail below

Abbotsbury to Weymouth on The South west Coast Path at EveryTrail

Lyme Regis to Abbotsbury on The South West Path

Footpath Closed

Woke up once again to sunshine & clear blue skies. I had a pleasant breakfast but I’m beginning to miss my fruit and kippers which seemed to have disappeared of the menu since leaving North Devon and St Ives.

Nearly made it!There have been a large number of landslides on the first part of the walk. I thought I would  explore the first one to see if there was a way through to Charmouth, As you can see from the GPS I nearly made it!, just defeated by a huge swamp. I would have thought a track could be cleared in a matter of days, the regular walkers would soon flatten it down. However, I guess we will have to wait a few years. So back I returned to face the long diversion along a road and through a golf course telling me to beware of flying balls, well it is mainly a man’s sport.

Caravan parkThe roller coaster continued today although it started to flatten out at the end when you have to walk alongside the gravel Chesil Beach. Once again there are some huge caravan parks despoiling the coastline. I was amazed that touring caravans are like £13,000, that’s a hell of a lot of nights in a b&b. The caravan parks reminded me of the vast plastic greenhouses we saw when Sally and I walked The Lycian Way.

A lot of day walkers today, but no one particularly interesting one guy who was thinking about doing long walks, but I doubt if he will :-(. plus the usual number of dog walkers, it now seems you need two dogs. Everyone is kinda friendly here a lot more so than Cambridge where virtually no one says good morning to you.

After wading through the stream at Burton Bradstock. I decided to walk the next couple of miles in bare feet, very easy it was too. It’s going to be quite tempting to do a lot more of it! certainly better than wearing out rubbish Scarpa Boots, and no that issue is still not resolved.

The final few miles to Abbotsbury seemed to take ages. However as Mike had fixed me up at Peach’s B&B time didn’t matter 🙂 Peach’s  is very pleasant and I managed to get onto their WiFi, which is just as well as T-Mobile doesn’t dain to serve this area. Then it was off to The Ilchester Arms for a great non-fish spread and listening to the locals going on about all the machinations the Navy are going through in these parts for the upcoming Olympics at Weymouth.

Tomorrow I will be in Weymouth, if the weather is as good as today I might walk around Portland Bill first 🙂

Today’s pictures are here statistics here and Everytrail below:

Lyme Regis to Abbotsbury on the South West Coast Path at EveryTrail



Sidmouth to Lyme Regis on the South west Coast Path

Bindon Cliffs

Today marks the end of my fifth week on The Path and I’ve now covered 545 miles of the 630, so only 85 miles to go 🙂

I left Larkstone House after a humungous breakfast and what can only be described as a blast with a pressure jet shower, easily the most powerful one yet on The Path.

Hiking group in mudI finally left over the pretty pedestrian bridge and started another day on the roller coaster, climbing through the most stunning bluebell wood then along the top with great views over yesterday’s cliffs. I met a pair of American ladies from Wyoming who were only going to Beer today, so I soon left them 🙂

Then down into Weston Mouth and back up again through another very muddy bit with a hiking group struggling. Past a group of National Trust folks trying to repair a path.

Branscombe Mouth was interesting with a cafe and the 14 ton anchor from the MSC Napoli that ran aground in January 2007, the 2400 containers and all the motorbikes safely removed or stolen 🙂 Then it was an interesting undercliff walk towards Beer and the inevitable caravan park. Beer was nothing like I remembered it from my youth when we used to cycle from Creswell to the YHA. with a bit more climbing and descending  I was in Seaton.

The GolfersIn Seaton I tried 2 cafes  but neither could be bothered to serve me! the others ones looked grim so I crossed the oldest concrete bridge in the UK and started climbing out, I noticed the Axe Cliff golf club was open to walkers so after a wait I managed to get a sandwich & pint plus a talk to two golfers (whose mates are apparently doing The Path) and four local lady hikers.

After this it was a mega undercliff walk to Lyme Regis. This part was a totally new experience, more like walking through a forest ,very pleasant especially if you enjoy bird song, personally I plugged in the headphones and listened to Nocturnal  with Matt Darey.

A great walk especially reading about the Bindon Cliffs when a 1km section broke away in 1839 and proved a huge tourist attraction for many years and so to the delightful town of Lyme Regis which I must say is very pleasant, to be greeted by your host in the local pub before showing me my room in his house next door, the Smuggler, struck me as very civilised.

The photos for today are here, statistics here, and Everytrail below
Sidmouth to Lyme Regis on The South west Coast Path at EveryTrail