off to Winspit, Worth Matravers, and the Priests Way
Sitting above Dancing Ledge might be fun, but we still had plenty of walking ahead of us.
So back up the steps through the curious National Trust barrier and off we go again heading west.
Before we move on I’ll give one last look back, at this fabulous old quarry.
And we’re en route to Winspit where we’ll head back inland.
All along the way we come across folk intent on scaling the heights.
Are they all deranged? Or am I jealous that I couldn’t possibly replicate their exploits?
Probably the latter!
We trundle along, enjoying the sunshine and the occasional sight of Stonechat perched atop the wire fencing.
Roz is in the vanguard whilst i’m snapping away at this and that.
If you look closely you’ll see a notched out cliff which could just as easily be a line drawing from a Private Eye cartoon.
That’s one for another day, it’s close to St.Aldhelm’s Head.
Roz was enjoying the splendid dry stone walls, some of which were formed with strata running at 45 degrees to the vertical.
Was it only yesterday everybody was banging on about the eclipse?
Some folk would have been hiding behind protective glasses, but if you squint throughout a high “f stop” you can look at the sun without harm.
Yes, this is the sun despite the uncanny resemblance to the moon.
What I hadn’t anticipated is that this stretch of coastline is dotted with all manner of quarries, and the last we came across was at Winspit.
It was a magnificent, and a crushing disappointment all within a matter of moments.
The first emotion was one of awe as the various caves and structures came into view, but then as we descended into the valley disillusionment set in.
Even these remote parts aren’t immune to the “roof” of today.
Dotted about here and there were folk intent on having a good time at everyone else’s expense.
A ghetto blaster was pumping out music, and a pop up tent was being crushed and erected whilst someone sat in the doorway smoking.
Around the corner in the quarry itself were two serious climbers with oodles of kit, and rucksacks full of food.
I’m guessing they were staying the night.
Walkers went in and out of the various man made caves, and we took a look too.
There was massive sign saying “Private Land, Danger and all such nonsense”.
Yes, we get the picture, but surely well behaved folk like the rock cumbers should be given free reign? Although I believe noisy and intrusive oiks should be ejected!
So we’d reached our turning point, and we made the climb up towards Worth Matravers. My 25 year old OS MAp suggested we’d find a pub.
Roz was gasping for a cuppa, and I was hoping for an early evening meal. After following couple of Goths for a short while we reached the village pond with three delightful ducks there upon.
I gingerly pushed the door open on the posh village tea room, only to discover they shut at 4:30pm.
“We re-open at 6:00pm”.
As I don’t wear a watch, and avoid mobile phones at the weekend I didn’t know it was gone four thirty.
Never mind, the Square and Compass were mopping up the trade just a few hundred yards away.
There was no tea to be had, but milky coffee and Crabbies Ginger Beer were on offer. Roz warded me off from an early evening meal, and I made top with Twiglets instead.
We sat outside looking towards the coast with chickens running around looking for scraps, and a howling wind freezing me to my very bones.
Nay bother, I donned my hat, and wind-cheater.
The job’s a good ‘un.
After watching Starling, Sparrows, and Pied Wagtails it was time to move on.
Head down that path where the ramblers had been walking?
My OS suggested otherwise, and soon we were heading back towards the car with something less than three miles to go.
In the first field a vast herd of woolly sheep came charging at us, I guess we must look like farmers.
Then we were on “The Priests Way”.
Whoopee, this broad path was like an empty motorway. No more steps, no more stiles, just the odd gate and a generally flat track.
Roz didn’t believe me when I said it was one of my favourite parts of the walk.
What a FANTASTIC way to finish off our walk. An easy jaunt with good light, and a few other “mini-attractions” to keep us motivated.
I liked the ramshackle yard of quarried stone, and silent CASE machinery catching the setting sun.
A radio controlled plane made a passable impression of a Kestrel, albeit with a slightly noisier passage through the sky.
The sun was dropping fast, and I took few shots 500 yards before “The Priests Way” petered out just short of our car.