Kimmeridge to Lulworth
Here’s our route for the second day in Dorset.
Before we kick off may I pass on a salutary warning to those who may wish to throw caution to the wind and suddenly embark on a coastal adventure.
If you spend an hour on Late Rooms or Trip Advisor and they appear to show a total absence of Hotel Rooms (even outside the “season”) don’t be so foolish as to expect a bed for the night.
If we’d had a donkey, or been called Mary and Joseph we may not have been surprised. But we aren’t and didn’t and there was not where to park our BMW let alone our weary heads!
Thankfully we had a friend who lived just one hour and twenty from Swanage, and we did indeed rock up on his doorstep just in time for a good night’s sleep.
But I digress.
After handing over a fiver we parked up a good 20 minutes after noon, donned our boots and got started. the first surprise of the day wasn’t a American Whimbrel, Sora Rail or Beaver.
No these natural wonders are not found in these parts but a BP Oil Well most certainly was en route for Swanage.
Volia! 48 Barrels a day they say. Whoopee! This place could eradicate our trade deficit. Not.
A few paces further on we entered Ministry of Defence land, skirting around the edges between yellow markers.
Ten minutes in we were getting a cracking view of Broad Bench.
We paced along Gad Cliff, and marvelled at the triangular bump known as Worbarrow Tout.
To many tout will mean “selling’ but I imagined the name had something to do with indigestible vegetables loved by middle class women of this parish.
In this context “Tout” is simply an abbreviation of the term “Look out Post”.
As you can see here, it’s neither particularly high nor necessarily able to avoid ye olde sea mist.
Not that we had to time to look out, we had a more substantial climb to accomplish.
Our task was to gain 600 feet upwards, whilst moving forwards over no more than 1200 feet of turf.
Mmm. It was a a bit steep.
Which reminds me, How do you eat an elephant?
A little bit at a time.
That’s how we approached each steep gradient.
We’d pick out a dry patch of grass, step or discoloured leaf and make our way upwards. At every ‘stage post’ we would halt to regain our breath.
I was particularly grateful that Saturday’s blazing sunshine had gone, replaced by a dull grey sky, although there was an element of humidity even though we were right next to the coast.
“Up Top” two other ramblers were fast asleep in “recovery” mode.
Of course we weren’t done. There were further concours to conquer.
I’d been reading the coast (not the map) and was under the mis-guided impression that “Arish Mell” was in fact our destination “Lulworth Cove”.
How disappointing, that little indent on the coastline was a small cove and private MOD beach, rather than a tourist hot spot.
A young couple with a pointer were just ahead of us, but seemed to glide across the grass, leaving us old timers in their wake.
It wasn’t all bad. We spotted a Peregrine, and i was enjoying my opportunity to take a butchers at the firing range.
For every foot we made climbing Rings Hill we were now surrendering the same.
Soon we’d be at the foot of 200 steps, and looking upwards and wondering.
“Will we make it?”
Will we manage to find a taxi for the return journey to Kimmeridge?
“Oh, I hope so! I really do.”
In the next quarter of an hour we came across not one but two elderly couples seemingly biting off more than their due.
A skinny pair made steady progress despite their apparent frailty. A further pair came by as we took “a breather”.
Moments later he was doing his best impersonation of Olga Korbut, with his legs and body going all over the shop as he looked for stability from his walking poles.
Roz gasped. I stayed put. When you’ve tumbled as often as me on the coast path you get to know when it won’t hurt.
Sure enough he dusted himself down, still intact whilst his Mrs paced on ahead oblivious to the whole incident.
I forgot to mention, but earlier on our steep climb I was able to look down on our biggest clumsy raptor. A buzzard was soaring, but on this occasion we were looking at him from above.
Now we were were to experience an altogether less graceful sight.
The Search and Rescue chopper could be heard high up in the cloud, but shortly afterwards it came below the cloud base, and dropped behind the cliffs that run below Bindon Hill’s summit.
Roz started to draw ahead, but soon the path featured a fork.
We went left, and kept to the coast path. Soon we were looking back at Mupe Bay and a few disintegrating cliffs.
The end was near.
In the last a mile pr so we looked down on the fossilised remains of pre-historic creatures .
Then we slipped down onto the beach.
What an achievement.
Not to mention a rare treat, as this is one of those beauty spots without sustenance.
No sirree, this one has pubs, ice cream stalls and fudge stalls.
Here’s the REAL reason most folk come.
A giant Scallop shaped cove, with a few boats bobbing about and the odd character doing the crawl in what looked like “bloomin” cold water”.
The Badger Brewery have a reasonable establishment just 200 yards from the beach.
We had Salmon with horseradish and beetroot.
The lovely lady behind the bar even sorted out a taxi.
Back in Sussex before midnight.
Before I go make sure you click the link which says Lulworth Cove.
I took REAL photos here 2 years ago,