Tag Archives: Golden Cap

Walking from West Bay to Golden Cap, Stonebarrow Hill, Charmouth and return……14 miles on the Southwest Coast Path in Dorset

What a day it was!  We woke at 5am and set off for the coast just after 6am for a 14 mile hike along the West Coast Path in Dorset, Starting from the fishing village of West Bay.

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The bright sunny skies that were forecast early didn’t appear until the turn around point of the walk, but it was a lovely temperature, perfect for walking.

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I had a feeling I was going to find this challenging as Steve has turned into a mean, lean rowing machine over the past months! training hard on his beloved rowing machine and although I have good hill fitness, walking Basil each day, it’s not a patch on the level of fitness of the ‘Bear Grills replica’ that was taking this photo.

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Yes, this is the man…..the lean mean rowing machine, the Bear Grills replica, who’s real name is Steve Clark!

So up and down cliffs we climbed and having lovely sunshine of the return leg was wonderful!  We passed a huge number of walkers on the way back, enjoying the sea air and warm sunshine.  I was right, I found this very challenging as the keen pace (mean pace is probably more fitting!) that Steve set, over the entire walk was not for the faint hearted.

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….off and racing….from West Bay….
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looking back after the climb from Eype’s Mouth
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Approaching the tiny seaside village of Seatown, dwarfed by Golden Cap in the background.
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The Anchor Inn at Seatown .has just undergone a 1 million pound refurbishment….not at all impressed with the outdoor terrace seating and the cliff side beer garden hasn’t been changed much at all.
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Leaving Seatown for Golden Cap
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We reached Golden Cap in record time!!!!!
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Steve at the ruins of St. Gabriel’s
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Looking back to the west on our way back……Lyme Regis in the distance
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looking back to the farm house we passed through after leaving Stonebarrow Hill….the house is the white one at the top of the shot
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We walked back through Seatown and through a mob of cows, calves and yes to my horror, a giant bull!!!!!!
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These cliffs were pretty tough, especially following the Bear Grills replica, who was still cracking a lean speed!!!
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What a pretty view of the sea…..walking down into Eype’s Mouth
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The last hill of the day and the lean mean rowing machine was not flagging!!
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Back at last, West Bay Beach in Dorset
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Steve enjoying fresh Cod on the beach at West Bay
I couldn't wait to massage my poor dying feet in the pebbles on West bay Beach
I couldn’t wait to massage my poor dying feet in the pebbles on West bay Beach

Well, I made it in one piece and feeling pretty good today, with no blisters or sore muscles.  A lot of stretching beforehand which I think helped my recovery and the hot bath last night was a dream.  Steve of course was right as rain!

 

Chesil Beach and Hive Beach, Burton Bradstock, West Dorset

Physiotherapist, Anita Tattishaw is the best physiotherapist I have ever known.  She gives the most wonderful advice and the therapy I received this morning was just as good as ever.  Unfortunately she is so far away from where we are in Compton Abbas, but the hour drive down to see her was worth every single mile.  Steve dropped me off at her practice in Burton Bradstock then drove down to the beach to take some shots while she worked on me!  I adore this part of Dorset and would love to have a little cottage here one day….

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Hive Beach in beautiful Burton Bradstock
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I love Steve’s shot on Hive Beach with the wonderful Golden Cap in the distance
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Golden Cap in the far distance with waves breaking in the foreground at Burton Bradstock
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Shore fishing on Chesil Beach, Burton Bradstock
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The wonderful Hive Beach Café, Burton Bradstock

The Wessex Ridgeway, half a Marathon, up and down hills and rough terain in North Dorset, Bulbarrow Hill, Dorset Gap and Ball Hill…..again!!!

Well, this is proving to be one of our best walking trails in England so far, inland that is, as Golden Cap on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset along the South West Coast Path will be my favourite, until the day I die!

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Golden Cap on the south coast of Dorset is hard to beat!

Weather report for today was mixed, with cool blustery showers and sunny spells, but it was Sunday and we love a long walk on a Sunday, so decided, when we woke up to go………

I quickly scrambled an egg for my breakfast…..put a handful of pumpkins seed in my pocket, packed a couple of apples, water bottle and some of Steve’s seed/coconut mix and we were off…..

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The beautifully small, but graceful church at Wooland, St Mary’s

We started the walk at the village of Wooland and parked outside the gorgeous little church there.  We walked out of the village up the steep road to Bulbarrow Hill……it was magnificent sunshine…..wonderful cool reviving air……

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Approaching Bulbarrow Hill……

We planned to have roast lamb later today (boned, rolled half leg from Waitrose) so my mind was set to do a good ‘workout’ today and I can safely say, yes it was certainly that……my poor old feet are recovering well now after a beautiful long soak in a hot Epsom salt bath!

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Four hours walking in the English countryside has to make anyone feel good…….So, the lamb is almost cooked now, thanks to Steve and how much am I looking forward to a good movie tonight……..no ‘Monday workitis’ for me!!!

Another amazing climb….Charmouth to Eype’s Mouth in Dorset.

Sensational walking weather yesterday, with a slight cool northerly breeze.  We walked 12.5 miles (around 20 kms) up and down steep cliffs and hills on the wonderful Jurassic Coast in Dorset.  We started off early, walking from Charmouth to Golden Cap, Seatown and Eype’s Mouth and return, finishing with a well earned pub lunch at the delightful Fiddleford Inn in the beautiful Dorset countryside.  It doesn’t get much better than this for the outdoor lovers that we are.  I placed another stone on top of Golden Cap for my darling dad…..he loved the views…..

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Walking up Stonebarrow Hill out of Charmouth…..so still, clear and cool!
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We reached Golden Cap in no time…….Steve looking very pleased with himself!
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Leaving Seatown heading to Eype’s Mouth
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looking back towards Seatown with Golden Cap in the distance

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Views towards Symondsbury and Bridport, in beautiful Dorset
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Magnificent weather for walking…..the cliffs and hills were pretty hard work!
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Heading towards Eype’s Mouth
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Coming down this slope was fair enough, but the climb back is going to be a challenge!!
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Eype’s Mouth Beach……boys having a dip to get rid of their hangovers, so one young man told us!!
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The calm shores of Eype’s Mouth Beach
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Back we must climb…..Steve walking with the locals!
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Jenny Kirwan (Me!) feeling quite exhilarated, eating an apple! and knowing we were homeward bound….
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Wow! We deserved this! A pretty decent Beef and Ale Pie at the Fiddleford Inn, Dorset
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Yep! We built up a pretty decent appetite that’s no secret!
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The delightful Fiddleford Inn, Fiddleford, Dorset was a great pub to finish such a magnificent walk on.

 

 

 

Charmouth, Golden Cap and Seatown…….wonderful!!!

Well, it’s the last Summer Bank Holiday today and great weather was forecast, so a walk to Golden Cap on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset was on the cards!  We packed a small picnic the night before and made a thermos of freshly brewed coffee before we left.  Unreal, we love this part of the coast and couldn’t wait to get down there……

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The steep climb up Stonebarrow Hill from Charmouth was like a walk in the park for Steve! after all his rowing training and walks up Melbury Hill in Compton Abbas.

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Jenny Kirwan (me)on the highest point on the south coast, Golden cap in Dorset. I’m placing a stone on top of Golden Cap and one for my dear departed dad…..he loved seeing my favourite spot in England today….
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the half way point, Seatown beach, Dorset
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The unspoilt Seatown Beach, Dorset
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Steve on the beach at Seatown, Dorset
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Steve and I adore this coastline on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset….what a day!!
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Only half a mile all the way up to Sonebarrow Hill,Steve! then all the way down hill into Charmouth……

Charmouth to Golden Cap and Seatown

After a days rest walking 20 miles (around 32kms) on the South West Coast Path, we decided today we would walk one of our favourite stretches of this Jurassic Coastline.

Livestock everywhere on the South West Coast Path
Livestock everywhere on the South West Coast Path

We started off just as the sun was rising, a beautiful sight on a rather frosty clear morning.  I wasn’t expecting to see so many cows taking over the path!  They are quite harmless stupid creatures.  As long as you don’t disturb them or go near their calves, the are OK.

Frost covering a welcome seat on the way to Golden Cap
Frost covering a welcome seat on the way to Golden Cap

Feeling like mountain goats again, we made our way up some decent slopes to Golden Cap.  It was a stunning bright morning.

Signs on the way to Golden Cap
Signs on the way to Golden Cap

It was a very wet summer in England this year and the rainfall has continued into the Autumn, causing many landslides on the south coast due to the unstable, damp ground.

The top of Golden Cap in Dorset
The top of Golden Cap in Dorset

We made it to the highest point on the south coast, Golden Cap in Dorset.  Well worth the steep climbs for sure.  We added a rock to the pile that someone had started and headed down into Seatown.

Looking back towards Golden on our way to Seatown
Looking back towards Golden Cap on our way to Seatown

We love this part of the world.  The steep climbs and descents along this section of the South West Coast Path require some level of fitness otherwise one will find it quite demanding.

Seatown beachfront in Dorset
Seatown beachfront in Dorset

Seatown beach was our half way mark and after fuelling up with water and an energy bar (my home made muesli bars) we were off back up to Golden Cap and on to Charmouth.  Nine miles (14.5 kms) wasn’t a bad start to the day!

Walking down Stonebarrow Lane into Axmouth....whew!!
Walking down Stonebarrow Lane into Axmouth….whew!!

What a great relief to reach Stonebarrow Lane…..all down hill now from here into Axmouth and back to the cottage in Seaton.

 

 

 

Lyme Regis, a Seaside Delight on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset.

Cobb Harbour, Lyme Regis, Dorset
Cobb Harbour, Lyme Regis, Dorset

 

This seaside town in Dorset has long been a favourite of mine, having walked along the South West Coast Path many times to Golden Cap and surrounds.

 

Jenny Kirwan (me!) at the top of Broad Street in Lyme Regis, looking down towards the sea.
Jenny Kirwan (me!) at the top of Broad Street in Lyme Regis, looking down towards the sea.

 

Even in the winter time it’s a treat to walk from Charmouth over Golden Cap to Seatown and back and finish with a pint in The Volunteer Inn in Lyme Regis.  There’s some great little shops here and Hix Oyster and Fish Bar is a must while your down that way.

The fruit and veg shop in Lyme Regis, Dorset is aptly named!
The fruit and veg shop in Lyme Regis, Dorset is aptly named!

 

South West Coast Path, from Charmouth to Golden Cap, Seatown and back.

Golden Cap, the most stunning South West Coast Path walk one could ever wish for!
Golden Cap, the most stunning South West Coast Path walk one could ever wish for!

It’s impossible for me to hide my love for this wonderful part of the Jurassic Coast in Dorset.  It most definitely is my most favourite walk in England.  On a fine day, the views are breathtaking and ever changing as you walk through fields and up and down cliffs to reach the top of Golden Cap.  A pretty good level of fitness is required if you wish to attempt this walk as there are many steep climbs but you are rewarded with the finest views of the coast line. 

Golden Cap is the highest point on the south coast of Great Britain at 191m and visible for ten miles in each direction along the coastline.

Today, Steve and I set off early for this 8mile journey.  We start at Charmouth where we climb Stonebarrow Hill.  This is a long, steep lane that leads to the start of the path.  You can also start this walk from Charmouth beach.  This path has recently been re-opened but was closed for some time due to the landslips and cliff erosion.  We walked back on this re-opened path, but in my opinion, it really isn’t a safe route and when wet I would imagine a slippery, muddy mess!

After a steep climb up Stonebarrow Hill, Steve and I begin the magnificent walk to Golden cap and Seatown.
After a steep climb up Stonebarrow Hill, Steve and I begin the magnificent walk to Golden cap and Seatown.

We pass a lovely cottage as we continue along the West Coast Path towards Golden Cap.
We pass a lovely cottage as we continue along the West Coast Path towards Golden Cap.
We pass through a field with the local cows and a massive bull!  Lets hope he's no where to be seen on our return!
We pass through a field with the local cows and a massive bull! Lets hope he's no where to be seen on our return!

The weather conditions were brilliant for walking; sunny with a slight breeze.  The cows we passed in the fields were not aggressive at all but I didn’t like the look of the massive bull sitting down resting as we passed him.  Please God let him be further away on our way back!!!

Golden Cap, here we come!
Golden Cap, here we come!
The hills were getting steeper.....
The hills were getting steeper.....
....as we climbed higher (looking back towards Charmouth and Lyme Regis)
....as we climbed higher (looking back towards Charmouth and Lyme Regis)

Even though we had quite a few hilly steep climbs, the smile on my face said it all.  I was enjoying this part of the coast just like I knew I would.  Fantastic!

Looking back towards our starting point....we were getting higher and closer to Golden Cap.
Looking back towards our starting point....we were getting higher and closer to Golden Cap.

We snacked on a banana and had plenty of water along the way.  The plan was to have cod and chips on the beach at the end of the day, so this exercise was essential to get rid of any guilt we would have eating the best battered fish I’ve ever tasted!

This last climb to Golden Cap is well passed the scale of a 15 hill on the tredmill!!
This last climb to Golden Cap is well passed the scale of a 15 hill on the treadmill!!
We made it!!  Steve on top of Golden Cap...now on to Seatown then back again
We made it!! Steve on top of Golden Cap...now on to Seatown then back again

The views from this height are totally amazing.  We stopped to admire the view for a while then headed towards Seatown.

We reach our destination, Seatown beach.
We reach our destination, Seatown beach.

Wow!  What an amazing walk……but we both had to turn around and go back which involved more steep climbs and stunning views in the other direction.  Seatown beach was beautiful, a quiet spot to sit and re-charge the batteries.  The Anchor Inn is a great pub to stop for lunch with sensational views.  Their beer garden is one of my favourite spots, situated on the cliff top overlooking the beach.  With a lovely thirst quenching beverage and perhaps a Ploughman’s lunch (Stilton cheese, branston Pickle, pickled onions, crusty bread and a little salad) this is hard to beat after a walk.  But it was still morning! and we had a long way to go before we could even think about such a rewarding finish…..so off we went, back up to Golden Cap and on to Charmouth.

Jenny Kirwan (me) walking through a healthy crop just out of Seatown towards Golden Cap
Jenny Kirwan (me) walking through a healthy crop just out of Seatown towards Golden Cap
Looking towards our climb to Golden cap from Seatown.
Looking towards our climb to Golden cap from Seatown.

So, we were on our way back to Charmouth and do you think the bull was in the field on our way back?  Yep!  He certainly was!!  Not only that, but the massive creature was right on the path and I could see him from two fields away.  I marched through this field like some machine on wheels!  I was SO scared!  Thankfully Mr. Bull  didn’t take the slightest bit of notice of us….I even had a brief moment to stop and take a quick, hasty photo of him!

Mr. Bull happily grazing with his girls! on our way back to Charmouth.
Mr. Bull happily grazing with his girls! on our way back to Charmouth.
Looking back at our fantastic journey to Golden cap and Seatown.
Looking back at our fantastic journey to Golden cap and Seatown.
Charmouth.....we are nearly at the end of our journey!
Charmouth.....we are nearly at the end of our journey!

Yippee!  What a wonderful sight, Charmouth here we come.  We decide to take the path that had been closed for some time back to Charmouth but was a little disappointed as it wasn’t quite safe, with deep cracks and grooves underfoot from the remains of the landslip and cliff erosion.  but it wasn’t an issue at this stage as I was still smiling from such a brilliant walk.

Charmouth Beach, what a wonderful finish to a brilliant 4hours walking.
Charmouth Beach, what a wonderful finish to a brilliant 4hours walking.
The best Cod in batter I have ever had at Seaton's 4c's fish shop and restaurant.  No guilt here!!!
The best Cod in batter I have ever had at Seaton's 4c's fish shop and restaurant. No guilt here!!!

Such an amazing feeling at the end of today to have walked my favourite stretch on the South Coast of England.  Steve loved it just as much.  We teamed our fish ‘n chips on the beach with a bottle of a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc…….wish Fiona and Rob were with us because they would have loved this day!