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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Saturday was sensational weather for a walk on the South Coast Path. We started at the crack of dawn and saw the sun rise at West Bay in Dorset.
That was the most wonderful, stunning and hard going!! walk. So rewarding and my dad loved the incredible views through my eyes. We walked for 4 hours and were looking very forward to a pub lunch, closer to home at The Saxon Inn in Child Oakford, 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.
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.
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!
We pass a lovely cottage as we continue along the West Coast Path towards Golden Cap.
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!!!
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!
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!
The views from this height are totally amazing. We stopped to admire the view for a while then headed towards Seatown.
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.
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!
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.
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!
I absolutely love the hilly countryside around Devon and Dorset and in this area there are some of the most spectacular (and arduous!) Coast Path walks. We’ve based ourselves in Seaton, Devon this week to walk some of our favourite stretches of this famous coast path. Today is Steve’s favourite West Coast Path walk. Surprise, surprise, it’s one of the most strenuous, difficult, physically challenging walks on the coast! Steve has always been one for a testing physical challenge and this walk was just that. The Undercliffs walk from Seaton, Axmouth to Lyme Regis we have walked many times…..so we knew the dangers and how difficult and rewarding it can be.
The Undercliffs are part of the ‘Jurassic Coast.’ This magnificent reserve covers wild woodlands, land-slipped cliffs, fossils, geology and spectacular wildlife. It was declared a National Nature reserve in 1955. It is one of the largest active coastal landslide systems in western Europe and lies within the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Rain was forcast to come through around mid morning, so we needed to get an early start to reach our destination without getting too wet. We packed our rain coats and a few supplies and set off in good spirits……..
Yep! This lane up to the Axmouth Golf Course was a killer of a hill that seemed to get steeper as we walked on. When we finally make it to the Golf Course we then had to continue uphill until we made it to level land for a little breather!
The views on this walk are quite breathtaking but soon we would be approaching the Undercliffs where it would be pretty tough going with only a few glimpses of the sea along the way. Weather still looked bright but rain was definately on the way.
I was enjoying this walk so much and Steve was too. The Undercliff’s warm and sheltered micro climate was a different world away from the windy cliff tops and pebble beaches surrounding it. Steve spotted a lizard and we passed a tiny Hazel Dormouse that unfortunately had passed away earlier that morning. There were so many beautiful butterflies and the bird life was wonderful too.
We were so lucky as it was still very dry underfoot as there hadn’t been much rain over the past week. This path can be treacherous when wet….very slippery and muddy, so we were thankful of the conditions.
The wildflowers were wonderful on this walk….yellow Wort, Bird’s Foot Trefoil, Rock-Rose, Yellow Horned Poppy and some beautiful Lilac.
Wow! We were nearly there…..eight miles of difficult, strenuous terrain was coming to an end. The sense of achievement was massive! The rain had started now but we didn’t care. Our delight in the walk we completed (without injury) was enormous and getting a little wet was not a concern.