Day 365 South Wight: The Military Road and Dinosaurs

Thursday 4 August 2016

Freshwater to Ventnor

20 miles

Appuldurcombe Gardens Holiday Park, Wroxall

I left the Youth Hostel just after 8am as yesterday I’d spied a cafe in Freshwater Bay that opened at 8.30. The Piano Cafe was lovely and one customer even tickled the ivories while I was there (it was Mozart or something that he played and we all applauded at the end). 

Freshwater Bay
Suitably refreshed and fuelled I set off from Freshwater Bay in the sunshine. There was a gale force South-Westerly wind. At times during the day huge gusts would catch my rucksack and attempt to spin me round. It felt like a fight most of the way but I won so I was happy. 

a closer view of the building hidden in the cliff
Looking back towards The Needles it was striking how the cliffs changed halfway around Compton Bay. Echoing the Jurassic Coast (which the Isle of Wight would have butted up against when it was joined to the mainland) the cliffs changed from white chalk to a red sandstone and then clay. This resulted in the water changing from an opaque, milky colour, to a rusty red and then a muddy brown. Amazing. 

the contrast between the chalk and the sandstone cliffs (Compton Bay)
There was plenty of surf and surfers were out in Compton Bay. I passed a few campsites on the cliff and many of the tents looked like their poles were going to break. I walked through one campsite and couldn’t believe it when I read a sign outside one small tent with a big shelter and a brick-built stove. The sign advertised yoga lessons and was signed by Seaside Steve! Judging by his gear he must have been home and driven to this campsite. I was sorry he wasn’t in. 

surfers in the sea at Compton Bay
All along the South coast the path and the road (known as The Military Road) hug the edge of the crumbling cliffs. I can’t see either lasting forever. There is also plenty of evidence of landslides to complement the erosion. Today I could feel the force of nature for myself. These clay cliffs are supposed to be the best place to hunt for dinosaur fossils and I did see a couple of people looking. 

a caravan park and muddy-coloured water at Grange Chine
I negotiated my way around 6 chines (gouges in the cliff with streams flowing out), the most impressive being Whale Chine. 

Whale Chine
On the clifftop near Shepherd’s Chine someone had jury rigged a zip line to send diving gear down to the beach below. 

this zip wire is strictly not for people!
Just before St Catherine’s Point the path climbed uphill, through Chale and around the Blackgang Chine Theme Park. I could hear the screams of people riding a rollercoaster. 

the view from Blackgang Chine
I could see St Catherine’s Oratory on the top of the hill. I didn’t climb up to see it and probably should have done to see this pepperpot beacon that served as the island’s first (Mediaeval) lighthouse. It was built in 1328 by Walter de Godeton on the orders of the Papal Court because he (and others) drank the shipment of wine they recovered from a nearby shipwreck. What a brilliant punishment. 

St Catherine’s Oratory (and a mast) atop St Catherine’s Hill
I turned the corner around the Island’s most southerly point and almost immediately got some relief from the wind. 

St Catherine’s Point lighthouse
The next section followed the ‘Undercliff of the Isle of Wight’; a continuous, narrow strip of landslipped terrain that runs 8 miles from Blackgang to Luccombe Bay. I could have been in East Devon (except this was bigger). The same types of rocks were involved in this landslip too: Upper Greensand and chalk, as well as Gault Clay. 

looking down on St Lawrence, on The Undercliff
As it is south-facing, The Undercliff has one of the mildest, sunniest and most equable climates in Britain. This explains the profusion of palm trees in St Lawrence and the Ventnor Botanic Gardens. 

descending to The Undercliff

looking back up the cliff
The path started on the top of the high, inland cliffs and then dropped down onto The Undercliff at St Lawrence. This is a pretty little town with large Victorian houses studded into the cliff. 

the view back along the inland cliff
looking ahead to Steephill Cove and Ventnor
I descended the steps to Steephill Cove; somewhere I’ve been before. It was quite busy but nevertheless I stopped for an icecream just for old times sake. I was tired. Fortunately it wasn’t much further to Ventnor and here I ended my walk as I could catch a bus. I hadn’t wanted to camp on the South coast as it was too windy and there were no campsites the length of The Undercliff so I headed a couple of miles inland to Wroxall. 

Steephill Cove (I’ve stayed in that fake lighthouse)
I liked this campsite; it had a cafe and a laundry. I was able to dry my handwashed clothes while eating a cheap chilli and drinking a mug of tea. Thank goodness I didn’t have to walk to a pub. 

a beautiful view back along the South Coast of the IOW

Day 364 West Wight: The Needles

Wednesday 3 August 2016

Lymington, Hampshire to Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight

12 miles (+ ferry)

Totland YHA

I caught the train from Reading back to Lymington Town and then crossed the Lymington River, arriving at the ferry terminal before midday. This walk has definitely had a big impact on my need to plan and book. despite 6 days off I had not booked a thing and, best of all, was not stressed about it. That’s 18 years of conditioning I’ve undone in the last year!

back at Lymington
I was able to board the next ferry and by 1pm I was crossing the River Yar and walking out of Yarmouth. 

the ferry at Yarmouth
I entered Fort Victoria Country Park and followed the track with the carved animals towards Fort Albert. These forts are opposite Hurst Castle and, together, all 3 protect the entrance to The Solent. 

looking across the Solent to Hurst Castle and lighthouse
At Colwell Bay I stopped in the shade to eat my sandwiches and cake (thanks mum). 

Colwell Bay
The coast path connecting Colwell and Totland Bays only reopened last year after work to circumvent a landslide that happened in 2012. 

oops, there’s been a landslide
what’s left of Totland Pier
From Totland I headed over Headon Warren, the South side covered in beautiful purple heather. 

purple heather on Headon Warren, looking across Alum Bay to The Needles
I could see The Needles and Alum Bay with its chairlift down the cliff. This is where mum’s testube full of layers of different-coloured sand came from. I walked straight past as I’ve been on it before and I didn’t want to negotiate the pleasure park. 

the Alum Bay chairlift
the lovely colours of Alum Bay cliff
I climbed the cliff heading out to The Needles’ Batteries. There were some great views out towards Old Harry. The chalk cliffs were beautiful and white. The Needles looked thin and worn away!

The Needles
Between 1956 and 1971 there was a rocket engine test site here. Black Knight and Black Arrow rockets were held down in gantries and their engines fired up. If they passed they were sent Down Under for test launching. 

the rocket engine test site
I turned East and headed up Tennyson Down to Tennyson’s Monument. Erected in 1897 it dominates the skyline. From the top of the Down I could just about see all the way to St Catherine’s Point and the flashing lighthouse. 

Tennyson’s Monument atop Tennyson Down
Tennyson’s Monument
I dropped down into Freshwater Bay and then headed back to Totland, this time along the roads. 

looking down on Freshwater Bay
The Western tip of the Isle of Wight is an island in its own right as the River Yar runs all the way from Yarmouth to Freshwater Bay, bisecting the land. 

the view along the Solent from Headon Warren
Compton Bay from Tennyson Down
I got lucky and there was a spare bed in the Youth Hostel. I didn’t want to camp in the gale force wind that was blowing. I was able to get a cheap evening meal and access to rubbish wifi. 

the thatched Church of St Agnes, Freshwater

Day 358-363 At Home

Thursday 28 July to Tuesday 2 August 2016

Rest days

At home 

It was nice to be home. The garden had grown a bit! I enjoyed a few days doing very little except washing and mending my kit. Everything (including me) was getting a bit tired. For example: the rubber was wearing off my walking poles, my t-shirt had developed an irreparable hole and I had to order a new one, my shorts needed sewing up yet again, and my sandals had to be washed and soaked 3 times to rid them of their foul smell. 

I also took the opportunity to visit my mum as I hadn’t seen her for over 6 months and I don’t want to be written out of her will. Plus, she’s good at sewing. Love you mum. 

Day 357 Lymington

Wednesday 27 July 2016

East Pennington to Lymington

4 miles

Home

I woke up feeling relieved that I was going home. I had only spent 4 days at home in 4 months and I wanted a break from camping where I could sleep in my own bed. 

Hurst Castle and Lighthouse just visible against the backdrop of the IOW
I packed up and got a bacon and egg sandwich from the trucker-style cafe on the campsite before I headed back out to The Salterns. Here the seawater had been impounded in shallow lagoons, allowed to evaporate (helped by wind pumps) and the residual salt collected. Salt production had been going on here since Roman times, only halting in 1865 when cheaper salt from Cheshire forced the closure of the last Saltern. Now these brackish lagoons formed the Keyhaven-Lymington Nature Reserve. 

The Salterns
It was peaceful in the morning and, as it was low tide, all I could here was the sound of the many wading birds that feed in this place. I saw black headed gulls, oyster catchers, egrets, herons, plovers, godwits and sandpipers. 

another view of the salt marshes
Lymington was a yacht haven. I walked around the marina and stumbled across Lymington Sea Water Baths. This place looked brilliant. built in 1833, it is the oldest and largest lido in the UK. It has a 120m inflatable assault course in it – I was sorely tempted! Had I been here in the late 18th Century it would have only cost me 1/- to swim in Mrs Beeton’s Baths with the aid of a guide, who would have held me up with a rope. 

Lymington Sea Water Baths
I found a nice cafe in Lymington and had a coffee before catching the train home. 

approaching Lymington; recognisable by all the yacht masts

Day 356 The New Forest National Park

Tuesday 26 July 2016

Bournemouth, Dorset to Lymington, Hampshire

15 miles

Hurst View Camping

I had a lie-in at Kath’s, partly because she wanted to walk with me (she’s not an early riser) and partly because she promised bacon sandwiches. Unfortunately Geoff couldn’t make it so Suzy drove for the sandwiches before we were up and we all set off together sometime around 10am. 

Suzy and Kath posing in front of the River Stour
Following Kath’s good advice we started with the Stour Valley Way, heading alongside Christchurch Harbour and out to Hengistbury Head. It was a grey day with dull light but I could still see for miles from the elevated position on top of the dunes covering Hengistbury Head. 

the view back to Bournemouth from Hengistbury Head
the River Stour from Hengistbury Head
the two spits guarding the entrance to Christchurch Harbour
There were some lovely beach huts on the spit of land protecting Christchurch Harbour. We were able to get a ferry across to mouth of the harbour to Mudeford, Christchurch. 

Me and Suzy on the Mudeford Ferry (note the lovely beach huts in the background – they cost a fortune)
We stopped at The Noisy Lobster next to Avon Beach, Mudeford for coffee and cake. 

lobster pots at the entrance to Christchurch Harbour
Before I knew it the afternoon was upon me and I’d hardly walked anywhere. It had been a lovely, relaxed morning though. I waved goodbye to Kath and Suzy and headed along Christchurch promenade, which was rather similar to Bournemouth’s. At some point I crossed into Hampshire. 

Christchurch beach
I asked a lifeguard if I could get all the way along the beach to Milford on Sea and he assured me I could, even though it was nearly high tide. Hmmm. Halfway along I passed the warning signs telling me cliff subsidence had made a section too dangerous to pass. I didn’t want to go back and there was no way up the high cliffs so I gingerly picked my way over the mud and boulders, following a route I could see had been travelled before. Fortunately I made it. If I had needed rescuing I was going to blame the lifeguard. 

it doesn’t look that bad from here!
The cliff erosion was quite stark and reminded me of Norfolk; the cliffs were composed of the same sort of sticky, clay/mud. 

the high cliffs around Barton on Sea
Either side of the landslip, however, there were plenty of people on the beach and lots of beach huts. Many of the ones at Milford on Sea had been damaged in the 2014 storms. 
more beach huts below the crumbling cliffs
Eventually I made it up to the clifftop and breathed a sigh of relief. The views were better from up here. 

the view back towards Bournemouth
the view onwards, towards Hurst Beach
I had a great view of The Needles as I reached Milford on Sea. There were some nice houses facing the sea but it all had a depressed air about it; it might have been the grey day. 

a man fishing off Hurst Beach; a great view of The Needles
Hurst Beach is a 2km spit of shingle, like a smaller version of Chesil Beach, that sticks out from Milford on Sea into the Solent. It forms a shifting barrier that protects the western approach to the Solent. I didn’t walk all the way along it to Hurst Castle and lighthouse at the end; that would have been tough going along the 300,000 cubic metres of shingle. I did learn that Hurst Castle was built in 1544 (another of Henry VIII’s forts) and that King Charles I was held prisoner there before his final journey to London. 

looking along Hurst Beach, the Isle of Wight in the background
Instead I turned North East, folowing the Solent Way along the fringes of the New Forest National Park. I skirted around the huge saltmarsh and mudflats created in the shelter of Hurst Spit. 

looking across Keyhaven Marshes to the Isle of Wight
At Pennington Marshes I headed inland slightly to my campsite. I was tired and camping did not enthrall me. I knew I needed a break when I managed to lose my phone charger (fortunately someone picked it up and left it on a picnic table). I had been planning to head to the Isle of Wight tomorrow and head home at the end of the week but I decided to change my plans and catch a train home tomorrow. That decision lifted my mood considerably; I did need a break. 

Me, Kath and Suzy on top of Hengistbury Head

Day 355 Brownsea Island and Bournemouth

Monday 25 July 2016

Sandbanks to Bournemouth (via Brownsea Island)

11 miles

Kath’s house

the Brownsea Island Ferry (Brownsea Island in the background)
I convinced Andrea, Amelie and Ruby to join me on a trip to Brownsea Island, the home of Scouting. The 10 minute ferry went from Sandbanks and it was popular; we had to wait for the 2nd one. There were lots of Scouts in their uniforms. 

approaching Brownsea Island
Brownsea Island is covered in trees and very pretty. It is owned by the National Trust and I thought it was quite expensive to visit. The return ferry trip cost the same as a going to the Isle of Wight, and then there were the landing fees. Still, it was much more tranquil than Sandbanks.

Ruby and Amelie with Lord Baden-Powell
Amelie had done her Brownie induction here so we decided to try and walk around to the Scout Commemoration Stone. It was lovely to see lots of kids running around and a camp set up near the Stone. Unfortunately we did not see any red squirrels. 

The Scout Commemoration Stone
We had a picnic on the grass and watched lots of peacocks roaming around, many approaching picnickers for titbits. 

up close to a peahen and her peachick
We walked back to the jetty via some cool art work in the woods. Red lines had been painted on trees so that if you stood in the right spot the lines all matched up to make a heart. Very clever. 

a red heart…
…and another…
…and another
Back at Sandbanks we walked along the beach to the car park, where I collected my rucksack and we said goodbye. It had been a relaxing morning. 

looking back along Sandbanks’ beach towards Brownsea Island
I carried on along the promenade that runs right through Bournemouth. There were plenty of people enjoying the sunshine, on the beach and sat outside the many, many beach huts that line the promenade. 

it’s a long promenade around Bournemouth
I had fantastic views across Poole Bay, from Old Harry to the West to The Needles and the Isle of Wight to the East. 

Is that the Isle of Wight?
i think the volume of sand has increased further along the promenade!
There was an RAF Hercules circling around the Bay for ages. Twice I saw it drop things into the water, including at least one boat. Must have been the SBS practising. Whatever, I was surprised by just how many people take binoculars to the beach!

a Hercules flying over Old Harry
Behind the promenade, the cliffs are quite high and there are a couple of cliff lifts for those who don’t want to climb the zig zag pathways to the top. Naturally I caught a lift. 

travelling up East Cliff Lift
I made my way to Kath’s house, not far from the Stour Valley. Kath’s friend, Suzy, joined us for the evening and we all walked to The Pie House in Tuckton for pie and mash. Delicious. 

looking back along Bournemouth seafront
looking ahead to Hengistbury Head and the Isle of Wight

WEEK 50 Sidmouth, Devon to Poole, Dorset

105 miles walked

(total 2,947 miles walked)

What a fantastic week! The Jurassic Coast treated me well and I was lucky to have so many wonderful views (except at Lulworth Cove) as I walked through time. 

eroding cliffs at Burton Bradstock, looking back towards Lyme Regis
This week seems to have been the annual British heatwave. It has been very hot, beautifully sunny and stiflingly calm. I have had to manage myself more carefully this week but it’s been worth it. The sea in Dorset has been warm. 

Me walking The Warren
As ever, staying with friends made things a lot easier. Washing machines are such a great invention. 

Me and Grace (if only she make me look so dishevelled!)
I finally finished walking the South West Coast Path this week, 11 weeks after I started. I have really enjoyed “following the acorn” and think I’ll miss it. Considering it’s only a small part of my whole trip, I was surprised at the sense of accomplishment I felt upon finishing. 

I made it all the way from Minehead to South Haven

Day 354 The Isle Of Purbeck

Sunday 24 July 2016

Worth Matravers to South Haven Point

16 miles

Andrea and Steve’s house, near Wareham

It had been a cold night; the first one for several weeks where I had to zip my sleeping bag right up. That meant the tent was soaking wet in the morning but it didn’t take long to dry. Getting up early meant I avoided the queues for the portaloos, which was a good start. 

Time for a cup of tea and a bacon and egg bap while I waited for my tent to dry and the mist to lift. I was looking forward to seeing friends, washing my clothes, a bed and finishing the SW Coast Path. For some reason finishing this path feels like a big achievement. Perhaps it’s because I met so many people doing bits of it on the way around?

St Aldhelm’s Chapel
I set off for St Aldhelm’s Head, which has a funny little 800 year-old chapel near the Lookout Station. It was a beautiful spot and there was a strong tidal race. I popped into the Lookout Station to get a weather forecast: sunshine and showers. 

a memorial to secret radar research carried out at Worth Matravers
There was a WW2 memorial to vital radar research that was secretly conducted here 1940-42. 

the view back along the coast of the Lulworth Ranges
It was a lovely walk along the cliffs to Anvil Point and Durlston Head. 

lots of caves hollowed out of the Isle of Purbeck rock
strip lynchets (caused by ploughing) visible on the hillsides
The cliffs here often have flat ledges and there was one in particular I was looking for: Dancing Ledge. I had been here before and there was a small tidal pool hewn out of the rock. These cliffs are a favourite place for coasteering and, sure enough, Dancing Ledge had lots of people about, which always puts me off going for a dip. The tide was high anyway and the pool half covered by the sea. It is a lovely place. 

Dancing Ledge; the tidal pool just about uncovered
There are lots of sea-side caves on these cliffs and, just before Dancing Ledge, I had passed Winspit and Seacombe. Both were small, stream-filled valleys and there were a couple of tents pitched on the cliff ledges. I supposed the occupants had been to the Square and Compass last night and were free camping for the sheer hell of it (wilfully ignoring the ‘no camping’ signs). 

wild campers at Winspit
I rounded Anvil Point, past the lighthouse, and into Durlston Country Park. It is a shame you can no longer go in the Tilly Whim Caves; old limestone quarries dug into the Durlston cliffs. They looked impressive. 
sea kayakers around Anvil Point

the lighthouse at Anvil Point

Also impressive, and odd, was the large globe that had been given a position of importance, just below the small and silly-looking Durlston Castle. 

The Large Globe at Durlston Head
There was another strong tidal race at Durlston Head and the path turned North, curving around Durlston Bay, to Peveril Point and Swanage.

Peveril Point, and Old Harry behind
Swanage was packed with people and I was hungry. I found a fairly empty Italian restaurant and stopped for a very nice pizza and coffee. I was due to meet Andrea at 1pm to walk the next part so I made the most of my break. 

Swanage viewed from Peveril Point
Swanage Pier and Bay, heading around to Old Harry
I found Andrea, dumped my bag in Steve’s car, and we set off around Swanage Bay. It was great to catch up with Andy after a long time, even if she did bring the rain with her (there was a slight drizzle going on but not enough to need waterproofs – anyway mine were now in Steve’s car!). 

looking back on Swanage and Peveril Point
We had lots to chat about as we headed out of Swanage and climbed up Ballard Down. 

Poole Harbour just visible through the gloom from Ballard Down
We met Karen, Andrea’s mum, at the top of the Down and the 3 of us walked to Old Harry, at the Foreland Point. From here we should have had commanding views of Poole Harbour and Poole Bay, but unfortunately the mizzle put paid to that. Old Harry’s Rocks looked good though. 

Old Harry’s Rocks
We walked down into Studland. Studland beach was another site of D-Day practice. This one had the distinction of having Fort Henry observation post built by the Canadians so that Churchill et al could watch the live firing practice in relative safety. This was also where the amphibious tanks were tested; they were not successful as 27 of 29 sank off Omaha Beach. 

Observing Studland Beach from Fort Henry
The tide was in and Studland Beach had been reduced to a thin line of sand, every bit of which was filled with people. Andrea and Steve have a beach hut so we met up with the rest of the family and there was time for tea and biscuits. 

lookig back at Old Harry from Studland
At the end of the afternoon Steve, Max, Amelie and I set off along the beach, walking the last 2 miles of the SW Coast Path to South Haven Point. It was nice to have company for the last section. I was amazed how pleased I felt at completing this particular path; it had been my favourite long walk. We reached the small entrance to Poole Harbour, opposite Sandbanks, and posed for photos next to the signs. I was quite elated at my achievement. 

Me, Max and Amelie made it to South Haven
This time I didn’t need to catch the ferry as Andrea picked us up in the car and we went home for a celebration BBQ. It had been a lovely day. 

Me at Old Harry

Day 353 Across Lulworth Ranges to the Isle of Purbeck

Saturday 23 July 2016

Durdle Door to Worth Matravers

14 miles

Weston Dairy Campsite

It was a misty morning so I took my time as everything was soaked. The campsite cafe was open for breakfast from 9am so I waited for scrambled eggs on toast and a coffee before packing up. 

Stair Hole – difficult to appreciate through the mist
I finally got going at 10.30 and the sea mist still hadn’t cleared. On the walk to Lulworth Cove I passed lots of people heading for the beach at Durdle Door and none of us could see further than a few metres ahead. That was enough to see the damage that the huge volume of tourists is doing to the environment around here. 

a 2002 plaque commemorating The Jurassic Coast as a World Heritage Site
Lulworth Cove was pretty and busy. I popped into the heritage centre to read about how the Cove demonstrates all the Jurassic Coast rocks in one sweep. Unfortunately I couldn’t see it as the whole place was shrouded in mist. I didn’t hang around, just long enough to buy a sandwich for my lunch. 

Lulworth Cove…not looking its best

another view of Lulworth Cove
I had timed my walk to arrive at Lulworth on a weekend so that the Ranges would be open to walk through. I gave this extra attention because I had tried to walk this section of coast once before and the Ranges had been closed, which necessitates a 13 mile diversion inland. I had a minor panic when I saw a red flag, but I think it was left flying to designate that the Fossil Forest was closed due to landslips.   

only a small cliff to climb!
worth it for the view of Mupe Bay
The Lulworth Ranges are well worth walking through. They have those folded up cliffs and, unfortunately, the path goes straight up and over them all. It was hard, hard work walking up and down in the heat. 

Arish Mell
the cliff seems folded back on itself (the white lines are tank tracks, the path follows the top of the cliff)
There are 3 bays within the ranges: Mupe, Arish Mell and Worbarrow. They are all along one long sweep of bay between Mupe Rocks and Worbarrow Trout. 

Worbarrow Bay
Worbarrow Bay is the one that the public go to when the ranges are open and I thought it looked lovely; beautiful sand and clear blue sea contrasted against the chalky cliff. 

Worbarrow Beach
Worbarrow was once a thriving fishing community and coastguard station. It was Evacuated in 1943 for D-Day troop training and the villagers never returned. 

another view of Worbarrow Bay
The walk up and down Flower’s Barrow (once an Iron Age fort) to get to the Bay was worth it as the 360 degree views were amazing. Inland I could see Lulworth Castle and way beyond, as well as up and down the coast. 

a view all the way across to Portland
looking ahead at the ‘wavy’ Gad Cliff
Another climb up onto Gad Cliff and then I was walking on the edge, looking down into the valley containing Tyneham abandoned village, hidden amongst the trees. I had been recommended that this was a good place to visit, but I saved it for another day and carried on. 

where have the white cliffs gone? The view towards St Aldhelm’s Head
Another very steep downhill to Kimmeridge Bay and my first live sighting of an oil well. BP’s Kimmeridge Wellsite has been producing oil continuously since 1969; it currently produces 80 barrels a day. 

an oil well
Kimmeridge Bay was interesting as the chalk cliffs had disappeared and left rocks containing a thick sequence of Kimmeridge Clay, which made the water muddy-looking. It was still busy with people because there were extensive ledges that were exposed at low tide and it looked like this gave rise to some good rockpools. 

Kimmeridge Bay, rock ledges stretching out into the bay
Uphill again. Overlooking the Bay was Clavell Tower, built in 1830 as a folly and an observatory. The tower has been moved further inland from its original site to protect it from the coastal erosion. 

Clavell Tower
looking back at the big ledge before Kimmeridge Bay
Looking over the edge of the cliff I could see Kimmeridge Ledges, flat lengths of rock/clay sticking out into the sea. 

beautiful cliffs
Eventually I reached Chapman’s Pool and headed inland, up a short valley, to the camping field on the edge of Worth Matravers. I was lucky because the campsite had only opened the previous day. It was very basic, just a farmer’s field with a few portaloos and portashowers. There was only 1 water point where one had to wash hands post toilet, collect drinking water and wash any pots and pans. Slightly chaotic!

Chapman’s Pool
The farmer’s wife and daughters had set up a small stall offering tea and cake (I had some of that on arrival), burgers in the evening (I had one of them) and breakfast baps in the morning (something to look forward to). 

stunning views along the cliffs …
…and back towards Portland
I had my first ever portashower (not recommended on a hot day) and headed out to the pub. The Square and Compass is a well known, and very popular, ale house. The queue stretched outside the door and it took me 15 minutes to get served. This was because the pub is so old fashioned that it does not have a bar – local beer and cider is drained from barrels and served through a hatch. Food is on offer: meat or vegetable pasties only. It was a very quirky place. I sat inside a small room next to the fossil museum that the pub has set up and chatted to a man who was sea kayaking around the area. This is a very popular sport around the Isle of Purbeck. There was some live music in another room but it was too difficult to move anywhere so I stayed put. A fascinating place. 

walking the cliffs of Lulworth Ranges is not for the faint hearted!