Lulworth Holiday - May 2018
21 people went on the holiday, which was based in the HF Holidays house at West Lulworth and lasted five days.
After travelling down on the Monday two short walks were done in the afternoon, both starting from Chaldon Herring (alias East Chaldon), which is locally famous for the Powys brothers, alas unknown elsewhere.
Phil, Stuart and John went south in a loop that included the coastal path and a sneaky little valley which required crossing (Photo), while Alison and Lesley went west.
On Tuesday, Tony, Ann, Anne, Alan and Pauline undertook the coastal walk west of Lulworth, which as predicted by the walk card provided by HF proved to be very steep up and down in some parts, requiring the time-honoured sport of bottom skiing to be undertaken.
The rest went to Kimmeridge Bay, using the road across Lulworth Ranges, which Mac had advised would be open even though the ranges were in use. The walk went from the quarry above Kimmeridge to Swyre Head, from which there was a good view back towards Lulworth........
then to Kingston, down to Houns Tout Cliff where we had lunch and Alison took a group photo. The views here were superb.
We returned along the coast to Kimmeridge Bay.
...... passing the Clavell Tower, a folly built in 1830 by he Reverend John Richards Clavell. It is now owned by the Landmark Trust and is available to let. It was moved 25m from the cliff edge in 2006-8, at a cost of £900,000.
Finally we faced the walk back up from the beach to the car park past the fossil museum. Ed and Jean dropped down from Swyre Head to the coast, and visited Lulworth Castle and its church on the way home.
Thanks to Alison for suggesting this walk which was, I think, the best walk of the holiday. In the evening we were entertained with very amusing Dorset-style songs and poems by a member of the one-time folk group The Yetties.
On Wednesday the walk was from Corfe Castle to Swanage with return by the Swanage Railway. There was a long and a short option. Both parties went east on the Purbeck Way along the ridge from Corfe to Godlington Hill, giving good views south across the Isle of Purbeck. The middle view shows Jo, Jenny and John, the right-hand one Alan, June and Judith.
The long walkers (Alison, Lesley, Jo and Peter) then went north-east across Godlington Heath via the Agglestone (seen left) to reach Studland.........
......then on the coastal path to reach Old Harry Rocks.
The short walkers went straight along the ridge to Ballard Point, where lunch was taken with an outstanding view of Poole Harbour (photo). A chap came with a radio-controlled model plane – luckily it was a glider so we didn’t suffer from the expected meeeeeeeeeh noise.
Ice creams were taken at Swanage station before the journey home. We did the HF quiz in the evening, but only came fourth in the national rankings.
On Thursday the various short walk options were abandoned, and all the walkers went to Weymouth to retrace the steps of Julia Bradbury’s railway walk from Portland Bill to Weymouth, in a walk suggested by Mac. Two bus rides got us to the south end of Portland, where we took the coastal path up the east side, winding through rocks past Rufus’ Castle (left).....
.......where there is a memorial stone celebrating the opening of the first part of the SW Coastal Path from here to Lulworth. We continued on the line of the old Easton and Church Hope Railway.
Eventually our way was blocked by the security fence of Portland Harbour and we had to climb up the cliff path to a rather attractive Portland stone chimney (which it turns out is a sewer vent!) and the Young Offenders' Institution, as dismal a place as its name suggests.
Things improved as we moved past the site of one of the old Victorian gun batteries to the viewpoint overlooking Chesil Beach and Weymouth......
...... and the real Prison, which is much more attractive than the YOI, being hidden inside a Victorian fort of 1861. While having lunch we noticed a motley crew of people climbing up under the fort opposite us, not dressed as for rambling, some with carrier bags. Ten minutes later, having gone out of sight they suddenly emerged from under our feet. They turned out to be supporters of the South West Coastal Path, a very valuable group indeed, not least in showing us how to get down!
The path down is again an old mineral railway, which stone block sleepers in evidence. The steep Merchant's Incline brought us to the harbour......
..... then an undistinguished path through modern developments (built for the Olympics, including this unusual multi-storey boat rack) to Chesil Beach. We were not helped by the sea mist which blotted out the view to East and West.
As we entered Weymouth some people chose to return to the cars on the bus, while the others completed the trip via the coastal path, Sandsfoot Castle (right), the Nothe park and Weymouth Harbour, one of the best parts of the walk.
Weymouth town is very picturesque.
This brought the organised part of the trip to a close, and everybody made their various ways home on Friday. Thanks are due to Ed for organising the accommodation.
Wrekin Walk 2018
On a cloudy but dry 1 April 2018, we drove to Wellington (Salop) for an 8 mile walk around and over The Wrekin, led by Alison. Parking in a rough car park in Ercall Wood, we set off up Ercall Hill itself; at a height of 140m (460 ft) it provided a useful taster for the Wrekin itself.
The climb to the top was pretty stiff but interesting; because a huge chunk of the hill was blasted out to provide road stone for the nearby A5, it revealed rocks from the earliest beginnings of life on this planet some 500 million years ago, when this part of Britain was on a shoreline 60 degrees south of the Equator.
We took in the view from the top before going back down again through impressive woods and past the old rifle range.......
before our coffee break near the reservoirs at the foot of the hill, including sweeties from Alison and special Easter biscuits baked by Judith.
After coffee we set off through the woods in the foothills of The Wrekin......
with pleasant views to the west, including snow on the tops of the Berwyn Mountains over 35 miles away..........
before the difficult ascent through the woods on the north-west side of The Wrekin, starting with a smile on everybody's face.....
and ending less humorously!
The views from halfway up included the hills around Church Stretton (left) and the disused Ironbridge power station.
Gayle took a chance for a breather and a quick drink of water.
There were also good views over the farmland to the East.
Hayley enjoyed getting to the trig point at the top (407 m/1335ft).
We all made it to the top – some more exhausted than others – before investigating the very helpful topograph installed to commemorate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. We then found a sheltered piece of woodland in which to enjoy our lunch with a view.
During the iron age there was a hill fort at the summit, built by the Celtic Cornovii tribe, who called The Wrekin their capital.
We then carried on down the hill to a junction, where we went That Way to our first bit of field walking.
but before long we were walking back through the edge of Lime Kiln Wood, Tony is shown here looking into the associated quarry......
before walking down towards the M54 and through Ercall Wood again to the car park, just avoiding the rain! Thanks to Alison and Lesley for a great walk.