On the weekend of 13th – 14th July 2013, I set off from Southampton to Dorset with my colleagues from The Different Travel Company. We were spending the weekend walking as part of our regular get-togethers out in our beautiful countryside.
Our base for the weekend was Durdle Door Holiday Park in a couple of the static homes they have on site. It is a nice place to stay; close to Durdle Door, well equipped, spotlessly clean and right on the South West Coast Path route which is where we were headed. There is even an on-site bar/restaurant and shop which is convenient.
Bright and early on Saturday morning we set off to Bowleaze Cove, Weymouth to commence our walk back to Durdle Door; approximately 11 miles. It just so happened that Saturday 13th was the hottest day of 2013 to date with temperatures hitting 29C in the area. Fortunately with an early start we eased into the hot weather gently with an easy start to the day with a gentle incline at Broad Rock followed by a steeper more typical coastal path hill at Black Head. The views were spectacular with white cliffs, clear blue sea, bright sun and cloudless blue skies. We stopped for a short snack break just over half way at White Nothe before the toughest part of the day, with steep relentless inclines right back up to Durdle Door and our campsite for a cool shower and a rest.
That evening we walked to a nearby pub, The Castle Inn, in Lulworth for a hearty meal and a drop of local cider. 3 1/3 pint testers for £3.50 was the ideal way to round off the evening!
The following day we set off at 7:15am from Durdle Door to continue our walk to Worth Matravers. The heat was intense, even at that time of the morning. We followed the coast round to Lulworth Cove before ascending through a steep, brief cool forest to the clifftop which, once we reached the top, offered astounding views of Lulworth Cove below us.
From here we entered the Lulworth Firing Range and the hills began. Oh my goodness, did the hills begin. Normally I would have revelled in the challenge but with a thumping headache (probably due to a combination of the temperature and being a bit dehydrated after one too many ciders the night before) it was pretty agonising dragging myself up to the top. Of course, homemade flapjacks make the worst malady fade away and it wasn’t long before I was a bit more cheerful again!
After a short detour away from the coast, we came back onto the coastal path and stopped at Kimmeridge Bay for lunch and an ice cream (of course!) before continuing for the rest of our walk. Kimmeridge Bay was a bustling place with lots of holiday makers taking advantage of the sunshine and stunning scenery. With everyone else in swimwear, it felt slightly odd wandering through in hiking gear!
Unfortunately due to landslips, the final section of our walk towards Houns-tout cliff (the steepest part of the walk, and the bit I was actually really looking forward to!) and onwards to Worth Matravers, was closed to the public so we decided to come inland and stop the walk a little earlier at a nice pub in Kingston, the Scott Arms, which features an incredible Caribbean BBQ, before heading home.
The Jurassic Coast is an absolutely stunning part of England, with views that rivalled parts of the Mediterranean that weekend. I’ve walked other sections of the Jurassic Coast before in less than pleasant weather and it’s still beautiful but in a more rugged, moody kind of way. If you’re ever in the area or fancy an adventure in the South East, I’d strongly recommend visiting the Jurassic Coast, or indeed any part of the South West Coast Path.