A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: Deb Godley

SWCP - Day 52 of 52 - Kingston to South Haven Point

overcast 19 °C

Steps/ Distance: 44,299 30.23 km
Rating: moderate

The walking was relatively easy. Again, I had trouble with navigation. Wasl lost three times along the way and used the phone's maps to get me back on track. Wasted some time, though. So it took me 7.5 hrs instead of 6 to arrive at the end of the path.

Looking back to Dancing Ledge where I reached the path walking from Kingston. Per Wiki, "Dancing Ledge is so called because at certain stages of the tide when the waves wash over the horizontal surface, the surface undulations cause the water to bob about making the ledge appear to dance."

The path varied from crossing fields, to wide, gravel paths, to busy roads.

Anvil Point Lighthouse and Tilly Whim Caves (Tilly used a wooden crane in the quarry, called a whim)

Near Durlston Castle, there's a stone "Great Globe" with many carved inscriptions surrounding it.

Within the building there was a nice art exhibit picturing the local area.

Swanage and Swanage Beach, where I was too late for the daily Punch and Judy show

Ballard Cliff and Harry's Rocks


And the finish line. Whoo-hoo!

Then, I took the cool chain ferry across the channel and two buses later arrived at my accommodation in Bournemouth.

Days: 52
Steps: 1,710,976
Km walked: 1,167
Path completed: 83%

Note the SWCP is actually 1,014 km in length, but even with having missed a few sections due to difficulty with booking accommodation, getting around tides, weather issues and pure tiredness, I walked further including walking to accommodation and meals, getting lost, and possibly inaccuracies from the Fitbit measurements.

Looking forward to getting home. My husband and friends, my electric toothbrush, different clothes, and playing online Scrabble with my Mom (not necessarily in that exact order.

Thanks for travelling with me.

Posted by Deb Godley 19:49 Archived in England Comments (0)

SWCP - Day 51 - Isle of Portland to Worth Matravers

semi-overcast 21 °C

Steps / Distance: 24,897 16.93km
Rating: n/a

When I woke up this morning, my plan for the day was to get to Kimmerage Bay and walk from there to Worth Matravers and my hotel in Kingston. Since there's no regular buses or trains to Kimmerage Bay, I'd need a taxi for the last portion. I took a bus off the Island and then decided to take the train to Wareham instead of a bus to Lulworth Cove because 1) Kimmerage Bay is closer to Wareham and 2) I thought there was a better chance at a taxi from the larger city. After calling and striking out with 6 taxi firms, I changed my plan and decided to walk from Wareham.

Wareham and a cute library converted from the iconic phone booth

It was going to be about 4hrs on roads. However, just leaving Wareham I saw a sign for a footpath to Corfe Castle, which I knew was on the way. The footpath was called Purbeck Way. It was a well-signed and easy path, which was great because it wasn't on my maps on the phone, but I could follow along and confirm I was going in generally the right direction.

I crossed Stoborough Heath and Creech Heath (collectively shown as the Purbeck Heaths on the map). The vertical red dotted line from Wareham is the Purbeck Way, which I followed to Corfe Castle and a bit beyond. Although not labeled, Kingston is the intersection of the roads above the coastal "L" in Coastal Grasslands.
Stoborough Heath

Corfe Castle and it's small Corfe Castle Village were worth a walk around and a few pics.

So, I didn't actually walk on the South West Coast Path today. Instead, I thoroughly enjoyed the Purbeck Way, with only the last 30 minutes on a road. The weather also cooperated🙂.

One more day of walking to reach the end of the path tomorrow.

Posted by Deb Godley 19:55 Archived in England Comments (0)

SWCP - Day 50 - Isle of Portland

rain 18 °C

Steps/ Distance: 21,877 15.01 km
Rating: n/a

I walked to the famous Portland Bill Lighthouse on the southern tip of the island. I watched the rain forecast and left in the early afternoon when it was supposed to clear up. I started out on the path, but soon found it too slippery in my sandals. So I exited at the first opportunity to a road and kept to the road the entire time, passing Portland's Stone Henge semi-circle and the stone 2012 Olympic rings. The view from the top of Old Hill was fantastic even on an overcast day.

Then it started to pour. I was completely soaked and ducked into the nearest pub and waited (with ale, of course) almost two hours for it to stop. Then continued down to the lighthouse.
From visit-dorset.com:
"Portland Bill Lighthouse has been standing majestically for the past one hundred and fourteen years at a height of 41 metres (135 ft). The distinctive red and white tower first shone its famous four flashes of light every twenty seconds on 11 January 1906 and had a range of 25 nautical miles which has guided passing vessels through the hazardous waters around Portland Bill as well as acting as a waymark for ships navigating the English Channel. The station was re-engineered in 2019 and the optic has been removed from the lantern room and re-erected in the tower base as a display. The range of light is now 18 nautical miles."

At the same site, there's also the Portland Bird Observatory (their website has listing of bird sightings) and Trinity House Obelisk (built in 1844 from Portland stone)

Following these visits, I caught the bus back and stopped for a great pizza at a tiny food trailer across the street from my hostel.

Posted by Deb Godley 20:55 Archived in England Comments (0)

SWCP - Day 49 - Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove (bus)

sunny 21 °C

Steps/ Distance: 18,315 12.35 km
Rating: easy

Today, a beautiful sunny day, I took the bus to Durdle Door entrance and walked down to the durdle (pierced rock - Durdle means pierce in old English). This was particularly special to me because my Mom and I were here, at Durdle Door 50 years ago and we both remember it well. She has been looking forward to my reaching this site.

But first...

This morning I walked to the Portland Castle. It wasn't open until later and I wasn't keen on seeing the cannons (pretty sure they're similar to other cannons in other castles 😁). So, I just took a few pics from the outside.

I also checked out the marina, including the info board about the 2012 Olympics sailing competition held here in Weymouth and Portland Harbour.

There was also a very cool boat garage or possibly vending machine? I couldn't see where you'd put the coins, but it was cool to see the forklift pull out a boat from the top shelf and deliver it to the water.

Then, I walked over and boarded the bus at a stop immediately outside my hostel. This bus delivered me to the King's Statue in Weymouth where I caught the Jurassic Coaster bus to Durdle Door.

And sent a few pics back to my Mom, who said that was exactly how she remembers it.

There's a good path, including the Lulworth Steps, from Durdle Door to Lulworth Cove. And on to Stair Hole and the stone monument commemorating the Jurassic Coast as a world heritage site.

Marker showing 28 miles to South Haven Point, where I'll find the end of path marker in a few days

I found a nice bench and ate the packed lunch from the hostel, while I watched the boat rides that take people out to Durdle Door.

And so decided I wasn't quite done with the Durdle.

It was amazing to me how much more it looked like it's nickname, the drinking dragon, from the water side. The eye is even perfectly placed.

Perfect weather and great memories.

Posted by Deb Godley 19:54 Archived in England Comments (0)

SWCP - Day 48 - Abbotsbury to Isle of Portland

semi-overcast 19 °C

Steps/ Distance: 35,264 24.02 km
Rating: easy

The walking was relatively easy and not very interesting, but there were several path closures and deviations that were not all well marked, so navigation was less easy. It would have been really painful without my offline maps. The last two hours passed quickly as I walked and chatted with a couple of men from the X-Rail walking group (former railway workers), from Yorkshire. I had passed by the other 6 walkers in their group an hour or so earlier.

The majority of the walking was either close to the Fleet estuary (although it was usually not visible), through or next to grain fields, or on roads.

Then walking along a busy road and crossing Ferry Bridge to the Isle of Portland.

Staying tonight in the smallest room yet, with a sink and shower. The communal toilets are up the stairs and across to the other side of the building. I'm pretty sure the ones in the pub across the street are actually closer to my room 😁

Posted by Deb Godley 19:29 Archived in England Comments (0)

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