Friday, 28 June 2013

South West Coast Path - Thursday 27 June

Away at 6.25am. I have a double diversion today. One to go round the military firing range and the other to avoid a 5km stretch of the Coast Path that is closed due to landslips. My overnight pitch was on the Purbeck Way. I had part of the firing range diversion on my printed map sheets but not all of it so I was going to rely on the route description and sketch map in the Trailblazer guide. All went well for a while. Things fell apart slightly at SY842831 by a ruined tower gateway on the boundary of Lulworth Castle.
 
 There was a left hand turn on to a clear vehicle track signposted to various local destinations whilst there was a field gate straight ahead with a small sign for a permissive bridleway (which I should have taken) but it wasn't clear, particularly as the clear track to the right (which I took) wasn't shown on the OS map. Anyway, on crossing a road a mile ahead, I was stopped going through Kennel Farm along a permissive bridleway and put right. The friendly farmer even brought out a map to show me where I should be and took a few photos of relevant bits of the map. It was fine after I got back on course. The route took me around the perimeter of the military firing range which was a very nice route. Some muddy bits. No-one around at all.  
 
Creech Grange
With the help of a GPS, I was able to see when I came back on to my map and I walked down to Kimmeridge where I found (as mentioned in the Trailblazer guide) Clavell's Café and Restaurant, a gem of a place. Crab sandwiches, chips and salad, washed down with elderflower pressé.  
 Here I joined the diversion due to the landslip. The whole section between Kimmeridge Bay and Houns-tout Cliff is closed. It was a good inland route, up to the trig point at Swyre Head (where I met coming the other way about 25 members of U3A out for a nine mile walk) and then down to the village of Kingston. Here I got water for the night from a tap outside the church and headed south to the coast at Chapman's Pool and up to the Coast Path at West Hill. It started to rain and so it was a wet and blustery walk out towards St. Aldhelm's Head. I found a decent pitch at the foot of Emmetts Hill at SY959759. There was evidence of cows but none in sight. Plenty of cow pats but I managed to pitch in between them.





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