Circular walk from Lulworth Cove to White Nothe beach along SW Coast path – #walkwednesday

This weeks #walkwednesday route is a proper work out along the South West Coastal path. Coming in at 8 miles, you have some fairly serious hills and all the wild beauty that the Jurassic coast has to offer. So far I think you’ll agree it’s been a funny old summer, I’ve not had the chance to get out and about to do as much walking as I would ideally like to, but a couple of weeks ago, my friend Chris and myself finally managed to head out for a stroll. Chris was worried about his fitness, so we decided to test it and get a solid days walking on along the SW Coastal path. Not only was it a good test of fitness, but Chris had not even heard of Durdle Door, so I was quietly looking forward to seeing his reaction when we came to it.

The day started out with a little drizzle and after we had parked at Lulworth Cove it was heads down to get up over the first hill, strolling on in silence. The rain seemed to keep some of the tourists at bay and it wasn’t long before Durdle Dor was in front of us, and Chris had a huge grin on his face. It’s a classic sight, and I will never tire of seeing just what our planet is capable of creating.

durdle dor

Leaving the crowds behind, we carried on along the path, and began drinking in the cliffs and sea ahead of us. It has a fair amount of up and down, so we stopped on Bats Head for a spot of lunch and a breather. There were few people on the path and we felt privileged to have such a beautiful environment to ourselves.

The weather forecast had been for a cloudy rainy day, and although we could see the clouds inland, the day gradually brightened to reveal a child’s picture of what the coast should look like with cloudless skies, a rich blue sea and white sailing ships dotting the waves. It was pretty much the only day this summer that’s been like it! There wasn’t much talking, but the grins came readily and easily to our faces. Reaching White Nothe Cottages, we spied the smugglers path down to the sea and set off down a seriously steep path to the beach. It’s not for the faint hearted, but if you do trek down there you will be rewarded by abundance of wildlife, and at the bottom a stunning beach that we had to ourselves.

bats head beach

Taking a rare opportunity for this summer with the heat, we stripped off for a dip and then basked in the sun to dry off before the long hard slog back up the path to the top. The stroll back to the car was across the fields affording us a larger vista of the coast, and a flatter journey for our tired legs.

Most of my walking encompasses hills and mountains and I need to make more of an effort to visit our coast. The feeling of space, along with the challenge of the inclines along the SWC Path made it a day to remember. The route is shown on the Social Hiking map below, it’s also available to download on Viewranger or you can right-click and download the GPX file here.

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Walk Wednesday in the New Forest – Hawkhill round walk or ride

This weeks Walk Wednesday route is a straightforward walk that can also be cycled. Near the village of Beaulieu in the New Forest, you start off at the Hawkhill enclosure which you get to by taking the B3054 from Beaulieu or the B3055 from Brockenhurst.

At the Hawkhill Car Park you follow the dirt track south before zig zagging your way to Round Hill , then following tracks North through the Forest to New Copse & Stubby Cope Inclosures before circling Denny Lodge and heading back.

New Forest horsesStaying in the forest you head down to Frame Wood eventually leaving the woods at Furzey Lodge before heading back along the road to the car park.

All in all it’s nearly 12 miles with a little up and down and is perfect as a cycle with the family, a blast after work when short of time, or a long half days walking.

As always you can download the route on Viewranger, have a look at the Social Hiking Map below, or right click and “save as” the GPX file here to download for your Sat Nav device of choice.

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#Walkwednesday Route – 2 Day Circular walk from Corfe Castle via the SW Coastal Path

We’ve got just the route for you for this Walk Wednesday, with a spot of sand, sea and hills on the glorious Isle of Purbeck. Starting at Corfe Castle, you’ll head out for a stupendous 2 day hike. The routes first day (14 Miles) takes in the Purbeck Hills, Swanage and follows the South West Coastal Path for some time, before heading up to camp at Tom’s field camp site. For the second day you’ll again follow the South West Coastal path before heading inland at Kimmeridge bay to follow the downs back in to Corfe (15 miles). We’ve also got alternative routes for the second day with a shortened 5 miles or 12 miles if you need to get back early, or fancy a more relaxing return to Corfe Castle.

Corfe CastleThere is plenty of Parking near Corfe Castle. Our recommendation is to turn left at the bottom of the castle mound heading uphill by East Hill to the walkers car park at SY 963 821. It states no overnight stays, but that’s for motorhomes. Head out of the car park to take a stroll over the Purbeck Hills towards the coast. Follow the Purbeck way along the ridge path on Ailwood Down and Nine Barrow Down. Keep going along Ballard Down and head back along the SWC Path in to Swanage where there’s plenty of scope for luncheon stops should you fancy.

Toms FieldAfter Swanage, follow the SW Coast path out through Durlston Country park, past the castle, caves and lighthouse until you get to Dancing Ledge. Stop a while to watch the one of the best sport climbing spots in the country, there should be quite a few people on the rocks. Leave the sea behind and head uphill to take the path to Tom’s field and relax in the general loveliness of one of the best campsites in the UK. Consistently voted one of the top campsites in the Uk by Cool Camping & The Guardian it is a stunningly beautiful campsite with great views over Swanage Bay from the top field.

Swanage BeachDay Two you have a couple of options, the route we would suggest is the one in pink on the map below. Head out from Tom’s field down to the coast, following the SW coastal path along to Kimmeridge Bay before heading up to join the Purbeck hills and back along to Corfe Castle. If that’s a bit too much for you after day one you can do a shorter route at 12 miles that heads along the SWC path to Rope Lake Head before heading up to Corfe Castle. Finally, a good half day option is to simply head cross country straight back to Corfe which comes in at 5 miles – perfect for those who have a longer journey home or want to be back in plenty of time.

All the routes are available to download on Viewranger, but we’ve also included links to the GPX files below as well (right click on them and select “save link as”) if you want to take them for your favourite device. As always, walking can be hazardous so we would recommend you walk within your abilities and check the route thoroughly before heading out.

Day 1 Corfe Castle to Toms field GPX file
Day 2 Toms Field to Corfe Castle 15 Miles GPX file
Day 2 Toms Field to Corfe Castle 12 Miles GPX file
Day 2 Toms Field to Corfe Castle 5 Miles GPX file

 

Photo Credits:- Corfe Castle Photo – David Bunting – Flickr,  Swanage Beach – R Schofield – Flickr,  Tom’s Field – Treehouse 1977 – Flickr

 

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#Walkwednesday – East Knoyle round walk via West Knoyle

East KnoyleWell after the weather of the last week or so you’ll definitely need your boots for this one, it’s a 7 mile round walk through prime Dorset countryside. From the birthplace of Christoper Wren, East Knoyle via it’s sibling West Knoyle, you’ll go through Nature reserves, get great views over the Blackmore vale all with some gentle up and down.

Parking can be found in the church car park at East Knoyle,  following the route up towards Milton you’ll soon find yourself heading through the beautiful woods on Haddon Hill, and if you’re out this week you’ll get a wonderful view and smell of the bluebells. Mackintosh Davidson woodsNext head to the top of Cleeve Hill with stunning views across the Blackmore Vale and head down towards West Knoyle church following the road for a bit. You then head up to The Middles before coming back to East Knoyle via the Mackintosh Davidson Nature Reserve.The homeward stretch towards East Knoyle can have a detour if you fancy to the pub on The Green.

The walk can be downloaded via Viewranger for your mobile phone and is FREE to download as all of our routes are.

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