(Not so) far from the Madding Crowd

28 May 2017- Lulworth Cove, Dorset

Me, Jim the Alien, Big O and the Doctors

A weekend away visiting the Doctors: in training for a family climb of Mount Everest Ben Nevis in the summer, a BIG walk was promised on Sunday. We thus headed off to the south coast, to walk a section of the Dorset Coastal Path.

Parked at Lulworth Cove: completely beautiful spot in the sunshine, we fantasized about swimming in the cove on our return. After a slight detour round the village, we headed up and down some steep inclines before heading onto the ridge walk eastward. Really tough on the legs, but incredible views along the coast and over the sea.

Lunch was sandwiches at the top (during which we learnt there was a definite split in the party re: the acceptability of mayonnaise or not), fruit, and sweets (during which we learnt that I am out of touch with modern sweets- Moams- but it doesn’t matter as they are very strange). All these things rendered insignificant by a fascinating weather front which turned the horizon into a dark purple haze and then vanished: but we guessed rain was not too far away.

All fears of the walk being boring were banished as we entered the range walk at Lulworth Camp. The view opened up inland across the live firing range, where, so the Devil’s Window informed us, the Armoured Fighting Gunnery School practices what Armoured Fighting Gunnery characters need to learn. A fabulously wild and woolly landscape where wandering around and picking things up are clearly a bad idea, and where old tanks go to die. Extraordinary herds of rusting military hardware dotting the landscape.

The final section included some really, really tough climbs and descents, as well as the ditches of an Iron Age hillfort (suspiciously cratered looking). We picked a summit, and having crested it, called it a day, heading back to our lunch spot for a rest, then along a slightly inland path for variety, before final descent to the beach at Lulworth. The weather having turned a bit, stone skipping seemed a more appealing activity to finish, followed by cream tea and icecream.

Really fab walk, probably 8-9 miles, extremely tough on the legs, and made by the fabulous, fabulous views. Enjoyed being educated about lepidoptery, especially the Lulworth Skipper.