kew bridge to putney bridge

thames path

friday, 6th July 2018

Phew! What a scorcher!!.

Kew Bridge high tide 08:28

Kew Bridge low tide 16:22

weather forecast.jpg
tide times.jpg

I start the day at our apartment in Acton, West London, where I've barely left the apartment before being greeted by the lovely shrieking of swifts enjoying the glorious sunshine. It is going to be a baking day today.

I wander an uneventful three or so miles down to Kew Bridge on the north bank of the River Thames. I take to quiet-ish streets attempting to avoid as many of the busy A roads as possible.

As I approach Kew I enter Gunnersbury Park and I'm immediately surprised by the loud squawking of parakeets. I know that parakeets are quite common across London now but even so, it feels rather unexpected.

I wander through Gunnersbury Park which is a rather lovely, quiet oasis before getting dumped out onto the busy roads around the beginning of the M4.

I make my way down to Key Bridge through what is the construction site for Brentford Football Club's new stadium, due to be completed in July 2019.

Kew Bridge was opened in 1903 as King Edward VII Bridge by King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra and was designed by John Wolfe-Barry and Cuthbert A Brereton.

The granite bridge has shields bearing the arms of Middlesex and Surrey which were the two counties occupying the two sides of the river at the time of the opening.

kew bridge

I've reached the River Thames and I come across my first Thames Path sign before continuing along Strand on the Green where I pass through a garden with benches looking out on to the river.

I pass by the Bell and Crown pub. The path here can be entirely coved by the river at high tide but I'm OK today so I carry on next to the river.

the bell and crown pub

I pass a row of riverside houses, including Prospect House. It's all rather posh around here! I pass a rather large house with a blue plaque commemorating the painter Johan Zoffany, a founding member of the Royal Academy, who lived here between 1790 and 1810. Unfortunately I'm still getting used to the sun so completely fail to see this blue plaque.

I continue along the path and pass the Dutch House where the film director John Guillermin lived (nope, I've not heard of him either! but he directed The Towering Inferno and Death on the Nile).

I pass a modern development of houses and then pass Tunnel Cottage before passing by the City Barge pub which claims to date back to the 14th century making it one of the oldest pubs in London.

the city barge pub

I now have views over to Kew Railway Bridge.

kew railway bridge

I pass under Kew Railway Bridge, opened in 1869 and designed by William Robert Galbraith, consisting of five green wrought iron lattice girder spans of 35 metres each.

underneath kew railway bridge

 no TARDIS!

no TARDIS!

The Dalek Invasion of Earth was filmed here in 1964 where the TARDIS materialises under the bridge.

 TARDIS!

TARDIS!

kew railway bridge

On the other side of the bridge I pass by the grade II listed 18th century Bulls Head pub. Legend has it that Oliver Cromwell, after whom Oliver's Island opposite is named, once used the inn but the story seems to be a load of old nonsense.

bulls head pub

I pass by 18th century houses and then a pink granite drinking fountain built in 1880 before I leave the river and head along Grove Park Road.

pink granite drinking fountain

I pass a sign for Redcliffe Gardens Riverside Walk which seems to be open to the public so I head down it. It turns out to be a dead end so I retrace my steps.

I walk past the University of London Boathouse which seems to be a rather scruffy affair compared to everything else around here.

university of london boathouse

I wander past Redcliffe Gardens and then pass Hartington Court, an Art Deco block built in 1938 and designed by John E Adams.

I wander inland of the river for a while before returning to the river at Chiswick Quay where I can see Putney Town Rowing Club over the other side of the river.

 I walk over the top of the lock at Chiswick Quay Marina and head up Ibis Lane, passing the rather scruffy Mortlake Anglian & Alpha Boat Club and Quintin Boat Club.

Over the other side of the river I can see Stag Brewery, now presumably converted to residential properties, but at the end of its brewing life brewed Budweiser beer.

I pass under Chiswick Bridge, a rather ugly reinforced concrete bridge opened in 1933.

chiswick bridge

I pass through Tideway Scullers School, a rowing club founded in 1957, and I'm now back on the river where I enter Duke's Meadow.

duke's meadow

It is now baking so I start munching on first peas followed by cherries, strawberries and a nectarine.

I pass by the golf course, driving range and tennis courts. Just before Barnes Bridge I pass behind Chiswick Boathouse (rather scruffy again) and pass Chiswick Rugby Football Club (currently an eyesore) which seems to be undergoing some kind of development. I detour into Dukes Hollow Local Nature Reserve which turns out to be a stinky, nettle infested dump.

I rejoin the path and pass Chiswick Horticultural & Allotment Society. The allotment looks like it might be quite nice inside but it's surrounded by a high fence. I pass through an arch under the Barnes Railway.

I turn right to head back towards the river passing the Riverside Club to rejoin the river where I can look back towards Barnes Railway Bridge.

barnes railway bridge

I think I can now smell beer being brewed. I pass Emanuel School Boat Club and then amble along the river path passing bandstands and a wooded section.

bandstands

It is now time to leave Duke's Meadow.

I enter the rather posh looking Thames Crescent where I pass Chiswick Sea Cadets.

thames crescent

huh?!

A paved promenade takes me to Chiswick Pier.

chiswick pier

I pass St Nicholas church, dating largely from the 1880s. The tomb of William Hogarth, celebrated painter, engraver and caricaturist, can be found on the south side of the church.

st nicholas church

tomb of william hogarth

The smell of beer becomes stronger. I follow a road parallel to the river passing 18th century houses, including Bedford House, before passing Fuller's Griffin Brewery, built in 1845 but on a much older beer brewing site.

griffin brewery

I pass by Chiswick Eyot, an uninhabited river island, and then Walpole House.

The earliest records relating to Walpole House date from the beginning of the eighteenth century when it was the home of Barbara Villiers, Duchess of Cleveland and former mistress of Charles II. After her death it passed to the Honourable Thomas Walpole, nephew of Sir Robert Walpole (Prime Minister 1721 to 1742), who gave the house its name.

walpole house

I leave the river and wander along Chiswick Mall where I pass a blue plaque commemorating Sir Alan Herbert, an English humorist, novelist, playwright and law reform activist. The plaque is almost hidden from view as the building is covered in scaffolding.

I pass the Black Lion pub where I return to the river again.

black lion pub

I pass a row of arches which are the remains of Hammersmith Pumping Station, built by the Metropolitan Water Board in 1909 but decommissioned in 1997.

I'm now on the Hammersmith Mall Riverside Walk. I pass the Old Ship pub and then Linden House, home of the London Corinthian Sailing Club and the Sons Of The Thames Rowing Club.

old ship pub

linden house

I pass by Kelmscott House Museum, a Georgian brick mansion now home to the William Morris Society. It was the London home of English textile designer, artist, writer and socialist William Morris from October 1878 until his death in October 1896.

kelmscott house

A sign on the house is partially obscured by wisteria but tells me that the first electric telegraph was built here in 1816 by Francis Ronalds, consisting of an 8 mile long overhead telegraph.

I pass The Dove pub and turn into Furnivall Gardens, created in 1951 on the site of a Quaker meeting house which was destroyed by a flying bomb in 1944 and I then pass the Rutland Arms and The Blue Anchor.

the dove pub

rutland arms pub

the blue anchor pub

I now have views over Hammersmith Bridge.

hammersmith bridge

I continue along the river to reach Hammersmith Bridge. I pass under the bridge and pass beside Riverside Studios, an arts complex which is in the middle of redevelopment and should fully open in 2019, although the Thames Path which runs outside is fully open.

riverside studios

looking back to hammersmith bridge

I pass by a statue of Lancelot 'Capability' Brown (some would say 'Incapability'!), next to Fulham Reach Boat Club and The Blue Boat, who lived not far away from here for 13 years.

capability brown

the blue boat pub

I pass by a sculpture called 'Figurehead', created by Rick Kirby in 2014.

figurehead

Over the river I can see the old Harrods Furniture Depository, built in 1894 as a storage centre for large items which couldn't be housed in the main store but now a residential estate.

I pass Thames Wharf Studios, once an industrial site containing the Duckham's oil facility. It was acquired by the Richard Rogers Partnership in 1983, which converted the industrial complex of redundant 20th century warehouses into offices, workshops, housing and the River Cafe restaurant.

thames wharf

Out in the river on the remains of presumably a pier are a load of gulls and a couple of cormorants. I pass The Crabtree pub.

crabtree pub

I continue ambling along the path by the river passing endless blocks of flats before coming across rusty pumps at Rowberry Mead. I can't find out any information about them.

pump

Formally known as Roseberry Meade, this was an old homestead dating from 1638, which used to be attached to a cherry orchard, reputed to be the finest in England. They'd have to be pretty fine cherries to beat the ones I've just eaten!

I now come across Craven Cottage, home to Fulham Football Club which I have to detour behind. Even the football stadiums are posh around here! 

craven cottage

craven cottage

I pass by Bishops Park, formally the site of the Bishop of London's summer residence where you can find Fulham Palace.

fulham palace

I'm now nearly at the end of my walk and I can see my destination, Putney Bridge, just in front of me. I stroll past the park through a formal garden where I find a memorial to people from Hammersmith and Fulham who fought in the International Brigade against Spanish fascism, 1936 to 1939.

international brigade

In honour of the volunteers who left Hammersmith and Fulham to fight in the International Brigade, Spain 1936 – 1939. They fought alongsidethe Spanish people to stop fascism and save liberty and peace for all. They went because their open eyes could see no other way. “No pasaran!”

formal garden

I enter Pryor's Bank. The four sculptures at the corners of the lawn here - Leda, Adoration, Grief and Protection - were donated to mark the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. The fountain, of best Sicilian marble was installed in 1901 but was never sprayed properly.

Just before the bridge I pass All Saints Fulham and then my walking is done. I walk along the underpass under Putney Bridge and head towards the railway bridge where I pass The Eight Bells, before turning left to head towards Putney Bridge tube station which will take me back to Acton.

putney bridge

the eight bells pub

FLORA AND FAUNA

Flora and fauna encountered on the walk today includes :-

  • swifts
  • parakeets
  • common oak
  • sweet chestnuts
  • red admirals
  • canada geese
  • a heron
  • gulls
  • cormorants
  • ragwort
  • wisteria
  • lavender
  • agapanthus
  • acanthus
  • day lillies
  • crocosmia
  • london plane trees
podcast logo small.png

PODCAST

The podcast of today's walk is now available. You can subscribe via the iTunes store or listen using the player below.

9 out of 10.png

MARKS OUT OF TEN?

According to my phone I've walked 11.8 miles today which amounts to 24079 steps. It has been another beautiful day's walking today in sweltering conditions. Nine out of ten!

MAP

kew bridge

kew railway bridge

chiswick bridge

hammersmith bridge

putney bridge

 

 

 

bridport to cogden

partially along the SOUTH WEST COAST PATH

in search of bee orchids

saturday, 9TH june 2018

Today's weather forecast looks to be pretty good, and I should have sun with cloud all day long. There shouldn't be much wind but it is blowing in the wrong direction which it has done for most of this year.

Bridport low tide 08:29

Bridport high tide 15:25

weather forecast.jpg
tide times.jpg

The aim of today is to find bee orchids in the fields above Cogden Beach. I've been here quite regularly over the years so I should have a very good chance of finding them.

It's farmers' market day in Bridport today which is held on the second Saturday of each month.

We leave our apartment, conveniently located in the heart of Bridport, at just after nine 'o' clock and amble around all of the market stalls while stopping off in the various bookshops. I manage to add to my Roald Dahl collection, start my Paddington collection with five books and add to my nephew's growing Ladybird collection.

It is now time to head for the National Trust car park at Cogden. I head down West Street and then follow the River Brit as it heads out of Bridport.

There are some rather nice roses clinging to the fences surrounding the allotments next to the playground.

I head behind St Mary's and then pass next to the grounds of Bridport Football Club.

st mary's

I pass behind Palmers Brewery and amble along the river bank enjoying the wild flowers.

I head across fields towards West Bay where I come across a herd of cattle. Even though there are quite a few calves with their mums they aren't in the slightest bit bothered by me.

The grass in the fields has been cut recently. We saw an awful lot of tractors making their way through Bridport yesterday loaded up with hay.

I head through West Bay Holiday Park where I take photographs of the various flowers.

west bay holiday park

The early morning grey clouds have started to lift and it's starting to get rather warm. I amble though West Bay and head through The Customs House emporium.

I head out on to West Bay Beach where there are loads of people enjoying the sunshine and warmth.

west bay beach

west bay beach

I amble along the sandy beach below the iconic, and very crumbling, West Cliff.

west cliff

At Freshwater Beach Holiday Park I have to head inland in order to cross the River Bride over a wooden bridge. I head back to the coast again and head along the sandy beach towards Burton Bradstock.

I head along Hive Beach at Burton Bradstock which turns into Cogden Beach where the coast path heads inland. I walk along a rutted and baked dry path where I come across my first bee orchid all on its own.

bee orchid

I continue along the baked path and come across a lovely patch of flag irises.

flag iris

Next to the irises I come across a large clump of southern marsh orchids. This is turning into a rather successful orchid hunt!

I pass a National Trust sign for Cogden and head inland across fields. It is a properly warm day now and the skylarks are making a racket above the fields.

I amble along the flower strewn fields keeping a beady eye out for bee orchids but instead I spot a pyramidal orchid, just coming into flower. This is swiftly joined by loads of other pyramidal orchids. This is now my third orchid species of the day.

pyramidal orchid

I should be seeing bee orchids by now but instead spot another orchid species which I don't initially recognize but turns out to be a greater butterfly orchid (it could be a lesser butterfly orchid but I haven't a clue how to tell the difference between the two) which I haven't seen for years and I don't recall seeing them in this field before.

greater butterfly orchid

This greater butterfly orchid is all on its own but further along the field I find a small clump of some more.

My orchid field guide tells me that I can tell the difference between the greater and lesser butterfly orchid because the two pollinia are set wide apart on the greater. I guess they must be greater butterfly orchids then.

greater butterfly orchid 6.jpg

This has turned into a fantastic day for orchids. Four species in one day! Bee orchids are turning out to be elusive though. However, finally I spot another bee orchid.

 a second bee orchid

a second bee orchid

And then I start to see more bee orchids - not as many as I was expecting - but on a day like this I'm not complaining.

I pass behind Orthona, a spiritual and community retreat, and then continue along the fields until I reach the National Trust car park at Cogden. My orchid hunting is over for the day.

I head back down towards Cogden Beach where I enjoy the sea thrift, sea poppies and the sea cabbage.

It's time to head up onto the cliffs. I head through Old Coastguard Holiday Park and then drop down towards Hive Beach again.

view over hive beach

I head behind Hive Beach Cafe before climbing back onto the cliffs at Burton Cliff and then clamber down the cliff at Freshwater Beach Holiday Park.

freshwater beach holiday park

I head inland to cross the river again before walking through the holiday park and clamber back onto the cliffs at East Cliff. I walk past Bridport and West Dorset Golf Club and then have magnificent views over West Bay.

view over west bay

I head through West Bay and then back towards Bridport where I pass Palmers Brewery again.

palmers brewery

I head through Bridport Community Orchard and pass behind St Mary's.

bridport community orchard

I head past the market stalls which are now packing up for the day and my walking is over. It has been a fantastic orchid hunting day.

FLORA AND FAUNA

Flora and fauna encountered on the walk today includes :-

  • swifts
  • rabbits
  • cows
  • roses
  • cow parsley
  • hogweed
  • wild carrot
  • elderflower
  • geums
  • agapanthus
  • aquilegia
  • ribwort plantain
  • bee orchids
  • flag iris
  • southern marsh orchids
  • pyramidal orchids
  • greater butterfly orchids
  • birds-foot trefoil
  • sea thrift
  • sea poppy
  • sea cabbage
podcast logo small.png

PODCAST

The podcast of today's walk is now available. You can subscribe via the iTunes store or listen using the player below.

10 out of 10.png

MARKS OUT OF TEN?

According to my phone I've walked 16.5 miles today which amounts to 35583 steps. It has been another beautiful day's walking today with some great orchid success. Ten out of ten!

Hmmm. My Ordnance Survey app failed me again. My other app I use to track elevation worked but it's showing a decidedly dodgy graph!

MAP

west cliff

southern marsh orchids

pyramidal orchids

bee orchid

greater butterfly orchid

view over west bay

beach collection

swanage to south haven point

SOUTH WEST COAST PATH

thursday, 7TH june 2018

Today's weather forecast looks to be on the ropey side and it should be cold, murky and damp.

Swanage low tide 10:16

Swanage high tide 13:23

weather forecast.jpg
tide times.jpg

I start the day back in Swanage next to the clocktower which is showing the time as 5 'o' clock. It's not. It's a quarter to eight! 

It's a murky day and rain threatens so it's not going to be a good day for photographs.

I take to the sandy beach and walk along it, clambering over the timber groynes, until I reach The Cabin beach cafe below The Grand Hotel. The official coast path climbs stairs here to reach the cliff top. I reckon I can continue along the beach though so I do, continuing to climb over the groynes.

I pass some colourful beach huts.

colourful beach huts

I then pass a row of beach huts with the following names :-

  • seagull
  • sailing
  • summery
  • oyster
  • lobster
  • puffin
  • pelican
  • dipper
  • blue sky
  • cockles
  • sandpiper
  • seashell

I clamber over the last groyne and spot some steps which I climb and find my first coast path sign telling me that Old Harry Rocks is two miles away and Studland three miles away.

the last groyne

coast path sign

I head across Ballard Down to reach Ballard Point. Unfortunately it has started to rain and is decidedly murky. The wildflowers are looking lovely though, even in the murk.

I detour slightly off the path to visit a trig point, number S2518.

trig point

I follow a grassy slope and below me can be seen loads of pinnacles and stacks including Old Harry Rocks. These are all that remain of what was once a large stretch of chalk between Purbeck and the Isle of Wight. I should be able to see the Isle of Wight but it's way too murky.

As I'm looking out over Old Harry Rocks a Condor Ferries ferry passes me and then a much larger Brittany Ferries ferry, presumably off to Cherbourg.

old harry rocks with ferry

I continue along the grassy slopes, enjoying more of the wildflowers.

I pass by Warren Wood, carefully managed by the National Trust to improve its wildlife value and promote the practice of traditional woodland craft.

I pass a sign for Joe's Cafe.

joe's cafe

I head towards Studland. The rain stops and it looks like it's brightening up. This is a cue for all of the skylarks around here to burst into a racket of song. I drop down on to South Beach, which is empty except for a lone oystercatcher feeding in the shallows. 

south beach

Somewhere just offshore can be found seahorses. Despite this, Studland Bay has still not been designated as a Marine Conservation Zone.

I wander along the sandy beach and then leave it next to Joe's Cafe. I head inland to Studland, passing the Bankes Arms Country Inn and the Isle of Purbeck Brewery (sadly reliant on Flash on their website I'm afraid) which I admire while standing next to an old ice cream van.

bankes arms

isle of purbeck brewery

ice cream van

I pass the Pig Hotel, which was closed for refurbishment the last time I passed here and was called the Manor House Hotel. 

I pass behind Fort Henry, a grade II listed observation bunker, built in 1943 to protect the bay from German invasion. In April 1944, Winston Churchill, King George VI, American General Eisenhower and the British General Montgomery came here to watch the combined power of the allied forces preparing for D-Day.

I leave the fort and wander down the beach access road to reach Middle Beach.

middle beach

From here it's a two and a half mile stroll along the beach to reach South Haven Point.

WARNING - part of the beach is given over as a naturist beach. Fortunately it's not very warm due to a north easterly wind so the few people on the beach today are wrapped up warmly.

And that's it really! I wander along the sandy beach (which is covered in shells) to reach the end of the South West Coast Path at South Haven Point. 

south haven point

At South Haven Point I take time to photograph the sculpture marking the end of the path (or the beginning if you are walking in the other direction).

A coast path sign nearby lets me know that Minehead is 630 miles away - as if I didn't know that!

minehead 630 miles

The Sandbanks chain ferry has just arrived next to me.

sandbanks ferry

I gaze across the harbour over to Poole where I was born in Poole General Hospital exactly 51 years ago today.

Happy birthday to me
Happy birthday to me
Happy birthday to me
Happy birthday to me.

 

My lift awaits just up the road from the chain ferry.

FLORA AND FAUNA

Flora and fauna encountered on the walk today includes :-

  • red campion
  • hogweed
  • herb bennett
  • wrens
  • chiff chaffs
  • herb robert
  • roses
  • skylarks
  • stonechats
  • honeysuckle
  • red valerian
  • rabbits
  • foxgloves
  • oystercatchers
  • sweet chestnuts
  • a song thrush
  • honesty
  • chaffinches
  • jellyfish
  • black headed gulls
podcast logo small.png

PODCAST

The podcast of today's walk is now available. You can subscribe via the iTunes store or listen using the player below.

7 out of 10.png

MARKS OUT OF TEN?

According to my phone I've walked 8.4 miles today which amounts to 18104 steps. Rather a pathetic walk really!  The weather has been pretty manky for much of the day's walk but it's been enjoyable anyway. Seven out of ten!

Hmmm. My Ordnance Survey app might actually have worked today. The total ascent today has been 232 feet or 70 metres. 

total ascent.jpg

MAP

beach collection

worth matravers to swanage

SOUTH WEST COAST PATH

monday, 7TH may 2018

Today's weather forecast looks to be pretty good, and I should have sun and very little wind all day long.

Swanage high tide 12:12

Swanage low tide 22:09

weather forecast.jpg
tide times.jpg

I attempted this walk back last June but had to abandon the walk in atrocious weather conditions so I'm back in much better weather to get this walk completed. In fact it's a glorious spring morning.

I start the day back at the Square and Compass pub in Worth Matravers.

square and compass

I head back towards the car park and head down a footpath before reaching it. I amble along fields and then pass a quarry which might be Swanworth Quarry, where I see a hare. I reach a road and head up it towards Renscombe Farm.

swanworth quarry

I pass Renscombe Farm and reach a car park and follow a footpath to rejoin the coast path at West Hill. I've always fancied visiting Chapman's Pool but I've never found a path down. Today I can see a steep footpath cut into the cliff which looks like I can scramble down but I'll have to leave that for another day.

The rock around the bowl of Chapman's Pool is made of Kimmeridge Clay Shale and capped off with Portland Limestone laid down on the shale in a later period. 

I come across limestone plaques set into the drystone walls of West Hill but I can't seem to find out any information about them. They are a bit worn now and it's difficult to make out the lettering but they read :-

stones lean together

hand built strata

held by gravity

between turf and sky

dark brought to light

exposed to weather

Unfortunately I've joined the coast path too far up to see the 'stones lean together' plaque.

I then come across a war memorial, built by the Dorset branch of the Royal Marines Association in 1990. It pays tribute to the members of the Corps who have been killed since 1945. There is a special mention of those who died in the Falklands, in the Middle and Far East, in Northern Ireland and those who perished in the IRA bombing at the Royal Marines School of Music in Deal.

Rest awhile and reflect that we who are living can enjoy the beauty of the sea and countryside.

war memorial

I amble along the clifftops at Emmetts Hill before dropping steeply downhill and then climbing a long flight of stone steps steeply up on to St Aldhelm's Head.

long flight of steps

Here I find St Aldhelm's Chapel where I sheltered for a while last year before deciding to abandon the walk. The chapel is a square shape with its corners aligned approximately on the cardinal points, not the walls as is customary.

st aldhelm's chapel

A bit further along I come across the St Alban's Head National Coastwatch Station. It's a long way from Hertfordshire but is named this way for maritime reasons.

st alban's head national coastwatch station

Nearby is the Purbeck Radar Memorial, practically the only evidence that remains of the development of the radar here during the second world war by the Telecommunications Research Establishment. The memorial was dedicated by Sir Bernard Lovell on the 27th of October 2001 and again in September 2006.

purbeck radar memorial

It is now easy walking along the clifftops on my way to Swanage and I'm now walking through a quarried landscape where Purbeck marble was excavated from mediaeval times including for the pillars of Salisbury Cathedral.

I turn inland at Seacombe Cliff past more quarrying activity before turning back out onto the cliffs. 

I pass above Dancing Ledge and come across a large patch of early spider orchids. I haven't seen these beauties for seven years.

dancing ledge

I pass Blacken Hole and then a pair of mile indicator posts used by passing ships to measure their speed.

mile indicator posts

I come across a patch of green-winged orchids before entering Durlston Country Park

I round Anvil Point to reach Anvil Point Lighthouse built out of the local limestone in 1881. Another pair of mile indicator posts can be found above the lighthouse.

anvil point lighthouse

I pass the entrance for Tilly Whim Caves quarried during the Napoleonic wars but closed by 1812. In 1887 they were opened as a tourist attraction but closed again in 1976 for safety reasons.

tilly whim caves

I round Durlston Head and pass Durlston Castle below which I can see the Great Globe, commissioned by George Burt, a sphere carved from 40 tonnes of Portland limestone and built in 15 segments at the Greenwich stoneyard of John Mowlem.

durlston castle and the great globe

I pass through woodland, which is the first shade I've had today, and it is now easy walking into Swanage.

I head along Belle Vue Road and head across a grassy slope towards Peveril Point where I find Swanage National Coastwatch Station. I now have fine views over Swanage Bay and out to Old Harry Rocks and I can just make out the Isle of Wight in the haze, I think.

I join a concrete path next to the shore before joining the promenade which takes me into Swanage. I continue along the promenade passing the beaches which are heaving on this glorious day.

swanage

I end my walk at the clocktower. What a lovely day of walking.

FLORA AND FAUNA

Flora and fauna encountered on the walk today includes :-

  • robins
  • pied wagtails
  • dunnocks
  • a hare
  • skylarks
  • wrens
  • speckled wood butterflies
  • roe deer
  • peacock butterflies
  • red admiral butterflies
  • lizards
  • swallows
  • chaffinches
  • swifts
  • stonechats
  • loads of caterpillars
  • oystercatchers
podcast logo small.png

PODCAST

The podcast of today's walk is now available. You can subscribe via the iTunes store or listen using the player below.

9 out of 10.png

MARKS OUT OF TEN?

According to my phone I've walked 11.2 miles today which amounts to 25595 steps. It has been another beautiful day's walking today. Nine out of ten!

Hmmm. My Ordnance Survey app is definitely playing up and the graph doesn't look anything like today's walk. The total ascent today has been a miserly 13 feet or 4 metres. Seriously Ordnance Survey! I know it has been a relatively gentle walk but 13 feet!!

elevation.jpg

This graph is much more like today's walk so I guess my total ascent has been 767 feet :-

elevation 2.jpg

MAP

chapman's pool

early spider orchid

swanage

uploders to seatown

via golden cap

sunday, 6TH MAY 2018

The weather this year has been particularly stinky but the weather forecast for this week looks pretty good. It should be warm and sunny today with virtually no wind so I can't complain.

Bridport high tide 10:44

Bridport low tide 16:11

weather forecast.jpg
tide times.jpg

I start the walk at our holiday cottage, Celtic Blessing, in the village of Uploders.

leaving uploders

I wander along the quiet country road towards Loders but turn left along a footpath before reaching the adjoining village. The roadside verges are covered in wild flowers.

I climb up onto a rather muddy Boarsbarrow Hill and the paths are covered in stinky wild garlic. I can hear a woodpecker pecking away.

stinky wild garlic

I pass Dalrymple Copse and join a small and rather muddy track called Green Lane which leads down to the busy A35 Dorchester Road.

I cross the A35 and head down a narrow path which leads me to a minor road. The road passes behind the cemetery but I head into Jellyfields Nature Reserve instead and amble along the paths next to streams, enjoying the birdsong.

I come to a wildflower meadow planted in 2014 and dedicated to the Bridport men who served in the Great War. It's supposed to be full of poppies and cornflowers but just seems to be a tangle of grass and nettles.

I follow Crock Lane and then cross the A35 again and enter Asker's Meadow Nature Reserve where I walk next to the River Asker. I pass behind the Morrison's superstore and cross over South Street to pass next to Palmers Brewery.

I cross over a weir over the River Brit and join a very familiar footpath which takes me back towards the centre of Bridport.

I walk through Bridport Community Orchard and then walk along South Street and West Street heading out of Bridport.

bridport community orchard

south street

west street

I leave West Street and head towards North Allington before following a footpath which rounds Allington Hill.

I come across another orchard, this time Jubilee Green Orchard where 24 fruit and deciduous trees were planted in 2012.

jubilee green orchard

I continue along the footpath which takes me around and then over Allington Hill where I enjoy the wildflowers and bird song.

I pass by Crepe Farm and head into the village of Symondsbury where the Ilchester Arms can be found although I didn't see it. I'm joined in the village by a large walking group.

I leave Symondsbury and climb up onto the iconic Colmer's Hill, the lower slopes of which are covered in bluebells.

bluebells on colmer's hill

I have magnificent panoramic views over the Dorset countryside. I come across a trig point at 417 feet high in amongst a copse of nine pine trees. While enjoying the views I'm joined again by the walking group.

I descend Colmer's Hill and head along quiet lanes at Quarry Cross before joining Hell Lane, an ancient Holloway which leads me in to North Chideock. The lane is very muddy and deeply rutted and I make my way gingerly along it.

entering hell lane

I come across a lone early purple orchid. There could be others around but I've been concentrating so much on staying upright on the path that I haven't been paying much attention to the flora and fauna.

early purple orchid

The lane turns into a shallow stream and then, suddenly, turns into a tarmac road which leads me into North Chideock.

leaving hell lane

I follow the road down into Chideock where I pass the church before alighting on the busy A35 again.

I head out of Chideock down towards Seatown before following a footpath which climbs up to Langdon Hill.

langdon hill

It's now surprisingly easy climbing to join the South West Coast Path up to the top of the mighty Golden Cap.

I enjoy the magnificent views on the summit, to the west overlooking Charmouth and Lyme Regis and to the east over Seatown and West Bay and onwards towards the Isle of Portland in the distance. It's much busier up here than I've ever seen it before.

Golden Cap was given by members of the National Trust and friends in memory of The Earl of Antrim, chairman of the National Trust from 1960 until his death in 1977.

I descend Golden Cap and head towards Seatown where you can find the Anchor Inn and where my lift awaits.

anchor inn

It is heaving with people, presumably flushed out by the glorious weather on this sunny Sunday.

busy seatown

seatown

FLORA AND FAUNA

Flora and fauna encountered on the walk today includes :-

  • herb bennett
  • bluebells
  • wild garlic
  • celandines
  • chiff chaffs
  • a woodpecker
  • great tits
  • pheasants
  • herb robert
  • swallows
  • song thrushes
  • long tailed tits
  • hawthorn
  • sheep
  • orange tip butterflies
  • early purple orchid
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PODCAST

The podcast of today's walk is now available. You can subscribe via the iTunes store or listen using the player below.

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MARKS OUT OF TEN?

According to my phone I've walked 11 miles today which amounts to 24524 steps. It has been lovely walking the Dorset countryside today in the best weather of the year. Nine out of ten!

According to my Ordnance Survey app my total ascent today has been 451 feet or 137 metres. Really OS? Colmer's Hill is 417 feet high and Golden Cap is 642 feet high. The app has proved to be useless again!

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Another app I use to track my walks gives a better indication of today's elevation.

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MAP

colmer's hill

hell lane

early purple orchid