south west coast path
29th september 2013
The weather forecast for today looked a bit dull and damp when I looked at my weather app first thing this morning.
As it turned out, it was a thoroughly pleasant and sunny day. I thought I hadn't taken a screenshot of the weather forecast this morning (it turned out I had) and maybe I was making the gloomy forecast up so I checked the weather forecast again while I was out walking and it had changed completely. Not very often my weather app gets it completely wrong.
Today's walk is perhaps not the most exciting walk, largely being inland due to the presence of Chesil Beach, but it's great to be back walking on the Dorset coast. Apparently Chesil Beach consists of 180 billion pebbles but I've not got time to count them all as I've got some serious walking to do.
The walk starts at the car park behind Chesil Beach just before Abbotsbury. I head down to the beach to admire it's majesty before heading back to the coast path. The path detours inland towards Chapel Hill where St Catherine's Chapel can be seen.
Abbotsbury is a village and civil parish in the English county of Dorset. It lies in the West Dorset administrative district, and is known for its swannery, subtropical gardens and historic stone buildings.
The path passes above Clayhanger Farm and through loads of fields with the coast at some distance. I detour inland again, this time to visit Langton Herring and the parish church of St Peter as well as the Elm Tree Inn. The reviews for the inn don't look too hot so it's a good job it's too early for opening time.
The path continues past Gore Cove and the Moonfleet Manor Hotel and Restaurant, named after J.M. Falkner’s novel Moonfleet in which he describes a lake of brackish water full of “sea-fowl, herons, and oysters ... shut off from the open Channel by a monstrous great beach or dike of pebbles”.
I continue along the shore to reach East Fleet where I visit the remains of Old Church. Only the chancel remains and the rest of the church was destroyed in a storm in 1824 which breached Chesil Beach.
Chickerell Rifle Range is reached but the red flags weren't flying today so I was able to cross the range without any problems.
I carry on to reach Lynch Cove and then accidentally walk into a swamp and end up covered in stinky mud before having to head inland again to bypass the Wyke Regis Army Training Area.
I continue back to the coast before finally reaching a beach at Pirate's Cove. The path passes in front of a caravan site and then Crab House Cafe. It occupies a ragged boatyard of a site overlooking the eastern end of the Fleet lagoon, just before the bridge to the Isle of Portland.
Ferrybridge is on the causeway to the Isle of Portland, Dorset and is the point at which the Fleet lagoon joins Portland Harbour.
FLORA AND FAUNA
Flora and fauna encountered on the walk today includes :-
- lots of swallows
- lots of pheasants
- roses at Langton Herring
Marks out of ten?
My pedometer app failed to start today so I don't have any step figures today but the walk is about 12 miles. Relatively easy walking and lovely weather. 6 out of 10.