Club Trip to West Lulworth 7-11 March 2022

On Monday ten of us met after lunch at Kingston car park just south of Corfe Castle for a 5 mile walk.  We set off  across fields with magnificent views of Corfe Castle to the left, joining Purbeck Way and the coastal path before climbing Houns-tout Cliff 660 feet ascent – a sort of Jacob's Ladder and pretty challenging in a stiff wind.  Before the evening meal Jane presented Hilary with some flowers and a voucher to The Thames Lido to thank her for her magnificent efforts to bring about the trip which had been postponed several times due to Covid and staff shortages but HF nevertheless looked after us very well.

Tuesday's walk from the house was tailored to fit in with the MOD Firing Range.  20 of us set off from the HF house through the village towards Daggers Gate, turning south to join the coast path and returning via Durdle Door. We eventually divided into three groups, the longest 9½ miles, a shorter version of approximately 6½ miles along the rollercoaster coast path and a third even shorter? and easier version which according to my phone app, was 8 miles!  Across the downs we were treated to 'Larks Ascending' despite the strong wind they serenaded us on our way.

Wednesday morning was temporarily thrown into disarray by one member testing positive for Covid.  However 14 of us drove to Corfe Castle where Tom gave us a brief talk on the mysterious murder of  the teenage King Edward in March 978 who became a saint and his half-brother Ethelred who was known as Ethelred the Unready.  We then took the bus to Swanage.  In glorious sunshine we walked along the coast path turning up towards Ballard Down.  The longer walkers then went on to Old Harry Rocks and Studland and the shorter walkers turned west and followed a route below Ballard Down to join the Purbeck Way and return to Corfe Castle for the drive back.

And so we came to the last day when the whole group joined together to walk from Spyway NT car park near Langton Maltravers towards Swanage via fields full of new lambs and then through a less attractive holiday park!  Turning south to Durlston Country Park with its many Holm oaks, old castle now a cafe, the Great Globe made of limestone and continuing along the coast path towards Dancing Ledge.  The final steep ascent took us back eventually to the car park.

Friday our departure day proved to be very wet but we were fortunate that the weather during our stay, although windy and sometimes cool, was dry with plenty of sunshine.  We enjoyed the wonderful scenery, the flowering daffodils, primroses and gorse.  Many thanks to Bob and Christine for organising and leading the walks, Dave and Pauline for leading the shorter walks and of course Hilary for another successful trip.

 Written by Sally Sinclair-Webb and Martin Eatough

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