Tuesday, 27 August 2013

A little stroll from Osmington Mills

We had a choice of where to walk. One was inland, near Cerne Abbas, including the Cerne Giant in all his magnificence, or along the South West Coast path, with sea views, dramatic cliffs and hills.   We chose the latter, being creatures who enjoy the sea. So we headed off to Osmington Mills, supposedly the haunt of smugglers in day gone by (isn't every slightly out-of-the-way place on the coast?). From there we strode bravely in an easterly direction through the Smugglers Inn pub grounds and out onto the Coast Path to be met by something described in the little book we had used to decide upon which walk to do, as a gentle hill, but actually looked like a monster of a hill! A good way to start a walk, with a gentle hill to get the pulse going. Once at the top the going was easy, rolling along towards Ringstead Bay.  The walk was done on the UK holiday named so poetically as Summer Bank Holiday. Those with an inquisitive streak can look here to see why public holidays in the UK are called Bank Holidays. The swallows are obviously beginning to prepare themselves for their long migration down to Southern Africa and are resting up.

From Ringstead Bay we continued East, up a rather bigger and steeper hill than before, for which my aerobic system will forever be grateful! I have to admit I took a few long breathes at the top while wondering why I was doing this. However the views back towards where we had started and beyond to Weymouth were stunning, to say the least.

There were any number of people out on the water, enjoying themselves, while we slogged away at the top of the hill. A good few kayakers were out and about too. It certainly looked like a wonderful way to spend an afternoon to me.

This hilltop remained quite flat for a mile or so, until it began to form itself into a series of up and down bumps along the coast, creating a dramatic vista. Just peeking out of the top of the chalk cliff in the top of the photo below is Durdle Door, a very picturesque and scenic place along this coast.

It was about here that we turned around, as we needed to get back before the light went. Whatever happened to my scouting "always be prepared" tricks? Out in the late afternoon without a torch? Tut tut! 

Back at Ringstead bay, the sun was getting very low and looking back where we had come from, the chalk cliffs were now glowing orange in the light. There is an old 2nd Word War lookout point on the top of the hill, barely visible towards the end of the flat bit. There are a number of these scattered all along the coast, to prevent those pesky Huns from sneaking in without being seen!

We may not get quite the dramatic sunsets that I have experienced in the African evenings, but the ones we do get are not half bad, either! All afternoon there had been a cloud depositing a little rain over towards Weymouth, but it provided us with some glorious views on our way back. 

As it sunk below the clouds, we had one more opportunity to stop and take in the beauty laid out before us. We spent some time here, taking pictures until a battery died....

Just had to throw this one in too. To me it looked like there was a great big fire in the cloud. I suppose, give or take 93 million miles or so, I was right!

Well that was it. 4 hours or so of sheer delight. I am already planning to go back and do some more walking there.