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New book: Walking the English Coast
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Category Archives: 08 Dorset
I have been unwell and am irritated when the walk follows a busy road. Coastal walking? Miles from the sea? Bah humbug. Not a good start.
I can see a wide bay with high cliffs and lower land beyond. It is too hazy to make out details but I think Lyme Regis lie behind the largest promontory. And is that Exmouth in the far distance? I wonder how difficult the walk is going to be.
From the shore I can see across to Chesil Beach. The tide is high and Fleet lagoon is full of water. On the shingle bank I can see fishing huts and the checkpoint for the firing range. Is that a red flag flying?
The car in front has a sticker in the rear window that reads “Keep Portland weird”. I do hope the upcoming Olympics leaves this strange little area of Dorset with its character unspoilt. I am walking north west, alongside the incredible Chesil Beach. Continue reading
The highlight of the walk is the spectacular view. Ahead is the mighty sweeping curve of Chesil Beach. Ten miles of shingle bank, the distant end lost in the blue haze of the horizon.
Portland: I end up in a stony wasteland. There are old fortifications, ruins, a rock strewn landscape, quarry workings and a brooding bulk of a young offenders institute in the distance.
I start walking from beautiful Lulworth Cove. I see a sinister wreck and some amazing fossils. Dogs growl at me and I pass by a hang glider in distress. Continue reading
Today I have a homemade walking pole. I reach a section where the cliff has crumbled away. Exposed below are ledges with strange rock formations. I realise I have reached the famous Fossil Forest. Continue reading
Across crumbling clifs, above wild beaches and deserted coves, the path roller-coasters along.. and is graded as challenging. Am I up to it?