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Lulworth Weekend - August 2013

There were 20 of us, staying at the youth hostel, camping or B&B. The hostel was great, in a lovely location; the dining room had a view of a hillside dotted with sheep. Each morning, we congregated by the little garden and in the evenings the local pub was frequented; 25 ciders there, including Happy Daze.

On Saturday morning we left the hostel and climbed Bindon Hill. At the top, both groups trekked eastwards although A Party first dropped down to Pepler's Point on the east side of Lulworth Cove, unfortunately missing the Fossil Forest nearby, and followed the coastal path. B Group walked the ridge top with a view of the Lulworth Ranges, dropping down at Arish Mell beach for a break at two picnic tables before the next upward slope. At Flower's Barrow Hill Fort they descended a very steep path, with sticks at the ready, to Worbarrow Bay for lunch on the beach. At Tyneham deserted village Roger allowed time to look around. Then up Whiteway Hill to return to base on the coastal path; although a breakaway B group did drop down at Mupe Bay to go to Lulworth Cove. Meanwhile the A Party, once they had climbed back up onto Bindon Hill above Mupe Bay, had followed the 'B' Party route as far as Flower's Barrow Hill Fort. Lunch was at Povington Hill with spectacular views in all directions. Unfortunately no ice-cream van though! They dropped down to cross the valley via Steeple Leaze Farm campsite before climbing back up to Tyneham Cap. Another descent took them to Tyneham in search of that elusive ice-cream.

On Sunday, Mike, Helen and Karen joined us. A and B parties together climbed Burngate Hill, north of the hostel, and up on the ridge headed west on the West Lulworth Country Trail. A Party went ahead and just before elevenses saw a sign to Scratchy Bottom, which caused much amusement! A short shower of rain descended so they were pleased to find a kiosk at Ringstead Medieval Village and stopped for tea and cakes. It was then a short walk to the beach for lunch and a paddle. Then onto the South West Coast Path, which included several steep ascents and descents, to Durdle Door, the natural limestone arch in the sea, for another swim stop. After a 15 minute queue for ice-creams they continued to Lulworth Cove following the diversion over Hanbury Tout to avoid the landslip at St. Oswald's Bay. B Group had followed the A party on the ridge and just finished elevenses when the rain started. Arriving at their most westerly point of West Bottom, it seemed too early at 1145 to drop down to the coastal path, so they continued on the ridge but found a most definitely Private Path and back tracked to West Bottom; they soon found it was more time-consuming to walk the steep coastal path than the ridge top! A pleasant lunch spot had a view of yachts and the wonderful coastline back to Lulworth. Later, topping a steep ascent, brought a sudden spectacular view of Durdle Door, complete with masses of tourists. The group split here to either swim, walk along the beach to Lulworth Cove or continue along the coastal path to the Cove to sit on the beach.

On Monday we again climbed Burngate Hill and went inland on the Purbeck Way for a countryside walk to Winfrith Newburgh. After a drink at the Sailors Return at East Chaldon, we lunched at the foot of Winfrith Hill. We continued to Daggers Point and along the road where there were loads of parked cars - yes we were near Durdle Door and had hit the tourist spot. The group split here; Roger took the train travellers back to the hostel while Greg took the others onto Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove where most of the group had tea in the Dandelion Cafe. Alan's Garmin proved the walk to be 10½ miles. However, some of the tea drinkers did a further short walk later, a few stopping on for dinner, and even then some remained chatting until gone 11pm. They just didn't want the weekend to end.

A fantastic weekend with great walks. Thanks go to Greg for the organisation, and to Roger and Greg for leading the walks.