The mighty Chesil Beach …

So I’d been enjoying a few chilled weeks in Weymouth with family and friends … an almighty heatwave had forced us into lazing on the beach, bobbing about in the sea and generally not doing anything too strenuous. Then, Steve decided to join us for a few days which meant only one thing …. Coastal Walking!! Luckily I had come equipped for all eventualities so dusted off my walking boots and prepared for a bit more adventure.

Tuesday 27th July 2021

I started off the day quaffing bucks fizz and pancakes at Anne’s Birthday breakfast on Portland. The next thing I knew I’d agreed to tackle a section of the Jurassic coastline with my trusty partner Steve. We drove and parked the car up in Abbotsbury and took the bus to Burton Bradstock, a point we had walked to previously …. thus picking up on final sections of the South West Coastal Path.

There was an uphill start ( always a winner) which took us up onto the coastal path … and it felt good to be back on it. Our first bit of coastal walking since October last year. So we enjoyed the odd climb, the stunning colours of wildflowers, birds and butterflies brightening up our walking and of course the true spectacle that is Chesil Beach. At the point we joined, the path going in the other direction was closed off due to cliff erosion – luckily we’ve ticked that bit off already.

Bit of a mixed day weather wise but we were equipped. A few other not so nice bits (1) the constant reminder that there were adders in the area!! (2) about a mile of walking on shingle … and not the compact type but the feet sinking deep type! (3) pretty overgrown in parts -brambles, thistles, stinging nettles – in fact everything that’s out to get you!

Met some gorgeous livestock on the way, although the cows took a little persuasion to let us through at Swyre.

It didn’t take too long to complete the 7 mile walk – the path taking us through the woods into the stunningly picturesque village that is Abbotsbury.

Wednesday 28th July 2021

Today we were able to leave our car behind and catch the bus from Weymouth to pick up where we left off yesterday in Abbotsbury. As I mentioned before, this village is the epitome of ‘chocolate box’ beauty and charm … thatched stone cottages in abundance, striking floral displays, tea rooms, pubs and the famous swannery. I can never hold back from commenting on the gorgeousness of the houses but as ever Steve’s response comes in the form of “yeh, but busy road!!” (Is that a man thing)!!?

Found the start of the path which involved a relatively high climb over quite a natty stile.

Stone stile – very stylish

The walk started off with quite a climb and took us away from the beach – but it did provide us with magnificent views of the Fleet and Chesil Beach as well as St. Catherine’s Chapel perching on the hillside so eloquently behind us.

Abbotsbury Swannery
St. Catherine’s Chapel

The path eventually came in nearer to the beach passing numerous camp sites and caravan parks. Another prickly day today – actually drawing blood!! The guide and the signs had indicated that this would be a 9 mile walk … so trusting this we had not brought food … just water. After 4 or 5 hours of walking (and not passing any eating establishments) our energy levels were beginning to drop .. and grumpiness crept in! The Fat Badger would have involved a walk up the hill, Billy Winter’s would have meant an extra walk along the Beach Road so we just kept to the path. We finally reached Sandsfoot Castle gardens after 6 hours and an estimated 14 miles of walking. And I can tell you that the piping hot Cornish Pasty and coffee from the cafe there was like manna from Heaven!

The Fleet And Chesil Beach
Sandsfoot castle, Castle Cover and Weymouth Bay

So, another couple of sections completed – we’re chipping away at it. Next month we’re heading North.

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