Archive for the ‘SWCoastPath’ Category


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Another slide show experiment (via email) of butterflies and moths found in Swanage area (a small selection).


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SWCP Reader

I have added a sub-blog of the south west coast path as a reader version, that is reading from day one to the finnish as a book would read rather than the reverse order that a blog appears. Just click on the labeled widget in the side bar (lower right hand side) to be taken there.

The last couple of coast days are along what is known as the isle of Purbeck (though not technically an island), as with so many parts of the coast this is an area of great natural content. In a weeks time i intend being back to that area on a butterfly and moth (Lepidoptera) course to hopefully see and photograph some of the common and rarer species including any migrants that may have crossed the water from Europe.

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South haven point

Overcast, quite misty early wind variable.
A good nights sleep on scrub land, when i looked out of tent there was a black rabbit, i took this as a good omen.


Walk down to Swanage included seeing three campers in the park, one must have arrived to late to put his tent up as was just wrapped in tent material with an arm showing , no movement so not in a hurry to get on the trail.
First bit of luck was seeing a cafe open for breakfast at 7:30, walking through Swanage this time of day is perfectly pleasant (quiet).
The onlly climb of the day was onto Ballard down where the wind was a bit fierce, passed old harry rocks then descended on the lee side of headland where it was calm and saw three types of fungi one tree.


Amble along to middle beach for mug of tea then a gentle waters edge stroll to the finnish sign.

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Overcast improving, wind variable strong at times.
I had been harboring a cold for a while, yesterdays sneezing was no great problem but last nigh it turned to streaming nose so a far from good sleep, this was augmented by someone officious tapping on the tent after i had bedded down to inform me i had to move as there had been a complaint i was to near another tent! (i’ve heard of others finding a case of pettiness on their hikes and guess today was my turn).

I found today really tough, some of the climbs being enormous.


Quite early from high points i could see Poole harbour, from St Albans head i could see the isle of wight.
When i reached Kimmeridge bay i lay down for over an hour by the nodding donkey oil well (felt like staying longer but no water supply).


At Durlston part of the coast path is closed,

The lucky part at Durlston park was finding toilets that had taps (on basins) so water was available, (many modern toilets now have hand driers and no taps grrrr).

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Lulworth cove

Overcast, one long shower in afternoon.
Weymouth was very busy with a carnival day.

When entering a wooded area surprisingly came across another Jersey tiger moth (they aint common honest), soon after that the long shower arrived, i hid in the woods taking a snack for some time then gave in and fitted water proofs, 10 minutes later the rain stopped and as the water proofs dried they were stowed again (this is a common event for hikers and better than being wet).

The walking was easy to start with but ended with a couple of tough climbs back on chalk cliffs that offered fine views back to Portland bill.

 Looking back at Portland bill.

Im at the campsite (16) so not cheap, guide book suggests no supplies en route tomorrow so here is handy for water and there is a late opening shop. Luckily im pitched against a hedge as a strong chilly wind has got up.

Another cliff shot, they really are magnificent, and the walk wouldn’t be complete without a photo of Durdle door (rock arch).

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Slide show experiment


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The hooken undercliff between Branscombe and Lyme Regis.

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Cloud and mist restricting vision, windy on high parts, clearing to breezy sunshine late afternoon.

Last night was remarkable luck, the people who let me pitch next to them had been snorkeling with spear gun and along with sausages/burgers/spare ribs on the fire had a fish they had caught (pollock) and a lobster, Later it was time to light an enormous fire work which more like many in a box linked together, so there was a five minute steam of shooting stars many of which exploded.

Early start and the only shop i could find open was limited in supplies so i had a bar of chocolate and bottle of water for the morning, the round the island path soon moves up to the high ground passing many old quarries for stone is what this near island is famous for. Amongst the rocks had close encounter with a kestrel.





At the southern point of Portland bill is a working light house and close by a cafe with the common sign “hot food served all day” , it wasn’t open, most of the island circuit is quite easy walking and old cranes feature on route.



The walk to Portland bill from ferry bridge involved taking a cycle way beside the road, for the return trip i took the old railway line, both suffered with road noise, back at ferry bridge it’s turn right and follow the old railway (now a tarmac track) towards Weymouth, there is little left of the old stations on route.



In this case just a name plate and small amount of platform. The coast path leaves this old track bed and gets back to the shoreline on its way into Weymouth, the walk to a road bridge is really short to cross the river and quite pleasant despite being busy with tourists. Weymouth itself is very busy indeed but nice enough, i was lucky enough to hear a steamers whistle as i approached the town and on finding the rail station it wasn’t long before the train loaded up and pulled out for London.


From the pier in Weymouth the view of coastline ahead looks rather inviting.

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