Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Langton Matravers (Circular) – (Dorset) – 16/07/10 – 5.75 Miles – Helen (Luther and Molly)

The last day of our week long Dorset caper and we decided it was time for a bit more of the coast. Again we took our guidance from one of the Country Walking ‘route cut outs’ (December 2008), which again was backed up with OL15.

Well this was a windy day to start with (check out Helen’s new hairstyle). In fact sitting in the car at the start I was more than a little concerned to see other couples setting off in full rainjacket/fleece mode, whilst I was protected by no more than two t-shirts. Nevertheless despite the gales, they proved more than
adequate once one got going.

So after a tractor driver had taken mercy on us by deciding not to mow us and the dogs down on a narrow lane, a few twists and turns later we were heading down to the edge of the cliff to look over at Dancing Ledge. The wind was still giving it some at this point, but fortunately blowing us away from the edge and a watery oblivion. We thus continued on the coastal path, stopping briefly for Helen to have one of her cliff top snoozes. Once again the doggies were in their element going back and forth, with Molly covering three times the distance we were doing, and Luther covering double.

Eventually we turned inland by the disused quarries at Winspit (which lies between the hills of East Man and West Man) and which Wikipedia reveals was used in WWII for both naval and air defences, as well as being used more recently as a TV film set for Blakes Seven and Doctor Who. One flight of stairs, and a couple of fields later, we found ourselves on a long driveway heading up to the small village of Worth Matravers (not before the canine drinking facilities left outside by one thoughtful householder was taken advantage of). Oh and by this time the wind had now become the faintest of memories.

Once in the village however, Helen tried to start her now usual game of “we didn’t come along the right path” confusion (which to be fair is often correct), but got short shrift from me this time, especially when the duck pond landmark was exactly where it was meant to be. So having stopped there for a few minutes we did as recommended and made our way to the Square and Compass (passing the stone egg – as pictured), where we enjoyed half a cider each, and half a pasty each. Helen in this instance did the honours reporting back that there was a mind boggling choice of ciders drink wise, and exactly one type of pasty food wise, to choose from. In the event both were scrumptious, but the real reason to visit this pub is the beer garden, which has to be seen to be believed. My best attempt at a description being that it is furnished in wood and stone in the best traditions of the ‘Mad Hatters Tea Party’.

Moving on and avoiding getting drawn onto one of Helen’s short cuts, we descended twice into two valleys with both the Sea and the Strip Lynchets on our right in the distance, before going almost back on ourselves with a steady climb (albeit with the beginning of it guarded by some black cows – doncha luv em). Once at the top we turned right onto Priests Way and carried on for half a mile, before crossing into ‘Toms Field’ (sign set in stone, not a mate of mine) and headed back to the car. Now normally I tend to take the view that a walk is not of great significance unless it is of the ten mile + variety, however as short walks go this was definitely one of the most enjoyable I have ever done.

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