Sunday, 18 July 2010

Lulworth Cove (Circular) – (Dorset) – 12/07/10 – 10 Miles – Helen (Luther and Molly)

Having parked at Ringstead Bay, we set off on what turned out to be a glorious Summers day. Once again this was a suggested walk from Country Walking magazine (June 2008), however unlike the recent Chequers fiasco, this time we were armed with the relevant OS map (Explorer OL15). However seeing as both of us are currently having problems with our glasses, we were soon getting into difficulties. Basically the instructions told us to follow a broad ridgetop track. However as it didn’t say anything about doing a hard left, I insisited we needed to keep going straight, despite the ‘private driveway’(or something like that) sign. Yet having got to a dead end, blocked by a badly parked cottage, we were then forced to retrace our steps, and try out Helens interpretation instead. This naturally was the correct one, and we were soon walking along the ridgetop with the Sea in the distance on our right, and a pair of obelisk’s either side of us.

Having reached the sign to Newlands Farm, we were once again going partially wrong trying to negotiate/find a path along Scratchy Bottom. One way or another we got through after first ascending where I assumed we were supposed to be descending, and ended up at the foot of Durdle Door caravan site, where we were meant to meet that on the linking road. Anyway at this point Lab dogs Luther and Molly both seemed set to give up the ghost for a few minutes. Helen had delegated me the task of carrying two litres of water for them in my rucksack, and they virtually drank the whole lot there and then. Suitably refreshed (oh and I had a sip of Lemon Barley water) they were off again, but not before we had to hunt round the caravan site for a tap to refill the bottle for them.

Once past the caravan site we found a place to sit facing the wrong side of Durdle Door (correct pronunciation - Doodle Duh), and had our sandwiches (or Scotch eggs/sausage rolls). Helen for reasons best known to herself wanted to start the return journey here, rather than continue the mile and a bit on to Lulworth Cove. However after some frantic waving of my Country Walking Cut Out in her face, she was eventually persuaded to stick with the program. Having arrived at Lulworth Cove after a ‘long downhill stretch’, we stopped being walkers for a bit and became your bog standard day trippers instead. This involved some shopping in the gift shop, an ice cream each, and finally a trip down to the beach on the cove itself, for a bit of paddling by Helen and the dogs.

Once back in walking mode however we decided we didn’t like the look of what I previously described as a ‘long downhill stretch’, when it now meant doing it the other way. So smart people as we are, we decided we could outflank it instead. The result being that we ended up having to do an even steeper climb up a never ending set of rickety wooden steps, with the dogs now having a “you must be joking” look on their faces. Having reached the top, low on Oxygen but high on Lactic Acid, we found ourselves on the wrong side of the fence, all the while wondering why no one else had taken the smart route like us. Undeterred we continued on our way, and soon found ourselves looking down on the correct side of Durdle Door (big rock in the Sea with a hole in it), using the moment to water the dogs again, and waste tens of thousands of pixels trying to capture ourselves and the hole for posteriety.

However given the danger that Cliff Richard might turn up at any moment singing ‘Saviours Day’ it was soon time to move on. We thus found ourselves on some spectacular ascents and descents along the coastal path, which are more challenging than anything the Seven Sisters has to offer. Luther and Molly were both back in full flow now, but had to be watched lest one or both of them disappeared over the edge of the cliff. These steep ascents/descents looked however as if it was taking its toll on Helen, not least as it was a seriously warm day. So having reached the lower obelisk after a particularly long ascent, she decided to sleep it off. Luther for his part was doing more panting than you get in your average porn movie, and thus took the opportunity to have a bit of a kip himself.

Once off again on the coastal path we soon ended up at the badly parked cottage. Now I wanted us to take the unofficial route, even if it did mean ploughing through some nettles, in order to take the straightest route back to the car. However Helen insisted that this time it was me who should stick to the program (namely the official route), and we stayed on the coastal path. By this time the day was starting to take its toll, with Helen getting tired and me getting grumpy. Thus after a moments uncertainty from Helen over whether the building below us was Holworth House or not, I insisited we retrace our steps all the way back to the badly parked cottage, and go that way instead. That of course got us back to the car, but served to make the walk that bit longer than if we had continued on for a bit more on the coastal path itself (which of course intercepted our path). Anyway we got there and back, wherever there and back is, and that is the main thing.


  1. Sailing towards Lulworth Cove during August, we were debating whether dogs were allowed on the beach there. As we had our Labrador bitch,Ruby aboard we were sincerely hoping they were as by the time we had travelled (slowly) from Swanage she would be very keen to get ashore! Having acquired a new phone(first outing for it) which apparently had internet we Googled "Lulworth;dogs" and discovered your brilliant website. You wouldn't believe the hilarity it caused on our leisurely voyage as well as the information we were seeking! Thank you for your entertaining tales! We love your Labs.

    Ruby's Family

  2. Thank you for your kind words.

    I am absolutely staggered that Google would pick this blog up, as I sometimes think I am the only one who reads it.

    I hope Ruby is as good at Sea as I'm sure she is on the land

  3. I think it was the combination of "Lulworth" and "dog" that did it. Happy walking-sure you have a great range in your more local area which I suspect isn't far from us so we look forward to reading about your adventures!