South West Coast Path
The South West Coastal Path wraps the coast of south west England, starting in Dorset, then through Devon, around Cornwall and ending in North Devon. We walked from Bournemouth to Weymouth.
Use the links below or on the [url=#map]map[/url] to follow our walk day by day, or just have a look at the [url=pictureflicker.html]slideshow[/url].
And when you've finished here, check out South West Coast Path Panoramas and [url=dorset]Dorset in detail[/url].
[url=swcp_day1]Day 1[/url] Bournemouth to Swanage
Heading off from Richmond at 6am on the Saturday of a Bank Holiday weekend, PM and I arrived in Bournemouth just before 9am and headed off down the coast. Along Bournemouth beach front, across the chain ferry at the entrance of Poole Harbour, and onto the path. Along the way we passed the Studland (no, really!) naturalist beach, down on to Harry's Rocks and the Pinnacles, and down into the beautiful seaside resort of Swanage.
[url=swcp_day2]Day 2[/url] Swanage To Lulworth Cove
This was always going to be the tough day. 13 miles of "strenuous" followed by 7 of "severe". And my feet were hurting before we set out. Due to a little confusion, we did this walk without proper meals: no breakfast or lunch, just 2 musli bars, a cornetto, 1/2 a mars bar and a packet of crisps each. However, the landscape was fabulous, and every climb - and there were many - was rewarded by an amazing view. This day included the Lulworth Range, a military of defence firing range, that is open to ramblers most weekends. Check http://www.defence-estates.mod.uk/access/accopplocations/accopp_lulworth.htm for details of range closures.
This was the day we came to really understand what it means when the little red topographical lines are really close together on the map.
[url=swcp_day3]Day 3[/url] Lulworth Cove to Weymouth
This was an easier day, which was good 'cause we couldn't walk anymore. 12 or so miles, but relatively pleasant. The views were again beautiful, but somewhat spoiled by intermittent rain. Weymouth is another attractive coastal town, but we didn't want to walk, so we stopped for a welcome meal of fish and chips, and after an hour on the train, we passed back through Bournemouth on our way to London.
Summary: It's a good walk, but for beginners like us, I'd recommending taking 4 days and stopping at Kimmeridge or Worth Matravers, breaking day 2 into 2 legs.
Accommodation was at the excellent YHA in Swanage, and a B&B in Lulworth. Do stay at Burngate cottage in Lulworth if you get a chance. The space is bigger than a London flat, and the food was great.
One can manage without a compass (as someone said, keep the sea to the left) but I'd recommend taking the Ordnance Survey map OL15. It was really useful.
Don't forget to get breakfast before leaving Swanage - and pack a sandwich!.
Map with thanks to http://www.swcp.org.uk
Owner: Joan McGalliard
Size: 3 items
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