Monday, 5 September 2016

Hiking the Dorset SWCP: Part 2

Welcome to part two of our guide to walking the Dorset portion of the South West Coastal Path. The SWCP covers 630 miles of coastline on England's south west peninsula from Poole Harbour in Dorset to Minehead in Somerset.

As part of our training for hiking Peru's Inca Trail, we set out to walk the miles of Dorset coast using the SWCP, and covered the Poole to Weymouth section in part one of this guide.

In part two we will complete our challenge, clocking up over 75 miles along the way!

Chickerell to Abbotsbury

We start our next walk at Chickerell Village just outside of Weymouth. There's plenty of on road parking, but please be considerate of residents. Head through the campsite and onto the path which runs parallel to Chesil beach. This is a flat walk and very peaceful. As you near Abbotsbury, why not stop at the Swannery before catching the X53 bus back to Chickerell and the car.

See the Chickerell to Abbotsbury route now on MayMyRun.

Top Tip: The bus is £4 each, so have some change
Pub Stop: The Swan Inn, Abbotsbury
Distance: 8 miles Start Chickerell, End Abbotsbury
Gain: 405ft

Abbotsbury to West Bay

One for the Broadchurch fans, the end of this walk leads to the base of these infamous cliffs. From Abbotsbury beach car park (£6 all day) take Burton Lane along the coast. The path gets very pebbly at times which makes it a little challenging, but it eventually gives way to trail again. The reward is an endless choice of fish and chip huts, and delicious tea and cake at West Bay. The X53 bus can drop you back to Abbotsbury too!

See the Abbotsbury to West Bay route now on MayMyRun.

Top Tip: Be very careful around the cliffs. Land slips are common and can be deadly
Pub Stop: The Custom House, West Bay or The Station Cafe
Distance: 8 miles Start Abbotsbury beach car park, End West Bay
Gain: 170ft (apparently, but I think this is an error on the may. Expect a few moderate hills)

West Bay to Lyme Regis

Finish the SWCP quite literally on a high with this challenging but very rewarding walk. From West Bay join the path and climb the hills to Eype and a refreshing drink at Seatown. You'll need it for the climb to the top of Golden Cap, the highest point on the South Coast. Make time to enjoy the views before following the path to Charmouth and Lyme Regis. There is a diversion in place where the path is no longer safe, so be sure to keep an eye out for the markers from Charmouth onwards. Again the X53 bus can ferry you from one end of the route to the other, giving you time to celebrate with a walk on the Cobb at Lyme Regis.

See the West Bay to Lyme Regis route now on MayMyRun.

Top Tip: Save your picnic for at the top of Golden Cap
Pub Stop: Anchor Inn, Seatown
Distance: 9.75 miles Start West Bay, End Lyme Regis
Gain: 1724ft

Thank you to all our friends who joined us on some of these walks, with their endless support and willingness to help us complete our challenge!