It was forecast to be a perfect day...sunshine and blue sky, something we haven't seen very much of during our five weeks in England. So we planned a hike by the seashore.
(A) Coastal Hike between Weymouth and Bournemouth.
Busy parking area at Ringstead Beach.
We parked the car at a place called Ringstead and paid £5.00 ($8.00) for parking. There's also a nice beach there and so it was a busy day for people who have been missing the sun! And then we set off for Lulworth Cove, about 5 miles (8 kms) east of there.
The HMS Bulwark in the distance.
The HMS Bulwark.
Our hike started just east of the popular seaside tourist town of Weymouth. This is where the 2012 Olympic sailing events are being held in a few days, and the Royal Navy's HMS Bulwark is the vessel where the security command centre is stationed.
Beautiful blue sky!
Tony, looking back towards Weymouth.
Stopping for a picnic lunch.
Over the next ridge, we could see where our trail went!
This beach is deserted...because you can't get to it!
The trail comes only feet from the edge of the steep cliffs.
After the next ridge, we came to the popular beach at Durdle Door.
You don't really think about England having beautiful beaches like this, do you?
The Durdle Door Arch is part of England's only natural UNESCO world heritage site, known as the Jurassic Coast.
Further west of Durdle Door, we came to several more nice beaches.
A busy day for ice cream!
We stopped for an ice cream at Lolworth Cove. This is the most popular spot to park if you're going to the beaches at Durdle Door, and it was only our half way point! This is where we turned around and took an inland trail back to Ringstead. The inland trail is not as interesting, but it is also much flatter and our legs were already pretty tired from the steep ups and downs of the coastal trail beside the cliffs.
The car park at Lulworth Cove. This was taken about 4:30pm, and we still had 5 miles (8 kms) to walk to get back to the car!
Typical scenery on the way back.
Just in case you need to mail a letter from the middle of nowhere. Too funny.
Made it back to the car around 7:00pm, and we were all exhausted. Figured it out later, and it turned out we had done 10.5 miles (17 kms). However, it was an absolutely fantastic day, and was one of the best hikes we have ever done. The scenery was stunning, and of course it was all the better because the weather was perfect. What a great way to spend out last day in England!
The next post you read here will be from Prague, Czech Republic. Because that's where we're flying to later this afternoon! We'll be a couple of days in Prague, and then we'll slowly head east through the south of Poland, and then south through Slovakia and then Hungary.
Hope you can follow along, because the next six or seven weeks are going to be interesting!