Saturday, 24 September 2011


Lyme Regis → West Bay

pab-seatown.png Distance: 10.1 miles
Ascent: 770 metres
Duration: 3 hours 57 minutes

Over Golden Cap
« Seaton | Abbotsbury »

Two days ago our plans for the coming week were set in stone: we'd take four days to fill in the remaining gaps I had in the southern coast of Devon and Cornwall. That crumbled when I consulted tide, bus and ferry timetables. Instead we're walking the sections of the south-west coast path that I walked before I met Emma. With any luck, by mid-week she'll have caught up and we can head down to our favourite hotel for some cream teas.

First up: Golden Cap, the highest point on the south coast of England.

Ten years ago when I walked this before, there were diversions due to cliff falls either side of the village of Charmouth. My hopes that these had been lifted and the original path line reinstated were dashed; as before we had to climb almost as far as the A35 and then follow the road through the back of the village.

Golden Cap is one of those few geographic features that actually deserves its name: it sandy summit is instantly recognisable for miles around. Although it's the highest point on the south coast, the climb is neither as steep, or the sense of height as dramatic, as some of the other Jurassic Coast landmarks such as Flower's Barrow on the Lulworth Estate.

What I'd forgotten were the subsequent climbs. After descending into Seatown we still had Doghouse Hill, Thorncombe Beacon and West Cliff to conquer before returning to the car at West Bay. Keeping us company on this section were a handful of paragliders sailing though the sky above our heads.

Atop Thorncombe Beacon a passing walker offered to take our photograph. "I can't see anything on the screen, so I'll have to guess whether you're in or not," she said. She'd not noticed the viewfinder. The path may not have changed in ten years, but we certainly have.

Originally walked on 23 April 2002.

Posted by pab at 19:55 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!