Felix and I have been putting recording the walking instructions for each day of The Games Way, and last weekend we did the first two days of the walk, starting at the National Sailing Academy on Portland, and finishing at Corfe Castle.
In truth the directions are only slightly more than:
1. Keep the sea on the right, land on the left
2. Walk forward
…so I thought I’d provide some pictures to give a better idea of what’s in store for you.
Day 1 – Portland to Lulworth Cove
It is a flat, gentle start from the National Sailing Academy and then along the new Rodwell Trail (or the old railway line as it was known when I was growing up!) into Weymouth. We stroll through the town to the sea front and along the promenade past the Jubilee Clock. On leaving Weymouth we soon hit the first of several hills of the day:
The path continues along the clifftops, over stiles, through fields and some wooded areas for a few miles, eventually turning us out at Osmington Mills and The Smugglers Inn. This cracking pub is right on the South West Coast Path and is an ideal spot for lunch.
The path carries on over the cliffs and if you are walking at low tide you may spot one of several wrecks poking through the water:
Beyond Ringstead Bay the hills become much steeper and you get a real appreciation of the rollercoaster nature of this beautiful coastline:
You may recognise this photo. If ever there was a cliche picture of this stretch of the Jurassic coast this is it …and I bet you will find it irresistable too!
Day 2 – Lulworth Cove to Corfe Castle
Campers will have spent the night just short of Lulworth Cove. Walkers staying in guesthouses will have continued down this path to their well-earned bed.
We skirted around the edge of the cove and rejoined the coast path. It goes right past a fossilized forest (which you can actually walk through) and across Lulworth ranges, which is open to the public on set dates by the MoD. This has the toughest hills of the entire walk, which you will soon discover!
This coming weekend I will be trying out an alternative route along a ridge above Worbarrow Bay which is a bit further inland and a more direct way to reach Corfe Castle. It means leaving the South West Coast Path a little earlier, but it saves a few miles and a few hills. If we end up sticking to the coast you won’t be disappointed, the views are spectacular.
The route takes us past Kimmeridge and onto Swyre Head (great spot for a packed lunch) and Kingston, with the superb Scott Arms. From there we make a beeline for the unmistakable Corfe Castle.
Observant followers of this blog will notice that our day 2 ended up at Corfe Castle, and not Wareham as described in the official route. Hence the reason for seeking an alternative route – once we reached Corfe we ran out of daylight and to be perfectly honest, energy after all those hills! Besides, Corfe Castle feels too significant to simply walk past.
The alternative route is marked in red above. If anyone knows the area, I’d love to hear your opinion about which way to go.
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