Yesterday with help from my sister I found myself back at Lulworth Cove ready to try out an alternative route to Wareham – one that was a bit shorter, a bit less hilly, and hopefully a whole lot more enjoyable as Day 2 of The Games Way.
The tide was very high at Lulworth Cove and a couple of times I got caught with a boot in the water. Luckily my boots do a fine job of keeping the water out and I was able to squeeze around the edge of the cove to the wooden steps without getting a soggy sock. That wouldn’t have been a good start!
Like in my last report the paths were muddy and I was soon slipping all over the place – I really need better boots, although my Meindl’s were pretty expensive and look good, they are useless on a muddy slope and my movement and confidence is reduced from that of a nimble mountain goat to that of my gran just after her hip replacement.
It wasn’t long before I reached the first, and hardest climb of the day up the cliff. Fortunately there was nobody else about to hear me puffing and swearing my way up the giant steps before collapsing in giggles of relief at the top. It is a brutal start to the day, but at least it gets the hardest bit over with and you can start to appreciate the amazing views. One of my favourite things on cloudy days is the way the sunbeams shine like a spotlight onto the surface of the sea. I like to imagine an octopus is out there doing Saturday Night Fever on the dancefloor.
The path goes downhill right back to sea level before another longer, higher but slightly easier ascent above Worbarrow Bay. It is around here that you realise that the warnings about ammuniton are probably real and you really do want to stick to the marked path.
The cliff edge is precariously close in places and the drop is breathtaking and if you are like me with heights – knee-buckling!
The alternative route diverts off at the top of Worbarrow Bay and instead of going down and up (and down and up…) we stay on top of the ridge all the way to Corfe Castle. It is a much easier walk and the sense of space is exhilarating with views of Lulworth castle and Poole harbour off to the left and the Purbeck coast to the right.
I met Dad, his partner Wendy, and his daft sprnger spaniel Milly along the ridge by Grange Arch, which appears to be a folly looked after by the National Trust. Dad and Wendy had set out from Corfe so our paths would cross and we could walk back together. Plus they brought lunch and coffee with them – result!!
We parted at Corfe Castle where I picked up the Purbeck Way to Wareham along another muddy, slippery path, but very well waymarked. Once off the ridge there was no wind and it soon became apparent that spring is in the air, with catkins and primroses and a general greening up of the environment.
Birds were signing away in the trees and undergrowth, a toad was sunning itself on the path, and the lambing season is well underway. A proper Disney moment
There is a small amount of road walking on the route to Wareham but it is along pretty quiet roads, and you get to walk past one of these:
There is some lovely heathland around Stoborough which I imagine would be a great spot for a wild camp, but there are plenty of campsites around too, and this day’s walk stops at Redcliffe farm campsite by the River Frome.
Walkers who prefer a guesthouse have no more than a mile further along The Games Way on the towpath to the very pretty town of Wareham. Strongly recommend you avoid the hairdressers though – this poor lass wishes she’d gone somewhere else!
I am really pleased with this modified route – apart from the two monster climbs at the beginning of the day, the walking is easy and there is very little scope for getting lost. We would reach Corfe Castle in time for lunch, and there will be time to wander around before doing the last 5 miles towards Wareham.
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