Saturday, 7 October 2006

Two go camping in Dorset

3 1/2 days in Dorset

27th-30th September 2006

Hikers: Peter & George

Day One
Distance: 9.1 miles
High Ascended: 1194 ft

The trip was similar to one we did a couple of years ago following the
Purbeck Way. We started in Ridge just outside of Wareham.

We arrived about 5 pm on Wenesday and set-up the tents straight away. We then started on the wine :)

We woke to overcast skies and the forecast of rain, so we had a quick breakfast and packed up.

100 yards down the road and the rains started so it was on with the waterproofs and ready for a day of rain.

Luckily by the time we got to Stoborough Green the rain stopped and the Sun and blue skies re-appeared.

The walking was pretty easy on both the eye and the feet, as the terrain is open heathland.

Me on Creech Heath
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Within a couple of hours we were in Corfe Village and made our way straight to the village bakery, in the bakery window was a notice proclaiming '3 bacon rashers in a bap £1.80' both Peter and I thought that would make a nice mid-morning snack.

Unfortunately they only had 3 rashers left but Peter could see I was flagging in a big way and allowed my to have them :) (Thanks Peter).

After our brunch stop, we made our way out of Corfe and up onto East hill.

Corfe Village from East Hill
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Corfe Castle

Once we were up on the ridge of Challow Hill,Bollington Hill and Brenscombe Hill we had brilliant view back down to Corfe and over to Studland & Poole.

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Studland & Poole

At Brenscombe Hill we decided that it was time for another Brew :)

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Peter's tea break

From here we dropped down to Harman's Cross, where I nearly got run over. I was trying to get a picture of the steam train leaving Harman's Cross Station and going under the bridge and as the steam from the engine came up I stepped back into the path of a car, luckily he saw me and stopped.

From here we made out way the short distance to Woodyhyde Farm for our night's camp.

Day Two
Distance: 12.3 miles
High Ascended: 1960 ft

After a very rainy night; we woke to more rain. Today we were aiming for Tom's Field in Langton which as the crow flys is about 1 1/2 miles from Woodyhyde but we were going to do a big circuit.

As the weather was poor and still raining we don't start until 9.30 am. Out route for today was back to Harman's Cross and back onto the ridge, but because of the rain we decided to stay on the lower path of Ailwood Down. After about an hour's walking the rain stopped and the Sun was out, so off came the waterproofs.

We followed the path down to the road near Ulwell and then climb up to the Obelisk on Studalnd Hill and followed the ridge across to Ballard Cliff. All the while the weather was quite good and we had views downs to Studland and Swanage and across to the Isle of Wight. As we desended down Ballard Cliff the weather started to turn again so it was a rush to get into Swanage before the rain came again.

There is a point where the coatal path reaches the beach but the path continues up into the outskirts of Swanage and this is a plod into the town centre. This time we took to the beach and within 10 minutes were in the centre of town.

We made our way to somerfield s for lunch and then found a shelter to sit and eat it in. We also got our stoves out for a brew, which seemed to amuse the passers by.

By now the rain had set in again and the route around Durlston bay and Durlston Head didn't look to appealing. So we looked for an alternative route, we found one which went up through the town and then out to the open countryside.

The only problem with these routes through towns and housing estates, is that you get disorienated and lost :( After tramping around different allyways and small footpaths we finally found ourselves on the main road up to Durlston Head (Grrrr!!!).

We then made our way out to the lighthouse at Anvil point. As we have done parts of this route before and especially the coastal path, we stayed on the highier path and followed this before turning in land again to Langton and Tom's field.

Day Three
Distance: 9.1 miles
High Ascended: 726 ft

The Backpacker Club were having a static club meet at Tom's field for the weekend, so we said welcome to the members that were already there, and a few turned up as the night went on. One of the biggest disturbancies of the night was a group of ATC turning up and making a right royal racket. They also had one of the biggest tents I`ve ever seen, it was a khyam dome tent called the megatop.

After another poor night, we were up and away by 8.00 am. The route back today was following a couple of the paths we had already crossed. We made our way NE to Woodyhyde and picked up a path back into Corfe Village, where Peter was hoping to get his Bacon Bap today (unfortunately the Bakery didn't cook on a Saturday).

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Peter without his Bacon Bap

From Corfe we took the path out over Knowle Hill and down to East Creech.

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View from Knowle Hill

From there it was a couple of miles back through Furzebrook and Stoborough Heath to the campsite at Ridge.


  1. sounded like fun George.
    I've covered most of the routes myself, being local, but the corfe bakery is one bit I'd missed in the past

  2. Hi George. I was camping at Tom's field, so I know who you are now :)

    I was over in the corner of the field in the Laser with the Atmos 50 rucksack.


  3. Hi John

    Hope you had a good weekend. Hope the ATC crowd didn't make to much more noise over the rest of the weekend.