Having rather over-done things and had the fall on the Tuesday, I decided to do a shorter walk on the Wednesday and chose one of the routes that are provided. This was a walk round Corfe Castle – seeing it from every direction!
I took the car to Corfe and parked in the National Trust carpark – the start of the walk. Very expensive! In fact I started by looking round the village – not much to see – and locating some postcards to buy. I didn’t go into the castle as one has to book and anyway it is a ruin!
Before finding some postcards I had stopped at the edge of playing fields where there were picnic tables, to have elevenses. It turned out that this was also the start of the walk route, so I went back there after my look round the village and headed off across the fields, which was part of the Purbeck Way.
After crossing several fields one had to pass through a housing estate – the directions were not very clear at that point, but I got there after only one wrong turn. The correct route led out onto Corfe Common, where there were horses near the entrance.
The route followed the Purbeck Way for a short time but then headed off to circle the castle. The village had been busy but there was almost no-one on the common, which was very peaceful.
There were lots of flowers in some parts, too and again some small butterflies.
The route eventually reached “The Rings”, which are a ditch and banks and was originally an earth and timber ringwork and bailey fortress. It was built by King Steven when he was laying siege to the castle, which was holding Matilda’s troops. It was apparently also used during the civil war for a gun battery for Parliament troops.
It was then time to return to the carpark as my time had run out and I had done my walk and seen all I wanted. I went back to Lulworth Cove and had a bit of a rest and wrote some of the postcards before going out again to walk round the Cove on the side away from the military range – which was in use that week. There are views of the cove…
….and also of Stair Hole.
I could also see some of the ships that are anchored in the area (Weymouth Bay?)as they are not in use because of COVID-19.
It was then time to get ready for dinner and try to make some decisions about what to do on my final day.
I decided to go to Studland, so drove there and paid even more extortionate parking charges in the National Trust carpark. I had a bit of a wander round and looked at the beach – which was busy. I hadn’t got a towel so I didn’t bother to go down to it or I might have had a paddle – maybe.
The walk was another one the of the routes provided and was very short – less than 2 miles – so I set off to do that. Having looked at some World War II fortifications I was continuing when I met with one of my old colleagues and his wife. They live in Salisbury but have a flat in Swanage and had just walked over Ballard Down from there and were going to have lunch on Studland beach. It is apparently one of their favourite walks. We had a bit of a catch up as I see them in Salisbury maybe once a year, even though they only live about 5 streets away.
I then continued on the walk towards Old Harry’s Rocks.
The path out to the rocks was quite boring and quite busy.
Having taken the requisite photos(!) I walked back towards Studland and took the advice of my ex-colleague and went into the village to find the final postcards that I needed. The village is nicer and more interesting than the beach. Having asked directions from some men who were talking in a garden, I found the village store – and the best postcards I had found all week! Having bought the last few I needed I went back to the church yard and sat on a seat there to have lunch and write the cards.
By then I had nearly run out of carpark time so I posted the cards and got the car and went back to Lulworth, where I rested, sorted out my packing and went for a stroll down to the cove before getting ready for our final dinner.
So? Was it a good holiday? The weather was good, the walking was good, the company at meals was fine – but I could have done without falling and hurting my back and leg! It would also have been good to have been able to walk on the military ranges and not have the loud gunfire on my first 3 days. I expect I will go back and probably try a time when one can access the ranges.