Hampstead Viaduct – yes there is such a thing !

Monday March 24 2014 – Hampstead Heath, London.

As you would have seen from the side bar of this blog I randomly and inconsistently upload photos to other websites like Instagram and Flickr. I am not particularly consistent with either and just like I am with WordPress blogs I am not that good when it comes to following and liking other peoples work. However, I am not totally unsociable and I do follow a couple of people on those sites and one of them recently posted a lovely monochrome image of Hampstead Viaduct on Instagram. I had never heard of there being a viaduct in Hampstead Heath, but after a bit of research I found that sure enough there was one.

The viaduct was completed in 1847 by the Lord Mayor of Hampstead with the intention of providing an access way to allow the building houses on the heath. His plans were, thankfully, rejected soundly and we are now blessed with a lovely viaduct and a lovely heath.

The day started as a blinder, so I was really looking forward to getting out and about.

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Fellow photographer, Steve had a day off work so we decided to a photo walk starting in Camden to look at some new street art and then hike up the hill to Hampstead Heath to look for the viaduct. I have posted about the street art here.

After checking out the art in Camden we walked up through Hampstead, almost to the top of the heath, I was surprised about hilly it was in Hampstead, having been here once before. I knew about Parliament Hill as El and I walked up it, but I was surprised that the rest of the park was also quite hilly. I was equally surprised to find that the top of the park was forested, my experience so far had been grassed fields with trees, but this part was almost forest like. I am now thinking about coming here for a trail run some time soon.

Using Google Maps we found the entrance into the park we were looking for, and soon in we found this little hut and an overgrown wall, which I was rather fascinated with. I know we were in the middle of London, but I do like to find man-made objects that are slowly being overtaken by nature.

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There are trails everywhere, so I did the highly unusual and asked an old couple we met on the way the direction of the viaduct, and I am glad I did as we never would have found it heading the way we were.

I was disappointed to find that we could not get close the base of the viaduct, as it is all fenced off, I was tempted to jump the fence at one point as I could see a decent shot going begging, but decided against it once we found the main viewing spot around the front. I only had the wide angle lens so things are a bit far away. The sun was out while we were here, so some nice reflections were had. I must say it is a very cool bit of London.

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After the viaduct we wandered into Hampstead for a bit of lunch and then continued up the hill to the top and Whitestone Pond with some wild grasses which I was quite taken by.

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We crossed the road and wandered around Golders Hill and the pergolas in Hill Gardens. I loved this sign at the entrance to the pergolas.

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The view from the top over the west heath, really did make me think I was not in London anymore.

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The small and unassuming Inverforth House from the pergolas.

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Steve and I had pretty much had enough of walking around by then so walked back down into Hampstead and found a convenient pub to sit down for a refreshing pint before we went our separate ways and I went home.

It was another good day out, I saw more bits of London I have not seen before and I really liked the viaduct. I was not overly excited with my photography today, I discarded a higher percentage than the ones I kept. I definitely seem to take better photos when I am out on my own.

I think I have found the place I want to visit when London is covered in snow !

A revisit to Greenwich, again

Tuesday 18 March 2014 – Greenwich.

After applying for a few jobs throughout the the morning I decided to take a walk to Greenwich after lunch. I have been there a few times before and have never had a really good look around as it is quite a big space; not that I ended up with one this time either. It is a good two hour walk there from my place so by the time I arrived things were winding down, and I was a bit knackered anyway. I did spend an hour there and knocked off a couple of things I wanted to do, like walk under the Thames in the pedestrian tunnel and try to find the bank building were my mum worked when she first left school.

I did manage to walk under the river, but I failed to find the bank building as the high street of Greenwich Town has changed a lot since then. Sorry Mum !!

As I will return to Greenwich another day I didn’t really make note of the things I took pictures of, so not a lot of detail here about the history of the place. Another time perhaps. I did enjoy the walk and I did enjoy taking pictures.

I walked from my place in London Bridge as much as I could along the side of the Thames. The way is a wee bit confusing, poor signage and new building works, plus having to go around all the little wharves make it a longer walk than it looks. A couple of miles up the Thames from home is the Brunel Museum, somewhere I have yet to visit, and I didn’t today due to time restraints, the building is cool though.

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This says a lot of things about this part of London !

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Yesterday, when I vaguely planned going for a walk this afternoon the forecast was for a bit of cloud and a bit of sun, I think the sun may have passed by in the morning while I was head down in my laptop as I had to delay my departure due to a brief shower. There were a couple along the way, but this was made up for by some lovely clouds, and the sun did briefly pop out once I had arrived.

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This is Surrey Docks Farm, a small farm garden in the heart of Thames side south east London, very neat. It would be great to see more community vegetable spaces in London.

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A lot of the Thames Walk passes around the side of old and new housing estates and blocks of very expensive flats. In most cases you can walk river side of these blocks, but sometimes there is a detour round the side streets.

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The whole of the east city area of the Thames was a working port and most of the older building are the warehouses that served the many many wharves along the banks. Here and there are relics from the days when ships were worked here.

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Peter the Great, the Russian Tzar once studied shipbuilding as a youth and lived in Deptford in the late 1600s, I assume before he was the king 🙂 There is a monument to him on the river side.

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Once I arrived at Greenwich my first stop was for a coffee and the cafe I chose just happened to also be the brewery for the lovely Meantime beer, we sold a couple of varieties in the pub I worked in. I was well behaved and only had a coffee, decaf ! Oh, Ok and a chocolate chip biscuit 🙂

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I spent most of an hour wandering around the royal college area at Greenwich, as well as walking up to Greenwich town in a failed attempt to find mum’s bank.

Apart from nipping inside the Painted Hall just before closing I was outside the Old Royal Naval College. I really enjoyed the fact that there was hardly anyone around while I was there.

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The Cutty Sark.

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I have been to Greenwich, and written about it a couple of times before, but I did not realise the tunnel under the Thames was still running until my flatmate mentioned it recently. I had walked past the entrance at least a couple of times on earlier visits and just did not realise what it was.

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So I decided to walk under the Thames to the other side, it takes a few minutes and is a little weird as there are numerous damp patches on the walls.

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I took a photo of the Old Royal Naval College from the other side and then walked back through the tunnel to Greenwich, where I caught a train home.

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It was a really enjoyable walk and again I was happy with the photos I took.

Waltham Abbey

Saturday 15 March 2014 -Waltham Abbey.

El had to pick up her eldest son from his digs in Oxford as university holidays start on Monday and he had to leave the college dorm for the duration. As El does not drive, nor have a car, she rented a car for me to drive us over to Oxford to pick up Joe and his stuff. We were back in Walthamstow by early afternoon so as it was such a glorious day we decided to go for a drive out to Waltham Abbey. It is not too far away and is rumoured to be the final resting place of King Harold, killed by an arrow to the eye fighting the Normans at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. It is a very famous story, and one that had me fascinated when I was kid !

There has been a church on the site in Waltham Abbey, just north of the M25 motorway since the 7th century, though the core of the existing church was started in 1050. The church became an abbey in 1184 and was greatly expanded until it was largely pulled apart after its dissolution in 1540. Once the abbey had been dissolved, almost destroying the local economy, and was no longer used by the monks the buildings were torn down and the stone re-used for other buildings. The church itself was by claimed by the local people and it has remained a parish church ever since.

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The outer walls and part of the structure of the abbey are still there and it is quite a large site.

As with all working churches and temples a lot of the interior and some of the exterior has been changed and renovated over the centuries leading to a mix of artistic styles and construction methods, not all of it to particular good taste; such as the Denny family monument from 1547.

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The interior is very well lit with natural light, and while no Sistine Chapel, the ceiling was still pretty good.

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The Lady Chapel contains a fifteenth century “Doom” painting which I particularly liked. A doom painting captures the day of judgement when one is judged by Christ after kicking the bucket.

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After visiting the inside of the church we took a walk around the outside as I wanted to find the grave of King Harold.  I found the site around the back of the church. There are many rumours surrounding the death and burial of Harold, one of those is that this stone marks the location where he was finally laid to rest after being killed at the great Battle of Hastings. This would have been underneath the knave of the church at the time.

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The church and the abbey were built and added to over many years and it is interesting to look at the stonework and see all the different types of stone and brick used in its construction. It is quite a quilt of local and not-so local stone and marble.

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There are odd bits of wall and gate left around the site, the most ‘together’ part is this twelfth century entry to the cloisters that is known as the Midnight Chapel. It is now gated off, but I imagine it was used for a number of activities over its time. I did like its roof.

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The side gate.

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And back around to front of the abbey.

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It was an interesting visit, I enjoyed walking around the Abbey, absorbing a little more history – and remembering stories about kings and battles I enjoyed as a young boy.

I especially enjoyed the 20 degree sunshine. It is now two days later and a grey 13 degrees. Hopefully that does not mean spring is over !

Winchester Cathedral

Tuesday 04 March 2014 – back to London.

The final post in the ‘road trip’ series.

I awoke a bit later on this morning and it seems I missed what was probably a decent sunrise – not forecasted of course, damnit! I hit breakfast as soon as it opened again and was packed and checked out by 9:00.

With nice clear skies overhead I was wondering about maybe taking another day somewhere else and decided to head back towards London via some back roads in the New Forest. I had seen things about the area and had been intrigued about it so thought it was time to check it out.

Leaving at 9:00 meant I missed the worst of the rush hour ferry trip across from Studland to Poole across the entrance to Poole Harbour. It was a nice wee trip.

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I managed to get through Poole and Bournemouth relatively unscathed by traffic jams and was soon on the road heading up to Lyndhurst the central town in the New Forest.

Surprisingly there was very little ‘forest’, between Bournemouth and Lyndhurst, lots of wilderness areas and something I would like to explore, but today was not going to be the day. I had a coffee in Lyndhurst and the cloud started to roll in, which pretty much cemented my decision to carry on back to London. Around Lyndhurst there was some very nice forest areas and I think I will do some research into the area and then come down for a couple of days and do some walking and photography. It does look interesting.

On the way down on Saturday I decided I would stop at Winchester on the way back home and check out the famous cathedral there.

With a history over a thousand years old the great Cathedral that I visited was largely completed in the late sixteenth century. It is a massive building and quite beautiful inside.

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There is a lot of work going on inside and out so a large number of artefacts are missing for renovation work which was a shame. I did get to see some pages of the great twelfth century Winchester Bible (no photos allowed), which is one of the key relics in the cathedral.

There were some ‘modern’ things to see, and I really liked this piece.

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I guess my favourite part were these wall paintings from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, obviously much more impressive up close and personal though.

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I also liked the fact that the place had been tagged a few hundred years ago, with numerous names and dates carved into the old pillars.

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The cathedral was well worth the stop, and if I had not been committed on getting back to London in time to return the car I would have stayed for a walk around the town as well.

And that was it for my break, I had a really good time. Enjoyed getting out for some good walks and pleased that I was actuall taking some photos I liked again. Plus I had something to write about for a change!

Castles, beaches, views and almost a sunset.

Monday 03 March 2014 – Swanage.

After a fairly solid sleep I was up pretty early again, but the view out the window had me back in bed for a while with a cup of coffee and yesterday’s paper. It was raining and there was no way I was heading out early with absolutely no hope of a sunrise. I waited till the dot of 8:00 am and was down in the restaurant for breakfast, this time I asked for a break between my fruit and my eggs on toast. I think I introduced a whole new level of stress to the staff with that request…

I had another big day planned, with a shorter coastal walk as well as a visit to a couple of castles. I love castles, and have done since I was a child when I visited some with my family. If you have followed my blog for a while you will have probably worked out I am a fan of all things old. Coming from New Zealand where anything over a hundred years old is considered historic it is great to be visiting places that are ten times older and more.

My first stop was nearby Corfe Castle, I had driven past it a couple of times and had been really looking forward to visiting it, it was one of the many reasons I chose Swanage as a base.

I parked on the far side of Corfe Castle village and walked through the town, the village is dominated by the castle on the hill. The whole village is built of the same locally mined sandstone as the castle, they love their rock around here!

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The sun was shining when I entered the castle and thankfully the wind had dropped significantly from yesterday, so I was in for a nice walk around.

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Corfe Castle was developed over a five hundred year period, starting from the early twelfth century. Sadly it was destroyed by an act of parliament during the English civil war in 1646 as one of the final outposts of royalist resistance. What I saw today was pretty much as it was at that time it was blown up.

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I love how the walls are sagging over the steep side of the hill, I guess one day they will just roll down to the stream below.

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I really enjoyed walking around and exploring the place, but as I started walking up to the top keep the clouds were gathering on the horizon, so I picked up the pace a bit.

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And the rain started to fall just as I made the exit gate, a shame for the people arriving as I left, sometimes it pays to be up early!

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I stopped for a coffee in one of the small coffee shops and the rain stopped soon after I finished my coffee, and I got to carry on with my day. The clouds over the castle looked amazing from the car park though.

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My next stop was Lulworth Cove, not too much of a drive away. The roads here pass through a large military camp which has a live firing range for tanks and cannons and all sorts of things. I sneakily stopped on the side of the road just before the range as I saw some (I think) wild ponies in the light flooding among the trees, I should have grabbed a better lens, but figured outside a military base was not a place to be stopping with a camera…

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I parked at Lulworth Cove at walked up the hill and over to Durdle Door. As I started out the weather was lovely compared to yesterday – I was in a t-shirt and unzipped hoodie and worked up a bit of a sweat walking up the coast path , though a shower moved over once I was over the top and the rain jacket was soon on again.

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Man O’ War Bay.

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Luckily it didn’t last and by the time I was down at Durdle Door the sun was shining again. The seas were looking pretty good here, nice even, though large swells – and no, I was not tempted to swim…

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Durdle Door is a large hole in the limestone rock and is a major tourist and photographic attraction. Surprisingly it is part of a private estate owned by the Weld family, who also own Lulworth Castle – plus about fifty square kms of Dorset. At least visiting the site is free, though of course parking isn’t!

The steps down to the beach have been destroyed in a recent land slip, as there were a few people down on the beach I made my way down as well. The way down was incredibly slippery and very muddy and I was lucky to have my trail shoes on as I didn’t fall over – looking at the state of some other people’s trousers, I was a fortunate one. I am really glad I ventured down though.

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Once back up the bank I walked down the steps on the other side and visited Man O’ War Bay.

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On the way back up to the hill top walk to Lulworth Cove, I spotted the lovely Durdle Door Holiday park, a bit of a blight on the English countryside !

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Lulworth Cove is lovely though, as are the numerous cottages in the village. When I visited here two years ago it was absolutely rammed with people, so it was quite pleasant to visit when it was empty – though not much was open for coffee and lunch.

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After a very average sandwich, but a spectacular ice cream cone I jumped back in the car and drove over to Lulworth Castle.

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The castle was built as a hunting lodge in 1610 and was purchased by the Weld family in 1642 (it is still in the family !) It was the residence of the family up until it was sadly destroyed by fire in 1929. The exterior has been fully renovated, but the interior is just a large shell, but interesting nonetheless. The whole time I was at he castle I could here gunfire in the background, I guess it must be what a fire-fight over the next hill sounds like. Something I have no desire to hear.

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Next door is the Chapel of St Mary, built in 1786 once the persecution of Catholics ended in Britain. It is a lovely building and I would have liked to have seen in-side, but it was all closed up.

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It was getting to be late in the afternoon and the sky was still looking good so I decided to go o Kimmeridge Bay and see if I could catch the sunset I missed on Saturday. I stopped just outside the town of Wareham and took some photos of the flooding there.

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I made it to Kimmeridge reasonably early and took a walk around the beach as the tide was out, it was a good time to play with the camera as the sun slowly set. I took a load of photos.

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The storms have created a massive pile of sea weed on the shore.

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As the sun was slowly setting I watched the big thick clouds move their way slowly across the sky towards me, and with a sinking feeling I knew that there was going to be no sunset again !! I guess, to be fair, the sun was still going to set, just not in a spectacular display.

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I made my way around to the point anyway and met another photographer there who pointed me to “the” spot for sunset photos, he had been there a million times before so was out today photographing the surfers. Surfing in that cold water – madness!

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I lurked there for a while and then moved down to the waters edge for a bit, but then the threatened rain started to arrive so started making my way back towards the car.

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I got back to the good spot and the rain stopped so I lurked there for a bit and took a bunch of photos of the clouds that were going to block the sunset, and left again as another shower hit. The clouds were damn good though !

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Once I made it back up to the car the rain stopped again, so I hung around and watched a very light sunset struggle through the gloom, though the sky did get very colourful and a little liquid at times.

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Once dark settled in I packed up and went back to the hotel for dinner and a glass of wine before collapsing into bed nice and early with my book.

It had been a long but very enjoyable day. Great to see so many lovely places and with much relief I really enjoyed taking photos again.

A walk along the coast

Sunday 02 March 2014 – Swanage.

The hotel definitely seems to cater for the slightly more ‘delicate’ market, my room is about a hundred degrees and I spent most of the night on top of the covers as it was too hot to sleep underneath. I had the window open to let some cool fresh air in as soon as I woke – my inner Englishness meant I could not open the window all night and waste the power from the central heating ! I had no means to turn it down either.

I had chosen to stay in Swanage for a number of reasons, price being one – but one of the others was it was facing east; with good weather forecast when I booked my trip I was hoping for a good sunrise or three.

I was up early and after swallowing an instant coffee I was out the door to see if the sunrise would appear from under the large blanket of low cloud. I was to be pretty much disappointed! I went down to the waterfront anyway and had a play with some ND and ND grad filters to see if I could at least get some good cloud and sea action.

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I took some rather unspectacular photos for a while before deciding to walk along to the pier and Peveril Point for a look around before heading back to the hotel for breakfast. I was just taking this picture when a local photographer appeared behind me and we wandered off together to the cliff tops at Peveril Point to see what would happen as the sun finally attempted to rise.

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We were rewarded with a small glow on the far horizon, peering out from under the clouds that took a slight hint of the suns glow.

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We hung around and chatted for a while before gave up trying to take photos on a tripod in the wind, so I thanked him and headed back to my hotel to get breakfast as soon as the kitchen opened at 8:00 as I had a big day planned.

Luckily breakfast was served at the same breakneck speed as last night so I was out the door soon after 8:30, camera bag loaded with camera, rain coat, gloves, hats and everything needed to cater for the weather turning wet and cold later in the day. I planned on walking along the coast path to Worth Matravers, a section of the coast I had travelled with Malcolm in 2012 and one worth returning to with a camera. I knew I had about three hours before the rain was due to arrive, though it was incredibly windy, at times I was almost blown off my feet – luckily the wind was blowing in off the sea.

I headed back up over Peveril Point, there was a lot of damage caused by the recent storms – a story across both days of walking, large chunks of the cliff had fallen into the sea and signs new and old where everywhere.

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I walked up to Durlston nature reserve via the old Isle of Wight Road, a wee bit muddy and I was glad I had my trail running shoes on – a bit of tread was very useful! I remembered Durlston Castle from the run, and the fact there was no signage for the coast path here and Malcolm and I spent a bit of time faffing trying to work out which way to go.

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Durlston Castle was a rich man’s folly built in the 1800’s, not particularly old compared to some of the places I plan on visiting tomorrow, but it is kind of cute and I did notice a coffee shack out the back which I planned on visiting when I returned.

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As I walked along the path from the castle I took one of many pictures throughout the day looking up and down the coast.

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This region has had a long history of limestone quarrying and there are a number of old quarry sites along the coast. The first one I came across was at the far end of the Durlston Reserve just below Anvil Point Lighthouse.

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Past the lighthouse the wind really picked up and gusts were blowing me sideways at times. It was almost hard to walk, thankfully I was not planning on a run today, though I did jog on the odd occasion – trying to be gentle with the bag load of camera gear I had on back.

The limestone has been used for the dozens of stone walls used by the local farmers.

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I walked for a while to my first scheduled photo stop at Dancing Ledge – so called because at certain tides as the water washes over, the rock appears to be dancing. I was utterly amazed to see a group of climbers there, playing on the small ledges. Not that people would climb there per se, just that anybody apart from me was out on this miserable windy day. I would not want to be climbing about on ledges, no matter how small on a day like this !

It is a really spectacular spot and I would love to visit with big clouds – but no wind !

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As I left the area and started walking further along the coast the rain started to come down so it was camera away and jacket on, some of the rain gusts were so cold I ended up having to put gloves on and had my hat down as far as it would go on my head.

It wasn’t far to my final destination and I thought I would stick it out and hope the rain stopped as it wasn’t forecasted to arrive for another couple of hours. Though it was not raining that hard it never did stop, and the wind made it quite unpleasant. I jogged a bit more.

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I was disappointed when I got to where I thought the old village of Worth Matravers was, I remembered there being some old ruins of quarrymen houses on the coast, which was what I wanted to see but I could not find them, all I found were some old, fenced off, mine holes. I saw a sign to the village, pointing up a really muddy cow track and it was a mile away and the weather miserable I decided to return to Swanage. I had had a good day out so far and there was no point in just hanging around and maybe getting sick.

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I had met some people on the way that had come down a hilltop track so decided to walk up there and avoid some of the spray that was coming off the sea on the cliff top Coast Path. The bad weather has had a real impact on paths along here with numerous slips and this was typical of them.

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At the top of the hill I was really unsure of which way to go as there were a few paths, I ended up following narrow cow paths for a while before I found what appeared to be the proper path. An hour of walking later I finally caught sight of Anvil Point Lighthouse and made my way gingerly down the hillside towards it and then back to Durlston Castle.

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Sadly the coffee shack outside was closed so wet, a little cold and a bit muddy I went into the castle cafe and joined some shiny and clean people for what was a welcome and damn good coffee !

On the way back to Swanage and my hotel I saw this rather out of place bollard in the castle grounds.

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It took me a further hour to get back to the hotel, I was glad I had layered up properly as I was pretty damp when I got back, but not overly cold considering the wind and rain. I was out for six hours and had missed lunch in the hotel, so I took a bath for a while before heading to the pub for a beer…

I had sort of known, but it had never been top of mind when I planned the trip – a late winter Sunday night in a small rural town is never going to be a great place to find a meal ! Virtually everywhere was closed. I had my heart set on a nice pasta meal but ended up with a burger and chips in another pub. Good burger and chips though and the beer was good to.

Another good day !

Road trip !

Saturday 01 March 2014 – Swanage.

Just before I went back to New Zealand at the beginning of February I heard from Tom, who I first met almost two years ago when he ran the 1014km South West Coast Path with my NZ friend Malcolm. I was support driver for Malcolm on the run and Tom returned the favour and supported my when I did a 50km run along the coast path for my 50th birthday later in the year. Tom and his family are returning to New Zealand mid-March and had a farewell function in Umborne Hall in Devon today.

It was just the excuse I needed to organise myself to head back to the south coast for a few days, do some walking, maybe a run and take some photos – maybe even getting my photography mojo back, who knows! I started to look at the trip when I got back from NZ, and at the time the weather forecast was looking pretty good so after some research I decided to stay for three nights in Swanage and do day trips from there, I had a loose plan in mind.

Now that time to go has actually arrived the weather has decided to not play ball, and I may well end up with a couple of rainy days. At least today is fine, though I do have a lot of driving to do.

I picked up a car from the rental place in Walthamstow that El and I used last year, not a bad deal and close enough to walk to, so an obvious choice. I left just after 9:30 and allowed myself four hours to get to Lyme Regis, my first stop for the day. The drive down was pretty good, not a lot of traffic and I got to play music loudly in the car and sing along as well, definitely something I miss about not owning a car.

Lyme was a lot busier than I expected –  a whole lot busier. I sort of planned on rocking up, parking the car and going for a walk, but had to hunt around to find somewhere to park the car. Bizarrely, I ended up parking in the same car park I was fed and watered in on my run – and it was just as busy back at the end of summer.

The Undercliff is a well known part of the South West Coast Path and a section I covered on my run. It has been closed for over a year now due to subsidence, and sadly this has gotten a lot worse over the big storms early this year. Not sure if or when it will be re-opened.

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I had a walk around for an hour and took a bunch of pictures, some of which I was happy with.

I walked up the Cobb, just as I arrived these two guys on trials bikes turned up, so I watched them for a bit before walking around to get some views back over the town.

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I walked along the foreshore to the end of the town, I love the beach huts, though these are quite new, there is something so English about them. I particularly liked that the bunting was still hanging behind the windows in this one.

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It is a real British sea side town, buckets and spades and beach balls for sale all along the front – though not so many customers in early spring.

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I picked up some fish and chips for lunch, they were lovely, but I didn’t really need them as there was food at the party – but I could not resist, they looked so good. There was no way I could even get close to finishing them, the fish was huge.

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And hopefully really fresh.

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After over-indulging in my fish and chips I was surprised yet happy to be able to program Umborne into my car’s GPS and headed off to Tom and Tash’s farewell lunch. It was only a few miles from Lyme Regis but once off the ‘highway’ I was slowly negotiating my way down some lovely Devon back roads.

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Through the small village of Shute and the entrance to Shute Barton – one of many massive historical houses I saw over the three days I was away.

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I spent a couple of hours at the farewell, it was especially nice to see Tom’s parents as I spent a lot of time with Tom’s mum during the Coast Path Run as she was co-support driving with me. I wish Tom and Tash and the kids a great time in New Zealand!

I left with the intent of getting close to the coast near Kimmeridge for sunset, but badly miscalculated how long it would take to get there, and missed what appeared in my rear vision mirror, to be a pretty decent event. Given the new forecast, the only sunset I am likely to see on my trip. Bugger !

I arrived at my hotel in Swanage in the early evening and once settled in had a drink in the bar and then dinner in the restaurant. It was a weird meal. The food was fine, but the service was too good – I was all done in what seemed like a matter of minutes, and I was the only one under 75 and not wearing a tie… I retired early to my room and just managed to stay awake for Match of the Day at 10:30.

It was a good day!