Day 58 - Weymouth to Lulworth.   Grey skies this morning but its still a lovely walk around Weymouth Bay. At the end of the bay there are cliffs, all bright white chalk on this stretch as compared to the red sandstone of most of the Jurassic coast. The cliffs were gently rolling to start with but became progressively steeper as the day went on. By mid-afternoon I was approaching the tourist hot spots of Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove. I knew that well in advance because I could see the hordes of tourists gathering, its a lovely area but I'm not sure it should be subjected to quite so many people. I was staying in a guest house at Lulworth Cove and found out that 500,000 people visit the Cove every year. I can certainly confirm that the area stayed busy until late into the evening !  

Day 59 - Lulworth to Kingston.  Not my finest hour ! Until last night when I was looking at the route, I had forgoten to check whether the army were using Lulworth ranges today and sure enough they were ! That meant a very large area including the whole of todays coast path section became a danger zone with no public access allowed. The next clear day was not until Saturday so as a result of my school boy error, there was no alternative other than a long inland diversion. I used a combination of minor roads and footpaths to cross the rolling hills of Dorset and some of the countryside really was very picturesque. I'm sure it would normally be very peaceful as well but today there were some loud planes and helicopters overhead, I guess they've got to practice somewhere. Although it was much further than the coast path, the walking was quicker and I arrived at the pub I'm staying at in the village of Kingston at about 4pm for my last night of the walk. 

Day 60 - Kingston to Poole.  This is it then ! I had been planning to stop overnight in Swanage but its raining and the forecast for tomorrow is more rain and high winds so I thought I would continue on to the end of the path at Poole today. Having had only about 3 hours rain on the whole walk so far, I had almost forgotten how much harder the rain makes it. The rain itself can be quite painful when it's driven on a wind coming in off the sea, a bit like walking in a continuous hail storm. The rain also has an effect on the terrain, quickly making some areas muddy and others slippery, especially rocks. As a result, the walk along to Durlston Head and on to Swanage was quite hard work but in the very brief rain breaks there were some lovley views across Swanage Bay. The walk out of Swanage involved the last hill of the walk but with my legs muscles now feeling like iron girders I romped up it and on to the beautiful cliff top where the Old Harry rocks can be found. This is a really unusual and striking chalk rock formation, had the rain not been coming in hard and horizontal I would have lingered much longer but it was just not the day for it. After the 3 mile trudge along Studland Beach, I arrived at the sculpture that marks the end of the walk and took the obligatory photos. Then came the ferry to Poole and much as I would have liked to keep walking, the train home.

I really have had the time of my life. Of course some days were better than others but there were moments of pure ecstasy and elation which will live with me forever. The weather overall has been incredibly kind and the overall experience of this walk is something I will treasure for the rest of my life. Thanks so much to so many of you who have given such encouraging feedback about this blog, I'm so pleased you have enjoyed reading it and looking at the photos.

I definitely won't be doing the path again. Well, almost certainly not. Probably not anyway. At least not for a while ! No, I won't, next it will be the south east section of the England Coast Path - its a bit flatter !

I think last time I did a few 'Best and Worsts' which have probably changed so here goes:

Best Beach - Trevone Bay, everything a beach should have - cliffs, rock pools, soft golden sand, hard sand, big waves and a great cafe. 

Favourite Day - This is just so difficult, I had so many incredible days. Perhaps day 15, Padstow to Porthcothan, amazing scenery from start to finsh and lovely easy walking. Day 50, Exmouth to Sidmouth is very charming and has a bit of everything. Maybe day 55, The Isle of Portland is such a fascinating place and the views are just stunnng whichever way you look. Its too hard to choose.

Least Enjoyable Day - Day 2 Porlock to Lynton, constant steep ups and downs, very overgrown and slow or possibly day 32 Falmouth to Portloe, a very narrow path most of the way, even more overgrown and swarms of insects everywhere !

Best Cornish pasty - I didn’t have very many but it really was no contest, Ann’s Pasties at The Lizard wins hands down. Fabulous !

Best accommodation - Budock Vean Hotel near Helford Passage. I was only staying here becasue I managed to get a special offer on a single room, its a lovely country hotel with its own golf course and creek. It was a long day and I arrived very hot, sweaty and dusty thinking they wil probably ask me to go round the back. In fact when I arrived I was greeted like a long lost friend, and my room was upgraded to a suite ! 

Favourite Town - Dartmouth, picturesque and friendly.

Least Favourite Town - Very close between Salcombe and the twin towns of Lynton and Lynmouth.

Favourite Village - West Bay, pretty and unpretentious.

Least favourtite village - Very close with Port Isaac but Charlestown wins it. Just too touristy. 

Favourite Pub - The Finnygook Inn at Portwrinkle - Great service and wonderful food.

Best Cafe - Baboo on the beach at Weymouth, fabulous ice cream. 

Favourite View -  Chesil Beach from the Isle of Portland and Newquay Bay from Watergate.

* The email will not be published on the website.