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Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Walk 120 Bridport to Charmouth (near Lyme Regis) Dorset

Walk 120 Bridport to Charmouth (near Lyme Regis, Dorset)

(Second leg of English coastal walk – Broadstairs to Lands End)

Map: L/R 193
Distance: 10 miles or 16 km approx.
Difficulty: moderate with some challenging parts
Terrain: coastal paths
Access: Parking in Bridport and Charmouth.
Public transport: Regular bus service between the two towns, X53, X31 or 76.

This walk could be continued to Lyme Regis via a rather long inland route on the coastal path, or by following a path along the cliff. The latter did not look to be in good condition when I went so I stopped at Charmouth. Things might have improved by now.

Follow the coastal path out of Bridport to West Bay then walk along the cliffs to Eype beach. The nearby village is divided into Higher Eype and Lower Eype. There are several village buildings here dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. Eype means steep place and I can confirm this as we stayed in a rather nice country club hotel here (good food) -got stuck on the one track steep hill with a vehicle coming the other way which was scary!

There are some stunning views from the cliffs along this stretch including from Doghouse Hill and Thorncombe Beacon. Soon after East Ebb Cove is the settlement of Seatown a place of fishing and smuggling in the past. The whole area is rich in fossils but these must not be removed. Behind the village is the magnificent Golden Cap which, at 191 metres, is the highest point on the entire south coast. Take a rest at Seatown as the next task is to walk to the top!

At the summit of Golden Cap look out for the triangulation point marking its highest point. The name derives from the golden greensand rock which caps the top. It enjoys World Heritage status. Follow the path along for the next couple of miles into Charmouth. This is the site of where Danish pirates slaughtered many people in 831. In 1651, after the Battle of Worcester, Charles 11 escaped and was hidden in the Queen’s Arms Inn in Charmouth. The king fled when he knew he was discovered – just in time.  There is a heritage centre to find out more about the area near the mouth of the River Char.

Photos show: looking back towards Eype from Doghouse Hill; East Ebb Cove; Seatown with Golden Cap behind it; a view from Golden Cap towards Charmouth. 

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