A long awaited return visit to Dorset had finally been planned after my first visit two years ago (see post here), unfortunately there was a lot of double rain drop action on the weather forecast for the weekend. I think the double raindrop has been the weather sign of my summer but I have tried very hard to not let it hold me back – dashing to the mountains and the great outdoors as soon as any sunshine is forecast, or if it isn’t going anyway and getting soaked (for example in this post).
Anyhoo; double rain drop or not it was off to visit the same friends who’s marriage had prompted my first visit to the area. The plan had been to climb all weekend, cooling off in the sea and basking in the sunshine. However, as the drive down was accompanied by heavy rain a new plan was needed. Saturday saw us take in an excellent hike from Corfe Castle to Swanage following the ridge line down the centre of the Isle of Purbeck. The weather was not on our side but the views over Poole Harbour and Brownsea Island were lovely nonetheless. Swanage had some excellent ice cream and a lovely seaside atmosphere. There were some classic seaside attractions on offer that we took full advantage of!
Following a great walk, a bitter shandy and some timeless photo opportunities the day got even better as we got to take the steam train back to Corfe Castle! The Swanage Railway has been lovingly restored and now runs steam trains from Swanage to Norden or Wareham depending on the day and time of year. This was the first ever walk I had done which included a steam train and it’s something I’ll definitely look at doing again, as a linear walk rather than an out and back, in my eyes is a great option.
Sunday finally saw some sun and meant it was time to climb! Swanage has a plethora of crags and a bit of local knowledge from our hosts sent us off to Hedbury. A 30 minute walk in led us down into an old quarry right by the sea. There was a great range of beginner and intermediate routes and we particularly enjoyed ‘Godamn Sexual Tyranosaurus’ for the name mainly but also some great rock. Sadly rain stopped play after a few hours but I’ll definitely be back to this area, on a sunny day climbing by the sea would be the BEST!
I can’t wait to visit the area again, hopefully I won’t leave it quite so long this time.