First walk of the new year and choices on where to go. Dartmoor, coast, east, west, north. In the end it was the weather that made my mind up, a few days earlier I had walked on the north eastern side of Dartmoor and the weather had altered from the gloomy drizzle to the west and south of Dartmoor, to become a nice sunny day. The plan was similar, head east, this time to the coast. It meant an early start to drive there but it meant I was up and walking before 9.30am which was good. I’d also looked at the tide times and I’d looked at the routes out of Lyme Regis, deciding that the daft coastal path diversions inland weren’t going to be my only route between Lyme Regis and Charmouth. I’d read about walks along the beach and below The Spittles, the crumpled soft cliffs that were home of landslides and fossils and thought that could be an option. Low tide was around 11am, so setting out when I did was perfect and I had plenty of space and options to pick a route across the long beach. The obvious warning here is to watch the time and know when its coming in, the ledges here are flat and can mean the tide can come in very quickly and its over a mile in total to walk it. At the far end of the beach I’d made good time and decided to ascend Stonebarrow Hill in order to scope out a car park for my next walk in this area and make the next part a little easier. Walking back I took the diverted inland route which when you measure it is around a kilometre from the sea, and too far away. There are other options when looking at a map, with the pink dotted paths running across Timber Hill just above The Spittles, surely these could be used. Still if you are walking the coastal path, pick the right time and walk the beach instead, its glorious even on a drab weather day like mine.
Start – Lyme Regis Holmbush car park
Route – Ware – South West Coastal Path – The Cobb – Lyme Regis seafront – Lyme Regis beach – Charmouth – Stonebarrow Hill – Charmouth – Fern Hill – Lyme Regis Golf Course – Lyme Regis – Holmbush car park
Distance – 9 miles Start time – 9.15am Time taken – 4hrs 30mins Highest Point – Fern Hill 177m