Man O War Bay
By Liz King
Fancy a good walk this forthcoming Bank Holiday? The first Swanage and Purbeck Walking Festival takes place from May 3rd to May 7th.
A number of walks have been organised across the region and will be led by experienced walk leaders and it is hoped that it will become an annual event.
The Isle of Purbeck coastal walk has stunning views, from a gentle stroll along a windswept beach to a bracing walk along the Jurassic coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is a different world, home to rare species of flora and fauna, and pretty villages. The Purbecks are blessed with spectacular scenery such as the chalk cliffs at Studland Bay, hidden coves at Kimmeridge Bay and Chapman’s Pool and inland too, like the historic village of Corfe Castle.
View towards Corfe Castle from Kingston
The walks have been designed to showcase the beauty of the area and vary in length from all day to just a morning or afternoon and are graded as easy, moderate or strenuous.
The nature of the terrain means that most walks will include some short ascents and descents and although the paths are well defined, they can be slippery after rain. So the right clothing is important, as shorts and trainers may not be the best attire and if it’s sunny, don’t forget to slap on the sunscreen and wear a hat.
Most of the walks have a restriction on numbers so booking in advance is essential, and walk leaders will cancel walks if there are no advance bookings. Children under 16 years must be accompanied by an adult, but if you need to take a buggy, I suggest you enquire if the walks are buggy-friendly. In my book, hills and buggies are a no-go area. Dogs are welcome on many of the walks, but must be on a lead.
The coastline from Lulworth
Some of the walks include, on the itinerary a pub lunch in a typical Dorset village, others the option of ride back to Swanage on the steam train and one even offers a coastal cruise; and a couple of the shops in Swanage are offering packed lunches, to order. Nonetheless, a bottle of water or a flask of something hot to take on the walk with you might be a good idea as well as something to munch on, to stave of the hunger pangs. A good breakfast is part of the preparation for your walk.
There are several touring caravan parks in the area. For more information and booking visit: www.walkswanage.com or phone the Swanage Tourist Information Centre on 01929 422885.
Please quote the walk reference which can be found at the beginning of each walk’s title, e.g. TU02; and the date and time of the walk. You will be registered for the walk(s) you wish to join and a confirmation email will be sent to you.
Pictures courtesy of Purbeck District Council