It is Dexter’s birthday, he is six today. The sun is shining and Crosby wants to go out early. Dexter thinks that he deserves a lie in, but the sight of his lead and a whistle makes him change his mind.
We leave Lyn in the Unicorn and repeat the walk we did yesterday morning, this time without the diversion and the constant referral to the map. The sun makes it feel very different and we cover the five miles in good time. Our only stop to look at an old Nuffield tractor with binder attached. A favourite photograph of mine, taken about twenty-five years ago, is of Jack Judd or ‘Tractor Jack’ as he was known by then, on his old tractor, Maff sat on the binder with Bill and I in front along with Ben and Lolly. Bill and I had spent a stinking hot afternoon stooking sheaves whilst Maff had the easy job riding around on the binder.
The final stage of the walk heading back to the Unicorn is especially quick, the dogs want their breakfast and seem to know that there are tasty scraps left over from our dinner last night for them.
The sun provides a good opportunity to get the dogs out of the van and spend a while cleaning up. A run over the carpets with the Dyson collects a lot of dog hair, almost enough to make another dog!
Lynnie’s suffering with a bad back and opts out of walking, instead she gets the knitting needles out. I understand that a garment is being made for young Rueben. Lyn is not the fastest knitter, lets hope that he likes sky blue when he starts school.
Map in hand the dogs and I set off for Bridport, walking through the town and down South Street towards West Bay. The path takes us around the back of the Palmers Brewery that has a working waterwheel.
Then head across open fields, entering West Bay through one of the many static caravan sites. Walking east away from the harbour I stop to look at the old railway station now a tearoom. In 1879 Great Western Railways decided to extend the line from Bridport to West Bay, the line opened in 1884. The service was short lived, the line closed to passengers in 1930 and operated for goods only until its final closure in 1962.
From West Bay we negotiate a particularly unfriendly stile for dogs, you would have thought in an area like this there would be dog gates. We climb the hill towards Bridport and cross the West Dorset Golf Course. There are golfers on every hole and it looks in fine condition. I log it in my memory bank as somewhere to visit with my clubs. Through another static caravan park and we follow the path to Burton Bradstock. On the way we see a magnificent dog fox.
Entering the village we pass the allotments, usually at this time of year I would be spending hours in my garden and would have tomato and chilli plants ready for the greenhouse in a few weeks time. It is one of the things that I miss whilst away, along with the conversations over the hedge with our neighbours Alan and Val. Alan a more experienced gardener usually has some good advice to offer.
We go through Bradstock, a pretty village with many stone and thatched cottages. It has two pubs, I contemplate stopping but don’t want to leave Lyn too long and we still have a fair way to go. We climb North Hill out of the village and are soon rewarded with panoramic views. We are then on Milvers Lane, down hill to some cattle barns where we encounter a hundred yards of ankle deep slurry across the track. Not at all pleasant, we wade through trying to avoid sudden dips! Out the other side, all three of us smell dreadful and up hill we go.
Our route takes us to the edge of a valley with steep inclines, as we descend into Walditch we pass a fine example of strip lynchets, we pass through Hyde and into Bridport.
A good afternoons walking, just over nine miles, back at the Unicorn its time for a quick cup of tea and a wash of dogs and boots to try and get rid of the smell of cow slurry.
The sun is still shining and Lyn fancies a short evening walk. We drive to Bradstock and park in the beach car park. Then stroll in the evening sun under the crumbling cliffs. It is a stunning evening and we are virtually alone as we wander along the beach. Cracking!
Back at the van the dogs fall into deep sleep after eating. Neither looks like they are going to move in a hurry!
To follow our walk you will need Ordnance Survey Outdoor Explorer Map 116 – Lyme Regis & Bridport
24th April 2014
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2014)