In which: my map misleads ● up and down is the order of the day ● I reach a high point ● a new path is traced ● the day concludes with trespassing
Date: 1 October 2020 Time of walk: 1505 to 1750 Today’s walking: 10.7 km Progress along SWCP: 4.8 km Estimated ascent: 600 metres
I didn’t get to walk the South West Coast Path in 2018 or 2019, and initial thoughts of a visit earlier in 2020 were knocked on the head by the Covid pandemic, but with things sufficiently calm in southern England, I found five nights at a Premier Inn in Honiton for £29 a night. I didn’t have a clear plan as to where I might walk and when, whether I would restrict myself to out-and-back walks, or whether I might use the train or bus or taxis, but decided to leave things very casual.
I drove down from Suffolk via Dorchester, and started the walking part of this holiday by parking the car by the road bridge over the River Char at Charmouth.
My Ordnance Survey map guided me up the fairly steep tarmacked Stonebarrow Lane, but I was struck by the absence of signs for the South West Coast Path – though it has been my experience that signs in urban areas or leaving urban areas can be a little lacking, whereas in rural areas where the route is obvious, signs are prolific. Anyway, I knew where I was and that I was on the marked route on my 2020 Ordnance map.