After two years of cancellations due to Covid, 26 members finally set off by coach to HF Holidays West Lulworth House. This will be our last chance as the house is already up for sale! The sun shone every day, tempered by puffy white clouds, our companions sociable, and we all had an excellent holiday. On arrival, after our scones and tea, we enjoyed an orientation walk through the village to Stair Hole, led by our HF host, Janice. She explained the geology of the area and she was most helpful in advising us of routes, buses and things to see. Lulworth Cove was packed with cars, families, and water-sporters as it was half term, but we didn't have to go far to get away from the crowds.
Tony R took 7 members by bus to Osmington and led a group back to the house along the coastal path, occasionally diverting slightly inland to avoid the worst of the steep downhill sections of the path.
Ruth took 4 members from the house to Ringstead and walked back along the 'Rollercoaster Cliffs of Lulworth.
Both the medium and long walks met at St Catherine's Church for lunch and enjoyed the seats in the cliff garden of the church and popped into the small wooden shack that makes up the church.
3 of us decided that the view of Durdle Door from the cliff path was not the best so a boat trip was organised by BerylPenny led a walk on the shorter and less steep ridge behind the hotel with extensive views along the coast in both directions, as well as views over the military ranges.
Ruth led a walk of 5
ramblers to Tyneham, a village that was evacuated in December 1943 for the MoD
to use as a training area. The 252 inhabitants were given 1 month's notice and
only compensated for the cost of their garden produce, because they were
tenants. We visited the farm, the
cottages, the school and church before returning along the steep cliffs. A
strenuous but worthwhile walk.
Beryl led a 3 mile walk around Corfe Castle, using the local bus, and enjoyed a train ride from Corfe to Swanage.
Lynn led a 7 mile walk from Wool and Penny a shorter 4 mile walk from Winfrith Newburgh. It was nice to have a break from the tiring undulating cliffs and instead walk through fields of buttercups, shady woods and gentle hills.
The long walk overtook the short walk quite near to West Lulworth, and most visited West Lulworth church.
In the afternoon some went swimming in the hotel pool whilst Ruth led a walk of 6 people to visit the Fossil Forest . It involved walking over the pebbles of the Cove beach, climbing up some steep steps set in the Wealden clay deposits of which the lower steps were eroded, ducking through overhanging vegetation in a tunnel of sloe bushes and emerging onto a green lawn.
Our last dinner involved a Platinum Jubilee celebration, the planting of a cherry tree in a pot, waving of flags and union jack table napkins. We finished the holiday by a game of curling, appropriately using a target of red, white and blue. Our Chair, Tony R won and received a Lulworth badge. Finally, Linda gave a wonderful speech praising Nita who organised this holiday amidst lots of Covid problems and wished her well as she leaves the committee but remains an active member. This was a self-guided holiday, a departure from our usualy holidays led by HF leaders, but it worked really well and gave the non-walkers plenty of flexibility.