Monday, June 6, 2022

TRC holiday to Lulworth Cove, May 30-June 3rd, 2022


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. 


On Tuesday there was a choice of three walks all going West. Penny led a short yet strenuous walk around Hanbury Tor to Durdle Door, via Scratchy Bottom where they walked gingerly passing a group of friendly cows. Some of her group of 11 returned along the coast, others coped with the challenging downward steps of the chalky path, permanently visible from the hotel windows back to the cove.  

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. 


On the way back both groups bumped into Sue and Graham who were walking the SW coastal path (yes, all of it and were due to complete it all by the end of the week). It was nice to stop for a chat.

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 Beryl


On Wednesday, two groups went East into the firing range, which was fortunately open owing to the half term holiday.  Penny 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.

There were only two walks on Thursday, both on the Hardy Way and starting with an open-top bus ride. 

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. 


We eventually found the 79 steps down to the fossils and spent some time poking about in this 'forest'. Unfortunately, the fossilised tree trunks were removed by Victorian collectors, but the circular growths of algal crusts remain.


Some members chose not to walk on some of the days and took bus trips to Weymouth, Poole , Swanage and Wareham.  Judging by their comments, they all had thoroughly fun, enjoyable trips.

On Wednesday evening four teams participated in the HF quiz. The winning team were given gold crowns ready for the Jubillee celebration on Thursday.  


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.


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