Wayward Wanderers Walking Group

Charmouth Beach-Wootton Fitzpaine

June 20, 2010, prb, Comments: 1

Yet another glorious day

The group assembled for the afternoon's walk at the upper car park on Charmouth Beach.  Before we set off we welcomed one member not seen for a while due to marathon commitments, and two prospective members, Margaret who walked with us for the first time on 4 June, and Mary, for whom today was her first outing.

The first part of the walk led us away from the beach and up to the main street through the village, mercifully much quieter since  Charmouth Bypass was completed 20 years ago.  After crossing the street we continued northwards between the  buildings on the north side of the street, then crossing a field before going under the Bypass in one of the Highways Agency's standard dank underpasses.   Thereafter the route, now as the Monarch's Way, got progressively better, passing  along a bosky flat stream valley climbing gently towards the outskirts of Wootton Fitzpaine.

After an unscheduled detour over an inviting stile, which seemed to lead only into a private garden, we quickly backtracked and found a way onwards on the lane leading into the village from the south-west .  Here we passed first a few dwellings and then the village hall and its car park, but very shortly after the road junction we turned off to the east onto a narrow footpath hiding  between two houses.  Aligned parallel to  Wootton Lane, it soon opened out into fields and before long took us to a drive that leads to Wootton House.  Here we turned left to join the lane, there to pass the village pound .......

........before taking a short deviation to view Wootton Fitzpaine's village church.   After noting its fine stained glass windows and the row of diminutive headstones lined in front of the hedge in one corner of the church grounds, we retraced our steps back out to the road, continuing  eastwards along it.     

At Baker's Cross we turned south onto a path.  Initially this led through farmland but then took us into the woodland of Conegar Hill while also offering us glorious views of the other side of the River Char valley to the east.  


On the south side of the wood we paused for a short break, sitting down on the grass facing the fine views opposite, not forgetting to take in also the vista of the sea now available for the first time away to the south.


Refreshed after this short pause, we continued onward down the gentle slope across a succession of fields in a generally south-westerly direction towards the coast.   Fine views abounded..... 


This easy off-road stretch ended as we joined the lane close by Catherston Manor.  But not for long for, having decided against going into the manor grounds to view the church there, almost as soon as we hit the tarmac, we turned off it onto another path on the other side of the lane.  

This led us down back to the noise of Charmouth By-pass, and then to the dreary underpass leading back to the village.  From here we retraced our steps across the main village street and back down to the beach.  At the upper car park we diverted across a footbridge near the mouth of the River Char, ............


..........heading for the small beach cafe situated on the east side of the river.   Here we enjoyed tea or ice creams, taking advantage of some of the cafe's chairs to relax, chat and enjoy the seaside views.    

Blessed with splendid weather, this proved a very enjoyable walk.  It was not very strenuous and, taking us through terrain that was new to most of us, it was all the better for that.  Our thanks go to Vanessa and Tomi, and may we express our pleasure that Vanessa managed to successfully retrieve the guide book she used for the walk after, concentrating on other matters, she inadvertently mislaid it.

For the record, and including the short detour at the end to the beach cafe,  we covered some 5.7 miles, and our route may be seen on GPSies at:

http://www.gpsies.com/map.do?fileId=jafahztxyombcfsu



Comments: 1

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December 12, 2013

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