For newcomers

At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!


Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Bonus day

Wednesday 10 June

The only place to go to from Abbotsbury by bus was Weymouth. Breakfast was at 8:00 so I missed the 8:30 and took the 9:30.

I had four unclimbed Marilyns in the south of England two of which were close enough to climb on this trip. One of the others is at Folkestone and the fourth north east of London. Another bus took me to Dorchester (that bus pass is getting some use at last). A short taxi ride got me to Dorchester Car Rentals and I was off to Swyre Head (SY 934 784).

It was only a twenty minute walk, but oh so rewarding. Glorious sunshine, cropped turf path and the sea to the left. When I arrived at the top I had a moment of panic because it appeared to be an integral part of the SW Coast Path, in which case I would have passed over it last summer. A closer look reassured me when I could see that path wending its way at a lower level below. The views of coast, chalk cliffs and sea were a brilliant contrast to what I have been seeing over the last twenty one days, and a forceful reminder of what a superb coastline we have - I was raring to go again.

A short drive on some frighteningly narrow lanes WITH NO PASSING PLACES FOR LONG SECTIONS took me to Knitson's Farm (SZ 003 807) south of Nine Barrow Down an apparently suitable start for the ascent. Parking was limited to private property of the farm. Nobody was about to ask permission, and I had just decided on a roadside spot when a lady leading a horse appeared walking up the road. She told me the farm people were quite aggressively against parking, but she told me of an alternative ascent from the north where there is a popular viewpoint overlooking Poole Harbour, so another short drive and another twenty minute ascent saw me within twenty yards of the highest point which is marked by a large rusty water bowser on private land guarded by a locked gate and barbed wire fencing. For me, twenty yards from the spot is near enough and I am counting it as a tick on Harold Street.

I had a fraught time getting the car back to Dorchester Rentals, they are located in a difficult to find mini industrial estate. I had stopped to put £10 worth of petrol in as required to bring the tank back to starting point. I couldn't find how to open the filler hatch and so I drove on. At Dorchester Rentals they waived my offer of cash in lieu, and then offered to drive me back into town - they get top marks for service which could only be improved by putting a homing device on each car.

I was dropped off at Premier Inn which is within fifty yards of the station platform I would need next morning. The bad news was that Premier were full, but just as the receptionist was trying to suggest an alternative (GET THIS ONE GAYLE) a guy appeared and said he had just checked in but now didn't need the room and handed me the swipe card and said I was free to take the room which was already paid for! The receptionist went along with that so I have a free room tonight. HOW ABOUT THAT JOHN (bowlandclimber) for your challenge to find a B and B under £25?

Ilchester Arms, Abbotsbury where I had my last night

Swyre Head summit

View west from Swyre Head

Nine Barrow Down summit guarded by barbed wire and locked gate

West from Nine Barrow. The trig point apparently vandalised - it never was at the highest point. The town is Swanage

Poole Harbour from near Nine Barrow summit

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


gimmer said...

i'm sure you remember the phrase 'jammy b..ger' - it seems as though you have inherited it, gold leaf and all:
whether the prize, a room at a Premier Inn, which chain I vowed I would never again use after a disaster in the Team Valley, is quite the reward it seems, you must report.
a fitting climax of a day to cap the long walk - i bet you can hardly relate the days along the levees of Lincolnshire to the hilly southern sections being part of the same walk, barely three weeks ago

John J said...

Wow, some folk get all the luck - being a jammy bugger doesn't come close!

Gayle said...


The incredible timing to score a free room (I'm chuckling even as I type that) must make up for your paid-for youth hostel bed which went unused last night.

Glad to see that you managed to mop up two of the missed Marilyns, both of which I enjoyed when we did them in January (we approached Nine Barrow Down from Corfe Castle on a fine day for a walk all along the ridge; Swyre Head we approached from the same car park as you will have used, having spent a very peaceful night there first).

Sir Hugh said...

Gmmer - Premier was very good. Staff were helpful, food was unoriginal but well done. Room had all I needed.

You are right about the raised river banks of Lincolnshire - that seems a long time ago. Fortunately my blog posts and photos will form the basis for another Lulu self publish book so I will have a reference and reminder.


JJ - it doesn't work like that all the time!


Gayle - always glad to make you chuckle.

What did you make of the summit on Nine Barrow? Did you trespass and visit the rusty tank?

Gayle said...

We did indeed trespass on Nine Barrow (someone had helpfully unwound a piece of the barbed wire across the top of the gate, allowing us easy access), but the actual summit isnt at the rusty tank - it's along the fenceline about another 20 paces away.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant ending and I don't believe your luck at rising to my challenge. I would have been wary of a stranger giving me the keys to his room but it worked out well for you. Safe journey home.

Sir Hugh said...

Gayle - If you say the high point is along the fenceline i must have walked over it on the path but it didn't look that way to me. Whatever, if I was within twenty paces I have no qualms about bagging it on Harold Street.


bowlandclimber - It was only after I was installed that the security thought passed through my mind, but they were not keys. The room was accessed by an electronic swipe card, and then the receptionist was witness to the whole happening. The only other scenario I can imagine for rising to your challenge was to hire a room or b and b where i would have such a catastrophic complaint that charges were waived to a sufficient extent to meet your challenge.

Gayle said...

Firstly the bad news: I've just seen that Swyre Head was demoted from the Marilyns list on 8 June this year - so just 2 days before you were there. At least it was a nice place to visit anyway, and you hadn't gone there just for the one hill!

I've only just seen your further response to my comment about the summit of Nine Barrow Down. The highest point is along the fence line at the other side of the field (to the north of the tank), not along the fenceline adjacent to the path, but it really is barely noticable that it's higher than the tank.