October Weekend 2018 - Bournemouth - Saturday 20 October to Monday 22 October
Les Cox and Lorraine Hayward were in charge as we set off bright and early so that we would have time to walk from Lymington after lunch. We walked along the Solent Way, with great views over the marshes towards the Isle of Wight, with a choice of longer and shorter walks.
In the evening, some of us decided we hadn’t had enough exercise and tripped the light fantastic on the dance floor in the hotel, whilst others repaired to the Goat and Tricycle for a little liquid refreshment.
On the Sunday, we started from Sandbanks. After a short walk we took the ferry across the mouth of Poole Harbour to pick up the South West Coast Path and from there to Studland, a well-known naturists’ beach. Those doing the shorter walk then took the local bus to Swanage, followed by the steam train to Corfe, whilst those on the longer walk continued to Corfe on foot
Monday’s walk was along the seafront to Hengistbury Head, with lovely views over Christchurch Harbour and towards the Isle of Wight. From there we took the ferry to Mudeford for lunch before the journey home.
It was a really lovely weekend: as Val Hoffmann put it, “pure unadulterated sun as we strolled over beaches, along estuaries and upon hill tops with 360˚ views across over to the Isle of White and Dorset”. Thank you, also, to Val for leading the short walks over the weekend.
And the final word goes to Kathy Carpenter: “I have always appreciated how lucky I am being a member of Brentwood Ramblers as we have some great organisers who arrange these great weekends. I also want to say that the walk on Sunday is one of the nicest walks I have ever done! Thank you both for all the effort you put into what was a fantastic weekend”.
Stage 5 Suffolk Coast and Heaths Path - Sunday 15 July 2018
Aldeburgh to Dunwich: 38 ramblers boarded the coach at Galleywood Common (an unavoidable late change of pickup venue). After a week of hot and sunny weather we were prepared for 30˚C and cloudless skies. We emerged from the coach coated in suntan lotion, with sunglasses, sunhats, and plenty of water.
A very pleasant coastal path of sand, shingle and grass took us past Haven Nature Reserve. At Thorpeness we spotted the architectural folly “The House in the Clouds”.
We stopped to look at the stark concrete Sizewell A nuclear power station (shut down in 2006), and Sizewell B with its futuristic building and white dome. Further on we ascended low cliffs through gorse and woodland spotting Gatekeeper, Meadow brown, Speckled Wood, and Large White butterflies along the way. An open area of gorse and sand dunes followed before we headed inland through fields to arrive at the village of Eastbridge and the Eelsfoot pub for our lunch stop.
Refreshed, we walked through woodland providing welcome shade, and on to RSPB Minsmere Nature Reserve. Dunwich Heath followed, a rare area of coastal lowland heath owned and protected by the National Trust. This is one of the best places to see the rare Dartford Warbler
We continued along the heathland, enjoying the wide open skies and sea views. Low cliffs and woodland followed where we passed by some interesting ruins of Greyfriars Friary.
We arrived at Dunwich village with time for a paddle, a swim in the sea, tea and cake, fish and chips, or a well-earned pint in the Ship Inn. What a perfect day’s ramble.
Thanks go to our leader Dianne and to Miles for backmarking.
Stage 6 Suffolk Coast and Heaths Path - Sunday 16 September 2018
Dunwich to Southwold: this was our last coach ramble of the year and we emerged from the coach at Dunwich on a lovely sunny day with a strong breeze blowing.
We headed inland past Dunwich Forest, along a boardwalk and a pleasant grassy path between the reed beds and marshland. In the distance we could see Dingle Hill (only 12 metres above sea level) surrounded by marshland. We walked on towards Walberswick National Nature Reserve with its derelict Tower Windmill visible on the horizon.
Walking along by the sea we reached the mouth of the River Blyth where we headed inland beside the river. Black boarded fishing huts and numerous yachts and small craft anchored along the banks provided interest as we walked towards Walberswick. We crossed a small wooden bridge, carefully picking our way along to avoid families crabbing. Judging by the number of crabs in their buckets it was the catch of the day! Apparently, The British Open Crabbing Championships are held here every August. We then crossed the main river bridge and headed across fields to Southwold, our lunch stop. The half-day ramblers had the afternoon to explore Southwold and its pier.
The remaining ramblers, suitably refreshed, set off inland towards the river and the pretty village of Walberswick. Our afternoon break was at St Andrew’s Church which is within the ruins of an earlier church. There has been a church on this site since 1086, as mentioned in the Doomsday Survey. We then headed back towards Southwold by a different route and arrived with enough time for tea and cake or an ice-cream. What a lovely day’s walk.
Our thanks go to the leader Les Cox and to Alan Waddoups and Miles Cooper for back marking.
Stage 7, the final section, will be our first coach ramble in 2019.