Camping: Corfe Castle Day 6 – The Cerne Abbas Giant, July/August 2016

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The Cerne Abbas Giant (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

Friday was our last full day in Dorset and we had a lot of packing to do. So the navigator (moi) selected a magical mystery drive to see one of Dorset’s oldest attractions. The Cerne Abbas Giant.

It took us a while to find him, we found the village first. But once we got our bearings, we found our way to the viewpoint that looks right at him.

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Ian & Diane at the Cerne Abbas Giant (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

The Cerne giant is the biggest chalk hill figure in Britain. He’s managed by the National Trust and is thought to be one of the oldest.

However, as there is no record of him before Oliver Cromwell’s time, experts can’t be sure whether he’s an ancient fertility symbol or, in fact, a mockery of Cromwell.

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The Cerne Abbas Giant (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

There is also an ancient “trendle” at the site, which is an earthwork just above the giant’s shoulder. This is believed to date back to the Iron Age and is still used today by Morris dancers.

The little car park that is used to view the giant is a lovely roadside place to take a picnic. There is another car park down the hill, though, that also serves the village.

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Corfe Castle village (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

We had a lovely week in beautiful Dorset. The poet was quite surprised at how pretty and historic it really is. And when I’d suggested Swanage to him, he didn’t even know where it was.

We did end up a few miles away from Swanage at the village of Corfe Castle, which we also loved. And we had such a nice time on the Isle of Purbeck that we hope to come again soon, perhaps in the spring.

Then we might be able to visit all the places we weren’t able to this time: upstairs at Hardy’s Cottage; a walk to the Agglestone Rock; even Corfe Castle itself, if it isn’t so raving busy due to a programme of outdoor events that we can’t park anywhere.

We might also get onto a Camping & Caravan Club site too …

There are places we may go to again, such as RSPB Arne, the breathtaking Jurassic Coast, and Portland Bill. And there are places we don’t have to visit again.

I hope you enjoyed our little tour with us.

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Corfe Castle at dusk (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

Camping: Corfe Castle Day 1, Part 2 – Lulworth Cove & Durdle Door, July/August 2016

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Lulworth Cove (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

After Tyneham, we carried on to Lulworth Cove, where we had a ploughman’s lunch each.

I was wearing hippy sandals and the plan was to walk along the footpath to Durdle Door. But it was very, very hot, and the path was very, very steep – and it was “up” too. I don’t really do “up”.

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Lulworth Cove (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

So we did some research (i.e. looked at the map) and discovered a car park that was a little closer.

Lulworth Cove is only about a mile away from Durdle Door, but we’d not only chosen perhaps the hottest day of the year so far, we’d also chosen the busiest day of the year so far – and it was a weekend.

The roads were okay, but the footpaths (and Lulworth Cove) were ram-packed. The car park in Lulworth Cove had spilled uphill into the overflow and we got a bit stuck in traffic getting out.

We did like the place, though, and decided we’d come back another day, when it was less busy.

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To Durdle Door (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

The roads, as I say, were fine, and we were at the other car park in no time. I was still wearing the sandals, though, and it was still very, very hot. But at least the walk was easier …

… or was it?

There is so much shingle underfoot that it was actually quite treacherous, and it still took us quite a while to reach Durdle Door. It was worth the effort, though, and we got some lovely photographs.

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Durdle Door (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

This is part of the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site with 185 million years of history. It’s also part of the Dorset Coast Path, which in turn is part of the 630-mile South-West Coast Path. And it truly is both beautiful and breathtaking.

I was quite hot and bothered by now, very red in the face, and I suspected I had blisters between my toes and on the soles of my feet. So being the big wuss that I am, we went back to the car and back to the campsite.

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Durdle Door (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

It’s worth noting, if ever you’re visiting the region by car, that if you pay for the car park down in Lulworth Cove, it also gives you parking for Durdle Door, and vice versa.

It’s a bit pricey, though, but that made it more reasonable – but I still think it’s expensive.

We did go back to Lulworth Cove a day or so later, and we had a rather lovely Dorset cream tea.