Our first full day at Charmouth and whole new stretch of coast to investigate. We decided to come out in sympathy with the airlines not adding to the carbon dioxide emissions by not using our car and walking from the campsite. Our intended target was Golden Cap, about 4 miles away. Golden Cap is, apparently, “the highest ground between The Wash and Land’s End”. So, much of that 4 miles would be up and the climb up would doubtless make us puff but the views should be worth it.
We began by following the “Coast Path Diversion” signs quite a distance inland as it avoids a considerable stretch of eroding Charmouth coast now deemed too dangerous for Joe Public. Naturally in a land of rolling hills you have to climb the heights several times rather than just once but it’s all good exercise. After a considerable amount of puffing, panting and pausing for breath we reached the summit: 631 feet according to my Garmin GPS device for walkers who like technological toys.
The views would have been worth it were it not for the fact that we were suffering from a heck of a lot of haze, today in particular. We’ve had quite a few days with surrounding haze and, though no commentators have mentioned it, I’m beginning to wonder if it has anything to do with that nasty volcano thingy blowing its top in Iceland. No, probably not. I did, however, get a chance to look down on a soaring buzzard, which is not something I’ve managed to do before. Maybe I should have lugged the big lens up with me. Nah!
We had chosen to go by an inland route and return along what remains of the Coastal Path. It wasn’t very much; after about 2 miles we were encouraged back inland and ended up on our outbound inland route. Never mind, it was all very pleasant and allowed us to call in to The Royal Oak pub in Charmouth for a very fine pint of Palmers “200” (5.0% – at last, a beer with a decent gravity). It seems that King Charles II stayed in Charmouth having escaped in 1651; escaped from what I’m afraid my history does not recall. Duh!
We returned to Billy having tromped up and down for 8½ miles.
We needed supplies and zoomed off 4 miles or so into Axminster, famous for high quality carpets for hundreds of years and for Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s (sp?) River Cottage Canteen for the last few years. Incidentally, I wonder how Hugh’s mother sewed his name tags into his clothing at school? With a name that long the shirts wouldn’t have been wide enough. But I digress …
We wandered into the Minster church to be greeted by something I’ve never before seen in any church: a carpeted floor! Only in Axminster.