I had an awesome walk along the coast yesterday, the first for what seems a long time! The reason is that the Sandbanks Ferry has been out of action for months, and whilst I don’t necessarily need to use the ferry to reach this part of the coast, if the ferry is out then everyone who needs to access the ‘Isle’ of Purbeck has to re-route through Wareham, causing a huge bottle neck that I prefer to avoid. I’m glad to say, the ferry is back and operational again now!
Unfortunately, it was a very overcast day, and there was a biting wind blowing as I started the climb up onto the ridge towards Swyre Head. Mind you, these wintry conditions do bring out the character of these hills and to be honest, I like it when I am togged up for the cold!
Even on this chalk ridge which is fairly well drained, there was fungi to be seen. I managed to get a low enough viewpoint so that I could get the sheep and the distant view of Poole Harbour in the picture.
After just a few miles I decided to stop at Heaven’s Gate to put on an extra layer……no, I wasn’t dead, it is the name that is given to this part of the ridge, and the name that is carved on the walker’s gate that you go through to take you on to Swyre Head. The picture at the top of this post is the view that you get from this point, so just looking out onto that amazing landscape made me feel I was in heaven!
It was at this point that I bumped into an old friend, the emphasis being on the ‘friend’ rather than the ‘old’ I hasten to add, as least as far as he is concerned 🙂 ! I’m old-ish and I’m happy to admit it……although actually the ‘me’ inside still feels very young 🙂 !
When I saw the Land Rover in the distance coming up to the ridge, I assumed that it was the farmer coming to check on his sheep, until it stopped beside me and Gary got out. Now it’s always great to meet a friend by surprise, but this was even better because Gary had tea and home made Dorset apple cake (thanks Carol!) on board so suddenly he became an even better friend 🙂 ! We caught up as I warmed up with my steaming cup of tea!
Gary is Dorset born and bred like myself, and a few years ago he set up Jurassic Safari to take people to the hidden places of Dorset, the normally out of reach places unless you are a walker like me. Heaven’s Gate and Kimmeridge are just two of the many places that Gary, with his 4X4 can access……with the land owner’s permission of course. So if anyone out there fancies going off the beaten track to see amazing views like the one at the top of this post but is unable to walk there, then do check out Jurassic Safari. There is a link to their website here.
On this day, Gary had four passengers on board and they had other places to visit so we bade our farewells and he drove off along the ridge that I had just walked up. If the reviews on Trip Advisor are anything to go by, his four passengers will have loved the experience.
I, for my part, opened ‘Heaven’s Gate’ and continued on my way out to Swyre Head and then on to Kingston and beyond…..but that’s a story for another day.
Thanks for stopping by and reading my ramblings, and I hope you enjoy exploring with me.
Until next time,
The Dorset Rambler
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