If I could have a little summer house anywhere I wanted, I’d build one behind Heaven’s Gate in Kimmeridge. And I would not mind the hike to get in and out each time.
Apparently designed for ‘softies’, the walk up and down Kimmeridge Bay is one of my favourites in southern England.
We started with lunch at Clavell’s Cafe, topped with a tub of salted caramel Purbeck ice cream (the best ice cream in the UK, if you ask me). Armed with an unnecessary amount of sugar, I was ready for the seven-mile stroll.
It’s a bit of a steep hike up at first, but the view is worth it. There is the clear blue water with dramatic clifftops on one side and endless fields with sheep carelessly munching on the bright green grass and overlooking Corfe Castle on the other.
The walk then goes through thigh-high grassland. Occasionally nettle, too – shorts might have not been the smartest idea.
It’s all gorgeous, though, and smells like childhood in the countryside. Walking right by the edge of the hill is breezy and just a little bit worrying as the cracks on the ground mark the path all the way down to the bay. The cliff is falling off little by little and there’s clear evidence – this old piece of railway definitely had a different direction in mind…
And the Clavell Tower had to be moved further inland as the land where it was first raised started giving in.
As the walk goes on, there’s more high grass, thistle, nettle and wild cabbage, and it’s so pretty.
Going down the hill to the bay is borderline suicidal; not sure the steep steps were taken into account when describing the walk as ‘for softies.’ But the bay is beautiful and we set out to look for fossils.
On the way back, we walked through a field full of sheep, all of them a little curious about us, but too busy eating to do anything about it. Apart from one, a particularly feisty fluffball, which clearly didn’t appreciate the way we interrupted their tea. It followed us and meeehed angrily until we were far enough.
Perfect walk on a perfect day.