Mr TS and I reached quite a milestone this week, on 6th August we celebrated 20 years of marriage – we thought it deserved marking in a special, memory making way! Several ideas were considered and abandoned; nothing felt quite right, was too far for one day or required tickets booking in advance which required us to be organised, which we’re not. So, on the morning of our anniversary, cup of tea in hand, I flicked through the National Trust Handbook and found the perfect place We love walking, we love the sea and we love Dorset; the Golden Cap Walk ticked all our boxes!
Two and a quarter miles doesn’t sound very far, and under normal circumstances we would scamper that distance in no time, but Golden Cap is quite a climb and it was baking hot, by the time we reached the top I was an unattractive puce. Luckily, after twenty years of marriage, he’s seen me in various shades and wasn’t taken aback by my resemblance to a beetroot on this occasion. I didn’t take as many pictures as I usually do because I wanted to imprint the walk on my mind in a way that doesn’t happen if you are looking through the lens. You’ll have to believe me when I tell you that the views back towards Charmouth and Bridport were stunning, that the sun shining on the sea was beautiful and that the rolling Dorset countryside was food for the soul.
We wandered through dingly dells and over wooden troll bridges, we strolled through meadow land and climbed up steps and steep hillside. The wildflowers waved their beautiful heads in the gentle sea breeze and we turned our faces towards it too cool them. I was probably the colour of this bell heather.
This cold-blooded chap was taking advantage of the sunshine to warm himself and I longed to be as cool and relaxed as he was.
The temptation to walk through this gateway and climb down St Gabriel’s steps to the beach below to throw myself into the sea was very hard to resist, but we had come to climb Golden Cap so we pressed on.
The last steep climb was hard work, winding our way up the hillside hand in hand, stopping to gaze back the way we had come and trying to catch that elusive breeze. As we neared the top all we could see above us was sky but as we reached the brow of the hill, and the breathtaking view was revealed, what had already been a glorious walk along the South West Coast Path turned into a day to remember.
Memories made. It doesn’t get much better than this.
We resolved to return with the children because this is too good a place not to share.
If you’re looking for more things to do in Dorset you could Visit Compton Acres Gardens, Take A Boat Trip to Brownsea Island or have a wander around Tout Quarry Sculpture Park and meander along Chesil Beach.
We parked at Stonebarrow car park which has a small National Trust shop, information centre and toilets in the old radar station. There is a Smuggler’s Trail on Stonebarrow Hill for children which we blissfully ignored on this occasion but may return to do with the 8 year old shortly! The Golden Cap Estate is managed by the National Trust and has 25 miles of footpaths to explore. We will be back!