- 3 days
About the challenge
Stretching 95 miles between Old Harry Rocks at Studland in Dorset, to Orcombe Point at Exmouth in East Devon, the Jurassic Coast – England’s first Natural World Heritage Site – is the most geologically diverse coastline in the world. The exposed cliff sections allow you to look back through 185 million years of time; dinosaur remains have been found here, and it’s a fossil-hunter’s paradise. With a more recent history of mining, shipwrecks and smuggling, this is a fascinating stretch of coastline. We take in some of its most spectacular scenery, from the clear blue sea to the rugged cliffs and green hills inland, to the beautiful circular Lulworth Cove, as we continually climb and descend the steep hills of the Jurassic Coast. This is a long, strenuous day on demanding terrain!
Dates & prices
|Departs||Days||Charity||Availability||Registration fee||Fundraising target||Payment option|
|08 May 2015||3||Open challenge||Spaces||£75||+||£460||Or||£230||Book now|
|11 Sep 2015||3||Open challenge||Spaces||£75||+||£440||£220||Book now|
|06 May 2016||3||Open challenge||Spaces||£75||+||£460||£230||Book now|
|09 Sep 2016||3||Open challenge||Spaces||£75||+||£460||£230||Book now|
We meet early near Lulworth Cove and transfer approx. 1 hour to Durlston Head, a Country Park on the cliffs above Swanage, for the start of our hiking challenge. This headland juts south and it’s not unusual to see migrating dolphins passing by in early summer. Setting off, we can pause at the impressive Globe, an enormous limestone sphere measuring 3m in diameter, engraved with an 1880s world map. There are fabulous views from the Globe, and they will accompany us as we walk west for our long day along the hilly coastline.
This area was long used for mining the famous Purbeck Marble and Portland Stone, and we see plenty of evidence of the activity as we pass old quarries and remains of huts along our way. The stone was often lowered by crane and taken away by boat, and you can still see ‘rut-ways’ cut into the rock-bed at spots like the beautiful Dancing Ledge, where there’s also a boat-sized hole cut into the lower ledge. Smuggling stories abound in this area and the rocky coastline had a large number of shipwrecks.
We continue west, over slopes cut into distinctive lynchets, or terraces, dating from medieval times – this enabled the steep slopes to be farmed. Our route dips down to reveal small bays and ledges with access to the sea, before climbing sharply up again. Seagulls, cormorants and guillemots wheel overhead and either side of the path wild flowers grow in abundance. As we pass the large quarry at Winspit, we climb gradually to St Alban’s Head, with its tiny, atmospheric Norman chapel perched on the headland. From here we plunge steeply downhill, aided by steps cut into the turf, and enjoy great views of the beautiful turquoise-blue Chapman’s Pool below us. Climbing sharply up again, we can see Kimmeridge Bay in the distance. This part of the trek has some flatter sections, and we can enjoy the views as Kimmeridge, with its distinctive Clavell Tower, draws nearer. The bay is home to the most amazing rock-pools and, tide and time permitting, you may wish to pause for a paddle or to look for fossils.
It’s not long before we enter Lulworth Ranges – land used as Army firing ranges. Not always open, this region is abundant in flora and fauna that, despite the military presence, has been protected from the development of farming, building and roads. It’s also notable for its steep sections as we follow the contours of the cliffs, but the remarkable views over Worbarrow Bay are worth the effort!
Continuing, there are more steep sections before us, but we are approaching the famous Lulworth Cove and the end of our challenging day. Our first view of this almost perfectly circular bay is breathtaking. The cove was formed by glacial waters melting on the way out to sea, and this area of the Jurassic Coast is a geologist’s dream. We have time to take in the amazing twisted rock layers around the cove before reaching the finish line and celebrating our big achievement.
Trek approx 19 miles
Discover Adventure reserves the right to change the route or itinerary for safety reasons should local conditions dictate.
The tour cost includes a transfer to the trek start point, lunch, and snacks and water en-route. It also includes full trip support of experienced Discover Adventure leaders.
The tour cost does not include personal travel insurance (optional), extra food, drinks, souvenirs or personal items, car parking, or entry to any optional tourist sites you may wish to visit. We strongly recommend you carry a credit card in case of personal emergency.
A packed lunch will be included, as well as snacks and water at checkpoints along the way.
Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat you may wish to bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply. Always ask for our advice.
Discover Adventure Crew
Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders. Our leaders are selected for their experience in harsh wilderness environments, knowledge of travel in remote areas, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises. You are in very safe hands with a Discover Adventure leader.
All our leaders are from the UK or other English-speaking countries. Most work for us on an ad-hoc basis and have ‘real’ jobs in-between trips! We never send our leaders to the same destination for months on end – we want them to be as enthusiastic about your trip as you are. The number of crew and support vehicles looking after you will depend on the final size of your group, but the team will be looking after every aspect of your trip. At Discover Adventure we pride ourselves on our high leader: trekker ratio and believe it leads to greater trip enjoyment as well as excellent trip safety.
You should bring a small daypack to carry for items needed during the day as you will not have access to your main luggage until the evening.
Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with emergency mobile phones, first-aid kits and radios and other safety apparatus where necessary. They always have access to our 24-hour emergency UK back-up. Our leaders are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration – such as compulsory medical questionnaires – is all done with your safety in mind.
Preparing for the challenge
We trek mainly on the coastal path, which ranges from grassy or stony paths to wide dusty tracks; there are some tarmac road sections and gravel tracks. There are many steep inclines both up and down along the cliff tops – these are usually relatively short sections, but there is little flat. The environment we walk through needs the respect of all its users to be preserved. Please walk on the path surface rather than on the vegetation growing beside it, don’t remove stones from the paths and don’t take short-cuts. Please follow the Countryside Code.
You will trek approximately 21-22 miles on this trip overall. Because of the varied terrain, it’s more useful when training to think about the hours you need to walk for, and the type of terrain you will be trekking over! This is a very challenging day trek which we anticipate will take most people of good fitness between 9-12 hours to complete. We are always happy to talk through the trip in more detail with you if you are worried about your fitness at any stage.
Even in the summer months we can be exposed to rain, strong winds and storms. Be prepared for any weather! You will need appropriate, good quality footwear and clothing to cope with the weather conditions.
Clothing & Equipment
We are travelling through varied terrain and could be exposed to bad weather at any time. The information below gives you an idea of the climate, but be prepared for all weathers and temperatures. Weather conditions can change quickly in the UK! We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice.
Our challenges attract people of all levels of experience and fitness, all ages and backgrounds. We expect all participants to train hard in advance to achieve this challenge, but we respect everyone’s limits. We design our challenges so that everyone can go at their own pace: this is not a race. For logistical and safety reasons we sometimes need to re-group, so the front-runners may find themselves waiting for the slower ones. Please relax, and remember that this is a team effort that enables people to achieve their personal goals and earn sponsorship.
We insist that you have had a tetanus injection in the last 10 years.
Worldwide Sustainable Tourism
Long before ‘Responsible Tourism’ became a recognised phrase, we designed and ran our trips to ensure they made minimum impact on the environment and a positive impact on the local communities we pass through.
Discover Adventure Projects
We are supporting a tree-planting project in Peru and a children’s home in Tanzania on a long-term basis. If you would like to ‘give something back’ please consider donating £5 to our projects when you sign up. Please see our website for more details.
We encourage all our customers to offset emissions connected with their trip. You can offset at any time in the lead-up to departure by visiting Climate Care via our website and making a donation to a worthwhile project supported by them. Alternatively, if you wish to take more practical action in the UK you can volunteer for a day with The Conversation Volunteers and work on an environmental project local to you. Work may include construction footpaths, dry stone walling, creating wildlife habitats or planting trees in your community. Volunteer today at www.tcv.org.uk or call 01302 388883.
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