8/11/11. This was supposed to be another Berrys trip, but they cancelled the day before. So I drove to near the Ferrybridge. That pub was closed, it was 10:40, so we strolled along the causeway towards Portland. We had been able to see this large rock for most of our walk and we were now starting to look up at it. Arriving into the town of Portland, past the buildings for the Olympics, Chesil Beach was also getting larger.

It was only 11:10 on a wet November Tuesday morning, but the Little Ship was open. Two pints of Doom Bar for £5.80. The locals thought that we had come to burgle their houses, but they were chatty nevertheless. Then it was on to the Cove House Inn.

A slightly more upmarket pub right on the beach. A Ringwood Best (3.8%) and Broadside (4.7%) for £6.40. Two pints before midday wasn't a bad start. As we left to start the climb upwards, so the weather closed in. By the time we were on top, it was wet and windy. We decide to go around clockwise. The old quarries and military buildings made it feel quite desolate and bleak. The path stays on top most of the way until we reached Church Ope Cove.

They do like their sheds on Portland. It was then on to Portland Bill.

The sign encouragingly tells us that we had only done 49 miles with 581 to go. So we carry on back up the west side.

The rain had stopped now, but the path down into Portland town was still a little tricky. This place was closed on the way in, but that was three and a half hours earlier and we were thirsty again.

The sign says Royal Victoria Lounge, but it might be called the Masons and Mariners. No real ale, so we had to settle for a John Smiths and Guinness for £6.20. The current landlord and a previous bankrupt one had an acrimonious discussion while we were there. Then it was back across the causeway to the Ferrybridge Inn for two pints of Bombardier (4.1%) at £6.20.


20/10/11. Berrys to Weymouth for the day was the plan. We arrived on time only to be told that the driver wanted to leave early again. We continued along from where the path leaves the roadside and followed the beach towards the Esplanade. As the title of the blog shows, we only feel the need to visit pubs and not every bar. But differentiating between the two would be today's challenge. Moby Dicks claimed to be a pub, so in we went.

Once down inside it, it felt like a pub too. Cornish Coaster (3.6%) and Doom Bar (4%)  for £5.95 was a pleasant morning start. On we went, past some bars, until we came to the Dorothy Inn. Sounds like a pub, so in we go.

It was more like a bar on the inside, bleak with some real ale things on the wall, but no real ale. Taunton and Addlestones Cloudy cider for £6.40 was quickly quaffed as we moved on. We went past some more bars before coming to the ferry crossing. I thought that the official path might take us across there, but instead signs directed us down Custom House Quay. The George Inn was next.

A nice pub busy with locals and tourists. We had Copper Ale (3.6%) and Doom Bar for £5.50 and should have had something to eat, but we pressed on. The Ship Inn was not very far away.

A Hall and Woodhouse place, but the beer was alright. Fursty Ferret (4.4%) and Badger (4%) for £6.40. Next door, underneath some scaffolding, was the Royal Oak.

It wasn't welcoming on the inside either. I had to convince the barmaid that my pint was no good and so we both ended up having Ammonites (4.2%) for £6.20. Then it was on across the bridge to the Kings Arms.

The barmaid seemed a little disinterested here too. A Flying Scotsman (4%) and Directors (4.8%) for £6.10 ensued. Six pints/pubs in a little over two hours on an empty stomach was taking its toll by now. I needed some fresh air and so we pushed on towards Nothe and Portland Harbour. We went a little astray when we ignored a sign saying that the path was closed some 400m ahead and we ended up scrambling onto the beach before rejoining the path. On arrival at the Ferrybidge, we decided to get the bus back to our coach home. After all we had to get back for skittles that night.

Lulworth Cove to Weymouth

I cut the car journey a bit fine, but we made it to Wool Station just in time to catch the bus to Lulworth. A fare of £1 was a bargain. So we set-off up the conspicuous path towards Durdle Door at about 9:40. A few ups and downs later, not as bad as the previous legs, we coasted down to Osmington Mills at midday.

The Smugglers Inn is another Hall and Woodhouse pub, but it was in a pleasant spot with the path going through the beer garden. Fursty Ferret (4.4%) and Tanglefoot (5%) for £6.20. Then it was onwards towards Weymouth. We went past the holiday camp and stopped off at the Spyglass Inn at Overcombe just after 1pm. It didn't look very promising from the outside, but the Brains SA (4.2%) and Bombardier (4.1%) were ok and we made pigs of ourselves with the cheap carvery.

Feeling a bit bloated, we strolled along the sea front as far as the aquarium before catching the X53 bus back to Wool.

Houns-Tout to Lulworth

17/9/11, I think, we drove to West Lulworth. From there it was a bike ride to Stoborough, bus up to Kingston and walk back along the ridge to Houns-Tout.

We overtook some Duke of Edinburgh walkers saying that they were never doing this again as we headed down towards Kimmeridge Bay, past an oil well and into the Army firing ranges. We kept to the marked tracks, but not all the sheep did. Some of them didn't seem too bothered about being close to the cliff edge either. The scenery was good despite the military hardware and signs. The steep climb up to an older fort at Flower's Barrow was rewarded with spectacular views.

The ups and downs continued as the path started to become less well-trodden. We then took a steep narrow path down to Mupe Bay.

As we left the ranges, the footpath signs disappeared as we had to guess the route around Lulworth Cove. We had only found two pubs on the path so far, so Bishop's Bar (2 x Piddle 4.1% £7.20)
and the Lulworth Cove Inn (I've forgotten what we had already, but it was two real ales for six quid something) benefited from the lack of footpath signs and counted as being on the path.
Then it was a short walk back to West Lulworth and a drive to pick the bikes up.

Swanage to Houns-Tout

A drive to Swanage on 11/9/11 enabled us to re-start the walk. No pubs on the front, although the Ship nearly is, so we walked on. Sid was taken by surprise and received a wet foot, but it didn't bother him as much as his hangover. On through Durlston Country Park and pass the various quarry ledges. Pretty scenery, but the hills after St Aldhelm's started to take their toll. As we approached Chapman's Pool we had to decide our route back to Swanage. One more hill we thought. Houns-tout is quite steep and so that was enough to make us head back.

The route along the ridge to Kingston is straight forward and we called into the Scott Arms for a well deserved pint. The intention was to catch the bus back to Swanage, but on arrival at the bus stop a sign said that the buses were not passing there on that day. So we continued down to Harman's Cross by which time Sid was ready to get the train to Swanage and the Ship.

South Haven Point to Swanage

We caught the Berrys to Bournemouth. Then it was an open top bus through leafy suburbs and Sandbanks to the ferry. August Bank Holiday traffic had already put us behind and the coach driver wanted us back early, but we finally set off at 12:50 along the beaches of Studland.

Pub number one was appreciated on a warm day. The signs gave us a choice of another stretch of beach or a pint. So the Bankes Arms at 13:45 it was. It was busy with plastic glasses. However we had nice pints of Purbeck IPA (4.8%) and Pig on the Wall (4.3%) for £7 in the beer garden.

The next leg took us over the headland and down into Swanage where we came across the Crow's Nest an hour later on the outskirts of Swanage. The friendly staff served us with Ringwood Best (3.8%) and Adnam's Broadside (4.7%) for £6.20.

This only left time for a brisk ten minute walk into Swanage and the bus back to Poole.