Mileaters Walk around
East Chaldon. 6.13 miles
It was lucky that our walk was on Friday 11th June as the previous day the sea fog was so thick we would not have seen a view let alone our own feet. But with sunshine and a light breeze, 23 walkers and 4 dogs set off from the Sailor's Return (the pub, although shut, had very generously allowed us to park there) and climbed up to join the coastal route at Dagger's Gate. A wonderful walk along beautiful grassy paths listening to skylarks above and admiring carpets of wildflowers beneath our feet took us past Scratchy Bottom. This apparently has less to do with itchy posteriors and more to the problem of scratching a living in the poor soil in the past.
We stopped for coffee and the heartier members dropped down to the edge of the cliffs to admire the view of Durdle Door. It is said that this is where Hardy set the terrible scene in Far From The Madding Crowd, where Gabriel Oak's dog chased his sheep over the cliff to the sea below. Our dogs were much better behaved and we moved on to turn back inland until a very steep chalk track split the group into two with some climbing up and others taking a longer but more level route. We regrouped at our cars and decamped to the Red Lion pub in Winfrith Newburgh for a hearty lunch. Special thanks to our Group Leader Nick for helping us on our first organised walk - we needed it!
Sue and Louis