13 -15 July 2011, Dorset

Present: Claire (organiser), Alan, Maggie, Paula, Dave, Pokey, Annie, Izzy, Bruce, Sarah

Location: Northdown Farm Campsite, Dorset

As the weather forecast for the weekend deteriorated, so did the numbers on this trip. It did not seem possible as we left Newbury in shorts and tshirts after a week of glorious sunshine that the forecast could be right. But by the time we were passing Bournemouth the rain started, and by the time we got to the campsite it was heavy rain and gales. Pokey, Annie and Izzy who had been here for the week in the heatwave, watched as we struggled and swore doing battle with the tents. Sarah and Bruce had decided not to come this evening, but eventually for the rest of us the chores were done and we were drinking wine and beer in Pokey and Annie’s dry tent, and the world seemed a better place.

The enthusiasm for the planned long energetic coastal walk was somewhat missing in the morning, but by about 11am it was agreed that Claire, Alan, Paula, Dave and Maggie would walk about 3 miles to The Smugglers Inn. However, by the time we reached there, the rain had stopped, and we dared take our waterproofs off and carried on walking. By mid afternoon the sun was out, and we ended up having a long and enjoyable walk along the coastal path between Ringstead and Bowleaze, stopping at the pub along the way, and finishing at the campsite’s local pub, the Springhead. By the time we returned to the campsite Sarah and Bruce were there with their tent up, and we were able to BBQ and have a big campfire (one of the advantages of this brilliant one month only site) on this dry and warm evening.

The fine weather continued into Sunday, and Maggie was keen to lead a short walk. Only Alan and Claire took up her offer, but it was a lovely walk with great views along the ridge behind the campsite, taking in the Osmington white horse, and we ended back in the pub for a late Sunday lunch.

All in all, not a bad weekend – and a lesson that you should never take the weather forecast too seriously – you never know what you’re going to get!!!


Claire White

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