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Wednesday, 13 February 2019

South West Coast Path - Langton Herring to Weymouth

View across the Fleet

A 10 mile walk along the South West Coast Path between Langton Herring and Weymouth

An easy walk following Chesil Beach through to Weymouth. The path follows the contours of the land keeping close to the shore. At Weymouth the eastern coastline spreads out eastwards presenting the next challenge.

This section of the South West Coast Path was set around a base camp at the Bagwell touring site at Langton Herring. This site is close to the road into Weymouth providing easy access to public transport and close to the Coast Path with footpaths leading down to the trail just below Langton Herring village. The path follows the waterline of the Fleet, the enclosed waters that sit between the mainland and Chesil Beach, the large shingle Bank that stretches all the way through to Portland, the island at the southern tip of Weymouth.

The path cuts across a small headland known as Herbury and then past Moonfleet Manor House a large 30 room Georgian building used as a hotel and spa. The house is the central location for the namesake novel by J. Mead Faulkner set in times when piracy and smuggling abounded. The name of the house is derived from Maximillion Mohune who built the house, literally Mohunes of Fleet which was corrupted to Moonfleet.

The walk is easy and relaxed with no real challenges, more like an amble in the park rather than a hike along the South West Coast Path. Given a glorious sunny day such as that when this instance of the walk was undertaken, it really is an utter pleasure to wander.

The path on this section ends at Ferry Bridge, the connecting point between the mainland and Portland where a road leads across to the island via the Ferry Bridge. The Ferry Bridge Inn stood here, in a prominent position with views across to Portland and westwards along the Fleet. One would have thought such a position would deem it to be a busy pub but certainly this was not the case on visiting during this walk when we were the only patrons. The pub has since closed and has subsequently been demolished.

The coast path continues with a circular walk around Portland. That is a section left for another walk day and detailed on Portland Circular Walk. For this walk we continue into Weymouth town, following the route of the former Portland Branch Line. The path diverges from the old trackbed at the Nothe Peninsular where a 19th century fort sits at its head. This peninsular forms a natural harbour on its northern side where the River Wey drains into the sea. One one can walk up to the Town Bridge to cross the river, but it is much more fun to take the ferry and witness the numerous sailing craft moored on either side. A fish eye view of the river. Well a sailors eye view anyway. On this expedition the Pelican sailing ship was moored in the harbour. Built in 1948 this tall ship made its living as an arctic trawler before being restored in 2007 and subsequently used as a sail training ship. A magnificent sight.

The town of Weymouth sits on a sheltered bay at the mouth of the River Wey. It was built as a prominent seaport whose trade dates back to medieval times. In these modern times it thrives on tourism and is an unabashed, unashamed English seaside resort with all the connotations that one expects from such. Kiss me quick hats. Ice Cream. Sandy Beaches where holidaymakers soak up the sun. Not the place for the rural aficionado such as myself but nonetheless it still presents that sense of arrival. After walking the coast path from Exmouth, this is the first major town and such civilisation marks an arrival, a completion of a major section. Because Weymouth and Portland jut out into the English Channel the coast eastwards is always hidden from view when walking from the west. From Weymouth a whole new challenge is presented ahead with the coastline stretching around to Lulworth and Kimmeridge and beyond.

There are buses from Weymouth back to the campsite including the Jurassic Coast service which runs past the site entrance. Later buses run through to Chickerell which is a short one mile walk back to the campsite. On this occasion a later bus was caught which did present the unwitting passenger to the less salubrious side of the town where Feral youths stand in the road purposefully forcing the bus to stop with scowls on their faces and abusive words from their mouths and sign language that did not take someone who was proficient in such skills to interpret. It is a sad fact that such reprobates fail to see the beauty that is around them. This coast is a glory with so much to explore yet they appear to restrict themselves to the concrete urbanisation.

NOTE

This is a walk summary intended to provide the user with just the essential information in order to navigate the walk route. Fully detailed information notes, refreshment stops and walk features are not included in this. A full write up will be included in the near future.

South West Coast Path - Langton Herring and Weymouth - Essential Information

Walk Statistics:

Start point
Langton Herring View in OS Map | View in Google Map
End Point
Weymouth View in OS Map | View in Google Map
Total Walk distance
10 miles
Walk difficulty
Easy
Terrain
Level walking along footpaths
Obstacles
Easy walk throughout

Maps:

The following maps and services can assist in navigating this route. The links include published hard copy as well as online plots and downloadable GPX route data for importing into navigational software and apps.

Ordnance Survey Explorer Map
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Online Ordnance Survey Route
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Online OpenStreetMap Route
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Online Google Route
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ViewRanger App Route
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GPX data for route (download)

Accommodation:

Bagwell Farm Camp SiteView in OS Map | View in Google Map
Website
Description
Touring site close to the main road with easy access to the coast Path

Transport:

Details of public transport that is required for the walk

Traveline - Bus Service
Service Details
At the time of walking the X53 Jurassic Coastlinx service provide a link between Weymouth and Langton Herring. Local Weymouth buses also run out to Chickerell (First Group Service 8 at the time of walking). This is about a mile from the campsite. For the latest details of services and operators see the Traveline website
Timetable

Walk Data

Date of Walk
2010-06-22
Walk Time
11:30 to 16:00
Walkers
Griffmonster, Kat
Weather Conditions
Bright sunshine and hot

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