Solo Adventure - Jurassic Coast

With the ever changing year that 2020 has become more and more people are searching for ways to challenge themselves, this could continue for a while. Is it time to start planning your next solo adventure? Check out Darren's adventure on the Jurassic Coast;

Due to the lack of running events during 2020 I decided to organise my own. Most of the events I have attended have been in other parts of the country, so I decided to organise one for myself (could not convince anyone else to join me) on my doorstep.

Jurassic Coastal Path Run

The Run

Take the train to Weymouth and then run back along the South West Coastal Path towards Swanage.  I wasn’t sure how far I could get but it would be good to get to Swanage. Research lead me to a great site for planning any part of the 630 miles of pathway.

The day of the run arrived, and the train for Weymouth leaves Branksome station at 6:16am. Porridge eaten and gear together, I headed for the station. A comfortable 52 minute train ride later, and I arrive at Weymouth.

Once I started running, the situation challenging the world melted away, no masks, friendly nods and greetings from like minded people all out enjoying the weather. 

I very nearly forgot to set Strava to record my run, once that was set I was jogging past the Jubilee Clock Tower and along the esplanades. The sun peeped above the horizon and then made a dash for the cloudless sky, I could not believe how lucky I was with the weather.

As I climbed away from Weymouth towards Osmington Mills the six cruise ships in the bay became clearer, the only reminder of the uncertain times.

Cruise Ships at Sea Jurassic Path

I was determined to get to Lulworth Cove before 10:00am, so I pressed on past White Nothe, Bat’s Head and Scratchy Bottom, finally reaching Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove with time to spare. Then I entered the Lulworth ranges. This is when the climbs got much tougher and the snacking started to become more frequent. Staying hydrated wasn’t an issue, however the 2 1/2 litres I was carrying needed to see me to the end.

Onwards past Arish Mell, up and over Flower’s Barrow and round Tyneham Beach. With views like that I did not care that I wasn’t exactly setting any PBs out there, stopping all too often to take a picture of another stunning view.

Passing through Hobarrow Bay meant that Kimmeridge was near, up to Clavell Tower and then onward to Chapmans Pool.

Looking down at the see from the cliffs I could not help but notice the different shades of blues and greens changing depending on the cloud coverage. The wind made its presence felt at St Aldhelm’s Head, lucky for me (and in particular my legs) it was blowing me along the coast towards home.

It was great to see so many rock climbers testing themselves on the routes in and around Winspit Quarry and to see free divers taking the plunge off Dancing Ledge. By now I was beginning to run out of snacks, (note to self, more snacks next time). I had forgotten how much I’d eaten at stations when attending organised events.

Lulworth Caves Winspit Swanage Jurassic Dorset

Anvil point came into view, which meant the next land mark was Durlston Country Park, this was to be the finish as I was now starting to run out of water (since finishing the run I have been reliably informed that a tap exists behind the ice cream shop on the hill just up from the Globe).

Thankfully I had messaged ahead and my wife was waiting with a flask of tea and much needed snacks.

The messages of encouragement received from friends and family along the way were very much appreciated.

What a fantastic route, always wanted to do this, would I do it again? Yes, but with more snacks and a goal to go further and explore more of this gorgeous coastline, perhaps turn right at the Jubilee Clock Tower instead of left and see where I end up.

Jubilee Clock Tower

Statistics

Distance: 30.60 miles | Elevation gain: 5,518 ft | Max Elevation: 556 ft | Duration: 9:01:00


About the Author
DARREN SMITH
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