WEST Dorset Ramblers are on a five-mile yomp from Bridport to West Bay.
Our group’s 14 strong, and sets off from Buckydoo Square with gusto. In the community orchard, we pause beside a bee sanctuary. Bzz!
We wander past Palmers Brewery. Grey mullet twitch and glide through the River Brit. A goat regards us with insolence. Sheep nibble at velvety green grass stretching all the way to the sea. Red Admirals colonise nodding boughs of lilac.
We hike past Eype Centre for the Arts and browse an exhibition of paintings of the Jurassic Coast. Outside, jaded fields thrust and rear up at dusty yellow cornfields. Distantly, a tractor ferries away haystacks. Unruly hedgerows toss and tumble at our shoulders.
Brambles and blackberries cling fiercely to our sleeves. Through a tiny hamlet of rose-covered cottages, we wend our way down towards Eype Beach.
We huff and puff up cliffs towards West Bay, boycotting steep edges crumbling down on both sides. September sun gleams on pewter waters. A patina of undulating fields blurs into the horizon.
And there’s West Bay – small, hewn, as if a hot butter-knife’s side-swiped soft clay cliffs. As we descend, twin groynes jut out, the sea’s lacy frills simpering at shingly beaches.
I only moved here 2 weeks ago. It’s wonderful to wander round my home, like a tourist. We stop for ice creams, and gaze at gulls, and cliffs, and Bridport’s tiny harbour.
Then we cut through the caravan site and tramp back to town, following the the River Brit, where the mullet are still at it…
…and ducks bob up and down. Knackered, we flop into the pub for rejuvenating pints.
West Dorset Ramblers have one last walk chalked up for 2012. We leave at 2.30pm sharp on Sunday, 30 September, from Buckydoo Square. Will you be coming too?