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Hiking Weekend - Dorset Coast

  • Sep 28, 2013 · 8:00 AM
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The Summer is coming to an end, the days are shortening and many of us have used up all of our holidays.  However, the sea is at warm as it gets, our fitness is at a peak, the tourist hordes have dissipated and the weather at this time of the year is often perfect for some brisk coastal hiking, so let's head off to Dorset for the weekend!

We leave London early on Saturday and return late on Sunday, but we'll pack enough in for it to feel like a proper break and no holidays will be required for most of us!

This coastline is famed for it's scenery of majestic cliffs, spectacular rock formations and sheltered bays, as well as fossil deposits and having the most sunshine in he UK.

The group size is limited to only 12 and I am hoping for close to 12 nationalities to come along!


We will stay overnight at the youth hostel in Swanage, which is on the "Jurassic Coast" section of the South West Coast path and famed for it's lovely beaches and impressive cliffs.  We have two of our own private LEC rooms reserved.   Note that you will be sharing with up to 5 other group members and sleeping in bunks.


We'll travel on the 08:35 train from Waterloo to Wareham and then take the #40 bus to Kingston, from where we will start the hiking at around 11:30.

We will return from Bournemouth directly by train on Sunday evening - we are unlikely to get to Waterloo before 22:30.


The emphasis of the weekend is moderately strenuous hiking, but it will also be a sociable trip, with stops to enjoy the views, including the world-renowned geological formations, photography and for the all important bathing opportunities!

On Sat, we'll hike around 10 miles, taking in several stiff climbs, a lot of rugged clifftop scenery and the chance to dive straight into the sea from the rocks at Dancing Ledge.

There are very limited refreshment venues on this hike, so bring food and drink with you - we will stop for a picnic around 14:00.

In the evening, we will head into town for a restaurant / pub meal and if we have the energy, there are plenty of venues for further socialising.

On Sun, it's a very different 12 mile hike onwards to Bournemouth, with the highlights being the clifftop view at Ballard Point, Harry's Rocks, the beaches and heathland of Studland and the the promenade into Bournemouth.  Neeless to say, there will be another opportunity to dip our toes and we will stop for a pub lunch.


£65, which includes led hikes on each day, the return train and bus fares and one night B&B at the hostel.  Payment instructions will be provided when you RSVP.


It is advised to travel light, as we will be hiking with our luggage on both days.  The hostel has a drying room, so wet clothing can be dried.  Bedding is provided, but bring your own towel.  The hikes are not very long (max 12 miles per day), but this is a very hilly area, the clifftop coastline that we will be hiking along for considerable lengths is fully exposed to the weather and some scrambling over rocks is involved, so appropriate hiking equipment / clothing and adequate levels of fitness are required.  If you have walking poles, it is advised to bring them with you.

The hostel has the usual selection of board games, but please do bring along any games you can easily carry that are suitable for the train journeys and / or beach - I will bring Scrabble and a Frisbee.









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  • Uli

    Great weekend!

    October 4, 2013

  • Elisa

    5 STAR for overall choice of rout in fantastic surroundings, fun adventurous physically strenuous (!) execution, easily sociable team (your choice of quiet or vibrant company - to suit all moods - "Go LEC team!")
    Andy is an easy going organizer which allows for the adventures nature of his trips (I've been to 2).
    Organization OK, not exceeding expectations. A small hick up with lack of interim stops/really points which were not distributed, distances were massively misstated in the invite, different paces/strengths of team-members were not accommodated for, organizer held on to tickets and cash yet was relaxed about keeping with the group.

    All credit for patience to more fit team-members for waiting for those like me lagging behind. I'd recommend taking own map (photo of map?), holding on to the return train ticket and have a spare cash and battery in your phone just in case.

    September 30, 2013

    • Maja

      There is no controversy, just clarification on the issue of tickets, what it means to walk as a group/team as opposed to individually, decision making process, making choices....leading to life concepts which may be different for different people...

      October 1, 2013

    • Andy

      I suggest that we take any further discussion on this subject off-line. I do appreciate all honest feedback and will strive to incorporate any learnings on future trips, whilst aiming to keep a flexible, fun and relaxed feel to the event. I personally had not only a physically challenging weekend, but also one that was an amazing life-affirming experience - a large part of that was due to the interactions with everyone else on the trip, so thanks again for coming along!

      October 1, 2013

  • Susana F.


    September 30, 2013

  • Lotta

    Special highlights for me were the stunning views of old Harry's rocks, Purbeck ice cream, swimming in a rock pool with a built in wave machine, the conga line through the cobbled street in Swanage, coasteering, feeling one with nature when venturing through fields of heather and marshes to reach a mysterious rock formation and walking along Poole's beaches. Thanks Andy and everyone else for an amazing weekend (and especially for the singing:-))!

    1 · September 30, 2013

  • Andy

    A fantastically active weekend with more action and excitement than most fortnight holidays I have ever been on. Thanks to everyone for making it such a memorable trip!

    September 30, 2013

  • Ricky

    thanks very much

    September 30, 2013

  • Emmylou

    I'd give this six stars if I could. Thanks Andy and everyone else for making it such a great weekend. From the views to the food and the scrambles and dancing... And the swim to beat all swims!

    1 · September 30, 2013

  • Maja

    "LEC laughs in the face of dead ends" is our moto of the month. Loved Harry and his wives, spectacular scenery, fresh seafood (yum), dancing the night away I felt like a groupie in front of the band, the sunshine and our little group against the beautiful backdrop.
    Andy you are the master of amazing weekends, may there be many more to come.

    September 30, 2013

  • Kuldip

    I'm sorry folks. I was really looking forward to this trip but can no longer make it! I'll have to see Dorset another time! :'(

    September 27, 2013

  • Ana

    :( I can't join you that weekend... :( Have fun!!

    September 19, 2013

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