We really enjoyed our walk between Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door last weekend, so this week we decided to visit Ringstead Bay in Dorset which is part of the National Trust and South West coastal path. Just before we started out, I looked at which might be the best walk to do.
We all wanted to walk down to the bay at Ringstead, and from the National Trust car park we parked in, we had two options. We could either go from Ringstead Bay to Lulworth Cove which would take approximately 1.5 hours, or we could walk from Ringstead Bay to Osmington Mills which would be around 1 hour. As we wanted to walk along the beach, we opted to walk towards Osmington Mills.
If you get the chance to visit Ringstead I highly recommend it for the views alone. The Ringstead Bay National Trust car park is located approximately 450ft elevation in relation to the bay below. As I wanted some hill climbing practice for my Macmillan Trek this Summer, this hill was going to test us all as we walked back up it at the end of our walk.
Our walk to the bay took us via a farmhouse and past lots of sheep grazing in the fields. We were treated to some amazing views as we walked down the hill. Meeting up with the coastal path around two thirds down, we followed the path towards the bay and veered off again to walk along the shingles.
Leaving Ringstead beach a little later, we reunited ourselves with the coastal path that would lead us towards Osmington Mills. We were treated very well by the weather and the walk was very enjoyable in the sunshine.
Osmington Mills beach is accessible, however it’s full of boulders, so the walk along the path was preferable for us with the dog.
It was only a little breezy when we were exposed to the winds by the water, the rest of the time we were sheltered by trees. The walk itself is very picturesque as we walked past fields, through forest areas, but all the while we were confident on the path as the coastal path is very well signposted.
All in all it took us just over an hour to walk 2.2 miles from Ringstead Bay to Osmington Mills. The pace was a lot slower than my normal pace, however we were navigating shingle beach, and stopping for photos and playing with Lola.
We also had to navigate rough terrain in some parts, with inclines and descents. As we neared what we thought was Osmington Mills, we spotted a car park in the distance and decided to walk there before turning around and going back to the car.
We were in for a great surprise when we realised that the coastal path brought us out into the Smugglers Inn pub garden, right next to Osmington Mills carpark. What a great excuse to stop for a drink before the walk back.
The hill at the end of the walk was challenging to say the least, but it was a good insight into what I may expect during my trek this Summer.