The wonderful thing about writing for a walking holiday company combined with owning an energetic 3 year old dog is that on a regular basis I get to explore the extraordinary British countryside and coastline.
Having been gripped by the travel bug from a young age I have been lucky enough to travel the world, discovering destinations far from home but as I get older I am unearthing incredible places on my doorstep from epic mountain ranges, wild coastlines and ancient woodlands to white sandy beaches and turquoise waters.
This week I left the lush green countryside of the Wye Valley and headed to the Jurassic Coast to photograph a section of the SWCP near Bridport in Dorset, probably most famous for being the location of Broadchurch, the hit ITV series.
I had bravely decided to set off on my coastal exploration on a hot and sunny May Bank Holiday Saturday, for most sensible folk the prospect of spending hours in a hot car in mile long motorway queues would be enough to out an end to this idea but I was convinced any potential traffic delays and holiday crowds would be far out weighed by the beauty of this historic coastline.
I was right, after a painless 40 minute commute from the Somerset/Dorset boarder and a few circles of the carpark I arrived at West Bay otherwise known as Bridport Harbour, a small, quaint harbour settlement just over a mile away from the main town.
Armed with a bottle of water, my camera and an excitable dog I walked the short distance to East Beach, scrambling over a shingle mound to reach the long stretch of coastline that forms the western end of Chesil Beach. Although busy with families it was far from overcrowded and I only needed to walk short a distance between playful children and dogs for before I was sharing the sand with only a few other walkers. To the left of me the towering cliffs of East Cliff, to the right the clear waters of the English Channel and ahead of me Burton Cliff and Burton Bradstock.
With not much of a plan I headed in the direction of Burton Cliff walking for about a mile before cutting up to the cliff top to join the South West Coast Path back to West Bay. It really is a wonderful stretch of coastline, the rugid golden heritage coast rock faces dating back millions of years rise majestically from the sand, the shingle beaches stretch as far as the eye can see and the views from the coast path are breath taking. This time of year the cliff tops are alive with wild flowers, set against the sand coloured rocks and blue waters.
This was my first visit to the Dorset Coast and it most definitely won't be the last, what a discovery.