DAGGERS GATE - SCRATCHY BOTTOM
this beautiful circular walk contains some fairly steep climbs but they are well worth the effort, as it takes in some of the finest views along the Jurassic Coast.
grid tef: SY811813
distance: Approx. 4 miles
time: Approx. 1.1/4 hours
terrain: Two steep climbs. Open countryside
views: Far reaching Jurassic Coast and country views
points of interest: Durdle Door, View of Portland
nearby pubs: Harry’s Bar at Durdle Door Camp Site
[PHOTOS TO FOLLOW]
Following the public bridleway signpost RINGSTEAD, WHITE NOTHE, pass through the open gate and immediately bear left up a gravel track. Continue for about 500 yards, pass through an open gate ahead then immediately over the stile on your left. Continue straight ahead uphill with the wire fence and hedge on your left.
Looking over to your right as you come up the slope, in the distance you will see Portland.
Continue as the path goes slightly downhill, through a single gate and follow the footpath, keeping the gorse bushes to your left.
Stop for a moment and just follow the coastline from left to right from Durdle Door Camp site down to the footpath which we will shortly be taking through Sctatchy Bottom towards the South West Coast Parth, then swing round with Portland to your right in the distance.
Walking alongside the gorse bushes, pass through a single gate and down the track between the hedge on your left and th wire fence on your right. After about 200 yards turn right through a single gate singposted SCRATCHY BOTTOM.
The path is not very well defined but keep going down and diagonally across the wide open field and as you come over the brow of the hill you will see a gate, just in front of the woods.
Pass through the single gate (to the right of the wide gate) and continue down along the grassy track between the two wire fences. After about 100 yds pass through a similar single gate and continue along the grassy track (now with only the fence to your right).
Look up to the right and you will see where we’ve just come from.
Continue down through this beautiful green valley which swings round to the left, where you get your first close sight of the sea.
Stop and once again cast your eyes towars the sea then all the way along and round the rim of this beautiful valley. This is a lovely part of the walk – usually very quiet, just the birds and maybe some cows, and perhaps the sound of the wind.
Continue past the animal feeding trough and shortly go through the gate to join the South West Coast Path, turning left up the steep incline.
Stop and once again admire the view behind and in front of you. As you approach the top, stop and turn to face the sea. With the rock (The Bull) in the sea directly in front of you, look to your right down at the beach. Then, as you look left across to the sea, you will see the top of Durdle Door appearing; as you continue up the hill so the true splendour of this feature opens up.
Just before you get to the top there is a grassy area near to the edge. If you just go down a little towards the grass track you can see behind you the beach and the natural arch called Bat’s Hole, and the rock in front of it, called Bat’s Head. The rock out to your left (see at low tide) is called The Cow.
The path then drops down to an area where steep steps lead down to Durdle Door beach and to Man o’War bay. There is a viewing area here overlooking Man o’War bay where summer bathers swim out to and clamber over the large rocks a short distance from the beach.
Continue on the gravel track round the rim of Man o’War bay and follow the big main gravel track ahead of you, which then bears gently left and up to Durdle Door Camp Site (ignore the path which goes off to the right signposted LULWORH COVER).
Views to your right of the coastline towards Kimmeridge.
Bear diagonally left to enter the campsite by the path through the trees. Continue through this tent area of the campsite with the toilet/shower block on your right and the gas propane cylinders on your left.
At the end, turn right on to a tarmac road, then left past Harry’s Cafe (or stop for refreshement) and continue through the site , past Reception, then down past the children’s play area on your left, and out through the single gate.
Follow the road uphill, with the grass verge on your left, and where the road bends to the right turn left through the open wooden gate to Newlands Farm. Follow the road through the farm and round to the right. Continue straight ahead past Newlands Farm Cottage on your right and up the track back onto the main road. Bear left along the road back to Dagger’s Gate.