Day 027: Lymington to Bournemouth

Distance: 27.79 miles

Ascent: 1347 feet

Weather: Overcast But Dry

Accommodation: Katie's Flat 


I had not really seen Lymington last night as it was dark, but when I left this morning it seemed like a lovely town and though not open there were many nice looking shops and pubs.

The walk headed out onto the Pennington and Keyhaven marshes. These were by far and away the best ones I had passed so far on the walk, with an incredible variety of birds. Teal, Egrets, several types of duck, Brent Geese, Canadian Geese, Swans, Skylarks and a little Kingfisher to name just a few. The kingfisher in particular was a real treat, as he kept letting me get within about 20m or so before moving another couple of fence posts along and in this fashion joined my walk for about 1 mile. He even caught a little fish at one point, and flew up and whacked it on a fence post. I spent far to long looking at the birds in these marshes/grasslands.

I soon reached Hurst Point which is a spit that entails a 1.5 mile walk out to Hurst Castle, before heading back to the start point again. This part was pebble walking, and alongside having to essentially retrace my steps the castle which barely warrants the name fort yet alone castle, did not make this part a highlight.

After this I followed the low clifftop path for several miles before dropping down onto a promenade to Mudeford. Mudeford was a shock, as though it was dry it was still overcast and breezy but yet the promenade was absolutely rammed with people. This was a bit overwhelming after the quietness earlier in the day.

Once I had got through all the people I headed inland and up and around Christchurch Harbour. Passing the Christchurch Priory, which is a magnificent structure and has been in use for over 900 years. The path then returns back to the coast at Hengistbury Head. This rises out of the flatlands and dominates the skyline for miles around. It was quite busy with people but was attractive in it own way with wooded areas, crumbing cliffs, mud flats, pebble beach and beach huts.

The final part of the walk was along the promenade to Boscombe Pier on the edge of Bournemouth. An old school friend Katie and her brother joined me for the last mile or so, before kindly putting me up for my rest day. Katie had asked what food I may want a few days ago and I had just said loads of vegetables to keep me healthy, and I was not disappointed with a vegetarian lasagne with every vegetable imaginable.

My legs were faily achy after todays walk, which I suppose they would be after 132 mile over 5 days, and I am really looking forward to trying to relax on this rest day.

charles compton