Thursday, 9 September 2021

A stunning walk over southern England's highest cliff, Golden Cap

The South-West Coast Path is England's longest waymarked long-distance footpath. It stretches for 630 miles, running from Minehead in Somerset, along the coasts of Devon and Cornwall, to Poole Harbour in Dorset, including the latter county's famous Jurassic Coast.

Two days ago ago Barbara and I, out of Cornwall for only the second time since the start of the pandemic, did the challenging short hike between Seatown and Charmouth. Although only about 5 miles it took us up and over the Jurassic Coast's iconic Golden Cap, at 626 feet (191 metres) the highest point on the south coast of England. Its name comes from its yellow capping of weathered Upper Greensand, a sandstone typically deposited in marine environments like the one here in Jurassic times. When we first visited the area 16 years ago its golden cap was a memorable sight in the evening sunshine, but since then the colour has been dimmed by an increase in vegetation cover. Nevertheless the views from the top are as glorious as they ever were.

We took the bus from our base at Lyme Regis to Chideock and walked through the village to the coastal path at Seatown. From there it was a fairly gentle climb to Golden Cap where we were rewarded with fine views in every direction before descending to Charmouth and the bus back to Lyme Regis.

A highly recommended short hike if you are reasonably fit!

A gentle start
The steep climb to Golden Cap
Approaching Golden Cap
The view to the east towards Portland
Looking north to the beautiful medieval fields and countryside of Dorset
West to Lyme Regis and East Devon

The long descent
Approaching Charmouth


  1. Hi Barry and Barbara, Thanks for sharing your beautiful walk. It struck an immediate chord with us
    having greatly enjoyed the Sunday Times bestseller "The Salt Path " which described the challenging, humorous and sometimes tearful journey of Raynor and Moth along the South West Coast Path. A must read if you have not yet done so. Best regards, Rod & Kathy.

    1. Hi Rodney. Thanks for your comment and suggestion. I would recommend Dorset to anyone, it is a beautiful county, and I will have more on the geology of the Jurassic Coast in a week or so.


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