A hilly walk with fantastic views over Osmington Bay starting from the pretty village of Osmington. Not suitable for children as parts of the walk are along public roads with a few road crossings.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
Park considerately in the village of Osmington. Roads are narrow but quiet, Chapel Lane is a possible option.
(D/A) From Chapel Lane, walk up to the main (A353) road. After no more than 75 yards cross the busy road to pick up a marked footpath alongside a cottage. The signpost is not prominent, so look carefully!
Climb up the hill past East Farm. Just before reaching the summit turn left. Views of the bay will come into focus here.
(1) After 500 yards the SW Coastal Path will join you from the left. Take this path to the right towards the coast in a southeast direction for a short while and descend through Rosewall Camping Site. On reaching the road follow it down to the Smugglers Inn car park. Venture into the pub's seating area.
(2) Pick up the SW Coastal path by walking behind the pub. You may want to ask pub staff exactly where it is as it is not obvious. Pass through a gate and follow it along the cliff as far as the White House above you on the left. The path becomes a track and you can get down to the beach from here.
NB : It is possible to get down to the sea just after the Smugglers Inn and, if the tide is not high, it is possible to walk along the "beach". However, it means climbing over boulders and it is very arduous.
Rejoin the SW Coastal path and follow it to the former Ringstead Radar Station. You may want to explore this as it is only a very small diversion off the SW Coastal Path.
(3) Follow it up to St Catherine By The Sea Chapel, which is normally open during the day. A beautiful little wooden church restored in 2010 is worth a visit. Continue your climb and bear left after 200 yards, and then bear left again after 300 yards, and keep ascending through the Nat Trust Ringstead Bay upper car park. There are glorious views from here.
(4) At the end of the car park proceed for about 0.6 miles along a single track road. It is not busy, but take the car as it is the access to the Nat Trust car park. At the junction proceed ahead and downhill for 250 yards, and then pick up a footpath on your right which takes you down to a large farm building at Upton. Go through the farm buildings and then climb up a steep path to the A353.
(5) Carefully cross the road as the footpath continues up a hill in a northwest direction.
(6) When you reach Pixon Barn, take a path to your left signposted Osmington. Descend in a southeast direction until you reach Roman Road in Osmington. Turn left into Chapel Lane where you started.(D/A)
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 233ft - Chapel Lane
1 : mi 0.61 - alt. 279ft - SW Coastal Path
2 : mi 1.18 - alt. 46ft - Smugglers Inn
3 : mi 3.02 - alt. 207ft - St Catherine By The Sea Chapel
4 : mi 3.77 - alt. 449ft - Car park
5 : mi 5.14 - alt. 272ft - A353
6 : mi 5.6 - alt. 410ft - Pixon Barn
D/A : mi 6.55 - alt. 233ft - Chapel Lane
Refreshments available at the Smugglers Inn and the Kiosk at Ringstead (open till 5 pm), The Sly Fox in Osmington seems to be permanently closed.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
Not far from this walk is the Osmington White Horse. You can extend your walk (by a tough 2 miles) to reach it, by proceeding ahead at the Pixon Barn On return about half a mile retracing your steps, there is another sign-posted path back to Osmington just before you reach the Horse. this path is part of the SW Coastal Path and will return you to Church Lane in Osmington. From here turn left into Village St and then immediately right to Chapel Lane. However, the Horse is not that impressive when you are beside it and it is easily missed as there is a good deal of weed etc growing on it.
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