The deal is pretty good, we pay £9.50 a month between us and gain access to all National Trust sites and car parks for free across the country. We just needed to actually use it!
This walk started in Langton Matravers at the Spyway car park. The car park itself is pretty easy to find using postcode BH19 3HG in the sat nav, but you do need to continue up a narrow stoney path to get to the car park. We went in January, which I imagine to be off peak parking. Obviously with our National Trust membership cards (make sure you have these with you as the machines now distribute a ticket using the code on the card) we got our parking free of charge. For those of you who are reading this and not NT members it would have cost us £2 on this occasion, so not going to break the bank.
What we particularly enjoyed about this walk compared to other Purbeck walks is that from the carpark, Senna (our gorgeous cocker spaniel) was able to be off lead. He’s an absolute gem of a dog, but he does suffer with nervous aggression so if a dog he doesn’t know comes charging towards him, he is likely to snap at the dog as opposed to be submissive. For this reason, on doggy populated walks, we typically keep him on lead until it’s quieter.
The previous day we walked at Durdle Door and despite it being a little above freezing temperatures, it still proved to be a hugely popular weekend walk with tourists and dog owners alike. This can make or break a walk for us. As some dog owners don’t always recognise that a dog on lead doesn’t always want to be bothered by lively off lead puppies and equally Senna doesn’t quite understand why he can see all this open space but be restricted to an on lead walk. Also to add to this, the cliff top at Lulworth and Durdle Door isn’t fenced so it’s not the most ideal off lead area.
So this walk was just delightful. Not only did we get the incredible scenery from the coast and cliffs, but we also got the peace and quiet. We only saw a handful of walkers and other dogs across the entire 6 miles. The majority of the cliff top is also finely fenced off, it doesn’t spoil the view and it meant Senna could enjoy being off lead and we could enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
We then began our walk along the coastal path towards Seacombe Ledge. The directions we followed from the National Trust site were really easy and straight forward to follow. You will have zero phone signal for the majority of this walk, which is liberating, but remember to screen shot the directions – unlike us! Fortunately it is pretty difficult to get lost (although I’m sure I could give it my best shot) as the gates and pathways are marked with the NT Arrow so you should be ok.
We followed the NT arrows and went a little off the planned route, which we didn’t realise at the time, but we are glad we did. We ended up at the Winspit Western quarry which was a perfect stop for a sit down and to enjoy our packed lunch whilst admiring the view!
If you are looking for a pub lunch or spot of tea, you could simply follow the original route, or from the quarry follow signs inland to Worth Matravers where you will come uphill to the village. There is a little tea rooms opposite, however this was shut on Sunday afternoon so we ventured to the Square & Compass up the hill on the right and enjoyed a soft drink overlooking the sea. Despite it being January, there was no wind chill, so sitting outside had proved popular but dogs are welcome inside and there is an open fire for colder days.
Once again, even in the village, we had no signal, so we ventured back along the coastal path, which in turn meant we had to climb the steepest part of the walk right at the end towards the car park. This was the most challenging part of the walk and had we had the common sense to screenshot the directions before we left, we could have avoided it entirely and walked circular more inland back to the car. The choice is up to you, we enjoy the burn, but appreciate that even we found it tough so you may or may not prefer to take the slightly easier route as per the directions.
Overall we would definitely return to do this walk again and have already seen a few other routes from the Spyway car park which we can’t wait to explore.
Let me know if you do/or have done this walk and any other routes you may know from Spyway