The sun was shining, a light breeze was blowing and the team were congregated outside The Priory Hotel, Wareham, ready to load onto the Heathside Travel bus.
19 intrepid Over The Wall supporters from across the UK came together on 6th May with Isabel, Helen and Caitlin from OTW HQ to take on the 20 km route: the Jurassic Coast Trek.
Bright and breezy, everyone arrived at Lulworth Cove, ready to get walking and spot some fossils! But first stop – a group photo in the iconic cove, with an added surprise as trusty Trustee Lara produced some dinosaur masks!
And then the real work began. No more than a mile into the hike, the team were faced with what looked and felt like a grassy cliff face! This was the South – there weren’t supposed to be hills! Slowly and steadily we trudged upwards, until we finally reached the summit and looked out at the stunning view along the coast. The cliffs continued to waver up and down – this was clearly only the first of many climbs!
By midday, we had covered three more incredibly steep hills and we enjoyed a slow casual descent via the deserted village of Tyneham, through fields of new-born lambs, before settling down by the sea in Kimmeridge for a picnic tea, kindly supplied by The Salt Pig. Our next summit loomed overhead, but for now we could have a short break.
After we’d wolfed down our quiche and cake, we took to the beach – despite having many miles to go, there were still fossils to find! A few of the team picked their way through the boulder-strewn shore, but sadly, no ground-breaking discoveries were made.
Then it was on, off up the cliffs as the clouds began to roll in and the breeze got that little bit brisker. Photo stops were brief as the sky grew darker and as we reached the foot of Worth Matravers, our ending point nearly in sight, the rain began to fall. In our hurry to reach the shelter of the bus, we hurried up a path, faster and faster, but… Surely we should have reached the village by now?
We had taken a wrong turning and at this moment, it really did begin to pour. The group headed rapidly back the way we came and soon found the right path, taking us soggily all the way up to the road, where the bus was waiting.
With smiles on our faces we relaxed and took in the damp scenery as we sped through Dorset, past Corfe Castle and on to Wareham and most importantly, hot showers!
We are incredibly proud of all our hikers for completing the challenge. To date, the team have raised over £8,000 to support children with serious illnesses on Over The Wall Camps. We are hoping to reach £10,000 and would appreciate any support you can give.