71e – Mudeford Spit to Hengistbury Head

We had three choices before us.  We could either take the coastal path along the beach; the high path up Hengistbury Head; or the inland path around the head.  This, for me, was an easy decision.  We are coastal walkers and there is only One True Coastal Path of Righteousness as all coastal walkers know.  The beach it was.

Our guest walkers today outnumbered us seven to four.  They had other ideas, citing the fact that the best views were to be had from the high path over Hengistbury Head.  I had no doubt of this, but the high path was not the One True Path!  I tried in vain to explain this, becoming more and more anal about the whole thing, until I realised that half of our guest walkers had sneakily headed off up the high path whilst I argued it out with the others.  Oh well, if you can’t beat them…

To be fair the high path was mostly only 160 feet off the beach, and up to only 500 feet at its furthest point.  And you did get some good views, as promised.  There were the beach huts snaking their way along Mudeford Spit.

Looking Back Along Mudeford SpitAnd as we got higher and further away we had good views of the entire spit.  We could see how small the entrance to Christchurch Harbour is compared to the harbour itself.

Looking Back to Christchurch HarbourBehind the Coastguard Station we had good views over to the Isle of Wight and the Needles.

Henginstbury Head Lookout StationAnd to the west, in front of us, stretching away into the distance, was Bournemouth.

Looking Forward to BournemouthHengistbury Head is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) as it was a first settled over 12,000 years ago, in the Stone Age.  A sign caught my eye.  It depicted the defensive “Double Dyke Gates” which existed 2,000 years ago on this site.  Imagine seeing this and you plodded around the coast of Britain!

41a - Double Dykes of Hengistbury Head Information Board croppedBut I still would have preferred to have seen the One True Path of Coastal Righteousness!

Points on this part of the walk (copy and paste the co-ordinates into Google Earth):

  • The One True Path of Coastal Righteousness:  N 50° 42.745 W 001° 44.965
  • The High Path:  N 50° 42.830 W 001° 44.970
  • Coastguard Lookout Station:  N 50° 42.910 W 001° 45.529

Walk #71 Statistics (of which this post forms the fifth part):

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3 Responses to 71e – Mudeford Spit to Hengistbury Head

  1. Jody says:

    What a gorgeous stretch of coastline! I love the view of the colorful beach huts. Put me down as a beach hut nut!

  2. This is a gorgeous stretch of coast, isn’t it. I walked up Hengistbury Head too (not realising you could walk along the beach). The views from the top are wonderful.

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