Houns Tout Cliff is something of a climb. We set our bodies to Plod Mode, fixed our eyes to the ground, and made our way slowly up to the ridge.
The climb was worth it. From the ridge there are grand and sweeping views back to the scallop-shaped Chapman’s Pool and St Aldhelm’s Head beyond. Everything we could see we had walked that morning. It was a satisfying feeling; we stood on the high ground like generals surveying their freshly conquered territory.
The views onward were equally impressive. The mist we had seen earlier in the day was still there. It rolled in from the sea and raced up the cliffs with astonishing speed, overunning them with ease but then being burned off by the sun as soon as land was breached. The attack was at the Kimmeridge Ledges, in the far background of the next picture.
The Kimmeridge Ledges are limestone fingers of rock. They formed in Jurassic times when this part of the world was deep sea. Silt settled and formed limestone bands which can be seen clearly in the cliffs and on the shoreline. They stretch far out to sea and have been the cause of numerous shipwrecks over the years. The bands in the cliffs show the fall to the east, again demonstrating the upheaval of land during the period when the Alps were built.
Superstitious people might have thought that the mist rolling in from the sea contained the collective souls of those perished in the shipwrecks. It certainly made for an eerie atmosphere as we headed into it, unable to see the sheer drop to the ledges below.
Points on this part of the walk (copy and paste the co-ordinates into Google Earth):
- Chapman’s Pool: N 50° 35.575 W 002° 03.850
- Houns-Tout Cliff: N 50° 35.700 W 002° 04.150
- Kimmeridge Ledges: N 50° 35.700 W 002° 06.350
Walk #78 Statistics (of which this post forms the fifth part):
- Date of Walk: 9 April 2015
- Walk #78 total distance covered: 10.63 miles
- Coast of Britain Walk Total Distance Covered: 661.63 miles
- CLICK HERE FOR LINK TO INTERACTIVE MAP!!!