79e – Worbarrow to Arish Mell

From Worbarrow Tout the Coastal Path climbs west, up the cliffs overlooking Worbarrow Bay, and then descends back down to skirt along the southern boundary of Bindon Range, one of the principle firing ranges of the Lulworth Rages and practice area of the Royal Armoured Corps Gunnery School.

Cliffs above Worbarrow BayAt the top of the cliffs overlooking Worbarrow Bay is the summit of Rings Hill and Flower’s Barrow, a 2,500 year old Iron Age hill fort.  Its clifftop situation may have meant it played a defensive role, but it may have simply been a settlement; nobody knows for sure.  Easily seen on satellite photos (co-ordinates for Google Earth can be found at the end of this post), it is more difficult to spot on the ground.  Its existence is signified by a series of earthen ramparts, but unless you know what you are looking for it is easy to miss.  You can tell where the rampart is by the line of gorse in this next photo.

Flower's BarrowGiven its clifftop position it is not altogether surprising that only two thirds of the original fort stands today.  The rest has fallen into the sea as the cliffs recede.  In this next photo, to the far right hand side, the footpath lies on top of the rampart but the rampart itself disappears at the cliff edge (click the photo to enlarge it).

Flower's Barrow and Receding CliffFrom Flower’s Barrow the Coastal Path leads down to Arish Mell, a small and secluded bay and beach.  This marks the start of my favourite section of the Range Walks, featuring dramatic geology and a landscape strewn with military vehicles used as target practice.

Lulworth Range TargetsI don’t know what happens to the cows on firing days, but it struck me that they wouldn’t last long in their present position.

IMG_2865And the geology?  It is as if the cliffs beyond Arish Mell have been grabbed by a giant and wrenched upwards.

Arish Mell and BeyondI was looking forward to this next section of the walk.

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

  • Worbarrow Bay:  N 50° 37.100 W 002° 11.250
  • Worbarrow Tout:  N 50° 36.950 W 002° 11.189
  • Flower’s Barrow:  N 50° 37.500 W 002° 11.650
  • Arish Mell:  N 50° 37.350 W 002° 12.450
  • Range Vehicles:  N 50° 37.420 W 002° 12.700

Walk #79 Statistics (of which this post forms the fifth part):


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4 Responses to 79e – Worbarrow to Arish Mell

  1. jcombe says:

    It’s a steep hill up to the fort too. I find the best way to know I’m there is the presence of the welcome picnic tables someone has got up there (somehow!).

  2. Such a beautiful part of the county. But I remember the killer climb out of Arish Mell. Wow.

  3. The perfect day for that part of your walk… trek… expedition. There have been few parts of your journey so far that have not involved some sort of military connection, I notice.

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