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Purbeck Ridge (Ridgeway Hill and Steeple Hill)

The central section of the Purbeck Ridge from the Cocknowle gap in the east to Creech view point in the west


Ridgeway Hill and Steeple Hill: sheer folly

Post date: Sunday, 10 January, 2016 - 15:39

There are three things you can be guaranteed when you walk the Purbeck Ridge path from Lulworth to Ballard Down. The first is fantastic views, not only along the dramatic Dorset coastline but also inland across Poole harbour and off to the hills in the north of Dorset. Secondly, some difficult walking in places where the path descends down the escarpment and then up again to the top, especially around Corfe Castle. Thirdly, of course, ample natural interest.

The top of the Purbeck Ridge is generally improved agricutural grazing, as far as I can ascertain due to the desperate times of the second world war. The Ridge is still a prime site for flowers and insects but you have to look on the steep slopes of the sunny southern side to find it. These slopes are so steep they could not be used for farming and so remain fairly natural. The Ridge, being chalk, has a number of rare calcareous soil loving flowers and an interesting array of butterflies, grasshoppers and bush crickets.

The stretch from the Creech View car park eastwards along Ridgeway Hill to Cucknowle provides all three of these features along with a folly, the Grange Arch. What more could you ask for from a walk on a nice summers day?


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