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Langton House

Dorset, England

Worth Matravers, Seacombe, Dancing Ledge walking and hiking route

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Walk Instructions

Start Point

This walk commences from the car-park in the pretty village of Worth Matravers, located by turning right at the road junction beyond the Square and Compass public house.

The Square and Compass Inn which also houses a museum, dates from about 1840. A local trade guild - Ancient Order of Purbeck Marblers and Stone Cutters used to dine at the pub annually on 2nd February. This was called “Kissing Day”.

This walk can be extended by 3½ miles by adding the return route between Langton House and Worth Matravers, as described in Walk 2.

Leave the car-park, turn right and right again at the junction and head downhill towards the village. Pass to the left of the duck pond and continue to follow the road, passing between a shelter and an ancient water pump, before rising towards a junction.

Continue ahead, then turn right into a field (signpost Hill Bottom) just beyond a children’s play area. Cross the field aiming for the exit point in the top left corner. Hop over a stile to walk along the left-hand edge of a field aiming for a telegraph pole directly ahead.

Beyond this, with evidence of open cast stone mining activities (Swanworth Quarry) ahead, descend to another telegraph pole, cross a stile (sign Hill Bottom) and continue, descending through a woodland canyon that’s rich in bird life to reach Hill Bottom.

Cross two stiles situated close together, then swing left along a wide track. Arriving at a junction, either veer left across a damp patch, or continue ahead along a green swathe to turn left after a few paces. Both options lead on to an access road where two signposts confirm the correct location. Turn right along the road.

Reaching a telegraph pole situated adjacent to the starting point of the Purbeck Way, leave the road on the left. Cross a bridge, pass through a gate, then swing left, immediately, rising steadily to join the coastal path overlooking Chapman’s Pool. Breathtaking views are presented throughout the ensuing 2½ miles of coastal path which terminates at the redundant Winspit stone quarry. Along the way a memorial to Royal Marines is observed and there’s a steep descent and ascent (204 steps!) Thankfully, there’s a seat close by following the exertions! Another seat skilfully fashioned from a block of Purbeck limestone carries a moving inscription.

Farther on are the white-painted former coastguard cottages and the coastguard station (the officer of the day informed me that views of the Isle of Wight eastwards, and Portland Bill westwards are available when visibility permits). Also, there’s the Norman chapel dedicated to St. Aldhelm - a square building, without windows, which contains a superb vaulted roof inside. The chapel is still used for worship on occasions

Continue beyond the coastguard station seeking a waymark to Winspit and just follow the obvious route, keeping close company with the sea. Reaching the old quarry buildings, descend into the valley and turn left. Follow the wide track to a junction close to a sewerage plant and veer right. Enter the village in front of London Row cottages. Turn right up the hill towards the car-park.

The church at Worth Matravers holds the grave of Benjamin Jesty, who discovered vaccination in 1770. Jesty noticed that milkmaids suffering from cowpox were immune from the more lethal smallpox.

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Disclaimer: This route was correct at time of writing. However, alterations can happen if development or boundary changes occur, and there is no guarantee of permanent access. These walks have been published for use by site visitors on the understanding that neither HPB Management Limited nor any other person connected with Holiday Property Bond is responsible for the safety or wellbeing of those following the routes as described. It is walkers' own responsibility to be adequately prepared and equipped for the ‎level of walk and the weather conditions and to assess the safety and accessibility of the walk.

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