Pete's Walks - Durlston and Dancing Ledge (page 2 of 2)

If you are considering walking this route yourself, please see my disclaimer. You may also like to see these notes about the maps.

Google map of the walk (very inaccurate, especially around the start in Dalston Country Park)

Dancing Ledge is a shelf of rock sticking out into the sea from the base of a small cliff. At certain tides, the waves washing over its undulating surface bob about and appear to make the ledge appear to dance, hence the name (I can't remember if I looked this up on my phone before or after I saw it). There were a group of people there in wet-suits (I'm not sure what they were doing, but it involved a lot of shouting), and signs warned it was a bit of a scramble to access the ledge itself, so I just turned left to follow the South West Coast Path along the cliff tops. I soon had a good view of Dancing Ledge, looking back. I now just had to follow the coast path the 2-3 miles back to the country park - again, this was a delightful path to follow, with the constant sea views. I was stopping frequently to take photos, not just of the scenery but also of the wildflowers I saw - more orchids and some lovely pink Thrift. At one point a group of four walkers came by as I was taking a photo (I'd seen them approaching at a good pace a few minutes before) - they'd been walking the 630-mile South West Coast Path in sections over a few years, and were now on their penultimate day.

Picture omitted

The path dropping down to Dancing Ledge

Picture omitted

Dancing ledge

Picture omitted

Looking back at Dancing Ledge

Picture omitted

Thrift

Picture omitted

The coastal path, heading back to Durlston Country Park

Picture omitted

The coastal path, heading back to Durlston Country Park

Picture omitted

The coastal path, heading back to Durlston Country Park

Picture omitted

The coastal path, heading back to Durlston Country Park

Picture omitted

The coastal path, heading back to Durlston Country Park

Picture omitted

The coastal path, heading back to Durlston Country Park

At one point I passed a lighthouse on my left, and just after that I passed some old quarry workings in the cliff face. Shortly after this I left the coast path, taking path that forked half-left uphill and away from the cliff edge. I was soon back at the visitor centre at Durlston Country Park, where I stopped for a well-earned coffee and cake.

Picture omitted

The coastal path, heading back to Durlston Country Park

Picture omitted

The coastal path, heading back to Durlston Country Park

Picture omitted

The coastal path, heading back to Durlston Country Park

Picture omitted

The coastal path, heading back to Durlston Country Park

Picture omitted

The path back to the visitor centre at Durlston Country Park

Picture omitted

The path back to the visitor centre at Durlston Country Park

This was a lovely walk on a delightful Spring day. The walk was a wonderful and unexpected bonus on what had already been an incredible day for me (my first visit to Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door, both of which I'd wanted to visit for years, plus my first ever Early Spider Orchids and only my second-ever sightings of Wall butterflies).