Weymouth to Raymonds Hill - Day 1

The route

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The Blog

Weymouth to Raymonds Hill

Good Friday 22nd April 2011

Replete with hot cross buns we made a leisurely roll out at 10am. It is so nice to start a tour cycling from our front door with no need for the inevitable rush for ferry or train. It is our third tour this year but somehow having an Easter tour sets the year to rights.

We pedalled off down the Rodwell Trail in warm sunshine and were soon out of Weymouth. Peace descended as usual immediately we turned left into Watery Lane at Upwey. We were now on country roads and would remain so for most of the rest of the day.

It is always delightful to cycle along the Friar Waddon Road to Portesham and this morning was no exception. As we made the gradual ascent to the hill above Portesham we had the downs on our right and occasional glimpses of the sea and the Fleet to our left.

Weymouth beach

At Portesham our route took us up the huge hill towards Hardy’s Monument and into the downs proper. Up until now Anne had been using the electric assist on her Nano Brompton (now known as Nanny) sparingly. Ken was toiling up the hill slowly and eventually walking and Anne was soon out of his sight. Even she had to walk part of the hill, electricity can only do so much.

Skirting south of Hardy’s Monument we joined Sustrans Route 2 and descended into the Bredy Valley. On a sunny morning in spring there can be few rides to equal this. The daffodils were still dotting the hedgerows and the early bluebells were in profusion. We passed the silent cricket pitch at Little Bredy with rolling downs on both sides. The stream bubbled through Litton Cheney as we passed the open door of the Youth Hostel, once a cheese factory.

We left Sustrans Route 2 to visit Bridport-on-Sea, that is West Bay. It may be the tackiest place in Dorset but it has some nice cafés and a lovely harbour. The two mile slog along the dreadfully busy B road along the coast was worth it.

Jurassic Coast

After lunch, with Nanny having had a one hour boost, we left West Bay on the old rail track and cycled through the wide streets of Bridport town centre. We left the town through the village of Symondsbury with another steep climb along ancient sunken roads and welcomed the shade they gave. To our left was the very prominent cone shaped hill with a few trees atop. One day we will make time to climb it but not today.

We turned left onto the concrete road signed “Dedham Only” and via many steep climbs and descents came eventually to our Bed and Breakfast house at Raymonds Hill. It is a lovely quiet place 200 metres high and on a country lane near Axminster. Our room in a separate building with a nice kitchenette had everything we needed. We had done almost 60 km and climbed 770 metres. Nanny’s battery died on the final climb to the house.