Dorset Trip - October 2015
Durdle Door Dorset
2nd to 4th October 2015

The weather forecast was good so I decided to take a few days break in Dorset. Unfortunately it transpired that the weather was either too bright (no clouds whatsoever) or too foggy for photography. However, to look on the bright side, I was able to use the trip to check out locations for future visits.

Venues I visited were:

--Kimmeridge Bay--

I visited here for both sunrise and sunset, but the lack of cloud made for disappointing lighting. The only shot I took that passed muster, just, was a close-up of some pebbles reflecting the late evening light.
Kimmeridge Pebbles Dorset

--Corfe Castle--

I have seen many fine shots of this ruin, often with mist about the base of the mound upon which it sits.

As the forecast for two days was early morning mist I thought that my luck was in. However, on both occasions it was more like a thick pea-soup of fog. Ever hopeful that the fog would clear, I rose from my bed long before sunrise, and made my way to the castle to await sunrise. I was to be disappointed.

However, I did at least discover, for future reference, that the ideal place to view the castle was from the east side of West Hill looking east at the castle with East Hill beyond (above which the sun rises in the autumn). This venue is accessible from Corfe Castle village or from the car park just off the A351 north of the castle. Sorry about all the compass points in this paragraph but it is the best way to describe the spot.

Something that did surprise me was the number of photographers who were scattered about this hill at such an early hour. I saw a constant succession of hardy individuals arriving and taking up various positions on the hill. The fog obscured most of them from sight but they could be heard as disembodied voices expressing disappointment at the conditions.

Whilst hoping for the fog to disappear I struck up a conversation with the nearest photographer. He told me that he was a local by the name of Frank Leavesley and that he had visited this venue on many occasions. I suggest that you check out his website as it has many fine views of Corfe Castle and numerous other Dorset venues. Frank Leavesley website...

--Tyneham (the village that time forgot)--

This is an abandoned village that stands on the army firing range attached to Bovington camp. The villagers were told to leave in 1943 as the land was needed for D Day practice. They were promised their homes back after the war but this never happened. Access to the public is now allowed most weekends of the year when live firing is not taking place.

It is an interesting place to visit that only costs the £2 suggested donation for car parking. It is a small village with a few derelict, roofless houses, a church, schoolhouse and farm buildings. The church and school are still in a good state of repair and it is possible to think that the children have only recently gone outside to play. The other notable "building" is a type K1 1929 telephone box.

Whilst this was a fascinating place to visit there were not many photographic opportunities that aroused my interest, However, I did notice an ironic clash of mid 19th century religious beliefs and 21st century health and safety paranoia by the village well. See the photograph to discover what I mean. I call it "Eternal Life denied"
Everlasting Life Denied

--Durdle Door--

This iconic beach, cliff and arch is a very steep and tiring walk from Lulworth Cove. However, on this occasion, I discovered that it is possible to use a public car park a little way past a caravan park in the fields to the north of the beach. It is well worth the £3 charge for a couple of hours. At this time of the year (October) the cliffs above Durdle Door would make a good viewpoint for sunrise or sunset shots. However, due to time constraints I could only be here around midday and so I used the visit as a practice for a future occasion. Given the time of day and the strong shadows I am still pleased with the composition of the shot I obtained. The staircase that features in the photo now leads nowhere as it has fallen away further down. A new set of steps have been built to the left.
Durdle Door Dorset