A last post from Dorset before an overnighter in Market Drayton, and a pub of the year contender in the Castle near Lulworth Cove.
A group of us reached this after a four hour circular walk that took in several miles of farm sewerage, numerous wrong turns, knee deep mud, a loo stop at Chaldon Herring (Sailor’s Return, very good Otter), and the breathtaking Durdle Door.
We didn’t pass a soul till we got to the Durdle Door car park, which was packed with folk attempting a ten minute edit of our walk.
Quite how I’ve managed to avoid this stretch of coastline for 50 years I can’t explain. It’s as good as anywhere in the UK, and a real test of the calf muscles on the descent to Lulworth Cove.
The cove itself is a bit commercialised, but a further mile north you have the benefit of a rewarding drink in a recent CAMRA Cider pub of the year without folk asking for croutons and Prosecco.
The location is critical; the Castle is geared up for tourists, but feels like a proper pub for drinkers rather than a holidaymakers restaurant. The outdoor chess kept our children out of the pub but amused for long enough for a sampling of the ciders by Mrs RM.
Being obtuse I stuck to the Otter (NBSS 3.5) from the cask, and felt very smug as some of our group complained that the Copse House didn’t taste like Strongbow. I bet the lovely staff get some very confused customers faced with gravity beers and real scrumpy.
Pretty much a perfect holiday pub, even with the famous tiered garden temporarily closed.