West Bexington to West Bay Dorset
At Southover, Burton Bradstock we stop for a rest, taking the time to remove more pebbles from our boots collected when walking the beach section. The views from here over Burton Beach are really nice, but the seaside shops and cafes are very busy, so we decide not to stop for a drink or ice cream.
This handsome beetle is the common Bloody-nosed Beetle, which derives its name from its unusual defence mechanism: when threatened, it secretes a distasteful blood-red liquid from its mouth to deter would be predators such as birds. The Bloody-nosed Beetle is a domed, black beetle with a bluish sheen. The line running down its back gives the impression of separate wing cases, but they are actually fused together and this beetle does not fly; it is quite slow moving and can often be seen crossing coastal footpaths. It's the small things that sometimes catch your eye and it's a sheer joy to see one crossing a path slowly in the open.
Dropping down Burton Cliff we arrive at Burton Freshwater. Here the River Bride enters the sea and joining the beach we have to navigate our way across this small water. Located just south of the chocolate box village of Burton Bradstock, it has a large caravan holiday park running right down to the beach. Like East Cliff at West Bay ahead, Burton Cliff is formed of Bridport Sand and suffers from serious rock fall, sadly this has led to deaths at the base of these beautiful cliffs. Near the top of these cliffs is a layer of Inferior Oolite, which contains large Ammonites popular with fossil hunters.
As we start the climb up over East Cliff the heat is unbearable and everyone just wants to find some shelter. Several rests are needed and fluids are fast depleting, everyone has had enough. The day before was hard in the unbearable heat, without any breeze and no one wants a repeat of that walk.