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WEATHER; overcast with hazy sunshine at times, a nice sea breeze, temp 22C

It seemed to be a bit of a coincidence that our life insurance renewal had just been completed and Dawn suggested a 10 mile hike around Portland! I agreed to go, and Celia (Dawn's sister) came with us, I made sure that I did not stand on the edge of a cliff with either of them behind me, you never know???

The view of Chesil Beach, Portland Harbour and Weymouth from the Verne where we parked the car

It was a glorious walk, lovely weather and plenty to see, the wild flowers were both colourful and bountiful, we saw many butterflies too. Lots of Meadow Browns, Small SkIppers, Common Blues and Marbled Whites. Pyramidal Orchids seemed to be everywhere as well as large bunches of three colours of Valarian, also lots of Vipers Bugloss and carpets of Trefoil. 

Vipers Bugloss (an uncommon white plant can be seen here)

We walked anticlockwise around the coastal path, passing Verne Prison, New Fancy Farm and the Grove Borstal prison for under eighteens. We climbed down to the lower path at the Grove, looking back up at the cliff we saw and heard a Peregrine and saw an adult female carrying food, a couple of chicks were calling from the cliff but we never saw them.

ciffs at Cheyne Weare

We walked to Church Ope Cove and ate our picnic lunch on the cliffs at Cheyne Weare watching Gulls and Cormorants and a few Rock Pipits. We continued all the way along to Portland Bill where a welcomed cup of coffee, followed by a magnum ice-cream was much appreciated. Scanning the sea from the Bill we saw lots of Gannets, dozens of auks, mostly Guillemots but also a few Razorbills. A Rock Pipit was walking around our feet and below our table as we ate our ice-creams.

looking down into Church Ope Cove from Rufous Castle

Portland Bill Lighthouse from te western slopes

The walk back along the west cliffs was just as enjoyable and even more picturesque. We found a lot more Pyramidal Orchids with a few Bee Orchids and added Common Blue, SIlver Studded Blue, Small Heath and Red Admiral. We also spotted a few Fulmars along the west cliffs.

Pyramidal Orchid

Bee Orchid taken by Dawn

We walked through Tout Quarry Sculpture and Nature Park, the sun had disappeared so not many butterflies were seen during this part of the walk.

five-spot Burnet Moth taken by Dawn

I think these are Small Skippers but I haven't ruled out Lulworth Skipper 

We finally arrived back at the car around 4pm, my feet were tired and my legs ached a little bit but I was still alive!!