Friday 24 to Sunday 26 March 2017: Portland YHA Weekend

The Polyramblers  were back in Portland after our last trip in 2004; this time, we rented the Youth Hostel for the weekend. After a nice train journey, we took a bus to Fortuneswell and took possession of the Youth Hostel. We checked the facilities and chose our beds while waiting for the Tesco delivery. After tea and cake, we did a short walk and ended up at the Cove House Inn in Chiswell where Danny had booked tables for dinner. Back at the hostel, we had a nightcap before going to bed.
Saturday, after a home-cooked breakfast, we started our walk around the island along a ‘superb cliff top path perched above azure blue seas’ as promised in the programme and we also had an azure blue sky all day. We had lunch in the cafe by the Portland Bill Lighthouse and walked back along the west coast of the island. A rescue helicopter was hovering along the coast as we were walking, attending to a climbing accident. We stopped at the sculpture park in Tout Quarry and then for a drink in the Royal Portland Arms. In the evening, we had a home-cooked cordon bleu 3-course dinner in the hostel. Menu: salad with pear, Stilton and walnuts; vegetable curry with rice or chicken with taleggio and basil, potatoes and vegetables and, for dessert, apricot and marzipan galette and custard or red fruits pavlova.  Delicious.
Sunday was another day with azure blue seas and skies. How lucky we’ve been! Home-cooked breakfast then a bit of tidying up before our walk. The first part was along the shingle ridge of Chesil Beach – a bit difficult to walk on the shingles – to the visitor centre. After a coffee stop, we walked south along Hamm Beach. We continued past the sailing academy before having lunch at The Boat That Rocks pub. Then back at the hostel to pick up our luggage for our return journey to London. After such a successful weekend, we have already started discussing which hostel to book next year.